The Biggest Loser

I had been single for a couple of years and was just coming out of a deep depression. As a frequent visitor of a local chain restaurant, I was familiar with the staff there. One restaurant manager in particular had caught my attention. He was tall, dark, and handsome with a nice build and beautiful smile. I had not given him much thought because he didn't seem to notice me at all. One evening, he spoke to me and computed my tab of dinner and drinks. He introduced himself and went about his business. The next time I visited, he sat down, spoke with me, and gave me his number. I, in turn, gave him my phone number. After some misconnections, we managed to go out on a first date. It went well, and I wanted to see him again. He told me he had admired me for a long time and had wanted to ask me out. We enjoyed our date, but he also told me that his restaurant was closing soon, and that he'd be moving back to his home state. We had about two weeks before he left, and we both looked forward to spending the time getting to know each other. We made a second date, and I met him at his apartment. While I was waiting for him to finish dressing, I sat on his couch. On top of the TV was a photo of a newborn baby. I asked, "Is that your child?" He replied very nonchalantly, "Yeah." I asked how old the child was, and he said "A few months." I was alarmed but tried to hide it. In the course of the evening, I attempted to get more insight into his fatherhood situation. He told me that he had engaged in one night of drunken sex with a platonic friend that had resulted in the pregnancy. He explained that he been single for a long time, and that his job kept him from being able to date much. So, he had been desperate for sex, and she had been willing, and he had been drinking, and so on. A baby was the end result. He also went to great lengths to assure me that she was not his girlfriend, they were never nor were they now "involved". He said that she was totally not going to be a problem for him or for "us". We dated some more, then he moved to Virginia. The day before he moved, he revealed that he was moving in with the baby's mother. According to him, he was doing this solely for convenience and temporarily only. I was not comfortable at all with that and told him so. He moved, but he kept calling and calling and begging and begging, until finally I gave in and asked him to come spend his next day off with me. He came, and we had a great time. As we were walking to the car one evening, his cell phone rang. He answered, and all I could hear was a woman screaming on the other end. He even handed me the phone to listen in for a moment. She was going off! After he hung up, I demanded an explanation. It was the baby's mother, of course. He had no idea why she was so angry, and then he totally dismissed the incident. Over time, he continued to visit me in my state when he could, and I traveled to see him when I could. We became close and started getting serious. All this time, I'm ignoring the loud alarms that are ringing in my head saying, "Don't believe a word he says!" Turns out, I should have listened to those voices. One thing led to another, and he moved back and into my house with me about six months after we had started dating. As soon as he moved in with me, the phone calls started all the time. I had to know the truth, so I snooped. On one of her messages, she talked about how he had left her for me, and she didn't even know he was seeing someone else. She railed at him about not being there for his newborn son. I found a letter she'd written on his behalf to his employer begging to be relocated to Virginia in order to be with his newborn and his son's mother. It all started to fit together. Over time, it became clear that he had used me to get out of an uncomfortable situation of his own creation. In the process, he lied, deceived, cheated, and manipulated me and her, as well as his infant son. He had been dating her for some time, and although to him it was mostly just sex, she was in love with him, a fact of which he was aware. When he continued to keep his distance, she got pregnant on purpose. When she got pregnant, he was cool with it. He even offered to move back to help with the baby and her bills. It wasn't until he did move in with her that he realized he'd made a huge mistake. So, he lured me in and used me to get him out of it. After nearly five years together, he asked me to marry him. I said yes, and we were engaged on Christmas Day, 2004. A couple short months later, he started acting really weird. He was angry and mean and distant. He began staying out late, and I was sure he was lying to me a lot of the time. He would lie about the strangest things, things that didn't matter. It didn't make sense. Finally, our lease was up for renewal, and I decided to face the situation head on. When I confronted him, he quickly agreed we should part and volunteered to leave. The next day, he went to Virginia for a long weekend. When he returned, he moved out. Evidently, he had to go cement his new alternative living arrangements with his baby's mother. I've met a lot of loser men, but this one takes the cake.

— Cindi, 32

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