Hello all. I hope it's ok if I tell my story to people who will understand how I feel. So alone and heartbroken. (This is a long story, sorry.)
I met my ex-boyfriend online (a dating site) and we hit it off magically. We seemed to be an amazing match. He did tell me he used to play video games too much in the past but that he had cut way down and wasn't playing much anymore. I didn't think anything of it, I liked video games too (in responsible moderation). It just seemed like another thing we had in common.
He was everything I wanted in a man, sweet and attentive, we had similar moral values and so much in common. I thought I had finally met the man I would be spending the rest of my life with, my soulmate... My prayers had been answered.
About 4 months after meeting online, we met in person. We met about halfway between where we both live (we live about 1000 miles apart)... He took a greyhound and I drove. I paid for everything other than his bus ticket because he only works a part time job. He also doesn't have a driver's license. He lives in a city so he is able to take public transit most places, and sometimes drives a scooter.
We totally hit it off and we both decided we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. He said he would work on getting his driver's license as soon as he got back, and move out to be with me asap. This was around the end of August 2016. He said he would move out by December 2016 and we could spend Christmas together. That gave him plenty of time to get his license. We were completely committed to starting our lives together. Well, I was, anyway.
After we went back to our homes, he didn't really pursue any opportunities to practice driving or sell much stuff on Craigslist. In the meantime, I was in the process of buying my first house with both of us in mind. I found something with a basement that he could stay in and be a house-mate and help pay the bills. He helped pick out the house (I sent him videos of my walk-throughs) and would be co-owner of it once we got married in the future. With his approval and blessing I went ahead and got that in motion.
Towards the end of October 2016, the clock was ticking, and I made a big mistake. I offered to loan him 3k so he could get a car to practice with and to drive here. This was my emergency fund, but I thought he would be moved here by December and living in my basement, helping with the bills. I figured I would be ok for a couple of months. He accepted the money and bought an AWD car with it (we often have snowy winters where I live). In the first few weeks, he practiced here and there.
Then, in November 2016, literally about 3 weeks after he got the car, he told me he was going to start playing games again and he suddenly changed into a completely different person.
Days after he started playing games again, he told me he was having trouble limiting his playtime. A couple of days after that, he started to say that he might not make it out in early or mid December, it might be late December or into January. It was also the last day he practiced driving for the next six weeks. A couple of days after that, he'd stayed up until morning playing games and missed one of his rare opportunities for a driving lesson.
I was becoming increasingly frustrated. I texted this to him: "Well, here is how it makes me feel. You are already delaying your trip here because you haven't been practicing enough and I assume you also still need to sell a lot of stuff on CL. So when you would rather play games or watch youtube all night than practice driving or do other things that bring you closer to me, it makes me feel like I am not a priority in your life. It hurts a lot. And it makes me worried that those things will always come first for you. And I will be honest, I don't want to marry a man who will put those things first." He responded, "I'm sorry babe, I see what you mean." But I don't know if he really did see what I meant or if those were just words he had learned to say in situations like that. I don't suppose it matters which, because nothing changed either way.
A couple of days after that, he cancelled the driving test he had scheduled for the first week of December. He said he would reschedule in January, but that never happened. As a matter of fact, from mid November 2016 when he started gaming again until we started our "break" in mid May 2017, he practiced his driving a grand total of 3 times, in 6 months. The last time was in January 2017.
I still went through with the move into the new house (by myself) at the end of December through the beginning of January, plus worked my full-time job. It was exhausting and lonely, I have no family here to help. It was also a very bad winter and I really could have used his help and that AWD he spent my loan on (I don't even have an AWD myself!), but it was far away being neglected just like I was.
He continued to put the move off, month after month. He settled on March 2017 as the newest goal, but nothing changed. He spent months playing with himself and making no progress whatsoever and I felt more and more like I had been tricked.
He did visit me in the new house in February 2017 by taking the bus again. It went ok while he was here, but literally the second he got back home, he dove right back into his games. After 2 days on a Greyhound, he got home and didn't sleep, didn't shower, just gamed all night. I thought after the visit he would be more attentive to me, excited, and motivated to get his license and move out, but instead he couldn't wait to start neglecting me again. It made me feel like visiting me was just an inconvenience to him because it kept him from his gaming.
He still didn't practice driving, he spent his 4-day weekends playing games and goofing off, and he didn't see a darn thing wrong with this at all. I tried so many different ways to explain how important it was for him to start making an effort, and how neglected and unloved I felt. It didn't matter how many different ways I put it, how many examples I gave, how many analogies I used, nothing changed. No amount of patience, understanding, begging, or anger changed anything. Nothing really mattered but his playtime, and my needs were just in the way of that.
I waited until April 2017 and then I couldn't wait any longer, I needed my money back. He was supposed to be here in December helping with expenses and he wasn't. I was here with a new house and expenses, trying to make it work on my own. He hadn't practiced driving since January and there was no hint that he was going to start anytime soon. So I asked for my money back. The only way for him to pay me back was to sell the car, so I asked him to sell it. I told him he can get another car when he is more ready to get his license.
He freaked out on me and said he didn't want to sell the car because it's HIS car and he doesn't want to sell it. My mind exploded. I was furious. He hadn’t appreciated ANYTHING I had done for him and was freaking out over a "thing" he hadn't paid for and hadn't touched in months! It was MY money that paid for 100% of the purchase price of that car! I was absolutely devastated, completely crushed. I felt like I had just lost the man I loved and my money too. I was so upset I had a bit of a nervous breakdown and had to take time off of work.
He didn't see my point of view AT ALL. HE was the victim and I was the horrible meanie asking him to sell 'his' car. I had to fight and fight and fight to get him to put the car up for sale, and only after I gave him personal financial details about why I needed my emergency funds back.
He did eventually sell the car and give my money back, and I am truly grateful for that. I know exactly how close I came to losing that money because I was an idiot, and how lucky I am that I actually did get my money back. I will never, ever, ever make that mistake again. I learned a very valuable lesson and thank God it didn't cost me 3k to learn it. If he hadn't given it back, I was absolutely going to take him to small claims court, but that would have been a royal pain in the rear.
I still tried to stay positive once I got my money back and (like an idiot) was willing to try to repair things if he just made an effort... But it was no use. He continued to choose his playtime over me, same as always. I'd finally had enough. In mid May 2017 I told him we need to take a "break". We were no longer gf/bf, and we are free to date others.
I explained why, very explicitly. I explained about how he had damaged my trust and was unreliable, I explained about how he prioritized his playtime over his relationship. I told him he'd had everything handed to him... I paid for everything... I loaned him money for a car... I bought a house for us... All he had to do was get off his ass and away from the games long enough to get his license and move here. Everything was waiting for him. I didn't ask anything from him in return except for his time and effort and love (which, to me, requires time and effort). No diamond rings, no gifts or material things, no flowers, no fancy vacations or anything else that he was in no position to give me, just his time and effort (love), but I wasn't even worth that to him.
I told him that in order for us to get back together he would have to make a miraculous turn-around... I told him he would have to get his own car and move here by himself. I told him he wouldn't be living in my basement, he would have to get his own place and a job and take care of himself, I wouldn't be giving him a dime.... I would have to see him be able to balance responsibilities, relationship, and his playtime like an adult.
I haven't heard from him since... but I also requested "radio silence" and said he can feel free to contact me when he gets his license. That was mid May of last year.
He obviously still hasn’t moved here. He hasn't even gotten his license yet, as far as I know. He should have messaged me if he did, and I'm pretty sure he would have posted it on social media. We are still friends on Facebook, Twitter, Steam, and other places, so I "see" him around, though we don’t talk directly.
Instead of progress, what I saw was him buying over 50 new games on Steam within a month or so of our break. He also bought virtual reality equipment, because he was suddenly playing VR games on Steam. And based upon some things he posted, I am 99% sure he bought himself a Nintendo Switch. These are not the actions of someone who is afraid of losing the love of his life. He should have been saving money, getting his license, and moving here. I don't think he is capable of changing and more importantly, I don't think he wants to.
If I could go back in time knowing what I know now, I would never have dated him. I truly fell in love with him and it hurts so much. But I loved a person who was apparently a made up character he was role-playing... This non-game-addicted person he pretended to be at first wasn’t the real him, it was just an act. Now I am grieving the loss of a person who doesn't really exist and never did. And I am angry because he was taken away from me after I finally had hope of happiness. I was literally thanking God every day for finally giving me what I had waited so long for. I feel like such a fool now. It's a cruel addiction for everybody involved. And he seems to be totally clueless. He never gets why I am upset. I never feel validated or acknowledged. There is just all this anger, pain, and sadness with no place to go. I may as well yell at a blade of grass.
And even knowing all this.. There is some ridiculous part of me that still hopes. That thinks, maybe the thought of losing me will make him realize how he has treated me... Maybe he will get his license and move here... Maybe he will turn his life around because he loves me and doesn't want to lose me... Maybe he will finally choose ME instead of games... Maybe he will surprise me someday by showing up here... Maybe I can forgive and forget.
But I don't want to feel this way anymore. I just want to stop loving him and stop hoping and stop hurting, because I know that even if he gave up gaming, it would only be temporary, just long enough to win me back. In the long run I would end up miserable and neglected again, I know this. So why do I still hope that maybe it wouldn’t be that way? They say insanity is trying the same things over and over and expecting a different outcome... Is hope a form of insanity?
My brain keeps telling my heart that too much time has passed now, if he really loved me like he said, he would have been out here or at least gotten his license by now. I don’t suppose anyone has any helpful advice? Other than just letting go and moving on? I can’t keep hoping any longer if there really is no hope.