Before long, I began to eat, breathe, and sleep dating apps. More often than not, I stayed up all night drinking and scrolling through profiles, reading them from top to bottom, cherry picking the information I liked, and sculpting their words into fantasies of what our relationship could be like before I had even met them.

I had a running list of what made men suitable enough for my sloppy, drunken, text-based seduction.

My list?
& Bikes.

Daniel had all three.
Daniel is a fucking asshole.

The first time we ever talked on the phone was during a walk of shame through Center City. I was wet and barefoot from the shower I had just taken in a stranger’s apartment, and felt odd being hungover and in silence, so I called him.

After weeks of bouncing between begging for my attention and ignoring me, he agreed to come to the suburbs for the weekend. Our first night together, he told me that we’d be married someday, even though I could tell he didn’t like me very much at all. Needless to say, his thought process caused endless volatility in our relationSHIT. He chastised those who ate meat, then posted a picture of himself eating a burger. He scolded me for drinking, then drunk dialed me in the middle of the night. He denounced the corporate lifestyle, but then loved the thought of being supported by a business woman who was also his wife. I was already so disconnected from myself, that it was impossible for him to do any more damage to my self-esteem. I felt like an old, cracked rubber band who lost its elasticity from being pulled back and forth in too many different directions.

He wanted me.
He didn’t.
He wanted me.
He didn’t.

“Did you still want to hang out later?”
“I have a headache today.”

For the first time in my search for a companion, I didn’t even care that he wasn’t going to be my boyfriend.

It just… ended.

I came to the conclusion that we were more fucking similar than I wanted to admit. We treated each other like a placeholder until someone, or someTHING appeared (another penis, perhaps?!).

From what I hear, he is still treating naïve women all over the country like rocks in a river- using them as a way to stay above water so he doesn’t get wet. I know this because he is misery. And misery was me.

I hate to admit it, but he did teach me something. There is a certain self-awareness that comes from giving yourself to someone completely. We would make grand gestures of love and romance, knowing that the real victory lay in scolding the other person when they would take it for granted.

Like the women in his life that came before me, he didn’t REALLY love me. However, he wanted me to think he did so he could have the sadistic satisfaction of taking it away; ultimately blaming me for the demise of something whose very foundation is nonexistent. I knew this early on. and i think it’s why i stayed.

Devon Dadoly