About a week after my attempt at “closure” with Mr. February backfired, this happened:
MissJuly: So, guess who updated their Facebook status to “in a relationship?”
MissNovember: Knew it. Bastard.
MissJuly: Right? If I were bitchier I’d send her a copy of his message last week “promising” to call me. LOL.
My suspicions were FINALLY confirmed-Mr. February HAD been seeing someone else, hence the disappearing act and lame excuses. Someone who was willing to go “Facebook official” in what I assume to be about a month’s time (assuming he wasn’t seeing us both at once). Is that normal? I wasn’t in a big hurry to claim someone as my boyfriend, especially to the internet, in only a few short weeks (call me crazy-but then again, dating in the “Facebook” age is sort of new to me). Apparently, that was either a bigger deal to him than he let on; or, my lack of firm commitment to the relationship just left the door open for him to meet someone else (which is totally fair). Why he couldn’t just tell me this information himself, on the numerous occasions I tried to get it out of him, I’ll never understand.
The bad news, readers…there is no Mr. March. After spending the first couple weeks in March trying to resolve the Mr. February situation, I then spent a little time processing my first experience “getting back out there.” How could something that had started off so well end so abruptly, and in a whirlwind of confusion and frustration? The one thing I had been sure of with Mr. February was that he was a nice guy. I could trust him, and he would treat me with respect- at the very least, I’d believed it was a safe way to get myself “back out there.” I was utterly shocked that he would pull the disappearing act on me, ignore my messages for weeks, make me feel bad for daring to call him on it, and give excuses repeatedly rather than tell me the truth. He always told me that the great thing about “us” was that we would always be such good friends (ha). That’s not how I treat my “friends.” And considering what I knew had happened to him in a past relationship, the fact that he was downright dishonest to me was especially shocking. So, you can see how I doubted my instincts for a bit after this happened. I know one person’s actions shouldn’t convince me that every single guy in the world will be the same. With a little bit of perspective, I see that not every guy I go out with will just stop returning my calls like Mr. February (Spoiler alert: It gets better-just not until April). And I don’t think my instincts are all bad-after all, Mr. F is not a bad guy, and he wasn’t actively plotting ways to hurt me. Ultimately, our communication and relationship styles obviously weren’t in sync and it is probably good we found this out sooner rather than later.
Dating is just as much about learning about yourself as it is learning about someone new. Since I hadn’t dated in a few years- you know, by accident- I decided to take advantage of Mr. February’s disappearing act, and try to learn something from “what went wrong.” Rather than just blame him for being too immature to have a simple conversation with me (even though he totally was), I decided to try and objectively look back at reasons why the dating process didn’t work out this time (and wildly speculate on what he may have been thinking or feeling…that’s what you get when you can’t tell a girl the truth, Mr. F- I’ll just make something up that makes me feel better).
On our first date (the first time we’d seen each other in about 7 years), Mr. February kept saying to me, “How are you still single?”- like, wow, I can’t believe my good luck that YOU are still single. In fact, on one of our later dates, he suggested, semi-jokingly, that maybe I was still single after all this time because this was meant to be (HA). He also said we should get married when I declared how much I love grocery shopping. So, you know, who knows how his mind works? But he also said things such as, “You don’t really want a boyfriend,” or “You don’t have room for anyone in your life.” Why would you say that to a girl who is voluntarily out on a date with you? Are you trying to talk me out of it? You can ask my mother-if I don’t want to do something, you can’t make me. So if I am on a date with you, it is because I have chosen to be there. I don’t just date because I have nothing better to do. I have plenty of other things I could be doing- which just demonstrates that I must really want to go out with you. That’s a good thing, right?
Was it his own insecurity then, that I didn’t want HIM as a boyfriend, or didn’t have room for HIM in my life? Was he just “digging” for reassurance? Or am I really giving off those vibes? It might be a little of both. I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes get the “You’re intimidating,” line- not just from guys, but from other people too. So maybe I need to figure that out, because I’ve never understood it. I won’t take all the responsibility though- here’s why. If you really like me, if you really think I am a catch, why don’t you step up and BE the man that I will want as a boyfriend? If you don’t think I have room in my life for someone, then offer me something so irresistible that I want to change my life around for you and give my time to you rather than someone or something else. Win me over! Because my life is OK as it is, and I won’t apologize for being content on my own- but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to want more. I’m not single at 31 because I’m just waiting to settle for Mr. Right Now. If a guy just doesn’t believe he’s good enough for me…who does that really say more about, me or him? I’m not sure about the answer, but I do think it is a really good question. Is it fair? Am I being too harsh? Do I expect too much? I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you, duh. Give me some tough love, people! Remember, I’m trying to get some free therapy out of this.
In retrospect, I definitely could have been a little more encouraging, and more expressive about how much I enjoyed Mr. February’s company. Maybe he legitimately didn’t know where he stood, and I should have been a little more forthcoming with my feelings. Being my first dip back in the dating pool, I know I was holding back a bit; but I’m also not someone that wears my heart on my sleeve in general (someone really should teach me how to play poker). If he needed more reassurance or a definite commitment, in order to feel secure in where our relationship was headed, he could have brought that up- and allowed me an opportunity to give him what he needed (or not). Maybe we would have realized that we just weren’t on the same wavelength. Maybe, he just met a great girl that was a better match for him than me, and nothing I could have said or done would’ve changed anything. Obviously, I will never know. The good news is, I’m now perfectly OK with that.