We’re back!! That’s right it’s Ex Files, dating horror stories, my final attempt to live my life a la Carrie Bradshaw. (And let’s not pretend horror only lives in fiction. Some of my ex files: The Ghosting, Tinder on an Airplane, The One Who Wouldn’t Take No, and of course The One Who Asked for his Money Back. More can be found under “Ex Files” in the search bar).
This is usually the part where I state (correctly I think) that if people want you to write (or remember or talk about them) warmly, they should behave better- but, what happens when it’s you that should have behaved better? OR more succinctly (and on trend)- it’s me, I’m the problem (in this one instance!).
Complete sidenote- my mom hates when I I quote the song where I got this title (AntiHero by Taylor Swift), but like a lot of people, I sometimes relate a lot to the lyrics, because sometimes we are the problem. The good thing is that we can see it, right?
SO. Recently I was chatting with a girlfriend about ghosting (which again I’ve written about here), and which usually I would agree that ghosting is not the best. However, upon reflection, I realized I recently ghosted someone (that does make me the bad guy). And I got to thinking about ghosting and hard conversations and what we do when we’re the villain.
Normally I would say that there’s not a reason to ghost. That we should all be aok with being honest about not wanting to see someone or seeing the relationship go anywhere or wanting to end things. Of course, like all rules, there are exceptions, and if you’re in danger or dealing with a volatile person I can absolutely get behind silence as the way to communicate. But, what about the times in between? And what do you you do when you catch yourself being the problem?
(Also I’m running out of fake generic names for Ex Files- a me problem- but if you have any suggestions I’m all ears!)
I’ve known Pedro for a few years. We’re not friends, and not quite colleagues, but run into each other at a side hustle I occasionally do, as well as on errands. He’s not a bad guy- but I have to say he’s not someone I would seek out to spend time with. Pedro has never made me uncomfortable, but there’s just something – I don’t see us being close. However, on this side hustle gig, Pedro does (sort of) have some power over me. A few months ago, I went to work a shift for this side hustle gig and there was not enough product for me to complete my shift- meaning I got to go home with full pay. Pedro was the one who signed off on this. Completely normal and happens. I was asked to leave my cell number with Pedro-JIC- which I was happy to do! Then, I started getting texts. Nothing creepy, nothing awful – mainly just wishing me a good day and asking generic questions. At first, I didn’t mind the banter back and forth.
Then, he started calling me beautiful a bit much (I like compliments as much as the next person but it felt like a bit much). And I started getting questions like: “What’s your address?” Which I don’t answer. These, of course, were mixed in with other comments, etc. But. I just stopped responding. At first, it was an honest mistake – I got a late text that I simply forgot about, but then he texted again. And again. I still haven’t answered.
I completely own that I could have just set my boundaries (no address, I’m not really interested, etc), but once I let a text go- it was just easy to let them all go. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. This is not me asking for understanding- I get what I did- and am still a bit nervous about running into Pedro again! Sometimes we are the villain, the problem, the one who will be written about- and I’m dealing with that.
How do you deal with being the problem when you recognize you are? Do you have great tips on setting boundaries so you don’t have to ghost? I’m open to hearing it all!