It's been a while since I've written anything comprehensive. It's 4 am and I'm getting those late night blues, so I think it's about time to start laying out some things and sorting out some thoughts I've been having.

Back in July, I decided to try out Tinder for the first time in an attempt to move on from Matthew, who I knew at this point was never going to return my feelings ever again. It had been months since we've so much as spoken, so I felt like I was ready to try to distance myself from those feelings. This is how I met Ben.

Ben is native Chinese, and here studying for school. His English isn't the greatest in the whole world, but... it's understandable hahaha. He's kind, cool, rather stylish, cute as hell, and loves to tease me. The problem is that he's not very... honest.

When we met, he tried to make a move on me far, far too quickly. Tinder is entrenched in hookup culture, and try to circumvent that I wrote in my profile that I was looking for something serious and didn't want any hookups. I only met two people out of all my matches, one of them being Ben (I didn't like the first person whatsoever) and both of them were very overtly sexual immediately, as if paying no mind to my bio's specifications. He kissed me within an hour of meeting me, despite my attempts to ward this off. This actually pissed me off immensely, to the point that I actually told him I didn't think we should see eachother again. Maybe, in retrospect, it would have been much better for me if it had just ended there, but... something in my heart brought me back. Perhaps it was because I had taken such an immediate liking to him before he tried to rush me into bed. Whatever the case, I messaged him and told him I had been too hasty and we should hangout some more.

He insisted he was serious about me from the offset, and tried to ask me out from the moment he kissed me, and then again later when we held hands. I laughed and told him he was being way too impatient and we needed time to get to know eachother better. I'll admit I intended on withholding sex from him longer than I did, but... he was far from being my first, I liked him, and I have a massive libido that had long gone unsated at this point, so I ended up giving in to him fairly quickly. It was after that I told him that maybe we could start dating. I acted casual about it, but in reality I was quite thrilled. It had been over two years since I had broken up with Taylor, and in that whole period of time I had agonized endlessly over Matt. Ben was my first hope for something new, real, and more importantly belonged to me.

I wish I could say things went well from there, but the truth is much different. A mutual friend of ours -- that Ben was unaware of -- ended up dropping me some very crucial information. Ben had been telling me he'd never had a Canadian girlfriend before, but according to our friend he had been dating someone before. Neither of us knew if they were still together, but my friend showed me from screenshots from Ben's Wechat that had pictures of him and his (ex?) girlfriend together from as soon as only a week before. That was the first hint that something was up. From there, I started digging, and when I next met Ben in person I asked subtle questions in an effort to get him to admit to her existence and verify our relationship on a public level.

He would not talk about her, nor was he willing to be publicly open about our relationship on Facebook. He was fine with me telling my own friends, but clearly he did not want who ever was on his account to know about us. Namely, his girlfriend.

Yes, that's right. They were still dating. After I revealed what I knew, I got the truth from him. He had never broken up with Lucy, and he didn't intend on doing so. I don't know what his real intentions were even to this day, but he was dating us simultaneously. It was then he told me I couldn't be his real girlfriend, even though he had pressed me so hard initially for a relationship.

I was devastated, but shockingly calm during this confrontation. He cried quite a lot... but I did not. I just felt numb, I guess. We kissed one final time, a kiss I felt was full of a lot of emotions, then I went home.

I waited to hear from him, but I didn't -- not over several days.

The guilt of what had happened meanwhile was eating me alive, mixed with spite and bitterness over feeling so thoroughly duped. My coworkers advised me to tell his girlfriend of what transpired, and that's what I ended up doing. I contacted her on Facebook and told her everything, complete with screencaps.

That was a very emotionally charged and turbulent week. In the end, I felt like... all I did was lose. As usual. Although she deserved to know what her boyfriend had done, she didn't break up with him, and the one who was left in the dust was me. I missed Ben so very much, but he told both me and Lucy that he was never serious about me and only used me for sex. That's when I finally broke down for the first time and realized just how attached I'd gotten to him after I made up my mind to date him, and consequently how much it hurt to know it had all been fake.

I think after this point two weeks or so passed... Despite the abuse of the situation, I missed him so terribly, and couldn't resist telling him so over a text message. Not much came of that, until... a little while later, maybe a few days, when he messages me out of the blue and tells me he was hurt from losing me. That it was too hard to give up either one of us, but that he wants to make Lucy happy because she's been good to him. He told me he did have feelings for me but didn't want her to know. But he still only saw me as a friend.

A sensible person might have told him to go to hell. I am not a sensible person. I told him we could be friends, and I meant it. He asked me to hangout, and I jumped on the opportunity to see him.

I did try to be his friend. I really, really did. I had every intention of being good. Of trying to ensure Ben was good.

But... he had different ideas, to say the least.

At first I was able to fend off his somewhats subtle attempts to kiss me, when we ended up at the beach after breakfast that morning. He dropped me off at work, and leaned over like he expected me to kiss him. I exited the car instead, and saw him throw his head back in exasperation. I figured it served him right, after everything that had happened.

The next time I saw him, I agreed to come over, figuring that as long as I was firm on my position we could just chill together, maybe watch a movie, do whatever platonically and it'd be perfectly fine. This was where I was wrong. I don't want to paint him so callously, because... I am truly very, very fond of him in spite of everything, but... he essentially forced himself on me. The only flimsy wall that stands between consent and complete non-consent is the fact that I wanted him, but knew that I shouldn't out of moral decency. That's what compelled me to try to stop him, and tell him that I didn't want to. Regardless, he had his way, as my protests fell on deaf ears. In the end I gave in to him, as I always would.

That's where the current dilemma began. I became his... mistress, I suppose, if I wanted to phrase it with some degree of dignity. I was never, and am still not, comfortable in this position and it's VERY much less than optimal, but in the pursuit of my feelings and pleasure I resigned myself to it. I didn't want him to cheat on his girlfriend as she seemed like a nice person undeserving of his infidelity, but he appears to care less about it than I do.

On the surface he appears madly in love with her. His room is covered in her influence -- notes, decor, little drawings, some personal belongings -- and I have to look on it, with a burning needle in my chest, every time I visit his dorm. A reminder that he really belongs to her, and not me. I'm just an interloper. He brings me over because I provide him the physical comforts she's reluctant to give, and in my heart I try to convince myself that he really cares for me. His Wechat and phone is littered with pictures of her. Even as we're together, he answers her messages quickly, anxiously glancing at his phone and waiting to hear from her, while he makes me wait for hours at a time.

It hurts me. Even now, as I think about it, jealousy boils in my chest. It hurts. I feel... defiled. A dirty little secret that he keeps, while his love for her is more pure and less grounded in sex. She's the one he's thinking of, not me... right?

So why do I go there? I wonder that sometimes. When I'm with him, I'm so happy. I feel that connection I craved so badly with someone, on an emotional and physical level. I know I can't trust him, and my mind never lets me forget that, but when we're together I feel completely at ease in my soul. There is the ... guilt, don't get me wrong, but it's admittedly overpowered by my desire to be with him. My selfishness has overcome me. If I were a stronger person, I'd keep away from him on a moral principle, but I can't bring myself to do it. He says jump, and I jump. If he wants to see me, I go.

But I don't want to be his recreational activity. Bubbling up from under the surface, I can feel stronger feelings develop more and more as we spend time together. I know that I'm falling in love with him, against my better judgment. And as these feelings grow, so does my discontent. Lucy may not well deserve it, I know she doesn't, but her existence is a thorn in my side. I can't stand knowing that she's his girlfriend, and I'm just... whatever I am. I don't really want this life. If I'm giving him my body and my love, I want his love in return. I want to be the one he cherishes. The person to be at his side. I can't do that if this is all the commitment I'm being given.

Yet... I couldn't really trust him. If I was his girlfriend... would he just find another side girl to fill his time in the same way? He told me I was the only one he's cheated with and it's only because Lucy can't provide him the amount of sex he needs, but... I don't know if I can believe him. And regardless, that's not exactly... a justifiable reason to cheat on your partner. The whole situation is utterly wretched.

I've mulled over these thoughts a lot. It's impossible to not remain so attached as we continue to engage eachother in such a way, but... I don't have the strength to say goodbye. I'm in a stasis. I can only think about how much I hate this, but love being with him too much. It's a temporary, instant gratification wrapped up in sin and deceit. I betray myself to have this chance. But in the end... I might only be hurting myself the most.

Ah... I'd kill for some good luck for once, really. Just... something nice, and simple...

It's my birthday in a few days. I'll be 29. My age is.... not something I'm happy about. But no one stops the march of time, huh? I've reminded Ben several times on when my birthday is, so.... we'll see if he remembers. I really hope he remembers. Maybe the result of this will hinge on whether or not I finally do something about this whole situation. If he forgets or doesn't bother with it, maybe it's... time to try to get myself out of this mess. We'll see.

Phew, that was long as hell. Until next time.