Finding the blog turned out to be relatively easy. Go to most popular blog site. Search for “sex and dating blog san francisco”. Scroll down until you see something familiar. One of our earliest dates was to an art gallery where she admired the works of Roy Lichtenstein, calling him one of her favorite artists. Read bio to confirm the match. Bingo.

I wanted to read it dispassionately. I wanted to read just enough to confirm that what she was telling me was true and assuage my concerns. That became hard real fast. Mr. Promising. Tender moments. Lots of guys. Lots of sex. A pattern of lying to men to shuffle dates to her liking. A very different picture of Lauren Rorschach was emerging. One I wasn’t sure I really knew or particularly liked. This really wasn’t helping, so of course, like any dumb ass, I kept digging. And that’s when the bombshell hit. The one absolute rule we had about our relationship was that we only had unprotected sex with each other. She hadn’t kept the agreement. And she’d been lying to me about it.

I was devastated.

I texted Lauren asking if we could meet that evening, knowing that she had another date planned. She asked if something was wrong. I replied, “Ask Ms. Rorschach.” Real mature, Craig. She knew what was up and we arranged to meet once I could talk about the situation to some friends. Based on what I knew, or what I thought I knew, the choice seemed clear. I just needed to confirm it.

I entered the bar and sat down across from her at the table. She looked uneasy. I challenged that she really felt as she did toward me given her other activities. She protested that she did. I suggested I was just another source of content for her blog. She vehemently denied it. I asked about the lying. She said that she had been lying to her other dates to be with me more. Then I asked about the unprotected sex she hadn’t bothered to admit. She instantly knew this was a problem, a big problem, and tried to explain how badly she felt about it. I had heard all I needed to hear and stood up as my eyes watered. Her eyes watered as I leaned down to kiss her forehead. I muttered, “Goodbye, Lauren,” before I turned and walked away.

I wanted that to be it. I wanted out. Better a quick, clean cutting of ties now than yet another messy break-up months or years down the line, right?

Lauren followed me down the street and we argued. She wanted to talk. I didn’t. My mind was made up. She wasn’t having it. I asked her to leave me alone. She said all the right things again. I’d already heard it. She apologized for the lying. I couldn’t get past it. She told me she loved me. I told her I knew that already. She wanted to know why I was so cold. I couldn’t go through this again. I wanted her to go. She wouldn’t let it go. Late at night and exasperated, I said mean things to her so she would go away. Very mean things. Finally, hurt, she relented. It was late and, still obsessed with my own hurt feelings and far away from home, I slept at a friend’s house.

I woke a few hours later when the sun came up and found a text from Lauren. “I wish you would have come here with me last night. :-(“ Why? I didn’t understand how she could still want to be around me after last night. Still exhausted, still hurting, I faced two paths. One would take me home to an apartment where I could relax, let all the pain go, and safely move on with my life. The other would take me to Lauren’s apartment, to who knows what. Too tired to think clearly, I did the one thing I could think of. I followed my heart.

Quietly, she opened the door and let me in. I crawled into her bed and she lay down beside me. We cuddled. I cried. We slept. We fucked. We talked. Crucially, this time I listened. She understood the confusion I felt reading the blog. Just knowing someone is dating other people is far different from knowing intimate details and thoughts about the process. She had her own confusion about our future together, so she was reluctantly keeping her options open as she thought fit. “The lie” was actually much less serious than I had imagined, a few cases of lapsed judgment, not a normal occurrence. That didn’t make it acceptable, but it did make it a human mistake.

Eventually, I went home so that Lauren could pick up her daughter. I wouldn’t be able to see her for a few days. Confused about what I was feeling as I traveled home, that last point stuck out to me. A human mistake. I thought about what that meant. Why hadn’t I even considered that possibility? Why was I trying so hard to find some dark lie, some secret agenda, some sabotage, some fatal flaw that could only portend future misery? And that was when I realized something. Lauren Rorschach wasn’t the monster in this relationship, hiding in some dark corner, ready to leap out and tear it all down.

I was.

To be continued…