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When I was young, I would be dishonest in whatever minor ways I wanted to get the right reaction out of people. As I grew up, I learned better. I remember a pivotal moment with my brother where he had the last ice cream bar, and I wanted it. I thought about how I could cry to dad that my brother had stolen it from me, and I knew that I'd get it. But something stopped me, like I'd suddenly developed empathy. I told my brother that next time we got ice cream bars, I hoped I could get the first one but it was okay if I didn't. That was over 12 years ago, and I think I've been a generally forthcoming, respectful person since then.
I guess he's the exception. I don't know how I went so long without bothering to think about how manipulative I am toward him. Some of the lies, I remember in detail. He'd compare himself to past lovers and depend so pathetically on my opinion being in his favor. The few times I made the mistake of being honest, it changed the dynamic of our relationship. Things suddenly stopped being a game, and he withdrew like a child being picked last for kickball. Other lies, I don't even remember telling him. I can only assume they're continuations of some line of fabrication I began to console him.
The solution seems obvious when I approach it logically: don't be with someone who can't handle honesty. Don't be with someone who's going to ball his fists and hold his breath until he gets his way. It's easy to think, but it's not what I really want. I've used and manipulated him from the beginning. Our time together started because I needed a distraction, continued because I needed a crutch, ended because he was too overwhelmed to meet my needs, and started again because I felt like he was unfinished business, a project that I dropped somewhere in the middle, and picking it back up only made sense. When I tell him what he needs to hear and he thinks that he's the best thing that's ever happened to me, he's a dedicated, doting boyfriend who puts me at the center of his universe. And I guess that's what I need right now, even if I have to wiggle around the truth a lot, outright lie a little, and just generally fake it. I just hope this manipulative tendency with him doesn't expand into other facets of my life. I hope that I can quarantine it for as long as I feel the need to be with him. And I really, really hope that I don't hurt him along the way.
I hate when people pretend they're something that they're not. They pretend that love doesn't matter to them, then they go and fall in love after they've just been bashing me for being in love. You make no sense. How weak. You could at least just admit that you're too jealous of something real that you haven't experienced yourself that you need to feel in control by lying about it. Whatever. I'll always know that you're not really happy. And that I am.