Stories are shaped by the way we tell them. There are the facts, and then the way we present the facts. Our attitudes and prejudices.
I could tell this story a few different ways, each with it’s own spin. I’m not sure which would be right. Instead I’ll just try to throw it all out there.
The basics: I’m not going to be seeing Mr. Midwest anymore.
He’d emailed me on Friday and asked about my plans for the weekend. I replied I was free Sunday night. He didn’t reply. Rather, he called on Sunday morning with suggestions for things we might do that night. These he left on my voicemail as I didn’t answer the phone. I wasn’t, at the moment he called, sure how I was going to deal with it.
A part of me thought I should ‘play the game’. Tell him I’d made other plans since I hadn’t heard back from him. But doing stuff like that makes me physically ill (and in fact I was nursing a stomachache over the thought of it- no joke).
A part of me thought I should call him and tell him I wasn’t interested in seeing him anymore. I could stand being ambivalent about a guy, but only if he’s acting as if he really likes me. The shift from frequent calls to unanswered emails made Mr. Midwest seem suddenly less attractive to me. My ambivalence had potentially turned towards dislike. Potentially.
And a part thought I should just go out with him again and try to initiate some kind of ‘where are we, if anywhere?’ conversation on the date. Which I felt was probably unfair to the both of us.
In the end, I called and told him that I’ve enjoyed spending time with him but felt that we hadn’t really made much progress in getting to know one another. And, thankfully, he jumped in and agreed and said it seemed like we just weren’t connecting. So we talked about that for a few minutes (talk about awkward). And I mentioned that maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore. That maybe we just weren’t going to connect. And he suggested that we get together for dinner and try talking some more. Connecting.
Then I jumped in and suggested that he invite me over to his place. I thought it would help (if the situation was one that could be helped). At which point things got more awkward. He got really panicky and started to stumble over words. So I tried to take it back, saying that if it was something he wasn’t comfortable with I understood. But he insisted (it was the most hesitant sounding insistence I’ve ever heard) and so the plan was I’d go to his place for talking and take-out and he’d text me the exact address.
Less than 30 minutes before I was supposed to be at his place, I was putting on some makeup and trying to figure out the appropriate next step if he didn’t send his address (4+ hrs had passed since we’d spoken). Then the phone rang and I knew. He was calling to cancel. To end things.
He was extremely sweet and polite. He said he’d thought more about what I said and thought that maybe we were trying to force something that wasn’t there. I said that was very possible and that it was probably better (if we both felt that way) that we nipped it in the bud. And he asked if we could stay in touch. He even joked about setting me up with one of his friends because I’m so cool.
It was all very pleasant and mature.
Yep, pleasant and mature. That’s one way to look at it. Or you can imagine that my request to come over to his apartment was the end of the road. That he was hiding something. That would be the cynical spin. I’m not inclined to assume every guy is a lying asshole (despite the name of this blog) and so this doesn’t ring entirely true to me. But it sure seems possible.
Or maybe I just blew a potentially great thing. Maybe if I’d just kept my mouth shut a little while longer we would have started to connect. That’s certainly possible.
I don’t know where the real truth lies. Other than in the basic facts – Mr. Midwest and I went on a handful of dates. We enjoyed spending time with each other, but it felt kinda empty. And now we’re not seeing each other anymore.
I’m not sad about it. I will, however, take the week off from dating. I’ve got lots going on with work, and honestly, just need the break.
Tags: game, guy, phone