“Feeling rejected by another’s avoidance is inevitable but it is important to remember that a grown man (or woman) should know better than to partake in the silent treatment. Treating another person with a complete lack of respect signifies a major character flaw and that may have to be the greatest form of closure that you need.”
That’s brilliant, right? Um, where was this advice when I needed it? Doesn’t help me now, and I hope I never need it again in the future, but I feel like it needs to be shared. Because even the smartest, most “together” of daters can forget this. I mean, intrinsically, I already knew these things when Mr. February pulled a Mr. Vanishing act on me a year ago. But at the time, I’d just expected so much more from him since we were already friends; I definitely could have used this reminder to keep it together and move on like I had in the past. After all, he wasn’t my first Mr. Vanishing.
Several years ago I tried the “It’s Just Lunch” dating service. It was not cheap, but I hadn’t had much success with online dating; transitioning from online to real world was something I couldn’t quite figure out in the “early days” of my online dating experiences. I liked the idea of bypassing that part and going straight to the date. It was a good experience, overall-I definitely met people I wouldn’t have come across in my everyday life, and the matchmakers did take my feedback seriously when I’d tell them what was right/wrong after each date and use that to make better matches in the future. I did it for about 6 months, and went on a lot of dates! I’m not even sure I remember them all…I know that sounds terrible. Don’t judge.
Anyway, I was going on quite a few dates but still not finding that “just right” for me match. A lot of guys in the service were probably just a little too old for me at the time, or lived out in more rural areas. I didn’t want to date someone that lived more than a half hour away. I was in grad school and working two jobs at the time, so I really couldn’t commit that kind of travel time when I knew there had to be plenty of guys in the vicinity of my work/home. Once I gave the service that feedback I started getting more matches who were “closer to home.” I went out with one guy multiple times, let’s call him “B,” because he was one of those really nice guys where I couldn’t find a reason NOT to go out with him, even though I just wasn’t feeling the spark. I remember telling a friend that while I was kissing him, my mind tended to wander to things like what I needed at the grocery store; the look on her face told me I needed to end it while it was still relatively easy. “B” was a nice guy, but not for me.
The next guy I was set up with seemed much more promising. I immediately felt the “spark” on our first date. He worked for the government, loved politics, and was fairly new to town so we planned lots of dates where I could show him around. We went to great restaurants and sporting events, but also enjoyed just cooking together at my place and watching a movie. He met my parents briefly and he accompanied me to a hockey game with two teenage boys (for my brother’s birthday). And of course, my boy-crazy little dog loved him. Things seemed to be going great! My friends dubbed him “B 2.0” because he and the last guy I’d dated had the same name, and this one was like a new, improved version of the first guy.
After a little more than 2 months of regular dating, it happened. You know…the vanishing act. The “good morning” texts stopped coming, I’d send him a funny email and he didn’t respond, or I’d email or text him about plans I thought we’d made and he’d respond back but be cagey about it, refusing to confirm OR cancel. I believe he tried to use the whole, “I think I’m going to have allergies for the next two weeks…” excuse to try and shake me off. He didn’t just totally ignore me, but something had definitely changed. Once I saw the writing on the wall, I gave it one last shot-even though he had the “allergies” he’d also mentioned he was feeling better, so I invited him to come by for dinner if he felt up to it. He told me he’d see how he felt when he left work, and as I’m sure you can guess, I never heard from/saw him again. “2.o” crashed and burned…into Mr. Vanishing.
I do occasionally wonder what happened to him-we have a couple of mutual friends on Facebook, but I don’t think any of them realize we ever went out and it’s ancient history at this point. He was a nice guy, but like Mr. February, we hadn’t been dating that long and it didn’t really rock my world that much. I was curious, of course, but at that time was smart enough to remember the advice from above: Not being stuck with someone who treats you with a lack of respect is the best form of closure you’re going to get. I may never know what caused either of these guys to walk away from my winning personality (and mad cookie-baking skills) without a trace but at least I know it was worth it for Mr. February, who is now engaged to the girl he refused to dump me for. (Thanks Facebook, for informing me of this every day for three weeks as I logged in. I GOT IT.) And it was worth it for me too, since Miss November (who just became a mama when she finally got to pick up her little girl in Ethiopia last week) persuaded me to write this super fun blog and share my good, bad, and ugly dating stories with all you readers. And, you know, it freed me up to meet Mr. June.
So, you know, happy endings and all.