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How it feels to be left: When the "hook-up" leaves you hangin

Updated on June 9, 2011


“Well, thanks for inviting me over,” He said, zipping up his pants and throwing on his shirt and coat. I sat on my bed watching him, still a little half-drunk and tired, clad in a tee shirt and underwear. “Sure, no problem,” I muttered. “It was fun.” Without meeting my eyes other than a momentary glance he muttered the obligatory “Hey, I’ll give you a call, but I gotta head out, that cool?” “Sure, whatever.” I said and walked him to the door, watching as he quickly got into his car and drove off. I went back to my bedroom and I curled up on my bed, the same bed where we had been “hooking up” minutes before. I lied there and tried to rationalize to myself what had happened. Hey, no big deal, right? Nothing to feel bad about, right? Just a one-time thing, if he doesn’t care why should I? The problem was I did care. I cared a lot. Exactly what was the result of this late-night, alcohol-fueled tryst? Nothing. I had brought this situation on myself by initiating the phone call. He had even brought his own condoms with him, thus only solidifying the fact that this whole thing was just an opportunity for an easy lay. I was filled with shame and guilt and I felt used and dirty. And he was gone. He wasn’t coming back and he wasn’t ever going to call (and he didn’t.) In this moment, I experienced the feeling of being “left”.


The above incident (and many other similar ones) happened to me, unfortunately all too often in the mid to late 1990s, before my subsequent conversion back to my Catholic faith. I would venture a guess (just going out on a limb here) that there are a number of women my age and younger that have experienced what it’s like to be “left.” I am not going to take this opportunity to bash the guys, however – we ladies have to take some responsibility as well. But getting back to what it’s like to be “left.” It is that feeling of total emptiness that lingers after something has happened; especially when he doesn’t call and it’s evident that he used you. Along with that goes the guilt you may have of having initiated things (perhaps drunk-dialing him as I did, or even more likely these days, texting him and this happens often) – regardless, you ended up together either at his place or yours. This kind of thing (and so prevalent in this sex-saturated culture we live in) really stems from the deep seated desire within each one of us to be loved. I could go into all of the differences between men and women right now, but that isn’t really what I want to talk about; my point is this – women will give the sex to get the “love” and men, on the other hand, will give the “love” to get the sex. When I first heard this stated from well-known chastity speaker Jason Evert, it was like a light bulb went on for me and suddenly, it all made sense. We ladies are more emotional – we rationalize to ourselves that if he was willing to be in that situation with me – to be in that intimate situation with me, therefore he must like me; therefore he will call me, we are sure to be dating soon, etc. Then the call doesn’t come. Perhaps you run into him and he acts like he doesn’t know you, or you see him with his girlfriend (and he had been with you just a week before) and you realize that he’s a cheater. Or you call him and he doesn’t seem all that interested in talking to you (all of these things happened to me at one time or another). I have experienced the pain and the emptiness and the regrets that these types of involvements left me with. In my own situation, after hitting rock bottom in the summer of 2000, I had a conversion of my heart back to my Catholic faith and started to live a chaste lifestyle. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? To the world, no, it doesn’t; however, to me, it saved my life. I learned about the incredible love God has for me, for each and every one of us and how he wants to fill us with his love and trust in him. And putting an end to my promiscuous behavior, staying out of those situations did not make me unhappy; rather I have never felt so free. I am not writing this in order to sound preachy or holier-than-thou, believe me. Because we are all sinful people living in a fallen world as we do, there have been moments over the last 11 years where even I have fallen off track. But I simply have had to start over and recommit myself to a chaste life. With God’s grace I will continue to do so. And I have left that feeling of being “left” far, far behind.


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