I'd heard that Tinder was just for hookups (no thanks), but after giving every other dating app a try with no luck, I gave in. Within an hour, I matched with 33 men, but one in particular stood out. We talked on the phone and met for lunch. We clicked immediately as he made me laugh, my favorite thing to do.
He was so much fun to be around that I didn't want it to end. He drove us back to his place and we kissed on his couch — and only kissed — for hours. I fell asleep on his chest, and the next morning, he told me that he would've kissed me all night if I'd stayed awake.
The more time I spent with him — at the beach in Santa Monica, at a Q&A at the Directors Guild — the more I fell for him. I was thinking that he could be the one. He seemed perfect and instead of looking for red flags, I remained optimistic.
Then one day when I arrived to his house, he announced, "Look, I'm fostering a cat!" (Red flag?) He introduced me to his new four-legged housemate and it seemed weird that he, a single guy in his forties with no marriages or kids, all of a sudden had a foster cat. A few days later, he also announced, "I'm sad to let you go, but I need to explore dating my ex-girlfriend, and I'm ending it now so I don't hurt you." It wasn't me, he insisted. He needed to see where this other relationship could go.
Just as I thought of a future with him, it was over. (That cat? He was taking care of it for his ex.)
I was in shock and my head couldn't wrap around the fact that I didn't do anything wrong. Maybe I didn't do anything right? We stayed friends and within two months, he realized he had made a mistake. He broke up with his girlfriend and said, "She's not a good person. I want a relationship with someone who's available."
I really felt like the backup plan, but I had started to fall in love with him (I think) and we were a good match. I decided to give us another chance. We made each other laugh and once again, I started dreaming of a future with him.
We dated for another month before going on a trip together to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The vacation was amazing but when we got on the plane to come home, he began acting bizarrely. To start with, he picked a fight with the flight attendants. The WiFi wasn't working, and he insisted that one reset it. It escalated. At one point, he said she was being rude and he demanded to be treated with respect.
I begged him to stop, but he just kept hitting his call button. He even yelled, "WiFi," at one point. When the poor flight attendants were at our seats, I mouthed the words, "I'm so sorry," as he scolded them. During the flight, he went up to the front of the plane. I have no idea what went down up there as I was hiding in my seat.
When we landed at LAX, he took off his hat and tried to distance himself from me, like he was trying to throw off the authorities. Once off the plane, uniformed officers approached. He told me to keep walking, even as they yelled at him to stop. He ignored them and I could hear him being tackled — but I was already halfway down the escalator. I didn't turn back.
That's a scary moment when you know your boyfriend is being added to the No Fly List.
He was arrested but later would end up blaming me for the entire ordeal, saying he was stressed from our trip. He claimed he didn't know who the cops were ordering to halt and that there was no reason why he should have stopped for them. (It was obvious to me.) He felt he did nothing wrong and was only demanding the respect he deserves. (Ironically, he didn't seem to respect the flight attendants, the cops or me.)
I thought back over the trip and realized there were a few things that I had overlooked. He argued with the car rental agent because they ran out of cars, and the agent threatened to call the police. He was rude to the Airbnb host and looked for all the problems with the rental instead of all the amazing features — just so he could dispute the charges.
He later wrote me an email telling me that I had abandoned him three times: at the airport, when I kept walking like he told me to; a few days later when I refused to take him to the ER (he claimed he had been injured during his scuffle with the cops); and when I walked to the nearest emergency exit and evacuated the relationship permanently.
I kept wondering about what happened. What went wrong? Why had he acted like that?
Did he purposely sabotage a future with me because he was so afraid of commitment?
I don't know. But I knew I had to distance myself from him. I couldn't trust him. I mean, who lies about a cat?
It's hard breaking up with someone you love, but no matter how much you love them, sometimes you just have to love yourself more.
L.A. Affairs chronicles love and the dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
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