I know everyone has main character syndrome these days but my life is a comedy. A joke, if you will! I gave that man a two week countdown. He lasted 6 days.
I wasn’t necessarily looking for a relationship when Evan came along; I don’t think I ever really am. Theo, earlier this year, made the idea of it seductive to me though. Finally, what I’m asking for actually exists, it’s out there! So you can imagine how giddy I feel when Evan pops up and he’s attractive and there’s palpable chemistry. Suddenly my future of living lake side with a couple dogs and traveling every other month has a buddy in it. I jumped at it.
Now I know you’re probably thinking “So you love bombed him.” Not exactly? I’ve dated hundreds of guys at this point. There’s not a more romantically decorated woman than me in my circle. I know exactly what I want and as a result I’ve always said when I found it, I wouldn’t play games. I started tailoring my therapy sessions to be a better communicator. I took on extra responsibilities at work so I could angle for a raise so I could be more flexible with spending money. I was doing everything in the background so on the second date when I said “I like you, I wanna see where this goes.” I was very confident I was putting my very best foot forward.
You’ve been following my escapades for years now. I am the most hopeless of romantics. When I do magically like someone, I’m vulnerable and transparent. I give easily because I don’t want to have any regrets. It doesn’t take anything from me to tell someone I care for them and show them to back it up. Love is one resource we all can always use more of. I pride myself that even with the dozens of dating disasters I have faced, I have not reached the bitterness level where I’m scared to give it. Yet.
I love the grand gestures, the little things that actually mean everything, the bleeding heart love letters, and spending whatever spare moment we can with one another. What I’ve learned is though, I can’t really do this when dating. Perhaps, that’s why things usually go left. When I saw Evan a few days ago, I gave him a a couple of his favorite Halloween candies, those caramel apple lollipops. He said he couldn’t find any and they only sold them at candy stores. Well, I found them.
“You didn’t go out of your way for this did you?” They’re lollipops, no. But, even if I did, is that a bad thing? I didn’t see the issue in doing something nice for someone even if they didn’t ask.
Later on that date, I’m thinking things are going well. We’re discussing our concerns about each other. I’m worried he doesn’t have the time or bandwidth to actually date me. He insists he does. He’s worried we don’t see enough of each other since we both live at home. I am a problem solver so I present a solution. Which promptly brings me to my next concern. I tell him I get the idea he takes care of everyone around him. And me being enthusiastic about taking care of him makes him uncomfortable. (I mean it’s made all my exes uncomfortable). He says it does. He at least wants to be 50/50.
I’m bougie. I like experiences. I love expensive food. Everything I spend, I’ll make back and then some. So, I don’t have qualms about spending it on my loved ones. I tell him that it can’t be 50/50 right now but I don’t care, I can take care of it. (Because I refuse to spend date nights at the fucking Thirsty Lion or a coffee shop when I really wanna have a holiday dinner at Binkley’s or trying half of Bitter & Twisted’s menu because you can’t afford it.) I sweetly reassure him that it’s okay for people to take care of him too and that I don’t mind he’s not splurging and spoiling me because I knew he would if he wasn’t in school. This is temporary if he’s as serious about me as he’s leading on. He says he’ll try getting used to that idea.
And that was the kiss of death. Not before he slept with me one last time though! Whatever a man is going through, even if he hates your stinkin’ guts, you can rely on him to still have sex with you. At least he was nice enough to let me finish.
He was feeling whatever he felt that night and then proceeded to start ghosting me. We were supposed to spend the weekend together and he canceled that due to homework. I didn’t think much of that because I didn’t want to be a distraction. The good morning texts stopped but he scheduled a date for Monday morning. I got slammed with last minute calls from clients so I’m not able to actually make the date but it didn’t matter since he never sent a spot for us to actually meet. At this point I know what’s going on but it’s not confirmed. Tuesday night after work, I go full on Nancy Drew and see he hasn’t watched my Instagram stories just to see, oh. He’s unfollowed me on social media. And ah, my number is blocked.
I call Katia at my realization and I’m in shock. I’m yelling at all the moments in hindsight where I should have seen “he’s just not that into you.” and I’m crying because I gotta go through this AGAIN? Literally the only thing that has changed was the dude. Do they have an orientation they go through to play things out the same way? Are they all secretly friends and have linked up to torment me? Katia is trying to give me the best pep talk she can. “It’s not you. It’s them. They don’t appreciate you. You’re unattainable and they can’t do what needs to be done to keep you. They’re emotionally unavailable even if they don’t want to admit it.” All good things your best friend should tell you, but I go to bed not really believing her.
And the next day, my therapist, bless her heart, is talking me through my tears. Trying to figure out what all these guys have in common and why this keeps happening. Because at this point, it’s not about Evan at all, it’s about my rotten luck. They’re all care takers and providers. Maybe being taken care of makes them feel insecure. Statistically men do better when they’re the provider anyway, she says. All I see in my mind’s eye is 22 year old HB who would leave her credit cards at home go “Duh.” and in the middle of my session I get a text from him.
As I enter my late 20s, I have almost everything I wanted. I love my job, I’m healthy, my family is good, I have fabulous friends, I’m seeing the world, I’m basically obsessed with myself. I think it’s taboo to say you have it all and still yearn for romance. It’s yucky to admit and it’s the antithesis of believing if you pour into yourself enough, you won’t feel the need to be partnered. I know, I’m cringing a bit just writing it but luckily for me, I don’t get embarrassed easily.
I only feel like this because I’ve had wisps of it. How radiant you feel when you’re gushing about this person. How the most mundane tasks are bearable or even enjoyable because you’re doing it with them. Knowing you have someone in your corner that is honored to be there and is willing to push you and inspire you (well really, it’s me being inspired to be a better partner to them but that’s another story for another day). I no longer want to act like that’s not high on my list of desires anymore. It’s okay. It’s okay to say sometimes I feel lonely. It’s okay to say that the love I want is big and all encompassing and a little daunting. I don’t want to shrink that or hold back on giving that. My life has been made richer with all of the connections I’ve made and I don’t get brownie points for denying my hunger for more.
After I’ve deleted the last remnants of Evan from my phone and I’ve answered calls from my best friends (because I’m having a meltdown on Instagram using memes!), I dust myself off and take myself to dinner. It’s physically impossible to be sad when you’re focused on looking stunning. There’s also something intimate about spoiling yourself. I am always in awe of the reminder that I really give myself exactly what I want; how could I ever let anyone give me even a fraction less than that? During dinner I decide I’m going to go on a very long hiatus. No more dating by accident. No more apps. I have work to do.
I am fortunate to be able to feel this deeply, to be able to be this frustrated and disappointed. It means I’m alive. I’ve been… undisciplined as I’ve prioritized other things or men over my real meaty goals. I say I’m tired of leveling up in spite of these exes but they have to stop giving me so much fuel. I’m excited to see what life looks like in the next four months. You ready to be entertained?