I was new to the expat community, living abroad for the first time as a teacher. It was 2007. I started a pen-pal exchange program at my school. I thought it would be fun to have students practice their English and exchange letters with students overseas. This is when I met my future boyfriend, let’s call him B. He’s from Morocco. Our schools partnered up and shortly thereafter we began communicating online. It quickly became sexual and serious. He told me repeatedly how beautiful I was and how much he loved my plus-sized figure, and that he was in love with me.
Within a month, I found myself Skyping with B every chance I had. We talked a lot about my beauty and how sexy I was. Having any sort of normal, “What was your day like?” conversation was limited to a few words. B would always bring it back to “us” and sex. He never asked me questions about myself. I volunteered answers to keep the conversation going. It was very one-sided unless he was complimenting my beauty or body. His overt gestures often made me uncomfortable. B took is as a sign that I was self-conscious and lacked self-esteem.
He insisted I come visit him as soon as possible. Traveling from South Korea to Morocco made me nervous as I was still new to global travel. Instead, I booked a flight to Thailand and toured Southeast Asia with some friends. B was livid that I chose them over him.
By the time my school contract ended, I returned home to my country. Life got busy and B and I lost touch.
Jump forward three years and B reached out online. I told him I was married now. He became very angry and accused me of not waiting for him. He made me feel guilty, and the stupid thing was that I apologized – for my marriage to someone other than him.
My marriage ended shortly thereafter and not because of B.
By 2013 I was overseas again, teaching for a university in Thailand. B reached out via Facebook. I was not as quick to rekindle anything. He pleaded and left unrequited messages for me, professing his love and how no women were good enough. I told B he needed to find happiness with someone from his own country. He became frustrated and insisted I was the only one for him. I ignored him and eventually he stopped contacting me.
In 2015, however, B reached out again. This time I was getting ready to move to Saudi Arabia. Although I confessed it was nice to hear B’s voice, I had recently professed my love to an Indian man I had gotten to know during my time in Bangkok. We laughed, talked, and shared our lives with an ease I had not had with someone in a long time. In the end though, he insisted I pursue my dreams of teaching in the Middle East while he stayed in Thailand. I was heartbroken.
B was frustrated and told me he deserved me and could give me a good life if only I gave him a chance. That was what was missing in my life: a single chance. According to him I had never been single long enough to let him show me what kind of man he could be.
All I had to do was visit him in Morocco and see what a beautiful country it was. He could give me a good life when (not if) I moved there. We could open a school to teach English. We’d have to use my money of course. It would elevate his status and I would be marrying into a family full of love. It came across so cheesy that I laughed, which caused an argument. He thought I was making fun of his situation. B wanted me to apologize for causing him pain. It seemed he only told me the absolute truth when he was frustrated or angry.
I cut all ties.
In 2019 he found me on social media. It has been nearly five years. He told me he hasn’t been able to move on. He went on to tell me that there are many beautiful women in Morocco and that he chose me. It’s not about looks although he finds me very sexy, and since he’s only been with thin women, he wants to be with a curvy plus-sized woman. B plans to marry me–all I need to do is visit. And we’re going to have children. I am adopting (in my real life) and told him this. He wasn’t pleased.
I could feel his pain and desperation. I learned long ago that if a partner makes you cry rather than lift you up, it’s not worth it. And if they can’t be honest with themselves, they can’t be honest with you.
This last conversation was heartbreaking. He told me he could see love in my eyes and he knew I felt the same, but he was frustrated that I hadn’t committed to him after all this time.
I told him what would make me happy is for him to settle down with someone who makes him happy. He refused to let me talk and regurgitated the same things about my beauty, sex, love, and his commitment to me. I dropped the call and took measures to keep him out of my life for good.
The moral is: your partner should be there to lift you up, talk with you, share their lives with you (likes, dislikes, and beyond) and do this in person. If they make you cry, feel badly about your life choices, and/or berate you, they’re not worth your time. I wish I had learned that in my twenties.
The irony is that I will be visiting Morocco in December of this year. I know I will think of him and then I will remember the multiple bullets that I dodged.