Dear Douchebags (insert nasty name of your choice),

Dear Asshole,

Thank you for teaching me that hearing you say you are 60% engaged and committed to our marriage in a counseling session does not mean you plan to try to nudge this number toward 100%, and in fact, you already have one foot out the door. Thanks for helping me to learn to hear what you are saying so I can gracefully cut my losses and move on rather than live in hope that you are actively working toward making your way back into the relationship.

Dear Shitbird,

Thank you for teaching me that the fact that you went through a hospital supervised detox followed by a 3 week stint in rehab and went to a couple of AA meetings does not mean you are not going to relapse into your alcoholism which was clearly stated by me as a relationship deal breaker. Thanks for helping me learn about the brutal reality of addiction which might help me in the future to avoid putting myself in a situation that can only lead to broken hearts.

Dear Jerk,

Thank you for teaching me that when you tell me “I like you, and want to see you when it kinda sorta works out to do so” just so clearly means “you’re just not that into me”. Duh. Even though we had fun, you made nice meals for me, we had some good sex doesn’t mean a damn thing. Good to know.

Dear Liar, liar, pants on fire,

I met you in good faith at a local coffee shop after connecting online. You texted me when you were on the way that you were delayed and you would be a little late. There was limited parking available at the coffee shop so when you arrived about 15 minutes late, I asked where you had parked. You told me you had come in on the train, arriving at the nearby station and walking to the coffee shop. When I asked why you were on the train, you said you were resting up for a big trip you needed to make the following day. By strange happenstance, we had two dates on that same day. You seemed like a decent guy. After a few weeks of texting about a future meeting with nothing happening, I received your letter in my mailbox which directed me to google your full name so I would know “the truth”. Truth be told, you had 3 drunk driving convictions 5 years ago which led to a six month stay in jail and a ten year suspension of your license. I decided to be polite and reply to your correspondence with a phone call. I explained that I do not take kindly to being lied to, particularly on a first meeting. You gave your explanation for the lie. It didn’t matter. There was no way for us to have a relationship being suburbanites and only I have a valid driver’s license. Very limited waste of time here.

Dear Everything rolled into one,

Thank you for teaching me that a “date for drinks” at your place at 9:00 PM because that’s when you get back from dropping your son at his mother’s is nothing more than a booty call. For all of your good looks, education, great career, sense of humor, intelligence I don’t know why I was surprised to hear via text that I “was lovely, but not the lovely you’re looking for” only AFTER you invited me to spend the night in your bed. Thought maybe a smart guy like you might have known that without the necessity of messing with my head. You also taught me that it is important to have more than a lunch date and some texting before I expose myself to such potential for hurt feelings.

Dear Manipulator,

Thank you for teaching me how to recognize when I’m being played like a fiddle for all of your sweet, intelligent conversation on the phone for months. You also helped me know that when a man thinks I’m “sex positive” or “polyamorous”, he thinks I am willing and wanting to fuck with no strings attached. When a man tells me he has a girlfriend, saying he is “ployamorous” is probably his way of thinking he is cheating on her “ethically”, when in fact, I have no way to know and should not take what he says at face value. There’s a fair chance I am allowing myself to be “the other woman”, and I think that is scummy and won’t do it again. Being “ghosted” should not have been a surprise here. It was a nice favor.

Dear World’s Biggest Asshole,

Apparently you were absent from school the day they taught all boys about the concept of “No Means No”. I know I met you for the first time at a hotel bar after discussing having sex online. Sure, I was looking for a bit of a thrill meeting a virtual stranger at a hotel, never having done this, and you seemed nice and all, so sure, after you traveled so far to meet me, I checked into a room with you. I don’t think it would have a made a difference to you had I not had a disability, but since I do, it made what you did more heinous. I absolutely consented to sex. You asked me before we met if there were any sex acts that I particularly did not like. I told you that I did not like anal sex. I recently read that any form of non-consensual sex is rape.

When you decided in the middle of consensual sex that you were going to have anal sex with me, and I loudly and clearly shouted “No, No, No”, you simply finished what you were doing. I was so shaken up at the time that it never occured to me to go to the hospital or the police station to create evidence against you. Unfortunately, I was the victim of that weird mentality in our culture that believes that if a woman puts herself in that position, she has no recourse against the “rapist”. I called you on it when you tried to continue contact, and you vehemently denied it. I realized this would become a case of my word against yours because I failed to collect the physical evidence against you at the time. I believe in karma, so I’m sure you will be or have been dealt with on this one. I only feel bad with the knowledge that you may have done this to other women.

We are either succeeding, or learning. Both are good.

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