May 18th 2023 – Karina Lafayette
I should’ve known by the way he sent his first message at 2am that he would turn out to be a player. People who are just looking for a good time tend to be late night texters. I waited till the morning to answer, and nonetheless a conversation began. We seemed to have some things in common, despite me being an artist and him working as an engineer. He was cute, charming, and a Cancer.
A week went by and he hinted at wanting to see me, but the plans were never confirmed. We texted regularly and it was a good mix between flirting and regular conversation. Mercury retrograde had just started a few days after our first interaction, so I brushed it off as simple miscommunication. Finally, we planned for a date. When that day came, he didn’t text me at all, which was unusual for him. It was early evening, and we were supposed to meet in two hours. I sent him: “And?”
He replied, “And?”
“Should I take myself out?”
He apologized, and explained that one of his colleagues at work got injured and he was asked to go onsite, since he typically works from home. I gave him the benefit of the doubt this time, but still felt a bit skeptical. He didn’t reschedule up front. Matter of fact, we didn’t talk at all during that weekend. I was upset. At this point, I should’ve let the silence speak for itself. By Sunday night, he sent me a reel on Instagram, almost as a way to see if I would do anything. It was a reel I had seen earlier, so naturally I replied to it. He kept me on seen. Interesting. I should’ve ended it there, but at this point, I made a deal with the universe, I wanted a sign as to whether it was just my anxiety getting to me, or if my intuition was right, and he really just ain’t shit after all.
When has my intuition been wrong, anyway?
Into the new week, we started chatting again, like nothing happened. I brought up our date that never happened. His reply, “I can do Monday at 5 or 6,” since he was, you know, really busy, right? Despite the fact that he had just posted a story on Instagram where he was at soccer game. For a guy who’s soo busy, he has time for that. Interesting. I let this one slide too, but only because I figured he probably got the tickets before we started talking. By this point, we were talking for little over two weeks, and my birthday was around the corner. I wanted clarity as soon as possible, so that way I could celebrate without the headache of a potential fuckboy on my radar. He even wrote me, “I can get you a birthday present”, with a wink emoji, but deep down, I knew the best birthday gift he could give me was his absence.
The weekend came. My period had just finished. I was feeling irritated, nauseous, and kept replaying past relationships inside my head. This situation had me overthinking and distracted. So not my element. We were going to meet in a few days. Again, I spoke to the universe about how never again did I want to go through the same nightmare. “My next relationship is going to be worth it. So if there’s any reason I shouldn’t get involved with this guy, I need a clear sign.” There was no way I would allow myself to be led down the wrong path again. Some might call that cowardly, I call that being wise with my heart.
Well, the universe gave me a sign, all right. Late last Saturday night, I was just about to send him something on Instagram, when he posted a story. He was dancing in a nightclub surrounded by women. This after saying one time that he wasn’t the partying type. For the guy who said he was always busy, he didn’t seem busy after all. Just too busy for me.
In the past, I would’ve cried. I would’ve been jealous and raging, like Juno is known for being jealous and raging at Jupiter anytime she learns of his shenanigans. I would’ve probably even stuck around just to make him choose me! Instead, I felt nothing. I didn’t need him.
For some reason, this prompted me to look at his following list, not to see any women he might know, but to see… something. My intuition felt something else was up. Not only did he turn out to be a fuckboy, he was also a follower of Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson. Ben freaking Shapiro. The same homophobic, transphobic, racist, Ben Shapiro.
I sent one last text before blocking him: “By the way, thank you for posting those stories on Instagram. I was right. You really were playing me. At least it was fun while it lasted, right? ;)”
I laughed, not because it was funny that I almost dated a lying, manipulative Ben Shapiro admirer, but because in that moment, the universe really had my back. To be fair, it didn’t surprise me. The whole time we were talking Jupiter was transiting my Juno, and one thing I know with Jupiter transits and romance, is that it usually brings me a person who thinks that I’ll stick around no matter what they do. He made me feel in ways that I promised to never feel again and almost brought out an old version of me. Nice try, Jupiter. You might be a great planet, but you’re definitely not the love planet.
There were moments in the few weeks of this situationship, or whatever you want to call it, that I felt something was off, but when you’re someone like me who has past trauma, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between intuition and anxiety. It can also be hard when really, you just want to be loved. Even though I’m open to giving a new person a chance, in my heart, I know full well that I don’t want my time wasted, so did I do the right thing in asking the universe for a heads up? Absofuckinglutely.
So without further ado, here are relationship lessons I learned from Juno:
Love is not Enough
This is going to hurt some feelings but it is what it is. Someone could love you with their whole heart, but unless they cherish and value you as an equal, autonomous person with their own thoughts and feelings, their love won’t make a difference. Staying in a relationship solely for love can sometimes be the most painful thing ever, especially when the person isn’t emotionally available and can’t show up the way you need. When relationships fail, it’s not usually because of a lack of love, it’s usually because of a lack of respect or understanding, or because they just aren’t able to meet their partner where they are at, or due to the fact that only one partner is really putting in the effort.
If Someone Doesn’t Text Within a Few Days, They’re (Probably) Not Interested
This might seem like an exaggeration. When people don’t text back, it can be due to work, their mental health preventing them from having the energy to communicate, or due to an emergency. It isn’t always because of ghosting, but in the dating scene, nine times out of ten, it is. If a conversation was kicking off great and the two of you had some fun banter for a few days, then all of a sudden, radio silence, that’s your queue to move on. Like in my previous situation.
However, it is important to watch for a pattern. If someone ghosts you days at a time and they return, and this happens on a regular basis, it’s a clear indicator that either a) they’re just stringing you along for attention or b) they’re using you as a back up in case things don’t work with someone else. At that point, it’s up to you to respect yourself enough by walking away. While it isn’t realistic to think two people have to text 24/7, some meaningful, consistent communication is literally the bare minimum of any potential relationship.
Good Communication is Everything
And this brings me to my next point. Communication. It almost sounds cliché, but without it, a relationship isn’t possible. When my ex and I first started dating, most of our time together was spent watching Netflix. It actually took a few months before we really even had good conversations, and looking back, there was no real vulnerability. The connection was superficial and it’s obvious that the two of us were only together because we both needed someone, not because we actually wanted to be together.
Of course, I understand that for many people, communication is hard, especially if we came from families that taught us being quiet keeps us safe. That being said, at some point, you have to stop blaming your lack of communication skills on your past and be willing to meet people halfway. If the other person is always the one initiating the phone calls, or if they’re always the ones sending that first text, sooner or later, they’re going to get frustrated and realize that you’re not as into them as they are into you. No one can fall in love with a stranger.
Listen to How You Feel When They Aren’t Around
All those times I had intense anxiety, or felt like a person was hiding something when we weren’t together… as it turns out, most of the time, I was right. One day, I was worried about my ex cheating on me. I sometimes would feel suspicious about whether he went anywhere after work. His response to that was to punch a hole in the wall, which is the only answer anyone needs.
The reason why it’s important to listen how you feel when you aren’t together is because when that person we like is in the same room, we get distracted. By their eyes, their hair, their beauty, their humor… it’s easy to overlook red flags when someone is around you, since humans are designed for connection. But if you feel less connected when a partner, or even a potential partner- isn’t around, it’s a sign that either you don’t know each other as well as you’d like, or maybe, just maybe, they are hiding something and you aren’t the one who’s being “paranoid”. It’s normal to miss someone, but there’s a difference between missing someone versus feeling like your world falls apart every time they aren’t around. Sometimes people with abandonment issues will overlook these feelings or signs because we want so badly to be loved, that we’re willing to believe anything a person presents us, even if it doesn’t add up to what we feel when they aren’t around.
Not Knowing Where You Stand Will Make You Cry
Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. I’ve been in a handful of situations where I was too afraid to ask someone what our status was, because I was too afraid of the answer. I knew the minute I’d find out they weren’t serious about me, I’d fall apart. Lack of clarity only delays the pain, it doesn’t make it go away. Sooner or later, you’ll blurt out your feelings and the other will be standing there indifferently. It’s best to know where you stand with people, and even if they don’t say it, they’ll show it.
Butterflies Can Be a Warning
Being excited about a new person in our life is natural. It happens to everyone. However, what I’ve noticed is that most times that I get butterflies about someone, it’s usually my intuition telling me to run. When a person is good and safe to be around, I’ll still feel excited, but it’s more like a warm glowing feeling around my heart, and not really a flutter in the belly. The pull is there, but it’s much more quiet, so much that it’s easy to wonder if the attraction is real. If ever I’ve had butterflies, the person was usually really toxic. Like sure, they might have been sexy as fuck, but they also had the potential to destroy my life, and like I said before, been there and done that.
Set Your Standards
You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Do you want a hook-up? Do you want a friends with benefits situation? Are you looking for a connection that has the potential to build into something long-term? And if so, are you monogamous, poly, or somewhere in-between? I see a lot of people write on their dating profiles that they’re just looking to “go with the flow”, and trust me, those people aren’t looking for anything other than to waste your time. It’s better to come across as icy and rigid when you want what you want, than to be willing to bend your rules just because they happen to be cute. The sooner you figure your dating goals, the happier everyone will be. Nobody wants Mister or Miss All-About-Me as their partner.
Don’t Go Above and Beyond for Someone who Can’t Even Do the Bare Minimum
Again, been there and done that. In astrology, Juno after all, is the planet of loyalty, and a lot of us, especially women, have been trained to be there for someone’s every whim. We’ve been taught that we have to tend to our partner, tend to the family, the house, and go to work, and somehow we should be able to do all this and be good in bed, despite not having the energy to even make it to the bedroom at the end of the day. A relationship is teamwork, and your team can’t win with the other half sitting on the bench all day.
Look at How They Treat the Elderly, Kids and Animals
It should go without saying, but some of us need to be reminded. If your special someone looks down on anyone (human or otherwise), that is inevitably how they are going to treat you behind closed doors. It’s also a clear and obvious red flag if a person doesn’t give up their seat for the elderly on transit (unless they need the seat, of course), or if they show any aggression toward their elderly family members. The same goes with animals, whether it’s a pet or wildlife. If it’s a living being, you shouldn’t worry about how your partner is going to treat it.
A Relationship Shouldn’t Make You Feel “Crazy”
Questioning your intuition, wondering whether you really said that, walking on eggshells, keeping secrets, or being told that you’re “overreacting”, are all signs of potential abuse. If anytime you’re around someone, you have trouble regulating your emotions and find that they bring out the worst in you, it’s a sign they aren’t for you. While relationships can be triggering, especially for trauma survivors, they shouldn’t feel like a warzone. They should be like a safe haven, where the two of you can open up and be yourselves. You should be able to feel calm around a partner, not on constant edge.
Lovebombing is the Preset to an Abusive Relationship
If you’re unfamiliar with lovebombing, I suggest later reading a previous article where I talk about it. Basically lovebombing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s where a person lays on the gifts, compliments, texts, and romantic gestures so thick, you can’t see the bullshit that’s right in front of you, which I’m also sure is the reason why that guy texted so much at first. Eventually, the relationship starts to become hazy, and you’re left questioning whether this is all a dream or if it’s really meant to be. A safe person will give you compliments and sweet gestures, but not so much that it leaves your head spinning. They’ll know how to honor your boundaries and will prioritize getting to know each other, over sweeping you off your feet.
But So is Indifference
On the opposite side of lovebombing, we have its nasty cousin indifference. Often a trick used by Pick-up Artists, indifference is where a person does it on purpose to ghost, show zero emotion, and play hard to get, as a way to pull you into their nonsense (again, like my previous situation). Usually the tactic of indifference only works for people with abandonment issues, because the moment someone who once showed interest acts like they don’t care, we’ll do everything to prove that we’re worthy of their love. People who breadcrumb and play hot and cold ought to be left where you found them, and as far away as possible. When someone cares about you, they’ll be consistent.
Consistency Really is Key
Did the person you started seeing suddenly stop flirting with you? Did they stop sending cute poetry and taking you on fabulous dates? Do they give less affection than they used to? That was the lovebombing phase. Now that they have you, you’re seeing exactly how they feel. The person who’s quick to stop taking you on dates after the early stage of a relationship, eventually becomes the partner who never takes out the trash, never picks up the kids from school, and who conveniently forgets birthdays, anniversaries, and what they had to pick up at the grocery store. In order for a relationship to last, the actions you took to fall in love with each other, should be acted upon throughout the entire relationship. Anything else means the relationship wasn’t real to begin with.
Believe What They Show You, Ignore Potential
During the time that I’ve started trying to date again, I’ve met all kinds of people who look good on paper. Similar interests, similar spiritual views, similar politics, and the attraction has been present almost each time. What hasn’t always been present however is connection. You simply can’t fake that. No matter how good a person looks on paper, unless they two of you are both ready and both looking for the same thing, it isn’t going to work. It’s also easy to fall for a person who brags about wanting a life with you, despite the fact that after five years, nothing has gotten deeper. Many times, we’ll stay with someone, because they have the potential, but unless your person is taking consistent action toward developing those things, it’s all talk.
They’re Not Your Partner Till They Step Up
This point will also make some people angry, and that’s fine. I used to be that person who would stay loyal to a crush, even though they weren’t calling me, taking me on dates, or doing anything to prove their interest. Ever since turning thirty, I’m no longer wasting time. It’s fine to take a relationship slow, but it shouldn’t require a six month talking stage to be asked out on a date. My dear, that person is not interested in you being their partner, they just see you as a placeholder. Until someone is actively taking steps to secure you as their boo, you’re single. So go on dates, flirt, and enjoy your life, and when you find the person who’s willing to become a partner in crime, you’ll know, and you won’t even have to ask.
Be Single Till You’re Satisfied
Which leads me to my last point. Until you actually get all that (and maybe more), stay single. A lot of us are afraid of being single because we don’t want to be lonely, or because we have pressure from society, our parents, or even our friends, but trust me. It’s much better to be single in the company of friends and people who truly love you, than to be lonely in the company of a partner who doesn’t want to build a genuine relationship, and who’s only there for convenience. And even when you do find them, don’t be so eager to prove your love that you forget everything else. It’s great to want a connection, to have that intimacy, that one special person, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your mental health, happiness, and especially your safety.
To get a reading or learn about my other projects, scroll to the menu. If you haven’t already, sign up at my new social media site Persephone’s Forum. It’s my birthday this week, so extra support is appreciated!
If you enjoyed this, you may want to read Juno, Not Just a Wifey in Astrology, The Day Juno Divorced Jupiter: Uranus-Juno Transit 2023 and No, The Planets Don’t Have a Gender: What Venus and Mars Are Really About
Leave a Reply