My roles and responsibilities of dating

To be clear up front, none of those things were negative feelings about her — the woman who came next — and I didn’t feel intruded upon.

She wanted to know about something that happened around Christmas of 2010; she’d decided he had been lying to her and understandably wanted to know just how far back the lies went.

Apparently he’d claimed to have been with me on a certain date to exchange gifts, and she wanted to know if she’d been deceived. I wrote her back immediately, wanting to validate her feelings and concerns even if I didn’t have the exact information she was looking for.

At some point, he began dating a married woman with two kids, which broke his only dating rule.

I didn’t know about her until months later when we were basically over, but he also didn’t have an obligation to tell me; we weren’t exclusive and I was certainly seeing other people.

Once I achieved some level of economic stability and moved into a safe, lovely one-bedroom condo and changed jobs so we weren’t working together, his power was gone — and with it the abuse.

No one would call our friendship (we weren’t dating, but we were more than friends and still physically involved) healthy by any stretch, but at least the last three years we were “involved,” that involvement was on my terms.

Still, as I considered what it must have taken to reach out to me, my heart sank for the woman who dated TC after I did.

You don’t write your boyfriend’s ex from three years earlier — the one who knows all his friends and coworkers and former coworkers and drinking buddies and family (so, everyone) — without thinking about it very hard and realizing you don’t have anywhere else to turn.

Ultimately, however, I accepted that continuing to stick around, even as a friend, so I could keep trying to save him — despite the abuse and the tears and the insecurity, and when he didn’t even saving anyway — would only have harmed me further. A year later I moved from Chicago to New York and didn’t give him or what had transpired between us much thought.

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