How we met:
It was the end of May. I met him on Tinder in a Tinder social group with my friends.
Before I continue, let me express that there is no right way to meet someone.
You never know who someone truly is.
I’d been in a Tinder relationship before that lasted two years, albeit it was a terrible relationship.
But not all relationships are terrible and I wasn’t going to discriminate a potentially good relationship based on a former one.
And his pictures looked really cute. He was Pakistani, he kept his beard trimmed and his eyes black and glossy like buttons.
His teeth white, straight, and friendly.
His skin looked soft and buttery, like my hand would slide out of his even if our fingers were interlocked.
In one of his pictures, he posed with these sweet young boy, and of course that tugged my heart.
Plus, I got to see what he was like from his bio. His bio was a single sentence that stated: “Where the loyal girls at?”
Immediately I felt my pride bubbling.
Knowing that I am one of the most loyal girls, I wanted to get his attention.
I wanted to show him that I was right here, ready to rock his world.
Why I wanted to be engaged (quickly):
I was learning about myself during this time. I wanted to grow up as quickly as possible.
I had my fair share of relationships and ‘situationships’ in the past.
I didn’t want to waste more time with fuckboys than I already had.
I wanted a love that cleansed me, a love that was gentle on my skin, that glided through my lungs, a love I could keep under my feet. A stable love that wouldn’t make me feel like I was sprinting on a flaming tightrope.
I wanted a gentle love that simultaneously hit me with passion.
They say that if you fall in love with a writer, you will never die. And I wanted someone I could keep alive.
I didn’t want a fake love that dissolved in my mouth like sugar, that kind of love that clogs you, makes you tired and fat.
I wanted to be with someone who wouldn’t bullshit me this time. Someone who says what they mean, who knows what I mean.
I wanted someone who was serious about me, and who was serious about seeing a bright future.
And from talking to this guy…we’ll call him Q, it seemed like I had it.
Our first conversations:
Our first conversations unveiled multiple similarities between us. We both love travel and adventure, we had the same taste in cuisine and in music.
We were both raised in Pakistani households, so unquestionably, we both understood each other on a religious, a traditional, and a cultural level.
Our families were from the same neighborhood in Pakistan, just two blocks apart.
We both had good work-ethic and we both liked our space, even though we also thrived on attention.
We talked day and night consistently for a week straight and it already felt like I knew him for years. Our conversation topics ranged from
astrology (he’s an Aries with a moon in Virgo, I’m a Libra with a moon in Scorpio) to conspiracy theories, from memes to unpopular opinions, from crass international political humor to jokes about our suffering,
but at the same time we motivated each other and laughed through it all.
He wants to do cyber security, and I want to do law, so we knew that we would just need to take this slow.
And then he asked me if I wanted to marry him.
It had literally been a week. Two weeks? I don’t know, but it was a SHORT time before he popped the question.
He said he never felt this way with a girl (which I know is a lie, but guess who fell for that because of my pride? ME! 🙂 )
He further said that he felt like he knew me for a long time and if we can keep up with this kind of day in and day out consistency, then why be afraid?
He could tell I was a bold, unique individual who would readily jump into deep waters of love. He knew the tsunamis I survived, and he knew what to say
to make me feel like I was a dove in the wind, above the water. He made me forget about my pain, and he made me feel free.
Based on that, I thought that this relationship would saturate me. He offered passion, consistency, attention, encouragement, and honesty.
I said yes.
Our first date:
It was in Princeton. He drove an hour and 20 min down to my house and brought spinach and feta Borek. I love Turkish food, especially
after spending time in Istanbul last year. I didn’t even ask him to do that for me. He hugged my mother and introduced himself to her, which was a hubby trait
on its own because any man who wants to be serious with me needs to have a good relationship with my mom no matter what.
For our date, we went to La Mezzaluna where I ate both my rigatoni and part of his chicken parm.
Afterward, we went to Lindt and got frozen chocolate drinks.
He then drove me to an isolated golf course in a neighborhood.
And we kissed.
And it sucked. He jammed his tongue in my mouth, and I pushed him off of me, horrified. How could someone so cute kiss so badly? I was immediately turned off, but then I decided to give him another kiss. Maybe I could teach him.
Nope. It just didn’t work, and then he wanted me to grind on him in the car. I wanted to go home, but he wouldn’t drive me back until I screamed at him. When we got back, he wanted to make out more. And he asked if I had a condom. And I kid you not, I slapped him across the face and went inside my house.
How him being a shitty kisser brought clarity to me:
My feelings for Q fluctuated after that date. I’d also reflected and brought multiple points of concern to clarity.
At the start of our short relationship, Q told me that his friends initially told him not to pursue me as an interest because I wasn’t “halal” enough.
The way I’m more Americanized than most Muslim females was something that his friends said was proof that I should only be treated as a slut. Or at
least as someone undeserving of love. He ignored that, but I couldn’t help but wonder why he was friends with people like that. Why he surrounds himself with
I brushed it off though, because it’s common in Middle Eastern cultures and other cultures for men to view women as such. Which doesn’t justify
it, but makes sense as to why they think that way especially since his friends were raised in super conservative households.
However, I was starting to hurt more and more.
One of the biggest red flags I noticed was when he started talking about his ex whom he dated for two years.
“She cheated on me,” he said. “But I’ll never find someone like her.”
I started crying when I heard that because hearing about him talk about another girl that way when he told me he was serious about me
made it seem less serious. Like I was merely his security blanket.
I told him that. He told me I was sensitive.
He then told me to block his friends on Instagram. Not one or two, but all. I understood why. It’s because I stand out more. I have tattoos.
That alone makes them think of me negatively, and makes them talk shit when he doesn’t want that. It was sweet of him to tell me to do that I suppose,
but I felt more insecure. I almost screamed in the food court at Woodbridge Mall when he told me to go to the Chik Fil A and see if his ex was working there.
Then he would control who I was friends with.
Look. I don’t have many friends. The friends I am close with are my RIDE OR DIES, you cannot take them away from me.
I’m devoted to them, just as they are to me.
Furthermore, they were nothing but supportive for me and him.
He just didn’t like certain aspects about them and started forming judgements, which I hated.
But every time I defended them, or defended myself, or expressed my opinion, he started to ignore it.
How my feelings changed:
I would tell him step-by-step what was wrong. For example, I got mad at him one time because he kept showing me other girls he thought were beautiful and
would point out all of the details he loved about them. But for me I was either “good” or “cute”. No doubt they were beautiful, gorgeous women, but
he would tell me that I wasn’t allowed to get upset when he would craft sonnets about these random women. He invalidated my opinion and brushed it off.
He only called me beautiful when he felt like he was losing me.
I hated it when he did that. Especially since he accused me of cheating on him just because my Instagram is public.
I tell this to guys all the time that insecurities ruin relationships. When a guy projects his insecurities onto a girl, it damages her. It breaks her
and freezes her. Those insecure boys take advantage of insecure girls and they perpetually drain them and use those same insecurities to manipulate them into staying in the relationship.
There are some things you can work on together as you grow, but if someone isn’t willing to listen to the other person then it’s not worth it, especially
if they still have growing to do. There’s a poem in Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey that concisely explains my adamancy to leave him and it reads, “I will not have you/ build me into your life/ when/ what I want is to/
build a life with you. – the difference ” (117). I felt as though Q wanted me to become someone that would be more fitting in his own life instead
of respecting my growth and respecting the fact that I am my own person and if he doesn’t truly like who I am, then this relationship can’t work out.
This is a delicate time in my life. I need to finish my academics, I need to grow and become closer to God, to my goals, and to my loved ones who have
been by my side, unconditionally.
I firmly decided he wasn’t the one for me after last night, when he hit me with that famous conditional “If you really loved me…” statement.
“If you really loved me, you would make your Instagram private.” (Literally here we go again with Instagram.) “Ur nice enough to unfollow the ppl I tell u which I really appreciate u of”
I was infuriated. I texted, “Let’s make it clear that if you REALLY loved me, you wouldn’t put me in a position where I have to compromise my needs and my wants to benefit yours.”
He replied, “Damn, that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m sure you can go private. Also what you’re supposed to do is make a separate page about your blog on IG. We can both be happy, Saima.”
“You treat me like you don’t trust me and you use your past to justify treating me this way. This is MY fucking Instagram. You’re psychotic.
I can’t be with you, fuck off and never ever talk to me. You’re full of red flags. And I saw it ahead of time, but chose to ignore it.
How fucking dare you try to control me and incessantly push your shitty, archaic opinions onto me. You should be happy that I’m progressing and that
I’m a bold individual who is unapologetic, that’s what my entire blog fucking stands for. I am what my work stands for. I really don’t need your shitty opinions.
You’re not my parent.”
He. Ignored. Every. Word. Like I said. He replied the next morning saying good morning to me and tried gaining my sympathy by telling me he
threw up at 5 am. I didn’t answer. Instead, I left all of our social media group chats.
He didn’t apologize, by the way. He thought I was just mad for no reason.
So I texted him again, since he clearly didn’t get the message.
“We’re done. I’m not joking around lol it’s your third strike already, yikes.”
I probably shouldn’t have added the “lol” because it made me seem passive.
“How are we done? You’re literally gonna break up with me because I said make your ig private?? Really?? I’m not even cheating on you or shit, but you’re
really gonna break up with me because of that?”
“It’s because you’re controlling,” I said. “You try controlling me in every aspect of my life and you let your insecurities ruin everything.
I told you why I was upset and you ignored it too.”
“Ok, but at the end it goes smooth?” he replied. What the hell.
“I didn’t FORCE you to go private. I trust u I mean you gave me ur password but I didn’t even think about logging on bc I trust you.”
He still didn’t get the fucking point.
“Yeah I’m gonna change the password,” I said. “I don’t wanna be with you.”
“If u really loved me you’d obv wouldn’t break up with me bc I’m not even controlling you,” he said, trying to control me.
“I hope you know you have to change yourself just a tad bit for your future husband too. And for your future mother in law.
You can never have it your way. Just saying in general.”
“I hope you know you’re a cunt :/”
“It’s reality, Saima.”
I was laughing.
“Eat a dick, I’m the one who invited you into my home and let you meet my mother and your arrogant ain’t shit ass is preaching about family, that’s so funny.”
“What the hell,” he said. “I never said anything bad about your parents. I love your mom and I think of her as my second mom smh you’re wild.” He met my mom twice.
Get the fuck out of here with that “second mom” crap.
Let me just pause a second to remind y’all that he has two older sisters, both married. Creepily enough, I look like one of them, but that’s a side note. But he clearly has an image of what a woman should be ingrained in his head as opposed to appreciating a woman for who she really is. It’s common for men to think this way, especially when raised in a conservative household with mainly women. It’s also particularly common for Aries men to twist words in order to gain control of the situation. They’re tactical.
I ended the conversation by telling him he needs reading comprehension courses. Or at least, I thought I did. But he continued.
“I RESPECT YOU SO MUCH YOU’RE CRAZY,” he screamed, disrespectfully. “I DROVE AN HOUR AND A HALF TWICE JUST FOR YOU TOOK YOU OUT FOR DINNER AND FED YOU DESSERT.”
“That’s courtesy,” I responded, amused that he was just throwing everything in my face and being a huge bitch. “Both times you took me out, you demanded physical
attention that I wasn’t ready to give and I paid for our ice cream as well and you know I don’t drive. You disrespected me last night and continued to do it throughout
today. You’re blind to your own actions.”
He waited until the next day to text me, but I was over it and over him. I kept leaving all of his efforts to get a reaction out of me. I was grossed out.
When he found out I was at college, he accused me of finding someone there. Yeah, I’ve been here for five minutes. I’m already engaged again.
I explained my relationship with Q to a few friends. One of them pointed out that “all men are controlling.”
Not the ones who are secure with themselves.
This is why I’m thankful that I never had sex with him.
I’ve been in relationships where the only thing that binded us together was sex, and I’ve been in relationships where I never had sex with the guy and
still ended up hurt. But I feel like I really wasn’t 100% into Q. And it was obvious to my friends. They noticed because I started
bringing up my past experiences in past relationships. I was reminiscing, and I was longing for that thrill I felt before.
I didn’t feel like I could open myself up to Q… I felt like I didn’t want to give someone less than 100% of my energy, let alone my sexual energy. I didn’t want him to only want me for sex either, especially if he turned out to be bad in bed. Which he probably is.
Being engaged, even for only a month, has taught me that while there were things about Q I adored, things I’m always going to be grateful for *such as his help in designing this blog*, and while I knew that he had the best intentions, he just isn’t ready to handle someone like me. Someone who’s confident with herself. I’m happy with where I am now. I’m glad I don’t take people’s bullshit. I’m happy I realized ahead of time for once that a man isn’t good for me right now. I love the comfort and stability of a relationship, and I also live for the thrill of the ups and downs. But I can’t put myself through the pain that I put myself through with men in the past. I’m not ready to provide unconditional love, support, encouragement, and advice to someone who doesn’t see that, to someone who feels like he needs to adjust me so that my love will be more worthy of receiving.
For those who are wondering how my parents reacted to ANY of this…
They were cool about it. My mom said not to worry, that we’ll find another boy for me, although she did like Q a lot. But after explaining everything to her, she told me she loves my spirit, and she loves that I stand up for myself.
Find someone who loves you for who you are, and who sees that you’re making an effort to exercise your talents and your skills further with each passing day instead of pointing out your flaws consistently. Love is recognizing each other. You echo each other’s good qualities, sometimes bad qualities. You can touch each other with your eyes closed and still see the other’s soul. You can feel their heart beat when you lay on their chest and hear that your connection is rhythmic. You feel whole on your own and whole with them. You work together by being willing to learn from each other instead of constantly making assumptions. Love isn’t about assumptions. Love is about reflections. And in Q, I saw a reflection of myself from years ago, at a stage where no one could convince me that I was worthy, even though he was truly one of the nicest guys I’d ever met.
From my hair, from my fingers, from my lips, I undo him.
And that’s how you lock down and dump a fiancé in 1 month.
And yes, I still have the ring.