I first mentioned my rule: Never trust a guy with only selfies in my post Online Dating 101. What I failed to do is take my own advice. See I was thinking that a man who only has selfies may not have a lot of friends, or he may be vain, or he may be living in a halfway house (still traumatized). But there may be another very good reason that a man might have only selfies on his profile.
My Colombian man came to visit me for my birthday last weekend. I was super excited and super nervous. I made arrangements for the girls to have a babysitter the entire time, I took two days off of work, and I even booked an Airbnb for one night downtown so we could go out carefree and not worry about an hour drive back to my place. We even made plans for him to meet my friends for a birthday celebration. It was going to be great. And it was, for the most part. I also saw this as a pivotal moment for us. By the end of the weekend we were either going to try to make this a real thing, or call it what it is and go our separate ways.
We started the weekend off with some typical tourist things and had a normal date night with a movie and a pub for drinks after. He mentioned at some point my Instagram account which I thought was strange but he explained that his soon-to-be ex-wife had figured out who I was. We took plenty of pictures together at the Willis Tower that day but I am careful, as is he, to not post anything with the two of us. I don’t need the headache of hundreds of people messaging me about who the guy is. Plus it would diminish any judgement I have on the X flaunting his “new love” all over the place...so tacky! Somehow she figured it out anyway and he was left to have an awkward conversation with her about how he was visiting me for my birthday. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but it still just made me feel strange. It sprouted a conversation with him that we already discussed during my trip to Florida where I explained how important it was that I am not seen as the other woman. He knows my history with the X and has told me countless times he has been honest with me from the beginning about his life.
We continue our perfect weekend without missing a beat. It felt strange but nice to have someone sleep next to me in my own bed over the age of 4. Although I know I am not ready for that full time as it absolutely drove me insane to see his stuff all over my apartment. I woke up early Sunday morning to take care of some things for work since I was taking off the next two days and found the email. The email from his “soon-to-be ex-wife” that wanted more information about how I knew her husband and that she didn’t know that when he travels to Chicago that he comes to see me. I couldn’t contain the horrific look on my face and immediately showed him the email. I didn’t know what to make of it. He laughed as he read it and called her crazy. He explained that she was just being nosy and digging for information and I couldn’t take her words seriously. I tried to think of any reason she would email me like that that didn’t mean they were still married. I even told him I would respond to the email and tell her the truth and he was fine with that. He understood why I felt I owed her that and promised that she already knew about me and there was nothing to hide. I thought maybe she was unsure of the timeline and needed clarification to put her mind at ease. Girl, I’ve been there!
So I chose to make the best of the weekend anyway and ignore the email for now. I knew that something was off but still we had all of these plans and he was here for another two days. I chose not to respond because I was afraid what I would find out. Either he lied and was still married in the traditional sense, or I am dealing with a crazy ex-wife and frankly, I didn’t need to be dealing with either scenario. I knew this would be our last weekend together and I just wanted to hold on to it a little longer.
We spent a great afternoon with a few of my friends at brunch. He had a good time which was something I was worried about. It was very strange to be at a table with all couples and I was neither alone nor with the X. Afterwards he adorably talked about all of my friends, remembering their names and asked questions. Later that evening we stayed in and I cooked dinner of which he was so appreciative AND he helped clean up. That is still a feeling I am getting used to. I could marry a man just based on that – seriously!
The following day we got an early start downtown. We had an awesome day and an even better night. It was easy and fun. We talked about everything and got to know each other even more. I let him just speak freely in Spanish and got a better sense of his real personality without the struggle of translating to English. With a few beers in me, I was able to put that Minor in Spanish to good use. I had this little voice in the back of my head telling me this wasn’t right but there were moments where I felt really happy. At times I forgot about our impending doom and just enjoyed his company. When I did try to bring up the future and point out that this may be our last night together he refused to accept that. I think we both knew that there was no potential for forever, but we could at least still enjoy each other a little while longer.
I drove him to the airport Tuesday evening and dreaded that last kiss goodbye. We vaguely spoke about another trip in Florida but I knew that wouldn’t happen. After a very long goodbye, I drove back to the real world, picked up the kids and carried on with my routine. As soon as the girls were settled, I emailed the wife back. I couldn’t wait another second. It was eating my alive knowing there was information at my fingertips. I responded explaining that I was a bit surprised at her email because I had been told that she knew who I was. I told her what I knew of the story – that they were separated, still sharing the house awkwardly in separate bedrooms, no plans for divorce yet but they hadn’t been together since August. I assured her that we hadn’t met until November, holding on to that last shred of hope that that’s why she was asking.
NOPE! Ladies, another reason a man may only have selfies is because he is hiding the truth from his wife!!
He is just married. Full on married. No talk of separation, no known issues in their marriage, just MARRIED! She had no idea who I was. He told her he was visiting a male friend that he met in Chicago. Who would do that??? I would question why she would even fall for that, but then again, I fell for a more pathetic story. She elaborated to tell me that he cheated once when they were dating and had been good since their marriage, but she knew something was up. We BOTH felt sick to our stomachs and wanted him out of our lives.
I know some of you reading this are thinking you could have seen that coming from a mile away, but I honestly believed his twisted story. He was so good at it! And I know from the manipulation the X put me through, that I am very gullible. So I bought it. And – let’s face it – I wanted it to be true.
The nightmare lasted for several days and I went back and forth on how I felt about it all. I would talk to her, then talk to him. I was so angry, then so sad, then angry again. She asked that I send her proof that he was there with me so he couldn’t spin any more lies. At first I thought, I just wanted this over and move on to the next jerk, but the feminist in me remembered that women should be in each others’ corners, and not in competition. I would have wanted that proof when I suspected my husband – Hell…I still do! So I sent her a picture that proved we were most definitely together. Within a day he lost his wife and his girlfriend and was alone. I am glutton for punishment and actually started to feel terrible that I just ruined this man’s life so I would check on him to make sure he was okay. That was a mistake because the manipulation and lies continued. He claimed to be so depressed that he was contemplating taking his life. After a very late evening of making sure he was okay, I reached out to his wife again. She was very cool and level-headed. She seemed like someone I would be friends with and we had created our own trust with each other. I wanted to see if this could be a legitimate concern. No – just a manipulative plea to get me back and he pulled the same thing on her. I was able to get one source of truth out of him. After grilling him several times about their relationship I bluntly asked about the last time they had sex. His response was that he told me in Florida he hadn’t been with her since August. Catching on to his twisting words I asked again. And again. Until finally he admitted he slept with her one week before he came to visit me. That was it. That’s all I needed. I know how to pick them don’t I?
I blocked him from all social media and even blocked his phone number eventually. Mostly because this had dragged on long enough, but also I didn’t want to be able to reach out to him in a moment of weakness. Even after all of the lies and all of the crazy character flaws that came out in those last few days, I would miss him. It already felt strange not to say goodnight to him or to even just be able to tell him I miss him as we had so many times before. I already missed the silly jokes that usually required an eye roll. I missed how he would brush his hand on my cheek or just come over for a hug randomly. I had the appreciation, the affection and the passion from a man that I had been missing and craving for so many years. And in the blink of a second, it all vanished. My Latin fantasy was over and I returned to Earth. It was a good run while it lasted, and I was happy we did leave things on a good note mutually.
So I will focus on some other things and give Tinder a break for a little while.
Maybe like a week….