It’s only been a week since I got dumped out of the blue by a guy I really liked (so much for “anothersomebody, I’m not going anywhere emotionally,” am I right?) and I’m still pretty bummed. Overall I think I’m doing a bang up job of breakup recovery but at home alone in the evenings I get taken over by a serious case of the sads (I miss him. I wonder how he’s doing? I wonder if he misses me? Maybe he’s realized how great I am and tried to text but I didn’t get it because I blocked his number? What even happened? Maybe I should never go on OkC again, this has happened before....all the typical post breakup self doubt stuff, really). I can nip it in the bud a little bit by whipping out every selfcare tool in my arsenal, and also probably drinking too much (whoops) but I also know that it’ll just take time. Hopefully not a bunch...we weren’t dating long and I’ve had bigger heartbreaks, it’s just the first time I got deeply comfortable with liking someone for a while.
Anyway. I already made that post. ;)
There was a great music festival in the city for a few days, and I went to a ton of shows; tons of friends were here from out of town and I spent a lot of time with my brother and other people whose company I enjoy. It was a lovely distraction and I had a blast. Saturday night I briefly met a fellow who asked for my number. He was cute, we had a nice chat, you only live once....so, to hell with it. Why not? I gave him my number and figured that even if I’m not ready to “date” (and am seriously contemplating some longterm singlehood with an eye towards self improvement/getting into shape/being academically productive - DRY JULY, HERE I COME), it wouldn’t hurt to meet somebody new and enjoy the tiny ego boost that comes along with a stranger asking for your number.
He called the next day and we chatted for a while; he said he prefers not to text when he first meets someone new, there’s too much room for confusion. Cool! I can relate to that. He also works in mental health and has a job history not too dissimilar from my own. Neat! He’s very complimentary and would love to meet me for coffee. Okay! He seems a little over-the-top in some parts of the conversation (disclosing a little too much re: working hard to be emotionally vulnerable, saying he’s decided he’s going to date me “haha just kidding”) but I try to give him the benefit of the doubt; talking to a stranger you think is cute can be a little intimidating.
So we meet for coffee today and it is perfectly fine. He’s an interesting guy doing interesting things, we have lots to talk about. He comes on way, way too strong (sometimes interrupting me to tell me how pretty I am; putting his arm around my shoulders until I shrug forward so he won’t touch me). At one point he grabs my hand and gives it a squeeze (he wanted to sit beside me instead of across from me): “Is this okay?”
“Honestly I’m not entirely comfortable with holding hands with you, but a quick squeeze is alright!”
It’s a little weird and he says some things that throw me off. He just got a kitten today and mentioned the fact that she’ll probably need shots. “Maybe I can take her to the Humane Society to get that done? She is a rescue.”
“Well, she’ll need shots every year, and you’ll want to get her spayed when she’s a little older; you’re probably better off just getting a vet.”
“That seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’ll give her away.”
Fast forward to the end: we’ve been chatting for two hours and it’s been, at best, fine. He has to go and asks, “So, what do you think?”
“What do I think about what?” (I am playing dumb, mostly because I don’t love being put on the spot)
“What did you think about this? I thought it was great. Can I take you out for dinner sometime?”
I tell him that I’ve had a perfectly lovely time with him, but I’m not feeling the kind of chemistry that would lead to a second date. He mentioned on the phone yesterday that he can be “brutally honest” (another red flag, frankly), so I said that since he was comfortable with being honest, I felt inclined to be straightforward in return.
“Oh. Wow. That’s really disappointing. Can I ask why?”
“I just don’t feel ‘datey’ chemistry with you, that’s all. I’m sorry, I know that’s disappointing.”
“Are you not attracted to me?” (Jesus christ. Really, dude?)
“You’re totally cute! I just don’t think we have much of a spark. Maybe it’s a hangover from just getting out of a relationship, I don’t know.”
“You can justify it however you want. I probably won’t talk to you again after this.”
CHRIST ALMIGHTY. OKAY.
“That’s totally understandable. Thanks for a nice afternoon though!” (I am fully placating him now because he is giving me the creeps and I want to get out as smoothly as possible).
He says goodbye and walks towards his car. I start walking towards the grocery store because I’m feeling creeped out and don’t want him to know where I live (a few blocks in the opposite direction).
I get halfway through the grocery store parking lot and hear him calling my name. He runs up and says he doesn’t want to leave things that way, with him being “snooty.” I said he was entitled to feel disappointed and angry, no problem. He says he’s been working so hard to be vulnerable, and felt like we had such a great connection on Saturday night, and doesn’t know what happened. I said that his being vulnerable was a success insofar as he was able to do it; it didn’t turn out the way that he wanted, but that’s part of the risk; I apologized (fuck, I know, I didn’t need to, but again, let’s just wrap this shit up) that I didn’t have a clearer answer for him. He went on his way.
I went to the grocery store feeling shaken. Glad he was gone. Really took my time meandering the aisles just in case, and eventually worked my way home.
Fifteen minutes later I get this fresh shit via text:
I normally would not text anyone after an ending like that....but with the theme of being vulnerable (and I know this is not your problem) but what the hell is wrong with me? I know you don’t know me and that I will get over this but I just don’t have a clue what I can change because I connect in some way with most people I meet, yet very few long terms....but honestly, what is wrong with me, please tell me?
followed by this:
and if I don’t here [sic] from you, that’s ok too...it was really nice meeting you and I actually do appreciate your honesty!
JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
I burst into tears instantly. Not because of crazypants here (SO glad I trusted my gut — it was right!), but because I miss being with someone I liked who wasn’t...whatever this is. And the thought of having to deal with anything even REMOTELY like this again is exhausting to me. This dude is on like three separate dating sites. OkC has yielded me two temporarily lovely relationships that all ended the same way (dude freaks and pulls the plug seemingly randomly; I know it’s not actually random, but it’s always been this sort of weird sideswipe in the middle of everything being hunky-dory).
Barf you guys. On the bright side, I am feeling pretty good about having trusted my instincts re: not seeing him again, and for setting boundaries assertively when he was getting overly handsy (literally). I feel good about having read that text and instantly blocking his number. I’m just tired and a little sad.
Equally important (maybe more important), I needed to share this bizarro incident with GT because I can barely even believe it played out that way. I am breaking up with alcohol for the month of July, but for tonight I have made myself a spicy caesar (a second one coming soon!) and am going to sew for a bit before going to bed early and starting over tomorrow.
Have you guys ever dealt with someone who was super intense after one date/had a total mantrum when you said you weren’t interested in seeing them again? Please share! It feels too weird to be real, but somehow IT IS.