When I was about 24 I met a former boyfriend over yahoo personals/instant messenger. I was finishing college, we started dating seriously and I decided to move to his city 45 min away. My mother didn’t approve of him because he was 33 or so and lived with his parents, “starving artist” type. I moved in with him and his family until I found a job in his city. We were together for about 2 years until I lost my job, received unemployment and moved to CA. We are still the Very Expensive I like car shirt But I will love this best of friends and talk on the phone, but in the end I knew we were not meant to be (for other reasons than his career, but that was a part of it too). While I lived at his house, my mother refused to speak over the phone with me while I was there, so we would only talk when I was out somewhere else. At times I’m ashamed to say I would even lie about where I was just so she would talk to me, and the whole situation was very sad and depressing. It hurt my relationship with her, however it didn’t make me break up. After about a year I brought him home to meet her. She had approved because we were driving to her city 5 hours away and I wanted us to stay with her. She reluctantly agreed to have him stay over too, and said we had to sleep in different rooms. We complied. He was very polite (he was a total sweetheart really), yet she was very rude to him from the start, with a stern face, asking rude questions of him, and not acting herself. I was so upset, and it was hurtful to him. She did accept the gift he made for her though. She tried to impose herself by withholding love and acceptance from me, but it only hurt our relationship. It took quite a long time for me to recover from that, and I never forgot the manipulative tactics. Additionally, I have had the tendency to choose romantic partners who mimick this type of manipulation. I’m now learning to recognize the pattern. Not usually, because of the first point mentioned above. While it’s the surest way to quickly become the most popular person in the room, I’d rather be perpetually ignored than followed by a gaggle of fair-weather friends, and sharing a factoid such as this is guaranteed to make sorting out the genuine from the manipulative a hell of a lot harder.
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