I wrote the following about three months ago, trying to make sense of an insensible situation. I typed it up, saved it on my computer, and knew that someday I’d be able to post it- that some day I wouldn’t care if the guy I wrote about read it because I’d either be over him or ready to be over him. The funny thing about relationships and non-relationships is that no matter how badly you say you want to move on, most of the time you really don’t want to or you really aren’t ready to let go of the possibility. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to let go. I still believe he’s a good guy and I still believe that in another time and another place we would have been really good for each other. But he’s not interested in me and he’s made that very clear. So I’m purging myself of him. I’m exorcising these demons and saying “I’m done,” once and for all.
We met at a bar. That should have been the first sign that things weren’t going to work out. Your close friend and my close friend said we’d be perfect for each other. The problem with that was your close friend barely knew me and mine barely knew you- how could they know if we were suited for each other or not? That was the second sign.
I wasn’t interested, then, in that moment. I was embarrassed and shy and in no mood to humor our mutual friends. I honestly wasn’t attracted to you at all. The third sign.
Two paths that never should have crossed. That’s what you and I are. Because really, what was the point?
You made the first contact. Said we should be friends, then asked me to dinner. I said yes, still not interested, but thinking, why the hell not? I’ve got nothing better to do.
I put a little thought into my outfit, but not a lot, because I didn’t think the date would go anywhere. Fourth sign. And then a whole new problem: it was the best first date I’d ever been on. Granted, I hadn’t gone on very many dates at all let alone first dates, but we just seemed to click. We talked for a couple of hours, shared dessert, closed out the restaurant, and decided to go have a drink. I decided I really liked you.
You weren’t cocky or buffoonish like most men I’d encountered, and God, you made me laugh. Not only did you make me laugh, but you genuinely appeared to think I was funny, too. Funny- not crazy. An important distinction.
I had to work the next day, or you did, I can’t exactly remember, but otherwise I would have had a second drink. I paid for our drinks, maybe that was a mistake. Maybe it took away some of your masculine power or some crap like that. But I did it and I left convinced you’d had as great a time as I did.
But you didn’t, did you? Because you never called, or texted, or emailed. And foolish me, instead of taking that as the fifth sign, I contacted you. I should have let things be.
I won’t go on to detail our second date, except for maybe how it ended. I was waiting, wanting you to kiss me- and you knew it, but you chickened out. Sixth sign. You texted me right after I left and said it had nothing to do with me and that you hadn’t missed my signals, you just were really bad at this. It was so adorable. I was completely smitten. I curse that text. Why did you have to be so cute? Why couldn’t you have let things be?
Do you realize that you hugged me first? Put your arm around me first? Without my prompting. Why? I’ll always remember that third date- the butterflies in my stomach as we walked my friends to their car and I wondered if you were going to make the move you’d been too scared to the last time. We were both nervous, neither of us knew what to do, but I decided I wasn’t going anywhere until you kissed me. So I stood up and closed my eyes and told you to do your thing. And it was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
My friend was happy for me, you have a boyfriend! she said, but even though I was happy, I kept my head. I knew better than to get too excited again. That’s what pushed you away the first time, right? I wonder if things would have ended differently if you hadn’t left a couple days later to visit your family for Thanksgiving. We had a great few days of texting and a phone call, but would it have made a difference if you had seen me again sooner? Maybe it would have just sped up the inevitable.
Flash forward- fourth date. There’s no way I would have predicted it would be our last. You acted affectionate, you held my hand and kissed me in public. How could I have known a week later you were going to play the it’s not you, it’s me routine? Did I miss a sign? I must have. I guess I wasn’t looking for them. I guess I thought we were on the same page.
But we weren’t.
And now, months later, I still cannot figure it out. I know you shouldn’t even be a blip on my radar, but I can’t help thinking about you and wondering if you’ll change your mind today and call me. It’s crazy, I know. Uber crazy.
I want to understand what purpose was served in meeting you and liking you. I haven’t learned anything other than that I am in fact undateable man repellant, but I pretty much knew that before and the proof only makes me feel worse about myself.
What was the point? Our paths will never cross again, so why did they ever intertwine in the first place? I’m sure it really makes no difference to you, but I’d be better off if we’d never met. Not because you hurt me or broke my heart or anything, because I’d be lying if I said you had, but because I wouldn’t have these memories to try and deal with, to try and understand. They don’t make sense with how abruptly they ended and I’d rather not have to deal with them. I’d rather have remained alone without the hope of something more than be alone with the loss of that hope.