Tell us about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand by giving someone an ultimatum. If you’ve never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what you would say to put an end (one way or another) to an untenable situation.
God, which one do I write about?? There’s so many!!
I think one of the
worst best examples of this was many years ago when I was in my early twenties. I had been casually dating this guy for quite some time, and it was (what I thought) was my first real relationship with a guy. We were always together, but because we had separate places, we also gave each other space, it was great. Nobody was being smothered, and by nobody, I really mean me.
Now, I’m not going to lie, yes, as much as I thought was in love, turns out I was wrong. The ins and outs of that complete clusterfuck of a relationship are so great, it’s a novel in it’s own right. (Sidenote, I actually have plans to write about how destructive that relationship was, and how fucking stupid I was… but that’s for a later date).
But as much as I enjoyed being with him, I wanted more. I wanted us to be exclusive, and for some reason he couldn’t give me that.
I had gotten myself so caught up in the idea of having somebody I can actually refer to as my boyfriend. I was young, and naive, and I wanted the ‘title’. I wanted to be able to introduce him to people as my boyfriend ie. ‘Oh, have you met my boyfriend, G?’, ‘Oh, no I can’t make it tomorrow, my boyfriend is cooking me dinner.’, ‘Well, I was planning on taking my boyfriend out for lunch as a surprise’ etc etc etc. You know that type of person. The one who has to keep announcing it to the world that they finally have managed to find somebody who’s prepared to put up with their shit, and actually have a relationship.
Unfortunately, G was always sheepish about that topic of becoming exclusive, and avoided it as much as possible… then I found out why.
Turns out he still had a boyfriend. Y’know, that old chestnut.
So when he told me previously that they had broken up, it was all bullshit.
There simply aren’t enough words to explain the type of rage that was coursing through my body during that point of my life. It was hard to hear, and it hurt so, so much, and we didn’t see each other or speak to each other for about a month or so immediately after that. I just… I couldn’t.
But what made it worse was that during this break, he kept texting me. Telling me that he was sorry, and telling me how much he missed me, and telling me that he feels so incomplete without me.
SHOULDN’T YOU BE SAYING THAT TO YOUR CURRENT BOYFRIEND, YOU BASTARD!?!?
He tried explaining to me the severely complicated nature of his relationship with his on-again-off-again boyfriend. Turns out they’d been together for a number of years. Yep. YEARS. So it was a pretty serious thing. In saying that, G was kinda fucked up as well. He was extremely closeted, and had major issues about his sexual identity and his work life, family life, sporting life etc. Basically, he was just scared.
By this stage I was done. I’d had enough. He became one of those people who was always going to break up with his ‘boyfriend’ but would never have the balls to actually do so.
I remember that after that month of not talking, another four or five weeks passed, and I refused to see him, but I started replying to his messages. We’d gone through so much already that I couldn’t just cut him out of my life completely. I was capable of being a cold-hearted prick if I really wanted to, but for some reason, I couldn’t do that to him.
We eventually reconnected and began to slowly move back to a place where we previously were with each other, and due to our work schedules, things kept getting interrupted or re-scheduled, so we decided to have a date night. It was long overdue and we were both looking forward to it. I’d asked him about his ex, and he said that things were pretty much over, and G told him that he wanted to start seeing other people.
Apparently that didn’t go down too well.
To me, this was indicating that things between the two of them were over. When your partner of several years says they want to see other people, that’s pretty much Game Over right there. Part of me felt sad that it had ended like that, but there was a small glimmer of hope that this meant we would actually be able to pursue our relationship together.
We had a lovely night out and talked and laughed over dinner, and then came back to my place afterwards and started making out on the couch. Before we knew it, we were half-naked, and then his phone rang. And he ignored it.
And then it rang again.
And again until he finally answered it. It was his ex. He was saying that he wanted to see G and talk. G said he was busy and would talk to him tomorrow, and hung up.
The phone rang again and even I heard this voice say something along the lines of “I’M OUTSIDE YOUR PARENTS HOUSE ALREADY. IF YOU DON’T COME AND MEET ME, I’M GOING IN THERE AND TELLING THEM EVERYTHING”.
I believe in chess, that’s called Check Mate. By this stage, G was on the brink of tears, apologised and left. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I was beside myself. I couldn’t even construct a sentence. I slammed the front door and collapsed on the ground crying uncontrollably.
By this stage it was probably about 9pm and so I picked myself up, went and had a long hot shower (and more crying) and put myself to bed.
3am I hear a tap-tap-tap on my bedroom window.
YOU’VE GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME!!
There was G, standing outside in the cold. He looked like shit. I was so angry with him, but at the same time, seeing him standing there, you could almost see his world imploding – like it was right there in his eyes. I felt sorry for him but that wasn’t enough for me to let him in. I told him to go home. I was done. I was soooo done. I woke up again about 6:30 – 7am to something like fifteen missed calls and about 30 text messages. Turns out he’d slept in his car out on the street, after bawling his eyes out for a couple of hours. He had realised that he’d fucked up, and he felt trapped and didn’t know what to do.
That day I agreed to let him come over, and we had a big talk. He told me all the ins and outs of his dramas with his… whatever. boyfriend / ex-boyfriend. The more he admitted to me, more and more memories started making sense. I’m not going to deny, his ex truly was a nightmare, and going out of his way to make G’s life a living hell, but that was his problem, not mine!
That was the point where I’d simply had enough and I told him. I said this is where I stand, and this is what I want, and this is what I want from you. You need to make a decision as to whether or not you want the same, and whether or not you’re prepared to make that sort of commitment, because if not, we’re done. I’m not doing this anymore. I just, I can’t.
I drew the line in the sand.
…and he sat there and told me that he wanted exactly what I wanted, he just couldn’t do it, because he was too scared. He was too scared of the repercussions it would have and what his ex would do blah blah blah… I tuned out when I heard this. I just… I couldn’t anymore.
It had been something like 3 years of this whole on-again-off-again casual ‘relationship’ and yet, even though we were never officially ‘together’ it felt like a breakup, and it was horrible. I was so angry, and so upset. I couldn’t talk to him. I wished him well and we hugged at the front door just before he left.
The next couple of months were a bit rough for both of us. We still messaged each other, and he felt compelled to tell me about his boyfriend dramas. I DON’T CARE!! I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. YOU MADE YOUR CHOICE, AND THAT IS WHAT YOU CHOSE. YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES. YOU DON’T GET TO BITCH AND COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. THIS WAS YOUR DECISION!!
I would say it was almost six-months after we parted ways, and we’d had a bit of space and a bit of silence between us, and then he sends me a message asking if we can meet up for a quick coffee… I begrudgingly accepted, as I’d been ignoring everything else from him for so long. He seemed to be doing well. Work was going great. He was looking good. He just seemed to be in a really good spot. Our quick coffee turned into hours and hours of conversation and he drove me home afterwards.
Then at one point we were just sitting there in a moment of awkward silence, and like a fuckwit, I couldn’t control my hormones, and so I practically jumped him and started to kiss him. Then my conscience kicked in and stopped me. I pulled myself off him and apologised. He looked confused and I suggested that he should go.
Poor G. He must have thought he had been given the green light, and then got cock-blocked. Oops. My bad. I really didn’t intend for that to happen, it was merely a momentary lapse in judgement.
I suggested that he leave, but then he says that he wants to talk to me about something. I’m like, well, you’ve had all afternoon. We’ve been talking, why haven’t you brought it up. Long story short, this fucker has the nerve to tell me that he’s finally ended things with his ex. Like, over. done. kaput. finished. He’s now a single gay man in the world, and wanted to know if I was still a single gay man, and whether or not my offer to be together was still on the table.
No, you cunt. That offer was destroyed when you picked your ex over me. That offer was off the table when you turned your back and walked out the door. More importantly, HOW DARE YOU THINK THAT I’M GOING TO BE WAITING HERE WITH BAITED BREATH ON THE SIDELINES FOR YOU?! WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!!
He wanted to talk, and I didn’t want to hear anything else out of his mouth. I told him to leave, and that was it. I could not believe that the one thing I’d been waiting for all this time had just been handed to me on a silver platter, but I’ll be damned if I was going to jump up and down for joy over it. After all the bullshit that I had to put up with. All the drama. All the tears. All the constant calls and messages and ‘I miss you’s’. I was done. DONE!
It was about two years ago, and I saw a video on a website. It was G. It was him making a public statement about him coming out, and the reaction that he’d received. My jaw literally hit the ground. Who was this person I was watching? Where was this guy all those years ago. I was so incredibly proud of what he’d done. I was so happy for him. I sat there at my desk and cried, because I know how much it had tormented him. I know how much it upset him and I know how scared he was… and there he was on my screen, a completely changed person. All I had were tears of happiness for him. Even thinking about it now gets me choked up, but only because I know how much he struggled with it. I will always have love for him, for a number of reasons, but I’ll never forget how much he hurt me.