Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Not Enough Potential

Yesterday was one of those weird days when I thought the day was going to be all about one thing and it turned out to be about something completely different.  Early in the day, yesterday, I made up my mind to do something pretty big.  It was one of those, ‘throw a stick of dynamite into cave’ decisions.  I knew there was a pretty good chance of someone (most likely me) getting hurt, but I really needed to get at the stuff deep down inside of that cave and it was all blocked by rubble and rocks.  I’d been thinking about it for days and I just couldn’t see any other way to solve the problem.  And I was willing to take the risk.

This all had nothing to do with Mr. Potential, btw. This is an alternative brewing drama that may or may not find it’s way here.  I’m just mentioning it now because I wanted to give some foundation for the rest of the story.

I’d decided to do something pretty extreme.  But then, because of obstacles in my way that I could not foresee and could not get around, I was unable to do anything.  I was feeling kind of impotent.

I did have a good day on the front.  I heard from a guy I’d been flirting heavily with (via email) up until the point that Mr. Potential and I started sleeping together and I thus hid my profile and stopped seeing other people.  He saw my profile up and emailed me and we’re emailing each other again and making plans to get together sometime next week.  And I’ve receved a few other really interesting messages.  So that’s all good.

I stayed in last night, reading.  I do love to read. At some point it occurred to me that I knew that Mr. Potential was going “away” for the weekend to visit friends upstate.  That he’d said something in passing about it.  And I realized that I hadn’t heard from him since I left him at breakfast the day before.  And that we had no plans to see each other again.  And I started to get annoyed.  Because I didn’t expect to hear from him while he was away.  So that meant that, what, I’d hear from him 4 or 5 days after we last saw each other and then we’d make plans to get together again?

And then I remembered that I had to ask him out the last few times we got together.  And had to basically nag/remind him to let me know whether NYE would work for him.  And it just hit me.  It all wasn’t cool with me.  It wasn’t the seeing other people or the active online profile that was always getting under my skin.  It was that, except our first 4 or 5 dates, he completely took me for granted.  He didn’t send me a text before he left for the weekend saying, “can’t wait to see you again, what days work for you next week?” or “I have a busy week next week but want to make sure we see each other, how about …”  He just blew me off and assumed that I would call him or that I would be available at the last minute.

And I’d been excusing this because when we did get together he pretty much always had some little gift (candy, flowers…) for me and did all of the “good guy” stuff like offering to carry things.  But I’d rather date some broke shmuck who never buys me anything, never pays for anything and actually calls me once and a while and says, “hey, I want to see you sometime soon”.

Once I was on that train of thought I just went with it.  I recalled a comment I got recently on Twitter, I think it was a DM (I love all of my wonderful readers and I adore all of your feedback.  Some people choose to comment on Twitter and some privately via DM.  I’m not sure why.).  He said that he thought Mr. Potential was coming off as completely self-involved.  That my life was all about him and whether he was “ready” and how could I be stressed and have feelings about anything else.

And the reality is that I have worked hard recently to try to get to know Mr. P better.  I know a lot, now, about his friends and family.  His likes and dislikes.  He still doesn’t really know much about me.  I’ve been saying it was because I’ve been keeping him at arms length, but really, he never asked.  He clearly liked the fact that I kept my whole world from him.  It made it easier for him to dick me around and not really think of me,

So I called him and said goodbye.  He seemed a bit confused.  He apologized and tried to explain himself again and blabbered about how much he like me but that he didn’t know as if I’d called for an explanation.  And I said that I didn’t think we went well together and so there was nothing else to talk about.  And then he continued to kind of whine and say he didn’t know what the right thing to do was.  I came close to just hanging up on him, but that would have been mean.  I’d caught him by surprise.  I’d led him to believe, up til that point, that he was in control. That he got to decide how well we got to know each other.  How often we saw each other.  How serious the relationship was going to get.  And there I was, on the phone, telling him that he’d lost control and the choice was no longer his.  He eventually said, in a very grave voice, “I guess, I just think we shouldn’t wee each other any more”, like he needed to give his blessing.  And I said, “Yeah, that’s why I called.  To say goodbye.”

And so it’s officially over.  Mr. Potential is gone from my life and this blog.  I immediately called one of my favorite straight guys on the planet (the ex who took the half-naked pics) and talked about it with him.  It wasn’t long before I realized that I should have done this a long time ago. Really.  I don’t know why I didn’t, except that I had convinced myself that Mr. Potential was the complete opposite, in temperate and personality, of my last few boyfriends and since those relationships all ended so poorly that I should pursue a guy like him. Silly, huh?

So it was a long day.  And that big, ‘throw a stick a dynamite into a cave’ thing is still hanging over my head.  But at least I got something good accomplished.


Tags: ,

13 to “Not Enough Potential”


  1. bobbyjensen says:

    “And then I remembered that I had to ask him out the last few times we got together. And had to basically nag/remind him to let me know whether NYE would work for him.”

    I’m going to assume that their are guys out there, that after more than a few dates, would still be shy or maybe uncomfortable about asking the lady to go out. As shy as I am, and it’s a lot, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking her out after we had a few dates already-especially if we have had sex.

    I’m glad that you found a solution, ending, that you feel is the right outcome :)

  2. Jude C says:

    Good for you :)

  3. recklessstudio says:

    You know, I’m glad you did this. Finally, you brought closure to all of those demons that were flying around in your head. I mean, he was commitment-phobic (or so he says) but at the same time, he wasn’t putting out the effort emotionally, like I said before. After a while, I can understand that being tiring.

    Like, I said, things always ended up working out in some way and so it does. I hope YOU are ok and don’t eat TOO much candy this weekend.

    I also feel like, by opening up your profile, you pretty much started the process of ending things anyway. So I’m glad you made that transition because now you have some things lined up in your near future. You probably may not see this as a good thing, considering dating has become more of task for you these days.

    But like most guys out there, they have a lot of show and are full of potential. And they never come close to fulfilling it.

  4. cjw666 says:

    So you finally figured it out. All the things you were going on about were actually merely symptoms of what was really wrong – he was (probably deliberately) simply CONTROLLING you and (I hope I don’t ofend by this) I think you were letting him do so, by getting all up tight about what I always regarded as the wrong things.

    None of what upset you mattered all that much really (to my mind). What mattered, REALLY mattered (and what was actually driving you nuts), was that YOU had to make most of the running – and THAT’S not right in the circumstances, not right at all!

  5. SINgleGIRL says:

    -bobbyjensen
    This had nothing to do with him being shy. He had done plenty of asking and planning earlier on (otherwise he wouldn’t have made it this far). This was, “I have her so I don’t have to try anymore.” Uncool!
    -Jude C :-)
    -recklessstudio
    I will do my best to lay off the candy. Am thinking of giving away the rest of the chocolates he gave me on NYE. I feel really good about this. No stress at all.
    -cjw666
    I hear you. He was controlling me. Although I don’t think he was doing it consciously. I just couldn’t get the image of him as a “nice guy” who wouldn’t do stuff like that out of my head. Anyway, it’s over now.

  6. bobbyjensen says:

    Oh ok SG, I see what you are saying. I got a bit confused by the paragraph that started with:

    “And then I remembered that I had to ask him out the last few times we got together. And had to basically nag/remind him to let me know whether NYE would work for him….”

    Either way, I’m glad it worked out :)

  7. bellaressa says:

    This is great, I am glad you got up the nerve. Good for you!

  8. Hypatia says:

    I think you made the right choice. Reposting your profile should have been a signal to him that he should step up his game if he wanted to be serious about you. You wanted to be serious, and he didn’t, and you were in different spots. It’s good that you can see in hindsight that he was (or you were letting him) control your actions. Either way, not a good dynamic.

  9. derek7272 says:

    I’m not sure I’d feel the need to make plans with someone before I left for the weekend, either, but all the other stuff sounds more ominous. It’s telling he was still saying “I still don’t know” rather than “I want to be with you” when you were breaking up with him. Oh well, sorry it didn’t work out…

  10. spoiledsometimes says:

    I haven’t commented since the last time I stirred up things a tiny bit on how I thought that you were twisting things to make you look like a poor victim with Mr. P, because my comments weren’t meant to be mean, but try to get you to look at some of your actions and or posts as well as his actions from an outsider point of view. Any of us who blog normally do so because we are narcissi about our lives, and want to hear other people confirm that we are right even though in a lot of cases we are not.

    I think you did the ring thing with Mr. P. I don’t think there was anything that the guy could have done right that would have made you happy enough to really give it a try. Instead I think that you felt he made good blog fodder and carried it out until you could pull the trigger. You did that and now you can close that chapter. I obviously thought you had the door shut before it was ever opened in this case, but I had only just started reading your blog so didn’t have much to go on. However, I am actually commenting on something that was said via twitter that really did bother me, and I really am hoping I read it wrong or got your responses mixed up.

    The fact is if we agree or don’t agree about how a relationship works doesn’t matter, you and I both know it. You write it, and I choose to read it, and vice versa. However, when someone commented via twitter about you “un-complicating” the situation you said something to the extent of FUCK HIM.

    I am sorry, but I don’t get that at all. You decided you weren’t getting what you wanted from him and ended it. However, you have said nothing in your blog or via twitter that would lead me to believe that he was a bad guy. He might have been a guy not ready to commit to what you needed, but he didn’t stand you up, doesn’t sound like he lied to you and he did do small things to prove his interest. (concerts, gifts, NYE, etc) It was only a week or so ago that you were calling him your “boyfriend” to someone in the office without his knowing, but now that you’ve had the last word; fuck him? REALLY?

    That goes beyond just talking about how he personally didn’t fit what you needed. Instead you are mud slinging and in a place that he doesn’t even have a chance to defend himself.

  11. DC Dating Diva says:

    Just got back and am getting caught up…sorry you had to give Mr. P the axe, I’m sure it left you feeling vulnerable, maybe lonely, sad, empty…not sure…but I think it’s a step in the right direction if you were feeling like he didn’t care and took you for granted…I guess my only thing is, (which could also be my problem) I don’t stop dating other guys, until me and the main one are on the same page, and we both decide to make it exclusive…something I learned from previous relationships, where I’d only be dating said guy and give up dating everyone else, in hopes that he’d do the same…in sum you gave 100% (or close) but only got about 40% back… my advice would be to wait till he reciprocates before taking profiles down and closing out other options…

    Hope you’re ok?

  12. SINgleGIRL says:

    -bellaressa,
    Thanks. I’m not sure it was so much nerve or just realizing that I was just in a silly situation that I didn’t want to be in anymore. I can tell you that I have no regrets.

    -Hypatia
    Exactly, it just wasn’t a good dynamic. And though people were telling me that, I wasn’t able to really see it for what it was people I was hung up on this image of Mr. Potential as a nice guy and I so wanted that image to be the defining one. And nice guys are manipulative. Anyway, it’s over and I’m happy.

    -Derek7272
    I would never tell anyone else how to run their relationships. Ever. But it’s my experience that women (at least the women I know, in my demographic) like to have some sense that after spending a day in bed with a guy that he’s thinking of them and is thinking of wanting to see her again (There’s actually an old Seinfeld episode written around the idea that guys are supposed to call the next day). I don’t need/want a call the next day but not hearing from him and knowing that I wasn’t going to for a few more days was a crystalizing thing for me. If there’s a woman you are dating, just dating, and you want to continue seeing her, I’d suggest not going 5 days after fucking w/o contact. The message would not be a positive one for a lot of women.

    -spoiledsometimes
    I’m going to ignore most of what you wrote because you don’t know me and are making awfully broad assumptions for a stranger. As I wrote, I used the phrase “boyfriend”. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable when I said it and wrote about that. And I agreed with the reader who commented that I might have used it because it was easier than saying, “the guy I’m dating” and then leaving myself up for questions. I never thought of Mr. Potential as my boyfriend. If I had I would’ve bought him a Xmas gift and introduced him to my friends (and shared more of my life with him, he didn’t even know what I did for the holidays, for chrissakes). I said fuck him because I’d finally realized that he was, indeed, manipulating me and in fact had put no effort into getting to know me. Maybe other women think candy and flowers and fancy dinners are an acceptible substitute for actual intimacy, but I feel I deserve better. No one has to agree. It’s my life and I can fuck it up as much as I want.

    -DC Dating Diva,
    I hope you had a good hiatus. I know my decision to go all in seems a potentially bizarre one and it’s someone I only started to do with men about a year or so ago. I realized one night, while on a date, that I felt truly dishonest. Because I’d woken up with someone else that morning. Someone I’d been seeing, for not a long time. And we/he wasn’t ready to commit to a “relationship”. I was on this first date and doing the first date dance and it just felt false and dishonest. I felt like a cheater. And I decided that I would just feel better if I stopped seeing other people once I started sleeping with someone. As a unilateral decision. It just makes me feel more honest. It’s not really about sex or trying to force exclusivity. I can see a fuckbuddy while I’m dating and it’s not a big deal because it’s just sex – no spending the night. I don’t know. I don’t know if this is something that other people I can relate to. But when I spend the night with someone it means something to me (I don’t do this with just anyone). I don’t want to turn around a few hours later and pretend it didn’t happen and pretend I am unfettered.

  13. derek7272 says:

    I hear ya … yeah, five days would be a long time to go w/o talking to someone I was dating… I’d at least want to check in w/ a text or something.


1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Learning New Tricks | Sex, Lies & Dating in the City 31 01 10