Surprise, Surprise…

During college, I was sort of hung up on only dating young men from my school, and so, despite living in a bustling city, did not date much, ’cause there wasn’t much to choose from. I’m really picky. This resulted in me having less dating experience than most, and  unfortunately left me quite naive when I did enter the dating scene.

A few months after graduation, I was out at a lounge with my girlfriends when I was approached by a dude, I’ll call him “homeboy”, who was very insistent on getting my number. Though I thought this was weird (not that I’m not fly enough, but it was just sort of much, I wasn’t planning on not giving him my number, and besides that, he wouldn’t have taken no for an answer),  he was attractive, seemed professional, put together, and frankly, I loved that this attractive, professional, young black man was into me.

We start dating—things start off well. He’s taking me out to eat at nice places, coming to places he knows I’m at, doing his best to impress me, yadda yadda. We enter into a committed and monogamous relationship. Nights out turn into nights in, and all is well. We email fairly often, despite his hectic schedule. But he’s ALWAYS talking about how he’s under pressure to be the best at his job. I take him seriously, ’cause frankly, I’m always looking to grow professionally.

After a while, things start to change a bit. I try not to sweat it, I’m young and trying to play it cool, but homeboy starts disappearing-not replying to emails or calls for a few days (though we never were the ‘talk everyday’ couple), then writing back these long emails about how’s he been locked in a room for days working on some crazy work project. Since he always shows up, despite me hating his behavior, I haven’t’ dated much and convince myself its somewhat believable.

By now you probably know where this is going…..

One day I get an AOL IM, “I think you’re seeing my boyfriend” and of course I freak out. How the hell did the other woman get my IM?  Homeboy didn’t even have IM, so I knew it wasn’t that. Anyhow, homegirl and I start conversing… luckily neither of regarding the   other as an enemy, and we end of speaking on the phone and coming up with a plan to confront him.

How did homegirl find out? Turns out my Black Planet love match (yes I did just write that- mind you this was like 5 years ago) whom I had befriended also knew the other woman. He realized that, when we were telling him stories of our sketchy boyfriend, we were in fact talking about the same dude. He begrudgingly gave her my contact info and the rest is history.

Anyhow, homeboy was not happy. And that’s when we discovered that he was 1) schizophrenic and 2) a coke head. Fun!

Both of us were subject to phone calls from him at all hours of the day (1am, 3am, you name it), we’re he’d start off pleading for forgiveness, trying to say he truly loved one and not the other, and ended with him cursing the recipient of the phone call out and hanging up in her face. No more than 5 seconds later, he would switch gears and call the other girl. His phone calls didn’t stop for months, though with time the became less frequent.

Anyhow, the happy news is this: Breaking up sucks, but its soooo much better when you’re not going through it alone. You know how you have that friend who is sad over some dude, and won’t shut up about it, and you’re just ugh and ready to not hear about it anymore? Well imagine if that friend had someone to talk to who was going through the EXACT same thing with the SAME GUY. No really, shit was amazing. Every time she got called first, I got a call from her warning me he was about to call (sure enough, he always did) and vice versa.

Anyhow, who knows what happened to dude. I know he’s still running in the same circles, and that I’ll probably hear about him in some capacity in the future. But, to this day, almost five years later, me and the other girlfriend and still great friends. Generally, people are shocked when they hear us talk about it — and are impressed with our ability to have developed, and maintained a friendship from it.

Things I learned: 1) Trust your gut and ask questions 2) If something feels weird, it is  3) The symptoms of serious mental illness  4) Don’t date a person with said mental illness  5) Don’t date a dude with said mental illness that has an affinity for white powder

Thanks for listening!

A big shout out to Finkies and Tsunami for their bravery…and there is more to come!


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