Another lesson learned the hard way. Remember that guy I told you about last week? The one I felt a connection with—the one that I had let my guard down with just a little…well that crashed and burned before it even got off the ground. I was out with a girlfriend having dinner the other night. Towards the end of our dinner, I mentioned that I was dating someone and starting to tell her about him and the great sex we had. Her eyes widened and jaw dropped, “Why are you just mentioning this now?!” she yelled. She insisted we pay the check and relocate to have another drink, so that I could tell her all about it. We threw around a few different options and decided on a place just down the street from the restaurant. As we walked in, I was looking around for a good seat at the bar and noticed a guy that looked like the same guy I was dating. I couldn’t be sure because he had his back to me, but as we went to sit down, I got a glimpse of his face and knew it was definitely him. I whispered to my friend, “Oh my God, that’s him and he’s with another woman.” She quickly looked over and just like that, they got up and walked out. I knew it was a date, because the woman was rubbing his back and held his arm on the way out. I sat there in shock. My friend was furious calling him an asshole, but I just sat there stunned. I played out the scenarios in my mind, wondering why he had to try to convince me that I was the only woman he was interested in—talking about building a relationship with me, when apparently none of that was true.
I asked my friend how I should handle this…after all, we weren’t exclusive. He had every right to go on a date. Hell, I was planning on going on a date with someone a friend wanted to set me up with next week. I decided the best way to handle it would just to be upfront with him and see how he would respond. I sent him a text that read: “Hmm, I just saw you out and would have said hi, but I didn’t want to interrupt.” Sure, maybe it was slightly hostile, but how could you blame me? A few minutes later, my phone dings with a reply from him. I glanced at my phone and put it down, shaking my head. My friend was anxiously awaiting the response from this guy, so I showed her my phone. All it said was, “??”.
Yep, that’s it…two fucking question marks. I decided not to respond at all. This guy had shown his true colors and I was no longer interested. My friend was asking the same thing I was…what the hell does “??” mean??!! Then she said something very profound that helped me calm down and reflect. She said that the universe was looking out for me, because what are the chances of running into this guy on a random Monday night at a place we never really go to in a town with restaurants on every corner. I immediately felt grateful. I was so relieved that I found out now rather than later when my feelings might have gone deeper with someone who is dishonest and playing games.
I never heard a word from him since. He just left me hanging with question marks. Literally and figuratively. If he had called. I would have told him that I wasn’t upset that he was out on a date and that I knew we weren’t exclusive. I would have just told him that I wish he’d been honest about it instead of making me believe I was so special to him and that I was the kind of woman every man is looking for in a partner. He said I was smart, successful, gorgeous, sexy, kind, funny…blah blah blah. In hindsight, I should have known he was laying it on way too thick, but I guess my ego got the best of me and my hopes of finding someone that makes me feel amazing were too good to be true.
Honestly, I was more upset about his lack of respect for me by not having the decency to give me a phone call. I think I deserved at least an explanation or something. Instead, he went ghost–which shows me that he has little respect for me and zero integrity. Looking back, I saw the red flags and I was cautious about getting into a relationship with this guy. He was just coming out of a twenty-year marriage and I told him on countless occasions that he wasn’t going to be ready to be in a long term relationship with anyone and that he needed time to process the divorce and enjoy his freedom. We had long conversations about this topic and every time he would look me in the eyes and tell me how much he really likes me and wanted to be with me. I told him that I was just a welcomed distraction in his life and he had a lot to work through before we could commit to a relationship. He had an out! Instead of being honest and telling me that he wants to take things slow and keep it casual, he led me to believe he wanted more. I should have known better…he was a salesman after all.
I spent the next few days kicking myself, wondering how I could have been so wrong about someone. I went back to conversations in my mind and wondered how I didn’t see the red flags. I’m usually really good at reading people and recognizing bullshit when I see it. The problem is that I did see it. I knew he wasn’t right for me on day one, but I ignored my intuition. I was trying to be more open to something different. I was trying to let my guard down and be open to the possibility of love despite it being picture perfect and wrapped up in a pretty little bow. I had just had a conversation with my sister about something he said that really didn’t sit right with me and she told me to give him the benefit of the doubt because she knows how I tend to over-analyze every little thing. So, I did. I gave him a chance.
I don’t regret it now, but it took me a few days of calling him a lying bastard to get there. A friend of mine gave me the best perspective. He said, at least you put yourself out there and you were willing to get closer to finding the right person. He pointed out that just a few months ago; I might have not been ready to do that. Instead of looking at it as another disappointment and reason to put my walls up again, look at it as another step towards finding out what you want and what you don’t want. He said that even though this guy was not right for you, that I should focus on the things that I did like in him instead of focusing on all the negative things, because that will bring you more clarity. My sister said the same thing and I’m so grateful to have such amazing insightful people in my life.
I could cry just thinking about how lucky I am to have such beautiful friends and family. They get me. The real lesson I learned was to listen to my gut and not try to make someone fit just because I really want to find my person. I was putting a “square peg in a round hole” as they say and my instincts told me it wasn’t right. Yes, I may be back to square one, but I needed to explore things further in order to know for sure. In the past, I would have ended it on the first or second date and never giving it a chance. Although the outcome was disappointing, I don’t regret being with someone that made me feel all the things he made me feel.
Most importantly, I don’t regret having amazing sex. I needed that and I needed to feel that kind of desire again. The old me would have felt used and deceived. The new me is thankful for the experience. I won’t let this build up my walls again. I still believe that love will find me and he will love all of me–just the way I am. I believe that I am one step closer to having someone who is the perfect fit for me and a honest relationship that will grow into something beautiful. I know this to be true and I won’t settle for anything less. This has given me so much clarity. I’m adding to my list of people NOT to date:
-no Trump supporters
I know I shouldn’t discriminate, but once I get burned I learn my lesson. So, thanks for the lesson asshole! 😉 I’m totally kidding of course…or am I?