Dear men (and women) everywhere, if you do nothing for yourself the rest of your life, strike this phrase from your lexicon: “You knew what this was.”
I have grown to detest this phrase with every fiber of my being. I hate it for several reasons:
1. If you find yourself uttering it, then you are admitting from the very beginning, that you intend to use another person for only the pleasure they can provide you.
2. You are dishonest. If you “catch feelings” (another phrase I detest, but will save for another post) for someone, you will change your mind about the person. We all know someone who has messed around casually with someone for years, they finally breakup, then the person immediately falls in love with the next person that comes around and they marry. If they drop this phrase on you, they are telling you from the beginning, that you are someone they just don’t see themselves with.
3. You are hedging your bets, giving yourself an “out” in case things don’t go as you’d like. What is particularly loathsome about this is that relationships are negotiated day by day, minute by minute, and can fall closer or further apart with behavior. If you find yourself in a situation you don’t like, you can end it. You don’t have to fall back on “you knew what this was.”
4. The people that use this phrase are advertising from the very beginning, that they are unavailable (emotionally, due to another relationship, logistically, etc). I will break this down into parts:
- Emotionally: Usually due to a breakup, this person is still dealing with trauma. You can certainly engage, but know that, unless you are willing to join them on their emotional voyage (if they will allow you), this will probably end sadly.
- Due to Another Relationship: There really doesn’t need to be anything else said. If you choose this, you get what you get.
- Logistically: The person travels, isn’t local, has ties that pull them away from you. This can be hard, because it usually is not that they are playing you falsely, it is that for whatever reason, they cannot devote themselves to your relationship. Circumstances may change, but that is not guaranteed.
The point is, if someone you have met or been dating uses this phrase, they are telling you plainly: stay away. You need to listen.