Life has a way of teaching us lessons. If we don't learn the first time around it'll keep putting us in situations forcing us to digest what we need to know. For me one particular lesson took some time to get through my head. I had to learn not to entertain relationships with men who were no good for me--particularly men who didn't have my best interest at heart. Finally internalizing what life wanted me to see is keeping me from wasting time and saving me from potential heartbreak.
The earliest moment I can recall being in a situation like this is when I was in high school. I was sexually involved with an athlete I went to school with. The first time we hooked up was in the backseat of his car, which was parked on a cul-de-sac during a party. There was nothing sweet about it. There was drinking involved and much anticipation. He was bad news but I hooked up with him for years after. One of the first times I had a clue that he wasn't emotionally invested in me was when he called me for a quick hook up before he had to go to football practice. He promised me after his workout he'd return the "favor." I never heard from him that night.
As I've gotten older I've learned to cut off the no-good relationships before they get too deep. In college a few years ago I was involved with someone who treated me better than the high school guy, but still not up to par. On one occasion he left me in his bedroom the morning after we had sex to go talk to his roommates. He was gone for an extended amount of time and when he came back he jumped at the sight of me and said, "Shit, I forgot you were here." I knew I had to end things.
Most recently I was with a local tastemaker. Two of the three times we hung out we had sex. He was artistic, confident, and one of the smoother men I've been with. But I was turned off for good after our last rendezvous. We were having drinks when someone called and asked if he'd do some work. He told me he wasn't going to do it that night. After cocktails he invited me back to his work space. I anticipated a private after-hours sex session. He ended up introducing me to people he worked with, having quickie sex with me and then disappearing.
It was situations like these that showed me when a person just doesn't care about me. My hope is that this will help someone else cut off a bad thing before it gets too far. I don't regret the things I've done or the experiences I've had with any man. Instead I'm grateful that my past has made me smarter.