Wrapping Up The Story Of The New Guy

I spent my business trip rather miserably. Every time I had to reach for a tissue I remembered why I had a cold and felt guilty all over again. “You threw away a potential relationship for a fling!” just repeated in my mind. But part of me didn’t regret it, either. I’d rally back how I was justified in my actions and perhaps my feelings for the new guy would return when I saw him again. Shortly after the week was up, he was asking me to come over and I agreed. I showered and got dressed pretty casually. I didn’t bother to do my makeup; I wasn’t going out and he’d seen me without it before. My doorbell rang. I opened the door and…disappointment. I felt nothing again. I wasn’t excited to see him. I wasn’t really attracted to him. I let him inside and we sat down on my bed, where I typically lounge. I was kind of cold to him at first. “How was the trip?” “Fine.” That sort of thing. I paused and decided to tell him everything. What did I have to lose at that point? My feelings were gone, I had to get it off my chest, and he deserved to know why my interest had suddenly changed. So, I told him everything. And I mean everything, back to when I met my foreign crush, through the details of my evening with him, along with the details about how I honestly felt about my intimate encounter with the new guy on his birthday, into how I felt on my business trip, and concluded with my current feelings. “Wow, you’re smiling and back to normal again. What a difference!” he responded when I’d finished. I hadn’t realized how much lighter I’d felt without holding that all inside.

Strangely, he didn’t take it that bad. Before I told him everything I’d asked him if he had been seeing anyone else. The inexperienced dater that he is, he asked if it was normal to share that sort of thing with someone you’re dating. I assured him it wasn’t at all, but I’d always been far from normal in my dating endeavors. He’d actually gone on a first date with someone from the dating app the night before. That had been why he’d turned down plans with me that evening. I’d kind of hoped he would come out with my friends for a casual birthday gathering they were having at a bar. I had hoped my friends opinions would help mold my own opinion of him. I desperately wanted to feel something for him again, just because it had felt like such a dizzyingly amazing experience I hadn’t had in so long, but forcing my feelings to return just didn’t seem to be possible. When I pushed him for details and found out he’d kissed this girl the night before I felt a flicker of jealousy. I hoped, perhaps I still had some attraction to him? But it turned out simply to be the idea of not being all that special anymore. He started to say he felt a little guilty and wondered if it was wrong to casually date two girls at once. No, no of course it wasn’t, not if you’d only just met them, and hadn’t agreed to be exclusive with either of them. So, then I let my story spill.

When all the cards were on the table, he asked to borrow my phone charger. This was when I remembered I’d put aside a bunch of promotional items from my company to give him. One of which was a portable phone charger. I hadn’t really thought about the fact that I’d essentially just broken up with him, as I’d let him know I no longer had feelings for him in whatever kind of short-lived relationship this had been, but I saw no reason I shouldn’t give him the goody bag anymore. So, I handed over a tote bag with a portable phone charger, pens, measuring tape, and so on. He thanked me but then looked a little confused. “Is this like a consolation prize?” he asked. Yep, I’d just dumped someone and then given them a gift bag to take home. Smooth. Because that’s how awkward people do it.

We went out two more times after that. As “friends.” We got some food, some drinks, and returned to our separate apartments. Then, at a gradual pace, we spoke less and less frequently. Every day turned into every week and every week turned into “once in a while” and that turned into not always answering every message. His FaceBook page is still connected to mine, while his profile is now nothing more than a ghost reminder of the couple of weeks we had in the past. I haven’t matched with anyone on my dating apps in a few weeks, ‘nor come across any dating site profiles I felt like clicking on. I’ve been considering hitting the bar scene again, but haven’t found the right wing women yet. There’s love and there’s sex and it’s great when you have them both with the same person, but when you don’t have either, sometimes it’s nice to have one if not the other.

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Short Guy Catch-Up

I’ve been sitting on a few posts I was hesitating about making public before I knew where things would lead. Spoiler Alert: Things lead no where, so they’ll be appearing here over the next few days…
9/2/2016:
As my time with the short guy seems to have ended, I feel obligated to round off our story. I asked him to go on a day trip. I figured it wouldn’t matter who my company was, I’d hit two birds with one stone -a third date with him and a day at a festival I wanted to attend. It was one of those early morning events where we’d have to be on the road by 8am, and considering the distance between our apartments, we decided it made sense for him to spend the night at my place. In theory all of this should have been perfectly okay, but the reality of situation lead to disappointment. He had to work late and didn’t make it to my place until 10pm. I’m getting older and kind of lame, so I was tired, but tried to stay up like a good host -and date, only as we lay in my bed and he stroked my arm, it hit me that there was nothing between us. Pretty bad timing. He was nice, he wasn’t unattractive, there wasn’t really any reason for me to feel so uncomfortable around him, but I did. Maybe it was that we rushed into everything or maybe it was that our sense of humor didn’t quite align or maybe we just had too vast of differences in interests which had certainly shown through in our favorite movies and TV shows. I always thought having an interest in the same shows couldn’t be that big of a factor in a relationship, but I suppose it reveals more than enjoyment of the show itself. We weren’t entertained in the same way. I didn’t feel anything for him, ‘nor that I’d develop any feelings for him later. I wasn’t thinking about him when I wasn’t with him and I wasn’t looking forward to what could be with him. This shouldn’t continue. But it was close to midnight, we were leaving for a long car ride in the morning, followed by a full day together and I felt like it was a mistake. I couldn’t back out now; I’d feel too bad about making him travel all the way back home and then missing the festival I’d purchased tickets for. He’d gone out of his way to spend the night because he said “maybe we’d have some fun *winking face*” and now I wasn’t in the mood under the pressure of how perfectly fitting that would’ve made the situation. So, I rambled through most of my thoughts and we went to sleep.

The day was okay. It wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t great. It was just okay. I felt awkward spending time with him now that I knew we just didn’t have that connection between us. I calmed down with a drink for part of the day, but I wasn’t looking to replicate our second date, so when the buzz faded I went back to my discomfort. I thought about relationships I’d been in and how exciting it had felt to spend a day with them. I’d feel happy and light just being by their side. And then there was him. I looked at the people around us. He could have been any other passerby, but here I was with him and I began to feel lonely. Towards the end of the day I started the talk. What is this, what are we doing, why are you here with me today, are you enjoying this? We seemed to be on the same page in the sense that neither of us wanted to be in a relationship with the other, but that left me wondering if we should continue whatever we were doing. It’s usually by the third date I’ve made up my mind for sure, only I wished I hadn’t decided to make a day trip of it. So what was left? We could keep dating in this sort of open relationship, but it had been established that we didn’t really have a connection. We could turn it into a strictly sexual relationship, but I wasn’t that impressed by that aspect with him. He said that he enjoyed my company outside of our nights together, so I asked him how he felt about being friends. I guess it’s not easy to friend zone someone after they’ve been out of it. He said he’d rather not remove the sexual aspect of our friendship, to which I shook my head, “A few minutes ago I just asked you if you were looking for this to be strictly sexual and you said that you also enjoyed my company and that wasn’t what you were looking for. It’s okay to say that that’s what you wanted…” It’s hard to find people as straight forward and honest as I am. We headed back without talking much. I walked him to the door. He didn’t ask to kiss me this time. He laughed awkwardly, as if it was clear we weren’t going to be seeing each other again.

For two weeks neither of us checked in with the other…except for my drunk-text to him about how we should keep the option of hooking up open whenever I’m drunk and near his place. Yeah, apparently I said something like that –or maybe that is exactly how I phrased it. Happy hour turned a little more intense than I’d planned for last night and while he replied that we can try that, I’m mostly ignoring that a drunken version of myself suggested it.

Catch Up

I actually wrote this a few weeks ago, but never got around to editing it and therefore never shared it…Well, here it is, better up and unedited than never caught up at all:
“When are we meeting up?” the date I wasn’t attracted to texted me. I spent a couple of hours thinking about what to say. Usually I tell them I’m busy until they stop asking. I couldn’t just go ghost on him. It would be worse than turning him down. But does anyone really enjoy rejecting someone who didn’t really wrong them in any way? I know how shitty rejection can make me feel no matter who it comes from, but even more so when it’s someone I have any interest in. I decided the least information I gave the better. Hopefully he wouldn’t ask. We’d only met once, neither of us had vested that much time into anything, it was perfectly acceptable to turn him down, except it always ruins my day when I do it. I went with four words- “Sorry, I lost interest.” It was true. It didn’t specify that I’d lost interest in him or in seeing him or in the suggestion of hooking up with him or in dating in general. But he’d still get it. After a few hours he replied “No prob! All the best!” in two texts. And that was it. It was easier than I thought and I felt good about not continuing to lead him on or string him along. I was also happy I felt confident in my decision.

I probably felt crappy about getting a message from someone I didn’t have interest in when they had interest in me because I still haven’t heard back from my Faraway Crush. This is actually a private note I wrote the other night, but I decided to share it here because I thought maybe others could relate: “Thinking about the way I don’t talk to guys who have crushes on me, I feel it’s similar to how —– isn’t talking to me now, and I have been pretending I don’t care, but I can’t seem to stop myself from liking him and I really wish I could because I feel like he doesn’t deserve to be in my thoughts because he doesn’t think about me, but since I can’t stop myself from liking him, I still feel bad that he doesn’t think about me or like me and I miss him.”
How long is one supposed to wait before sending a follow-up “Hey, what’s up?” message after the last messages were ignored? It’s been a few months. Originally I figured he’d message me at some point. Maybe there’s still a chance he will. I don’t even care about what the reason is that he hasn’t been speaking to me, as long as I don’t know what it is. I recently tried to put myself back on his radar by “liking” some of his FaceBook posts every now and then. That failed. I think I might no longer care how it may appear if I try to start a conversation with him again, but I also don’t want to further push him away, or feel even crappier if that message goes ignored too. It’s about timing, if I message him at a good time he might respond and we can resume occasionally chatting, but if I message him at a bad time and it goes ignored, there’s no way I can casually try again in a few weeks, I’ll have blown it. I feel really silly about the whole thing. About thinking about it this much. About not dropping it by now. But no one else has piqued my interest these last few months. I’ve been trying to date around and so on, but I have yet to find a new distraction. And I can’t drop it because maybe he really is still coming to visit in September and I’d really like that. So yeah, I’m posting this. Just so you know I have a silly/pathetic/whiny/occasionally-obsessed/vulnerable side to my mind too.

About The Ex…

I did it. Lending your favorite book to someone in the middle of your breakup is never a good idea. But, I finally did it. Four years later and I ordered a new copy. I’m onto e-books now, but I still purchased the hardcover version I’d owned. It was sort of this symbolic gesture, I thought. Acknowledging and accepting that I’ll never be getting that book back from him. We haven’t been in contact for nearly four years now, and I prefer to redirect my thoughts to something else if he ever crosses them. So, I haven’t really thought about him in quite some time. Then my phone rang the other night and I didn’t pick up…

No, it wasn’t him. It was just some kind of telemarketer, so I enter the password to my voicemail to delete the message, when I suddenly lose service on the train. My voicemail box has been nearly full for about seven years now. If I don’t delete a newly saved message that comes in, I can’t receive any new messages. I didn’t know who some of my saved messages were from anymore, but I knew there were some I didn’t want to hear. They’re messages that I wish I could add to the box at the bottom of my closet that I never open, but also don’t plan on throwing away entirely. If I hang up in the middle of checking my voicemail, the message gets moved to my saved voice messages, and the only way to delete it is to listen to all the saved messages that come before it.

I take a deep breathe. The first message is from a guy named —- But I’ve dated so many men with that name, I’m not even entirely sure who it is. I figure I’ll feel nostalgic over it at a later time and save it again. Then I start to sort through the rest of the messages, deleting some, and re-saving others. Random friends I’ve missed calls from over the years chime in with 2am drunken rambles, birthday wishes, accidental “I love you, bye” messages, and then my ex’s voice comes on. Did you know there’s such a thing as instant nausea? I imagine it’s like getting punched in the stomach, though I’ve never been hit. It’s sort of like when you see the car crash and you know you’re going to see something upsetting, but you just can’t look away. So, I listened. I made observations about our relationship from his tone and what he said in each message, sort of as an outside observer now.

Then I reached the message that must have happened right after our break-up. He was explaining why he wouldn’t be able to use the internet immediately and begged me not to delete the pictures of us on FaceBook because he liked them and wanted to save them before I did. I wasn’t feeling great by the time I got up to my most recent message. I remembered why I didn’t listen to those messages, open that box in my closest containing mementos from our relationship, and had blocked him and everyone he knew on FaceBook, four years ago. But, this time, listening to his messages, I remembered the break-up more than the relationship. There was more exhaustion than love in his voice in these messages. I was feeling like we’d never been right for each other listening to his messages, yet simultaneously it felt incredibly difficult to hear his voice. In my mind I had revisited the circumstances in which we’d broken up. Who tells someone they love them for the first time while dumping them, anyway?…

Dumped Before The 1st Date?

Well, that was a first. Yesterday I got a message from a guy on one of the dating sites. I could tell he wasn’t really my type, but he was cute, intelligent, and interesting enough. We exchanged about four messages describing our jobs, what we do in our free time, etc. Then suddenly he messaged me saying that he’d thought it over and realized we should probably try to meet different people on there. Is it really possible to break up with someone you’ve only spent a total of maybe 20 minutes speaking to and never met? I replied to the last few things he mentioned to round off the conversation, agreed that we probably weren’t the best match and wished him luck. But it was just strange because I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’ve somehow been dumped. I didn’t say anything so out there, ignorant, or cruel. I’m really just sort of confused as this has never happened before. I spend so much time shaking off those I’m not interested in, I guess I never really thought about someone doing it to me, so early into a conversation that was going well. I guess most of them usually just stop replying out of the blue when they decide they’re not interested, but to get a message that says “Maybe we just need to both keep looking” -I suddenly feel just about as bad as you can feel getting dumped by someone you didn’t know for more than a day and hadn’t developed any feelings for. I guess that isn’t so bad, but at the same time it doesn’t feel great when you’ve already been somewhat lonely and down. Maybe it was just the way he phrased it that made it all too familiar, and stirred up feelings of being dumped in the past. Sometimes it’s like I’m reliving certain moments, though the present situation may have little to do with my past.

Where Does Love Go?

I was in a four year relationship at the end of my teens. He was many of my firsts including my first serious relationship. We shared the typical memories couples share at that age. That funny time when… That time he was so sweet when… The time that we almost… Then there was that one time… The ups, the downs. The closeness. Every new experience shared. And the drama after the break-up. And then one day I woke up and decided I was done with every one of these memories and that part of my past. I hid away every drop of it. Everything and anything that had even the slightest resemblance to him I put in a box at the bottom of my closet. I convinced myself that we had never shared these days together. I trained myself to believe that I had never met him. At first it was difficult. Of course I knew we’d met, but after some practice I’d somehow convinced my brain that it had never happened. I’d force new thoughts into my mind whenever it would stray towards him. Eventually some sort of default setting took over where my conscious mind no longer experienced thoughts about him because every incoming thought would be immediately replaced with another. I had truly conditioned myself to believe he’d never been a part of my life. Over time it became easier and more natural. I’d really wiped my mind clean of every bit, right down to nearly every digit of his phone number. Think Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I’d erased him. I couldn’t remember a single moment we’d ever spent together.

Some years later, when I was over him, all I was left with was this vague idea of once dating him with a complete blur of every detail. I opened the box. For the first time in probably about 5 years, I opened the box at the bottom of my closet with every love letter, photograph, ticket stub, shirt, charm, and trinket that related to him. Something eerie happened. I still had no recollection of any of the relationship. Here there was proof that I could hold in my hands, but it might as well have been someone else’s past. Paragraphs that he’d written, that I knew I had read each night years ago and had once felt a strong connection to each word, now held no relevance. Pictures of us at places I couldn’t remember being at. A Valentines’ Day card I just stared at, blankly. I knew I’d felt immensely strong feelings at one point which tied to all of these things. I knew I had once deeply cared about this person. I knew I had tears shed for him and I knew I hadn’t just invented the whole ordeal. Yet, I didn’t feel a single thing. I picked up his shirt and held it to my face. They say scent is a strong trigger for memory. Nothing. I looked at pictures of myself next to him, smiling, happy, I felt nothing. I read his words “You’re my first love and you always will be” scribbled across the paper and I felt nothing. All I could think about was how strange it was something that had once had such a tremendous hold over me could now not exist at all. Something that had clearly once meant the world to him, which he’d expressed through countless little notes, was nothing more than bits of ink on paper now. I sat there between crumbling dried roses, a broken drumstick, a bracelet, photo albums, CDs, greeting cards, handwritten letters, and wondered what happens to love after it’s gone. Such a powerful emotion must hold so much energy. Energy doesn’t just disappear. Where had it gone? How was it that something which was once present so vividly, with such strength, could no longer exist at all? Why was I able to acknowledge a feeling once existed so easily, yet not be able to feel it in the least. After years of work to forget every detail, for the first time I missed my memories.

A few days later, I wanted to confirm it. After years of cutting off all contact, hiding my eyes from all photographs, even preventing his name from passing through my lips and ears, I dialed his number from an old address book I’d kept. “Hi, this is um…[MY NAME CENSORED] -We dated about five years ago?”…“Of course I remember who you are!” We met for a drink. And still, nothing. I felt no difference towards him than I might’ve any other acquaintance I’d met long ago. There was no anger. No spark. I was not hurt. I did not care for him any more than any other fellow human being. We in fact hardly had anything in common at all. Except an entire four years together, that had now somehow ceased to exist, even within the past. The love that had once lived and clearly been expressed between us had vanished entirely. And I still wondered what had happened to it and where it had gone. In a silly and corny kind of way, I sometimes look at the stars and wonder if any energy related to any of the things I’d ever felt had somehow floated up, out, and away, and was now nestled some place in-between the vast emptiness, planets, and stars. Yes, maybe that’s where the love we’d created had gone. Maybe that’s where my memories were preserved. Meshed in with every other bit of energy that had ever escaped every other creature.
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Break-Ups

I’ve been wondering if there is a “right” way to break up with someone. I’d say it should be done in person because if you’re going to hurt someone, you should have the balls to look them in the eye when you do it. But timing, reason given, and how you put it really has to be considered as well. Then there’s that whole mess of the aftermath and how that’s dealt with. Though, with all of that considered, and all of the times I’ve been broken up with, I still can’t think back at any one of those situations and find a “favorite.” Nope, there isn’t really one I can say, “Oh yeah I preferred that one to the others” about. That’s just like trying to pick your favorite STD. (No, I don’t have any of those.) I guess sometimes it was done a little more poorly, though. Let’s go over them! I think it’s obvious how each could have been done “better.” Maybe you’ll be able to plan out your next dumping a little better after making note of my past…

Time Spent Dating: 1 Month / Age: Early Teens
He instant messaged me to tell me that he was now busy on the only day of the week we had been seeing each other. When I asked about seeing him a different day of the week, he said he was busy then too. Valentine’s Day was about a week away.

Time Spent Dating: 1 Month / Age: Mid-Teens
During an instant message conversation I misspelled a common word. He broke up with me over that in the instant messages. He then told a bunch of people at his school (who I was also friends with) that he had never felt happier to be rid of me. He said it was like the feeling you get when you get a new puppy.

Time Spent Dating: 4 Years / Age: Late-Teens
He did it in yet another instant message conversation after showing interest in someone he’d previously sworn he had no interest in. Though, there were some in-person follow up discussions I initiated, seeing that we were together for so long.

Time Spent Dating: 6 Months (Long Distance) / Age: Early 20’s
He did it in person, after an argument over my indecision in a trivial decision, as I was about to start my 5 hour trip home.

Time Spent Dating: 1 Year / Age: 20’s
He did it in person over a difference of beliefs/lifestyle and personality type. It was after some smiley-face looking forward to seeing you texts. He stayed close for a while, in attempt to help me move on.

Time Spent Dating: A Couple Weeks / Age: 20’s
He sent me a text message after I sent him one asking why he’d been speaking to me less. It was sort of a mutual agreement, he wanted a casual relationship that I didn’t think I was ready for. Though, I hadn’t really set out to end things.

Time Spent Dating: 3 Months / Age: 20’s
He did it in person because we weren’t right for each other and he didn’t think he had time for a relationship -which he didn’t think it was headed for either. He told me this down a random street before we were going to grab some drinks with his friends. –This was right after we had just seen a show together, which was also after just meeting my best friend.

Then there were the three guys I went out with a couple of times who decided to just ignore me out of the blue, and I never heard from them again. The last thing I heard from one of them was “Looking forward to seeing you Tuesday!” in a text before he disappeared off the face of the planet. I suppose that method is worst. You have to spend some time clueless about what’s going on, worried you’re going to sound like you’re checking in too much as you try to figure it out, and eventually feel like a fool for trying. There’s never any closure in that and you never figure out what the hell went wrong…
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