I ran into my ex today, and it resurfaced feelings of guilt about an old breakup with someone a few years ago. I had dated him for about 1.5 years, but I broke up with him after he crossed my boundaries several times.
The "push comes to shove" was when he started telling me about old ex'es. He was saying how he dated them for 2+ years, but he never felt anything when he broke up with them, or missed them, instead he just moved on to the next new person that crossed into his life that he could be infatuated with, that excited him more.
I can understand when relationships run its course, but he made it clear he was always in it for the short-run, and that he felt it was ethical for him to lead someone on if they demonstrated romantic interest towards him (this made me question how much our relationship was built on sincerity). He specifically said that he often went into relationships intending to be in the relationship for a specific time limit, and just used someone for that time period because he needed someone, even though he wasn't even interested in them that much and even though he knew they were falling for him (He also said that starting from Day 1, he would repeatedly say certain things, so that later if someone accused him of leading her on, he could say, "well I told you _ from the start"). After I learned this about him, I couldnt help but feel a little guarded around him, and I think at one point, I started to lose trust in him.
Anyway, during this time, I was also working on my dissertation and I had a few weeks before the deadline where I was really busy/stressed and needed a lot of time/space to focus. Despite the several talks I had with him, he was very pushy and insisted we do our regular things. He was very demanding, and even drafted this contract with rules saying I HAD to spend certain hours with him, doing our usual things. It was kind of weird actually, but he kept saying how he had nobody but me (he had no other close relationships with friends/family) and having these rules made him feel assured. At first, I obliged, but it was just too much. When someone's forcing you to go watch a movie with him and take a long walk with him and listen to all his complaints about his day (when your mind is urgently wanting to work a chapter with an upcoming deadline), that was just too much for me. I told him this contract thing was not working for him, and that I really needed him to just respect my boundaries and decision to focus on my dissertation. We can save the movie dates and etc for AFTER my deadlines.
When I said this, he started complaining about how I didn't love him, and if I did, I wouldn't be putting this before him. He even threatened me saying that it would be over between us, if I didn't choose him over my dissertation. The part that bothers me is he knows this is my personality ever since we were friends before dating, that during the immediate weeks preceding a major project or exam, I tend to minimize social life and focus my time on studying & resting (personally recharging). I also started to feel he was selfish. When he had something busy going on, he'd put me off to focus on that (and I never complained), but the other way around, he wasn't giving me the same kind of respect, and dismissing my work as if it weren't as important. I generally just started feeling used. I felt he was using me for companionship, and wanting me to satiate his every needs, treating his needs as more important than my goals. I don't know how to explain it, but just the way he was being very demanding came off as very selfish, greedy, inconsiderate and also calculating.
Anyways, during that conversation, I told him he could feel however he wants, but I needed to focus on my dissertation. During those two weeks, I focused all my time and energy into my dissertation, during which I got a lot of extremely confusing emails from him (one day he was saying how much he needs me, the next day he was saying how much he hates me/and for me to never contact him again). It just got to be too much, so I think I pretty much shut down. However, I had a lot of time to reflect, too, and after doing a lot of hard thinking, I realized that this relationship in general was not working for me - it was always about him, and what his needs were, but I started to believe that once he found another girl that was more exciting, new, and different, he'd quickly dump me without a second thought. I just started feeling used, because I realized that he was doing the same things he said to the other girls (although more subtly).
The next time we met up, I didn't even order anything, I just told him that I was breaking up with him, without offering any reason, gave back stuff, and left. Since then, I've completely cut him off in my life, although he has sent me emails (like those above). A part of me used to feel I owed him an explanation, but the more time away I've had from the relationship, the more I realize how calculating he was, and how he pretty much used me the same way he said he used other girls, leading them on, when he didn't even really care. I think the part that bothers me the most is how willing he was to demand me to sacrifice my time and companionship (even though he knew how urgent and important my dissertation was), when all along he was planning on discarding me when he was done using me. Like all the other girls. I've actually been hurt by someone like that before, so when he told me how he did those things to several of his exes, something in me just lost all warmth and love for him.
Sorry, so long. TLDR; There was a lot of negativity when we briefly encountered each other today, and he said some accusatory things to me. I'm pretty sure he was just trying to guilt-trip me or mess with my head somehow. I honestly don't even know what the point of this post was, it does bother me a lot, and I do want to let it out, and hear other people's thoughts on this.