Guys I’m sorry this is super long and venty; TL;DR at the end if you’re so inclined.

“Dumped” is probably an overstatement since we weren’t dating long (two months?) but GOD DOES THIS EVER SUCK. Bear with me while I type this out; I think I just need to pour it all out in one place so I can (try to) stop ruminating and keep moving forward.

I really liked this guy. He was smart, ambitious, easy to be with, and exceptionally sweet. He thought I was hilarious, I thought he was hilarious; I had an easy chemistry with him that I haven’t had with anyone in ages. We had a great date night last Tuesday to celebrate my birthday (we went to a play and both got all dressed up; he wrote me a hilarious and thoughtful card full of all the in-jokes we had managed to accumulate over a short time). We talked during the ride to the play, during intermission, and afterward came to my place to watch the season finale of GoT (ugh). We cuddled. He stroked my hair and stared at me silently for a while, it seemed weirdly sad and wistful. I asked what he was thinking (I know, I hate me too), and he said he was just thinking about what a great time he has with me. We had a little nap on the couch and then I sent him home because he was exhausted. He apologized for being lame. I said he didn’t need to apologize, and he gave me a long kiss before leaving, thanking me for being so kind to him.

He was going to come to my family birthday celebration on Saturday; I texted Wednesday and asked about what the plan was/if he wanted to sleep over at his place afterward so he didn’t have to worry about his dog.

The next day I get this:

“I’ve been having some anxiety about the thought of joining you for your family dinner. I never thought it was that big a deal to hang out with family, but that story you told about an ex on Tuesday really shook me. It’s an odd thing to text about, but I know you’re busy for the next few nights and didn’t know how else to bring it up. :|”

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I said that as much as I’d love to have him, there was no pressure for him to come, and that I was drawing a blank on the story, which made me feel extra awful about making him feel “shook.” I told him to tell me how he felt the next day.

“Can we get together after your family dinner to talk?”

Oh fuck. Great. Okay. So, he’s not coming, that’s fine. I mean, it’s a bummer and mildly embarrassing for me because my family is expecting to meet this dude, but I’m good with making excuses and it’s not implausible that he was “feeling under the weather,” so...that’s fine, I guess. But he hasn’t given me any clarity at all about what’s going on, and given how foreboding that message is I didn’t love the idea of celebrating with my family and then rushing over to his place.

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“That sounds ominous! I’ve really been looking forward to this evening with my family and would rather not have a Serious Talk (TM) hanging over my head for the night; can you do Sunday aft?”

“I’m hiking on Sunday, can you do Monday?”

I said I could do Monday, or get together after Father’s Day dinner on Sunday. Sunday eve I texted him to see what was up; he said he was tired. I said I would really love to know what’s going on, and called after I got home. No answer.

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The next morning:

Him: “Sorry, I was thoroughly conked out by the time you texted me back. And I’m more sorry that this “we should talk” thing has dragged out for far too long. If you’re up for it, I’d be happy to have you over and we can have dinner and laugh about stupid shit. I’d understand if that sounds awful to you, though.”

Me: “I figured you were asleep, no worries. I just have no idea what’s up and haven’t since Thursday, and it’s been needlessly awful and very confusing. If this is a goodbye party I don’t know if dinner is a great idea; I don’t really want to spend the day waiting to walk into a guillotine, you know?”

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Him: “It has been needlessly awful, and that’s basically all on me for not being a better communicator. Getting together is entirely your call. I didn’t just up and decide that I hate your being or something. I still very (would) much like being around you — I just think that we have differing expectations (for lack of my ability to say anything succinctly that actually captures what I mean).

If you would rather just not meet up and take whatever time you need to yourself before we talk/hang/whatever or if you would rather not talk to me again period (which would suck, but I can empathize), that’s completely your decision to make. I can’t and won’t hold any decision against you because I’m the one being the shitty person in this situation.”

Me: “Okie dokie, let’s not meet then. Thanks for being understanding on that front. Take care.”

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“You too”

Fuck, you guys. That shit stretched out over the course of four days while I was trying to enjoy some time in the mountains with my family. Instead I was wracking my brain for whatever story I told that freaked him out so much, and how this guy who used to tell me he missed me after not hanging out for a day was suddenly ghosting. I realize now that we had been exchanging “awkward breakup” stories and I talked about the time I was going to see a comedy musical with a guy who I thought was into continuing to see me after I moved, because he was really romantic and I thought his driving 3+ hours to visit me meant he was interested in dating long distance. WHOOPS NOPE. For him the visit was a final goodbye. Awkward. We “broke up” over dinner, I cried a little in the bathroom, then cleaned myself up and we went to the musical anyway because fuck I needed a good laugh (TOTALLY WORTH IT. Evil Dead is a fantastic musical).

I am so hurt and so angry, especially about the “differing expectations” bit because FUCK MAN WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT EXPECTATIONS. Maybe in an abstract sense, on our fourth date? We met on OkC (99% match! I have disabled my account for the time being)...we talked about the fact that online dating is a little strange in the sense that you know everybody is seeing a few people, and eventually have to talk about how you want to handle that/if you’re going to be monogamous. I know there was a gal he was hanging out with once a month (I met her, actually; totally random, and she was rad), but otherwise he wasn’t dating anybody else, and given that it had only been 2 months and we were going on dates 2-3 times a week and texting daily I wasn’t in any big rush to make things super official. I was just enjoying our time together.

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I don’t know what it is that he thinks I expect(ed), or what it was about that story that “shook” him (I can only assume that he saw himself as the very-romantic-but-not-actually-that-into-it guy? Maybe?) I didn’t get together with him to talk it out because I don’t think those answers would actually be helpful (they never are), and because if he was able to freak out/decide we want different things/end it without actually having a conversation with me (on top of stretching the mystery out for a solid four days), it wasn’t worth the time.

It seems silly to feel so upset given it was such a short run. I’m kind of blindsided by how hurt I’m feeling and not entirely sure what to do with it/myself. I haven’t dated since seeing the flaky bartender in February/March (who I had to break up with after not hearing from him for a week and then bumping into him out in the world. “Great to bump into you the other night! Since you’ve opted for ‘ghost mode,’ I’m going to go ahead and pull the plug for you; it was fun while it lasted!”). I was so pleased to have waited around and met someone who was so easy to be around/who got my sense of humour (dude is doing his PhD in medical sciences and thought it was hilarious when I made a joke about Candide. WAT)/who understands stuff about social justice...

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I spent most of yesterday texting friends relentlessly, crying intermittently, and cleaning my house. I am still cleaning (in the words of one girlfriend, “cleaning that guy right out of the linoleum) and am planning on having an at home “spa” night: having a bath, lighting some candles, shaving my legs, painting my toenails, all that good cheesy shit. (As an aside, in my fervent vacuuming yesterday I managed to snag and rip off a good chunk of my thumbnail. No manicures for me for a while. Womp womp.)

TL;DR Was seeing someone I was really smitten with who was, for all intents and purposes, very smitten with me; I told him a story that freaked him out, he sent vague texts about “needing to talk” and “feeling shook” over the course of four days, and finally he ended it because he thinks we have “differing expectations” (which we never talked about). I’m WAY more hurt and upset than I think I “should” be after two months.

Ideally I will take this opportunity to do what I have found helpful in the past: channel all the feelings into a post-breakup “comeback” so to speak. A while ago I signed up for a 5K in August (oh my god I am so out of shape I might die), so at least I’ve got that going for me?

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I don’t know what I’m looking for here, exactly; mostly I needed to put it all down in one place and I can type faster than I can write by hand. I will happily accept your adorable animal gifs, words of wisdom, or assurances that this guy obviously wasn’t so great given the way this played out. (Right?)