‘I was just using you until someone better came along’
This is an actual statement from a boy during my first year of university.
Back then I had little knowledge about feminism and rarely stood up for myself, I based my worth solely on how men viewed me, as society tells me to do, so you can imagine this was a rather low blow for me. Despite knowing he was an utter dick, I still felt, for the next few years, that it had been my fault. Had I not handled the entire flirting well? Had he seen me with no make up a few to many times, which was unavoidable since we were in the same dormitory. Had I been to much myself? I had been rather reserved to it all at first so I certainly wasn’t being too easy…right?
Let me give you a little background. He had started flirting with me when we moved in, and by October the light jokes had become cuddling in bed and late night text messages from him that had me smiling a little. At the start, however, I hadn’t seen him like that and I thought we were were just being playful. I began to realise that perhaps he actually liked me, and ended up liking him a little bit too. To this day I don’t know if those emotions were real. Perhaps I was just so flattered that someone liked me, or maybe felt that I should like people back if they liked me. I had not long recovered from depression and eating disorders so I had put on a little weight and was feeling rather vulnerable. Perhaps he sensed that.
It all boiled down to one night out, however, that ended rather differently than I expected. I was on my way to a girls night out when he told me how beautiful I looked. He touched my side and told me to come back to his room that evening, that he wanted to see me before I went to bed. I felt my toes tingle in excitement. So I went out with my friends, danced, and went home late in the evening. He told me he was awake and so I crept to the third floor of our building and there he was, waiting for me. He led me to my bed and we kissed a little, his hands sneaking under my dress. I was still so unsure at the time, but told myself It would be okay. He had been flirting with me for two months solid, always saying how much he liked me, so I could trust him, couldn’t I? The answer is, as you may have guessed by now, no.
Just as things were about to elevate, he stopped me, pushed me away (while I’m still laying in his bed), looked at me with this pitying expression that was terrifyingly close to ‘sensual’ and said, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I was just using you until someone better came along.’ I felt like someone had slapped me across the face. I felt like someone had branded my body with ‘worthless’, ‘ugly’, ‘un-fuckable’. I asked him what he was talking about. He told me he had been using me and couldn’t sleep with me. I shook my head and laughed out of panic. I began to curse in fluent Welsh as I detangled myself from his questionable sheets and grabbed my keys. I told him he was unbelievable and an asshole and left.
I cried all night and felt worthless for much, much longer. I didn’t understand. Hand’t he liked me? Why wasn’t I good enough?
He played the sweet card with everyone and the only person truly on my side was my best friend, everyone else just seemed to hover in the middle, hesitating to brand him an asshole with the same conviction that the had branded me a ‘reject’.
A month later he ended up having sex my flat mate who he didn’t even really like as a person. I was furious, until I heard that he couldn’t get it up and ran away, muttering ‘sorry’ over and over.
Karma’s a bitch and she was not on his side.
I see so many articles and movies that express how confusing women are and how men just want to know what we want. The answer is very simply men of the world, so please take note. All women want is… Respect. It’s as simple as that. Respect the women you are with. Respect her love, her mind and her body. Respect her presence in your life.
So many women get used in the way I did, and so many of us fall into a trap of self hate, but please, please, don’t. Hearing words like these are hurtful and they make us doubt ourselves. Our lovability, our sex appeal. It makes us panic and diet and buy new makeup. We cry and cry over hurtful things men have said, each word aching like an old wound. But please, please know it is not you. It took me a long time to realise that this was not my doing. I was nothing but myself. I was nothing but honest. It was he who was too insecure to commit, to insecure to wait until he truly liked someone and felt the need to build a lie in order to feel better. He rejected me in ways I’m sure he had been in order to perhaps to prove a point, to prove to all the women before me that he too, was desirable.
And this doesn’t only apply to women. There are plenty of men out there too who are messed around by women, you are strung along with the promise of love, only to be dropped for someone more ‘boyfriend material’. For any men reading, know that this does not define your worth. You too are worth more than empty promises, and I’m sorry if you were ever made to feel less than you are.
So please, never let a man (or woman’s) words or actions influence how you feel about yourself. So many people love you, and so many people value you and if someone doesn’t then they don’t deserve to share the air you breath. It took me a long time to realise that, and I too am still healing the scars and trying to let go of the hurt and self depreciation that has grown from many bad experiences.
And, unnamed man, if you are reading this after somehow finding it on the internet, I have just one message for you and I would advise that my family, if you are reading this (especially you dad, who I hope to god ins’t reading this article anyway) to not read the next sentence.
Thank you for making me realise how shitty men could be and for teaching me that I deserve better. Oh, and you really missed out because I am fucking AMAZING in bed. May your dick be forever soft.