Tom and I had a lot of fun.  We went on trips together, and once every few weeks I would take the train to NY Penn Station then on to Long Island to visit him.  We had quite a bit in common, and we shared a deep love of books and comics.  We seemed like a very good match.  I still have a lot of really neat and unique items in my geek collectibles, curiosities, and unique books.  He even met me in San Francisco to meet my family.

That’s where I saw it first.  He followed me around like a puppy dog.  To the kitchen.  To the bathroom.  Everywhere.  My family thought it was odd, but cute.  I thought it was annoying.  Eventually that annoyance turned to irritation, that irritation to pure loathing.  I had to do something.

The problem is that Tom was a really nice guy, and I felt bad.  As frustrated I was about his clinging to me like a barnacle, I admired his devotion to me, and when I wasn’t completely overwhelmed we had a great time together.  He supported my goals, he sent me flowers just because, and he always defended me to his mother.  Believe me, this was huge.

The day I decided to break it off I was on the phone for over an hour trying to calm him down.  He screamed.  H cried.  He threatened to kill himself.  I almost took it all back just to make it stop.  Ultimately he met someone new and was married less than a year later.

What this whole experience taught me was that I can’t stay with someone because he’s nice to me.  I can’t stay because he’s a good guy in general.  I can’t stay because I feel bad.  I have to stay because I want to, because it feels right.  Nothing else is fair to either party. I’ve tried to be up front and realistic with new partners since then.  It hasn’t always been taken well, but in the end I’ve done the responsible thing for those people and for myself.

Go now, be true to yourself.