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David, 25 years old

The following testimony will talk about a toxic relationship, the one David lived with his ex-boyfriend Florian.

Their story begins during the first confinement, in 2020, he was at that time in Santo Domingo, with his father and met Florian via Instagram. He participated a lot in lives and took advantage of this moment of connection with France.

“It was the only contact I had with France, when I connected there, I was in the French slot for the evening lives (8 p.m. in France when it was 2 p.m. in Santo Domingo) it was easier for me to interact with people. I met Florian on instagram, I liked him physically and I saw that on his side he was not closed. We started liking each other’s Instagram posts, responding to each other’s stories. He told me he was surprised that someone so beautiful came to talk to him, that it was flattering.”

Many conversations follow where they get to know each other, Florian specifies to David that he considers himself heterocurious, he wonders about his sexuality but seems to have a particular attachment for David. He gets caught up in the game and answers her questions, they end up getting attached to each other.

“When I finally knew that I was going back to France, our relationship intensified. We were counting the days, we were waiting to be able to talk to each other daily, and in the end I needed to see him in person, so I agreed to let him pick me up at the airport. Even today I can’t explain it to myself, usually after so much time away from my family my first instinct would have been to see them, but it was him I wanted to see.

David nevertheless underlines that in normal times he would have refused because you never know who you can meet, but he says he is attracted by the unknown at that time so he accepts. For them, reality did not change much since they had been talking every day for more than a month. They will end up kissing but Florian will maintain that he is straight but that he wants to try a relationship with a man. David still tells himself today that normally he would never have gotten into a relationship with someone who is looking for himself. He wanted something serious, but not Florian.

“You know that when you start something with a heterocurious, it’s a red flag for someone gay, especially if you’re looking for a serious relationship. Because he will test, will make his experience but there will necessarily be a dead end. I am a boy who is calm, who is serious, who seeks seriousness and I meet the opposite. I’m going to be the person he’s going to test with, but that’s not what I’m looking for.”

David explains to me that he has a deep lack of affection, linked to a lack of paternal reference, during confinement he finds himself alone. He lived all his life with his mother, was always surrounded by women and therefore suffered from a deep lack of paternal love. He has always tended to idealize men and the attention they give him.

“During confinement, I really needed a male presence.”

The fact of having seen Florian as soon as he returned to France played a lot against him, since he got into a relationship very quickly.

“Everything I was missing, I had it all at once on a silver platter. So I took it, without knowing the ins and outs, without digging any further, I didn’t try to get to know him better. Normally I would never have done that, but the confinement and this deep lack of affection really pushed me to skip the stages.

He idealized her too quickly because he gave her attention, he got into a relationship with the idea of securing this affection as quickly as possible by getting into a relationship.

“So I find myself at that time with a relationship that I’m going to drag like a ball, because I trapped myself.”

At the start of their relationship, David was not yet aware of all this. He immediately felt confident because he was the first man in his life, he put Florian’s happiness before his own.

“I think about his happiness, about him, about what he wants, and even if I don’t like it, I do it because the only thing I want at that moment is his happiness.”

Florian has not yet come out at this time, he passes David off as a distant cousin when he meets his family or friends.

“As soon as we were seen together, I had to lie, I couldn’t say who I was, that I was her boyfriend. So I played the distant cousin, I said that I was from Marseille when I’ve never been there, the only problem was when Florian told me that the distant cousins part was Jewish, and since all this time I wore a Christian cross around my neck. I take on the role of someone who came for the first time to where Florian lives, and I said that I was with him so that he would show me his city.

David reminds that he is lying

It was the first red flag.

A little later, another man comes to talk to David in private, which surprises him. At that time, he no longer has a profile picture, no more subscribers. With the help of Florian’s best friend, he discovers that it is him and that he also has several fake Snapchat and Instagram accounts and that he talks with many other men. When David confronts Florian, the latter will explain to him that he created a fake Instagram account and that he was talking to him to “test” it.

“He told me that this account was intended to test me, to check if I was faithful. That he harassed me with messages and questions to see how I spoke to other men than him. said that he had also contacted my entourage and my friends with this fake account, always in order to test and see if I was surrounded by playful or sincere people. I found it really unhealthy on his part. realize that I’m in a relationship with someone who is deviant, someone who does things that are not right for me.”

David also learns that Florian slept with his best friend when they were a couple.

“He wanted to tell me something, he was afraid that I would take it the wrong way but something was going on and I needed to know. I called him and he confirmed that something was going on but that he didn’t want to tell me about it. I stayed on the phone with him for a long time, I spoke to him nicely, he finally confessed to me that he had been sleeping with his best friend, for a while, and when he was leaving for parties. I decided to end our relationship for the first time after that.”

David, who lost his grandmother that month, was not well at all and Florian will write letters, send flowers and buttons. He will come downstairs and despite that, David will agree to come to Florian’s birthday party. Birthday during which he will confess in front of everyone that he loves David.

“He took the microphone, and in front of all his family and all his friends he said he loved me, that I was the good one, that he was sorry for what he had done. “

They get back together, and a few months later David discovers that a man is sexting Florian. He takes a picture of the screen and decides to add the man Florian is talking to on his side.

“I added this guy and asked him why he was talking to my boyfriend, this guy explained to me that Florian was on Grindr (LGBT dating site) and that they had exchanged their snaps and were sending nudes .”

When David confronts him for the umpteenth time, Florian explains to him that it’s not about what he thinks. That he feels bad about himself, that he needed an outside opinion to make sure he had the physique necessary to be with someone as handsome as David.

“He flattered me a lot, he told me that if he had done that it was mainly because he did not think he deserved someone as beautiful as me, that I was perfect and that he was ugly. I questioned my principles because in front of me I had a person in distress who doubted himself and I did not want to let him down when he was exposed and fragile in front of me. He confirmed to me that they had never slept together. I asked myself: does fidelity stop at the exchange of nudes or at sexual relations? I questioned a lot of my values for him.”

David later learns that when they were on a break and Florian was doing everything to get him back, he had also installed Grindr, Tinder and Fruitz. He kept finding excuses for him to continue the relationship, he didn’t want to let him down. For Christmas, David gives Florian a new phone and discovers that Florian is using his old phone to cheat on him.

“I wanted to take a look at his old phone, and I realize that he uses it to do everything he can’t do with his new phone. Fake email address, fake Snap account, he takes pictures of men on Pinterest and creates fake profiles to talk to other men. For me, it was his interactive pornography. All the conversations ended the same way: “Come on, we nude” and he collected and saved these photos and videos.

What dissuaded David from leaving him at that time was that they were going on vacation to Paris. David remains distant, and decides to confront him again.

“He told me that I repeated the same things to him, that it was always the same accusations because he cheated on me once and that since then I trust him more, that I had to move on thing.”

He will end up confessing to David that what he found is true, and will explain to him that right after he discovered the messages he had stopped everything, that he had a sexual control problem and that he was seeing a psychologist. . He was too ashamed to talk about it. David agrees to skip it and continue their story.

“He took me to the lovers’ bridge in Paris, put a padlock and promised me that he was going to change and make an effort. I was in such a state of psychological fragility at that time and I found him sincere, I tried to hang on to anything. I can’t say at the time that it was a toxic relationship because I was aware of what was going on, who he was and I accepted it, I continued. “

Looking back, David realizes that Florian was a narcissistic pervert. He always had a justification that had no direct relationship with David and denigrated himself enormously, David felt guilty enormously and stayed with him. But he has decided to shut himself up, to no longer talk about the problems he has with Florian to his friends or his family.

“I started to develop anxiety, stress, I couldn’t sleep, I was on the lookout for the next separation or argument. I had blood strokes or I told myself that I had to drop it because my health was suffering a lot. “

David joins the red cross in March as a volunteer and meets new people with whom he becomes friends very quickly. The point of view outside his circle and the fact that these people did not know Florian helped him to confide and explain everything that had happened to him.

“I needed to confide in someone who didn’t know me, who didn’t know my boyfriend. “

Florian got carried away one evening when David was at the birthday party of a colleague from the red cross. He accused her of cheating on him. David tries to explain to her that it’s just a co-worker’s birthday party, but he’s too angry to listen. His colleague will interfere in the conversation by taking David’s phone and insulting Florian, accusing him of being someone harmful.

“When I heard what Florian was saying to my colleague, it clicked, I realized how toxic he was. He wanted to get his victim on the phone but people wouldn’t return the phone to me and I kept hearing the horrors he was saying to others, I saw a side of him that I had never seen that night. “

This will be followed by attempts on David’s side to leave, to leave Florian, but he can’t. Florian understands this very quickly and begins a game of mistrust towards him.

“He knew I couldn’t let him down, that I couldn’t leave him. So, sometimes he looked at me and said “go ahead! Pass the step! Get out and leave me go!” he knew that I was under his control and that I would not leave. For him, it was a game to deceive me without my knowing it.

David realizes that Florian has two sides. The stable side with her boyfriend, the security of a relationship and being seen as a good person on David’s arm, someone with plans for the future, and the unstable side, who uses phones other than his to communicate with other men, exchange nudes and sexts. Being with David gives him the opportunity to have relationships with other men while having the security of a relationship and someone who is able to excuse him for all his actions.

Florian leaves for 15 days in Mexico, they contact each other briefly by message. This period of solitude for David was beneficial since he was able to take stock of his relationship.

“Being out of his grip helped me realize how toxic he and our relationship was to me. I was thinking more of his own happiness than mine.”

David had to pick up Florian at the airport and decides to take the step of leaving him.

“I decided to tell her that she was not the right person, that I gave too much, that I lost myself in this relationship, I gave too many second chances and thought of her happiness and not of her. mine. So I told him everything and told him I was leaving. I had this surge of courage in part thanks to the 2 weeks physical separation that we had.

David goes to Montpellier to undergo training with the aim of becoming a volunteer firefighter, he goes there with his colleague from the red cross. Again, it’s beneficial because he only focuses on himself and his training. Out of curiosity, he asks if his colleague is on Grindr, he replies yes and discovers that Florian is there too, this time with his real profile and real photos of him. With “come nude” written in the description, while he told David that he wanted a second chance and a change for him.

“He wrote to me that he was going to change, that he was going to prove to me that he loved me. After seeing him on Grindr I realized the importance of having trusted and loyal friends, of being away from him, and of having an open eye. If I hadn’t had all that I would surely have fallen back into the trap when I came to get my things and he tried to make me feel guilty by asking me again and again if I was sure of my choice. He told me that I shouldn’t waste our relationship like that, he told me that she is so beautiful that we don’t give each other a second chance. And there, I released all the screens and the proofs of his deceptions. I asked him if he also said that to the guys he nudes on dating apps.

Florian explained to David that if he was doing all this it was to try to forget him, it was his therapy, that his friends and relatives had encouraged him to do this.

“Again it was not his fault, it was the fault of those around him or his family.”

David collects his things and leaves. In his car, he finally breathes.

3 weeks later, David considers that he has passed the hardest step of his breakup. He is working on himself to not fall back into a similar relationship again. That the fact that he stayed despite the toxicity of this relationship was that he had unresolved traumas and closed his eyes to a lot of things in order to keep this masculine affection that he missed so much.

“I learned from my mistakes, I learned to listen to myself and those around me. To no longer flout my values and my principles, that these principles must be kept and that from the moment someone has made a mistake: he will do it again. If you forgive, you unconsciously give him the right to start over since you accepted the first time. If someone cheats on you, I can swear they will never love you the same way again. “

Today, David no longer has any contact or connection with his ex-boyfriend. He understood that he could no longer exercise control over him.

“What do I conclude from this story? I conclude that today I realize how toxic and unhealthy the relationship was. But when I was living it, it was as if I wasn’t there, as if I wasn’t me. Even if it may seem weird, I don’t regret having experienced it: it made me stronger and allowed me to see how much I suffered from this lack of male affection, something I hadn’t realized. matters before all that. I realized that this problem has been living in me for a long time, that I have to work on it. “

David goes back to the fact that he stayed with Florian despite the deceptions because he imagined that by doing this he could help him find the reason for his infidelity, help him become a better person.

“You can’t think of other people’s happiness before your own. I forgot myself for the benefit of his ill-being and his vices, while trying to make him happy. We all have the right to happiness, we all deserve true love, without deception. We simply deserve respect.“

David has suffered from all this but keeps a big life lesson from it, he has taken his life back in hand, he has regained his self-confidence and thinks of himself above all else. It was very hard, especially when he decided to talk about it to those around him, who knew nothing about his relationship.

“The lesson we must learn from this is to realize the things, the signs that we send. Those around me have seen me become morose, sad and worried when I used to be smiling. I was in denial from start to finish, if it had been someone else in my place I would have told him to leave at the first cheat, but I didn’t succeed because I was in denial.”

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