When His Words Don’t Match His Actions

Ask Demetria: The guy I'm seeing says I'm "the one," but he still dates other people. Help!

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(The Root) —

“I met a guy who told me that the moment he saw me, he knew I was ‘the One.’ He asked for permission to court me and then started saying he was my man. I found out that he went on a date this past weekend and he’s been telling the other woman he’s interested in her, too. I addressed the situation and told him, ‘I’m done.’ He went off on this rant, saying that I’m overreacting, he’s single and not committed and he can take out whomever he wants. My issue was what he was saying to me and her. Was I wrong?” –Y.G.

It’s frustrating to emotionally invest in someone, buy into his or her words and then discover that what you thought was the situation actually wasn’t. He’s culpable for selling you a dream, even if doing so is a widely practiced and culturally accepted method of dating. This notion dictates that a man can say or do whatever works to win a woman’s affection — emotional and physical — and that it’s up to the woman to decipher a man’s true intentions.

His calling you “the One” and asking to “court” you in 2012 reads like something from and old-school playbook entitled How to Be a Player. For intentionally misleading you to believe that he was more serious than he was, he was wrong. For dating someone else? Not so much.

He’s single, and he can do as he pleases with whomever he pleases. So can you. Unless there’s a commitment or a conversation specifically about not dating anyone else — implying it doesn’t count — you should assume that the person you’re interested in is seeing, and likely having sex with, at least one other person. It doesn’t mean he’s not interested in you — just that he has multiple interests. That’s pretty much what dating is these days.

The drama in this situation isn’t all on him, though. You weren’t wrong, per se, but you were extraordinarily naive. That you fell for his lines, no matter how far-fetched, alerts me that you don’t have much experience dating — or maybe you do, but perhaps you were lonely and wanted a man in your life by any means necessary. As Drake popularly put it in “Take Care”: “You bought the dream when [he] sold you one.”

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