Ryan B - Perpetual Liar
By 1993 I was a single mother home alone in the house at night with my toddler. I couldn't "go out" to have fun - I didn't like the idea of a babysitter. Instead, as the summer of '93 rolled on, I got involved in DuneMUSH, an online role playing game which was incredibly fun. I love the Dune universe in general, and getting to role-play about complex "schemes within schemes" with a group of very intelligent fellow role players was quite amazing. Just about every person I met in this game was smart, fun, and had a similar philosophy on life, as we were all playing in this Dune world vs the many others available.
I was playing Marlena Ginaz, a Bene Gesserit countess in the sword school. I love swordsmanship and the mind-philosophy of the BG so I loved this role. One of my household members was Pete - and his real life friend was playing a fremen named Cairne. This was Ryan B, who lived near Ottawa. Even though our role-playing worlds rarely intersected, Ryan soon began talking with me, and I made it clear that honesty was my #1 priority especially since we were relying on each others' words so highly. He said in Sept '93 -
"I haven't, nor plan to lie to you.
This is simply too amazing to risk by being stupid."
Soon he came down to visit me. I drove up to see him, and even brought James up one time. Most of our relationship was online though; we were 5+ hours apart and visits were rare.
I should have sensed right away that Ryan was not all that he seemed to be. For example, one of his ex-girlfriends was also in our game. Ryan said that he really didn't know why he and L had broken up after a year. When I talked with L, she listed off a litany of things he'd done. For example, L and Ryan had gone to a concert together, and Ryan ended up spending the whole time making out with another woman there. Somehow these things seemed to have slipped Ryan's memory.
Still, as every woman in love knows, you tend to think "Oh but *I* am different! He'll be different with me!" Then Ryan got a job offer from a company in St Louis. Apparently he did think about me briefly before accepting the job. I even drove out there to see him after he moved, but it was obvious pretty quickly that he'd already gotten involved with another woman and he finally officially broke it off with me. Even after that, though, he came to see me. Once again I justified it - "He really loves ME and just can't be with me because of this long distance." He would call me to talk to me while she was in the other room, and it just felt ickier and ickier. Through it all, he actively lied about this all to his friends, including L.
Even in Dec 93 I was getting pages saying that he still felt strongly for me:
"Cairne pages: Because of how close we are to the ideal relationship
Cairne pages: and cause of how strongly we (at least I) feel for you"
Finally I decided being the Other Woman sucked and started dating other men, including J, who also was in our Dune world. I drove up to see J and we had a great weekend together. But even there, Ryan called me; apparently his other woman had left him, saying she wanted a more serious relationship. Ryan wanted me back. Like a fool I was thrilled to be wanted again and agreed.
Interestingly, Ryan sent me email in Jan 94 saying in part -
"I'm really a monogamous type. I guess you may not think so after the way I acted with D, but I guess there is no way I can show you is there..."
Apparently his mental desire to be monogamous and his real life ability to keep his hands to himself were two different things. He could have shown me by doing it, but apparently he was incapable of this.
Still, in February 1994 things were serious again between the two of us. In the meantime, my ex had moved in with L in a small apartment. Both Tim and L really wanted to spend a lot of time with James. My finances were a mess. After a lot of thought and discussion, I agreed to move out to St. Louis to be with Ryan, and turn the house and James over to Tim and L, so that James would have that stable family life again. The thought was that Ryan and I would probably be in St Louis for a year or so and then return to the east coast. Note that a good friend of mine through all of this was Bob See, a guy I worked with. Bob warned me not to go and said he'd keep a room in his house open for when I came back, sad from being betrayed. He said that a person has a basic moral code that doesn't change - and Ryan had already proven many times that his was flawed. I of course felt Ryan would be fine once he was with me.
I had MANY discussions with Ryan during this period making sure he really wanted me to come out, that this would be worth it. We agreed that we would bring up any issues if we had them. We agreed if things didn't work that would be OK, I would go back to be with James. I have email message after email message where we discussed this. I thought we were prepared, and out I went.
I thought we were both mature, rational adults here. We were both in our late 20s, both had good jobs, we had a small but nice apartment. But what had come across as 'playful' in Ryan's personality in short doses became 'incredibly immature' in real life. He was like an oversized puppy that kept making giant messes and thought that looking cute would get him out of them. That works fine for a 3 year old, but not for a mature adult male in a long term relationship. When we were planning a camping trip with friends, Ryan was afraid to go - and to show this he literally hid beneath a counter in the kitchen rather than tell me. At work, there was a mercury spill that was clearly marked off with tape and warning signs - and Ryan blundered right into it and made it worse. "Oooops!" was his standard cry.
If any discussion came up, he would start making jokes and wisecracks to change the subject. Finally he did apologize once and said he didn't know why he did it. "You just can't handle the stress of a real discussion and want to avoid doing it," I told him tiredly. He was amazed, the thought had never occurred to him. However, he wasn't dumb. In fact, I convinced him to go take a Mensa test, and he passed it. I helped him get validation that he was smart, even while some looked down on him because of his goofy behavior. I'd always known that he was quite intelligent, and that the silliness was his way of getting by in the world without having to handle responsibility.
Ryan took a month off in the summer to go to Europe, and mysteriously couldn't contact me while in France - where he was hooking up with an old college friend, F. I trusted him, and when he got back we kept working on the relationship. Well, I kept working on it. Ryan kept staying later and later at work (making phone calls, I later discovered), and sidestepping any discussions on the distance that was forming because of his drifting attentions. Over the Christmas holidays he even arranged to stay for extra days in Canada to spend time with his friends without me. He said it would be easier because they were into things (skating etc) that I really wasn't, and I didn't press the issue. I wanted to be accomodating. When I called up to see how he was doing, Pete told me sheepishly that there wasn't enough room in the apt for everyone so Ryan and F were staying at a hotel. Yup, I accepted it, I trusted Ryan.
Because Ryan said that F always felt badly that her name was so unusual and it was hard to get personalized things, I even bought her an Irish tape called F and a few other named things. I was actively buying things for her, because she was his friend! F was living with a guy at the time, too. I thought it sweet that Ryan and F stayed in touch. Little did I know that both were busy cheating on their respective partners.
A variety of issues about Ryan bothered me. For example, we went to buy a soundcard and the poor girl at the desk wasn't very good with electronics. She accidentially gave us the much more expensive version of the soundcard vs the cheap one we'd paid for, out of the locked cabinet. My first thought was "Wow, we'd better return this, that poor girl might get in trouble." Ryan's first thought was "This is great! We scammed them!"
It wasn't until January 1995 that I happened across an email from Ryan to F and realized that he had been cheating on me this entire time - and not only that, but his Master Plan was for him to just keep living with me until the fall, ditch me then and run off to Vancouver with F!! I was simply astounded. Not only that, but in talking to Pete and L it became clear that Ryan had been lying to them about the entire situation, too. So here I had been pouring my heart and soul into the relationship, and not been home with my child, and Ryan had used me the entire time. Not only had he simply cheated on me and used me as a 'home base' - but he had actively lied to his friends to bolster his case.
And all of this for ... what? My son had been crying himself to sleep missing me, I now felt completely betrayed. Meanwhile, Ryan says to me with cheerful triumph in his voice, "F is great - we have nothing at all in common!" I could only shake my head at that statement.
Still I tried to be reasonable. I tried to stay friends with Ryan, although he did finally move out and get his own apartment. We made arrangements to go out - but sometimes he'd just not show up and then lie about why. I even let his bills ride until April, even though I was at barely-break-even finances and running into trouble paying them. Because I could not afford to keep the apartment on my own I advertised for a roommate and a guy from a local college moved in. To my utter horrified amazement, Ryan promptly went around his office telling everyone "Lisa has already moved in with another guy"!! Of course some of his office-mates were my friends and reported this back to me quite quickly. Ryan was still actively deceiving people and using me to gain sympathy.
I have a heart murmur and there are times that my heart muscle goes into 'overload' - thumps really fast. It's not exactly a heart attack but it feels very scary to me. After Ryan had moved out, he was in my apartment and was being cranky about something, and probably the stress did it - my heart began that tripping. I turned away from Ryan and held my hand to my chest and focussed on my breathing, which tends to get it to calm down. To me it was a very private moment, to make sure I was OK. But Ryan promptly sneered "Oh what, now you're having a Heart Attack?" I didn't even respond, I just wanted him to leave. This was not a man I wanted near me if I actually needed to call for help.
Out of all the guys I have known and dated over the years, Ryan really stands out because of his deceptively goofy self-interest. He comes across as this happy-go-lucky, friendly guy who would never hurt a fly. He presents himself as the goofy, silly friend that can be counted on for a fun time. In my experience, Ryan actively deceives and lies to people to make sure that happy world is maintained. If a situation gets rough, he lies his way out. He'll lie to one person in order to make them feel sorry for him, and then to another person to cover his tracks. That ends up getting his friends arguing with his friends because both believe Ryan and disbelieve each other.
I originally wrote this back in the mid-90s. In 2006 I got an odd message regarding this page. I have over 100,000 pages in my websites so it took me a while to figure out what they were talking about. They felt that Ryan and Fiona were "scamming" people now. I don't have any information at all about what he or she are doing in modern times; my contact with him ended back in 1995. My experience with him is only of what he did in 1994-1995.
I'm updating this again in 2016. Twenty years have passed, and I think I have more of a sense of forgiveness now. He didn't do things to deliberately hurt me - it's more that he had little self control whenever something fun was in front of him. Coupled with that, he wanted to avoid conflict at all costs so he did whatever was easiest to achieve that goal. He probably didn't cheat thinking "hah Lisa will be traumatized by this." He probably said, "Wow, I can have sex! Whee!" and no other thoughts entered his mind. And then when I asked him a question which might lead to an argument he said whatever would dodge it. Easy, done.
It would have been one thing if I'd also been childless and sleep-around-minded. Who knows, that might have been a perfect partnership. But his plan was to deliberately cause me to be away from my son for six months simply to avoid a hard discussion. That becomes a situation that I can't work with. Also, I need someone I can depend on in emergencies. If he's going to lie about where he is, and something serious happened, I wouldn't be able to find him. Life is too short to take those kinds of chances. I need someone that intends to be where he says he'll be and who gives thought to how his actions will impact me, in situations where it's something important. So this pairing just never would have worked.
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