Sunday, August 22, 2010


I went on a fourth date with 'G' yesterday, and I told numerous little white lies leading up to and during the date.  He originally asked me to do something Friday night, but I said I had plans and suggested brunch on Saturday instead.  After brunch, I faked having to go to work to avoid spending the rest of the afternoon with him, even though I could very easily have worked on Sunday instead.  And when he asked what I was doing Monday night, I pretended to have a soccer game on Monday, even though it's actually on Wednesday.

And afterward, I thought, "Wow, this is so not normal."  It's not normal to have an "Oh, it's just you again" reaction when you get a thoughtful text from a guy you've been dating.  It's not normal to lie to avoid seeing someone.  Not being super excited about going on a date is one thing, but repetitive lying to avoid spending time with someone?  Not normal.

So I went back to trying to decide how I was going to end it.  My girlfriends said I could get away with an email.  And then, I took a poll of some guy friends.  Every single one said that male ego-wise, it was better for the girl to never respond.  Never call back.  Never text back.  Never email back.  Just completely drop off the face of the planet.

I was a little shocked that this was their advice!  I'd be PISSED if I never heard back from a guy after four good dates.  I hate being left hanging.  I'd be sitting there for at least a week, wondering what happened.  "I don't think I can do that," I told them, before remembering I had done exactly that at least twice last year.

Maybe I've matured or grown or something, but really, I think that this last year of dating has made me more sensitive to just how awful it is, for all parties involved, to be out there dating in the first place, without having to deal with selfish, rude, insensitive jerks (like the one I apparently was last year).

So today, when the rain ruined my plans to go to the beach and his plans to do some outdoor drinking and 'G' called to see if I wanted to see a movie instead, I knew I couldn't just not call back.  Here was this nice, great guy who just wanted to spend some time with me, and I was actually contemplating dropping off the face of the planet?  I called and awkwardly told him I just needed to take a break from dating in general (which is true).   I think I probably sounded a bit like I was going to cry (which I did a little later) because his response wasn't, "Uhhhhh okay," it was, "Sure, it's your call, but is everything okay?" When I told him I'd just had a really up-and-down year (also true), he responded, "Well I just want to make sure you're okay," which just made me feel even worse.  Not because I was ending it, but because I couldn't bring myself to like such a nice, good guy.  And then there was the complete and total awkwardness of ending the actual phone call itself.  I may as well have just said, "Have a nice life" and it would've been equally as awkward.

So here I am again, completely of my own volition this time, back at Square 1.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Not You, It's Me. Or Is It?

I finally went on a third date with 'G'. (I decided that even though there is a chance that I may never speak to this kid again, he still gets a letter.  Because he is representative of my inability to commit.  Because he is an archetypal "Good Guy."  And because I was avoiding assigning someone the letter 'G' and just needed to be done with it already.)  'G' is the guy that I avoided going a third date with a few weeks back for no good reason.  I just wasn't feeling it at the time.  And after Date #3, I waffled.

Like I said, 'G' is a Good Guy.  The worst I can say about him is that he is from New Jersey.  And that he didn't step up and plan our second date.   That's it.  Seriously, no obvious flaws.  Objectively, I honestly have nothing else negative to say about him.  And this is Negative, Cynical Me actively looking for faults.  Conversely, there's nothing spectacular about 'G' either.  Nothing stands out.  I never wrote about our first date, because other than what we did on our first date (which I planned), there was nothing to tell.  I never wrote about our second date, because other than the fact that he was terrible at planning the second date, there was nothing to tell.  And similarly, there is nothing to tell about our third date.

Now this all makes it sound like he is boring.  Or that I am bored when I am with him.  But neither of those things is true.  He's interesting enough and we have plenty to talk about.  Our dates are totally fine.  Fun even.  But am I itching to go out with him again?  No.  

Hence, the waffling.

This weekend, I went down to DC, and on the bus trip down, I decided pretty definitively that I wasn't going to see him again.  I even got so far as to figure out how I was going to tell him that I didn't want to see him anymore (a phone call with the "I just can't date right now" and "There's this other guy" and "I have baggage, you don't want to date me" type of speech).  

But then on the bus trip back (which was longer, thank you I-95), I decided maybe I should go out with him again.  I thought about all the girls I knew who hadn't been totally swept off their feet on their first dates with their now significant others.  I thought about how many of them were just kind of "eh" about their guys.  I thought about how many of them expressed lukewarm feelings, but kept going out with these boys anyway, and then ended up (gradually) falling in love.  It made me wonder whether my entire search for a boyfriend is sort of doomed from the start, because I want that instant gratification, that immediate spark.  Am I giving up on guys too quickly?  Perhaps.  Am I simply not committed enough to the idea of being in a relationship to stick it out and gradually fall for someone?  Probably.  Is it me and my mindset and my inability to commit getting in the way of my own happiness again?  Almost definitely.

But then I remembered how ready I was to be in a relationship back in January, with 'D', and that sends my mindset theory flying out the window...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Letting Go, A Follow-Up

When I re-read what I wrote last night in the light of day, it just suddenly seemed so clear to me.  I mean, sure, maybe the reason nothing has changed in my life in the last two years is simply that I have been waiting for the Perfect Guy, the Perfect Apartment, the Perfect Puppy or the Perfect Job to come along before plunging into a relationship, home-ownership, "motherhood" or a new career.

Or, maybe I am just a huge commitment-phobe.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Letting Go

Last weekend, I was catching up with a friend I hadn't seen in a couple months.  My friend had all sorts of new developments in his life.  He had a new nephew.  He and his long-term girlfriend had broken up.  He had already gone out on a first date (with a cougar!).  He was entering a new stage in his career.

And then we turned to me.   "So, where are you living now?"  "Oh...the same place as before."  "I thought the last time I saw you, you were looking at moving?"  "Oh...yeah, still looking."  "Did you get a puppy?" ", still no puppy."  "And did you quit yet?" "Oh...uhh no...not yet..."  (At least he spared me the "are you seeing anyone" question.  I suppose he knows me well enough to know that the answer to that question never changes.)  "Wow," he said, "What happened to all your plans?!"

We laughed, but then later, I couldn't help but think, what DID happen to all my plans?  Or, more precisely, why haven't I followed through with any of these things that I talk and obsess about all the time?  These things - apartment, dog, job - are all things that are more or less in my control, and yet I simply cannot seem to pull the trigger.  I keep hesitating, stalling.  Sure, they're big life decisions and certainly choices not to be made hastily, but still.  What am I waiting for?  What is holding me back?

And then this weekend, I avoided going on a third date for absolutely no good reason.  I didn't have any real set plans, and it would've been easy to have met up with him on Saturday or Sunday night.  But I didn't.  I lied.  I made stuff up.  And then I made plans so I wouldn't feel as guilty about making stuff up.  I was purposefully trying to stall our progress.  The thing is, he's actually a pretty great guy.  We have a good rapport, and he is genuinely nice without being boring.  And to me, he seems, well, safe.  Drama-free.  So why am I hesitant to move things forward with him?  Why am I shying away from a chance to actually try to have a stable, adult relationship?  What am I waiting for?  What am I holding on to?

When you're single, it can be so easy to cling to the dream that maybe one day things will magically work out with the one who got away - the ex-boyfriend, the best friend, the summer fling, the boy who moved 500 miles away.  It's so easy to keep retreating back into the comfort and familiarity of that someone, even when you know deep down that it would never actually work out.  It's easier to hold on to even just the idea of that someone than it is to get out there, start fresh and go on those first, second and third dates.

I don't think I'm holding on to the idea of things working out with a specific person so much anymore as I am to just the idea of the Perfect Guy.  And no matter what I've said in the past, maybe I'm still not quite ready to give up the dream of someone else, the dream of the Perfect Guy.