I had a major light bulb moment pulling into the parking garage at work this morning. It’s been horribly cold, which tends to make people always a little more pressed for physical contact and affection and some love.
Since December, I was fixed up with a guy who was attractive, smart, and was passionate about music and the arts. I thought everything was all good. He was interested, he spoke highly of me but something wasn’t quite right.
Even from our early dates, he would abruptly stop the conversation to say that I cut him off, even if I was ten minutes late to PICK HIM UP from the metro, it was unacceptable.
Meanwhile when it came to my birthday, he did send flowers and cards. I love cards, but I love them most when people write in them. I should have known that when he didn’t write much in them, welp… (blame my dad, he always writes the most wonderful things in cards.)
Anyway the final straw was when i pointed out to him that sometimes he can come off condescending and it causes me to shut down.
Instead of saying he was sorry or he didn’t realize that he went off on me he blamed me, saying that I was too thin-skinned for him and that he shouldn’t wonder why he needs days off from seeing me.
Now, I was sensing something was up when he didn’t want to hang out on the weekends, and that outburst totally sealed the deal.
I told him I just might be sensitive and that’s ok, but I certainly don’t want anyone who tolerates me or needs to take days off from me. He said something else about him patting me on my head and telling me to settle down to which I responded “Pats on the head are for dogs and children, not your partner.”
After he refused to speak to me for a few days, it was hilarious that on valentine’s day, in an effort to be gracious I guess, sends me a text saying he’d understand if I took someone else to a concert we were both looking forward to. You don’t say, sir? I had already made arrangements to take someone else. And I had a great, worry free time without him.
For a few days I had this nasty after taste left in my mouth. I couldn’t figure out how someone who went through the trouble of all of these grand public gestures could be tired of me or harbor whatever feelings. Maybe like me he knew it wasn’t going anywhere and was trying to force it because a mutual friend set us up.
Either way, I just couldn’t shake how I let myself ignore the feelings I had because he once again seemed like the type of guy I always wanted, except for the part where he accepts me completely and adores me. This guy would go from one extreme to the next, pondering what our children would be like to not complimenting my hair when I asked if he preferred one style to another, but responding that at least one style was “neater.”
So who needs that?
So this morning I reminded myself that dating is a tryout. Dating is not a relationship. Me and this person were not in a relationship, therefore it wasn’t a failure or a reflection of my character, beauty, ability to keep a man. The sad part was I was changing myself, being more quiet because I preferred that to him tearing me down or challenging me for challenging him when I spoke my mind or shared an opinion. It seemed as if he had something to prove a former musician, who I still believe prefers to be that, but reality is reality and he has to pay bills. He was older.
There is an unhappiness in him. I hope he finds some peace. I think he’s envious of his best friend who has a beautiful wife and baby and he’s trying to play catch up. It didn’t help that after I’d had enough and called him out on being a jerk, that earlier in the week his job basically told him the same thing. So honestly, I feel vindicated. He’s oblivious. No matter how old you are, you should want to grow. And normally you are wise enough to accept feedback from people. Guess he didn’t want that from me.
Unfortunately for him, he wants a brilliant, beautiful mute who will carry his child.
I can’t be that.
I am loud sometimes. I am very quiet sometimes. Sometimes I like being the center of attention (he likes it all the time), sometimes I like playing the support role for others. I believe everyone has something to offer.
So I did something unexpected.
A person who managed to keep in touch with me had asked me to lunch or dinner a few weeks back.
I spoke to this person and asked if their offer was still on the table.
We got together on Monday. I laughed, I occasionally used foul language. He PICKED ME UP and he said some things that kind of hit me over the head.
I was talking about the new job I had since we last talked and being in school. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year, maybe even two years. I said doing this new job has given me the confidence to ask for more.
He said that he was shocked that I had a confidence problem because he knew I was a hard worker and creative and can read people. He said you always deserved more. You can think bigger, you should have been thinking bigger a long time ago.
So just days ago, I was dealing with someone who said I was too much, while someone else is saying I should go harder.
Days ago I was dealing with a person who said I could only be taken in small doses (even when I’m letting him do all of the talking), while someone else wants to plan trips and didn’t want the night to end.
Ok. It’s taking me a minute to see the light, but I see it.
Dating fails are an illusion. All dates don’t lead to relationships. That in itself is not a failure. It’s a tryout. And not everyone makes the cut, nor should you just give someone points for participation or attendance.