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

Not Boyfriend Material

Not Boyfriend Material online dating  daylight savings time 290x300So I had a fun-ish date last week. Ending with him saying how much he’d like to see me again.

I won’t be seeing him again.


Because I’ve finally learned my lesson. Well.. this specific lesson. That, is everything. OK, maybe not everything. But a lot.

It’s something I’ve said before. Timing is everything. But saying something, and really living it are 2 different things. I could’ve saved myself a lot of time and if I’d have fully acknowledged/lived this one earlier.

Sometimes you meet a cool person. And s/he seems like someone you’d like to get to know better. But you know s/he’s not ready to date. Or rather, to date anyone seriously. And you think, ok I’ll stick around and see what happens. So you date this person (this person who clearly isn’t ready – because of whatever s/he has) in the hopes that s/he will be ready soon.

I’ve done it a few times. OK, more than a few. The just barely separated. The recently divorced. The grieving widower. Potentially awesome future boyfriends. But usually too caught up in whatever emotional baggage they’re dealing with to be a good partner in the present.

Nope. Not going to do it, ever again.

Having chosen to stick around (to see what happens, because they’ll eventually be ready) in the past I know that there would be days when said guy will be a total dick. Mean, selfish, careless with my feelings. And I know that even if I choose to be patient and giving, there’s really nothing I can do to speed up whatever he’s going though. He needs time to heal. To get over his shit. Maybe even time to have lots and lots of meaningless sex.

So, my date last week was with one of those guys. And I’ve decided that, for once, I’m going to trust what I know. And walk away. Quickly.

Of course. all of this may be bullshit. Maybe there’s no such thing as being ready. As being material. Maybe I just don’t have the skills to help someone to move on. Maybe I’m just not girlfriend material. It’s certainly been said, many times before.

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33 to “Not Boyfriend Material”

  1. Timing is everything has been my mantra during this (horrible) breakup. I worry, though, that there are no men my age without so much baggage that the timing is never right, which leads me to believe that if I am patient they will change, which leads to me getting my heart broken and soothing myself with the whole “timing is everything” mantra…plus ca change, I guess.
    Hilarity in Shoes recently posted..Thoughts on LonelinessMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s what I used to think. That I had to be hanging around, waiting. Because everyone has baggage. I just don’t think it works that way. Instead, I became the relationship fluffer. The woman who helped them get better so that they could go on to have functional relationships with someone else.

      A friend and I have an old bad joke – gotta catch a guy exactly 5 yrs post divorce. That’s when he’ll be ready (because that’s when she met her husband). Of course, there is no right time.

  2. Roxanne says:

    This is all so true. You can’t speed up the process and when the process is done, he/she might need to shed you as a reminder of the process itself. Like there are still some songs that I love, but I can’t listen to because I listened to them during a dark time. It’s not the song’s fault but still . . . . You are right not to let him “play” you. (I acknowledge fully the bad pun; apologies.)
    Roxanne recently posted..The Night I Became CinderellaMy Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Smart observation. People shed their rebound relationships.

    • NikkiB says:

      Yes – great point. Like Simone said – it’s the reason they’re called “rebounds”.

      There’s a really freakin’ good chance the reason someone is in a relationship when they aren’t ready is as a way to get over the past one. SO by that definition, they aren’t in it for you, they’re in it COMPLETELY for themselves. And that isn’t how you start anything, in my book.
      NikkiB recently posted..I have a healthy relationship… with Lust.My Profile

  3. MJ says:

    I don’t think it’s BS. It’s not.
    It IS all about the timing.
    You are not girlfriend material for someone who is not boyfriend material FOR YOU.
    When it doesn’t feel right from the beginning, it won’t be, no matter how many sacrifices one makes for it to feel right.
    Love should not be about sacrifices to make it work, it should work from the get go, period.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m not sure I believe that. Relationships require compromise. And compromise is by it’s very nature about some sacrifice. But it shouldn’t hurt.

  4. Julie says:

    This reminds me of the guy I’m seeing (or WANT to be seeing, I guess is more accurate). He asked me what I was looking for . . . and after I told him I asked him what he wanted in a relationship. His response? “I don’t know.” Ouch. Forget that we danced all night and kissed and kissed some more. I can focus on those things to make me believe that we will be a pair in the near future. The cold hard truth is that the “I don’t know” wins out over everything. It’s smart to run away, Simone. I find myself in quicksand at this point.
    Julie recently posted..Three Encounters of the Oh-So-Wrong KindMy Profile

  5. Kelli says:

    Ah yes, my friends just lowered the boom on me with this one and declared that it was time for me to take up the “No More Fixers” policy. So, I’m in the same place as you… walking away quickly from a lot of guys who MIGHT be good in the future. (some in the very far future… after lots of work… that may or may not ever happen…) *grin* Total support from this corner!
    Kelli recently posted..Gone Fishing!My Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      No more fixers. Sounds like a good name for the policy. Funny, I never think of these guys as fixers (although I probably should. Just in need of patience and time.

  6. NikkiB says:

    The thing is this. I fully believe that we should get over our past on. our. own. With, of course, the help of our friends and family. But relationships shouldn’t start out as a way to get over another one, or as a crutch.

    I want a partner who is in my life for me. Not to get over someone else. And I’m not about to try and make him all whole (or whatever) again. That’s his/her own job. I wouldn’t ask anyone else to do it for me, either. And it’s not selfish, nor does it make you non-GF material. I think it makes you smart, and that it means you expect a partner to be rational and mature and one who can handle their own shit.
    NikkiB recently posted..I have a healthy relationship… with Lust.My Profile

  7. You are spot on with this one, at least in my case. It took me 18 months before I was ready for anything serious. In that time, despite my repeated claims that I didn’t want anything serious, several women thought they could stick around and i’d come around. They all were eventually disappointed and/or hurt when I didn’t. You can’t rush it. He’s either ready (and he knows it) or he’s not. Hopefully he’s honest about where he is and what he wants. If you think he’s worth waiting for, tell him to get in touch when he’s ready for something serious. If he thinks you are worth it, he will.
    Bad Boyfriend recently posted..Dirty Story #2My Profile

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thanks. I’ve done the “get in touch when you’re ready” thing. That didn’t work out so well either. I think that has to work naturally (he just looks me back up) or not at all.

  8. Argent says:

    If your intuition is telling you he’s not ready, regardless what HE might say, he’s not ready. I can’t count the number of times I should have listened to my gut and didn’t. I should have listened to my gut this last time around and thank god I only spent 3 months on him, instead of 3 years – or a lifetime.

  9. darcylynn says:

    Love this post. Timing IS everything…

  10. nathan says:

    Yes, Yes! 2011 has been all about this for me. Finally saying no to dating women who aren’t ready or otherwise available, no matter how much “potential” they have. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a girlfriend say “I really want to be with you,” and then put up walls because being with me somehow brings up her ex. It gets old, and I deserve better than that. You do too. We all do.
    nathan recently posted..Endless Evidence GatheringMy Profile

  11. Heather M says:

    I think that I am likely not girlfriend material. I’m not ugly – in fact I’m witty, charming, intelligent, out-going… I may be fat but that doesn’t stop anyone else… and yet I can’t seem to make relationships work. I think if anyone qualifies as not girlfriend material – it’s me!
    Heather M recently posted..Happy Tasty Tuesday!My Profile

  12. I have to say I totally and 100% agree with you that timing is really everything! I’ve gone out with a lot of guys and if one of you isn’t in the right place it’s not worth continuing. No body likes wasting their time… at least I don’t and I’ve done it a lot when it comes to dating haha.
    Hall of Lamers recently posted..The Tale of the Two-Faced Liar that couldn’t Grow Balls and was Arranged to be MarriedMy Profile

  13. Timing is everything. Period. Don’t put up with the wrong time for you (you know when it’s wrong) and don’t put up with the wrong time with them (they’ll probably tell you when it’s wrong…though still see if you want to bone).

    Better not to have one than to have one you wish you didn’t. FANTASTIC article!
    The Naked Redhead recently posted..Dear Red: How to Love the DivorcedMy Profile

  14. Kalinka says:

    Simone – the ONE thing that was an eye-opening moment was a line from Mad Men this past season. Don Draper says “people tell you who they are, we just don’t want to listen”. So if a guy doesn’t want to get married and tells you that within the first 2 months of dating, then being the most awesome girlfriend and sticking around for 4 years will not change that. (personal experience there).

  15. Charlotte says:

    Another post that speaks to me. I feel as though it gets easier to recognize all the signs that a relationship will either sink or swim early on, and if there are red flags, it’s probably best to walk away to save a broken heart. I recently met a guy who is also not ready or looking for a relationship and I am now having a hard time with the whole walking away thing, even though I know it would be for the best. What is it that about the unavailable ones that makes them so damn attractive?

    Anyway, I admire your ability to stand firm for what you believe in, Simone. I only wish some of that could rub off on me! :)
    Charlotte recently posted..Insomnia Club: Sometimes you’re nothing but meatMy Profile

  16. donte says:

    I’m sorry if I sound like DR.Phill but just want to say that coming to reality and waking up from that dream of being in love and wanting t get married must be very difficult because when your in love it is like being in a dream and everything he or she does we tend to rashenalize, so we miss the signs when we know if a man or women is not ready for the commitment. But it is important to be honest when ourselves and define the relationship early in the relationship…
    donte recently posted..What is loveMy Profile

  17. donte says:

    dais-ed and confused,
    When I was a teenager I was best friends with a guy lets call him “john” and we both dated twin girls,John was dating one twin and I was dating the other. Well the twin that I was dating was very promiscuous and had multiple partners and only used me for sex. But one day I was on a double date and I got the chance to talk and get to know the other twin and was amazed about how much we have in common. As we all began to hang out more and more I would watch cheat on her and treat her very bad and be forced to keep it a secret and although keep this secret that he was cheating was very difficult to keep, the hardest secret to keep was the fact that I was falling in love with her. One day I invited her to a premier of a restaurant that was opening and we went just the two of us and for some reason I couldn’t stop staring at her and I had to use all my strength not to tell her how I feel about her and the fact that her boyfriend and is bad for her. As I walked her home I grazed her hand to some what let her know how I felt and my heart seemed to skip a beat when she held my hand, so finally I decided what to do so I stopped and I turned to her and I told her how I felt and it felt like a 10 ton weight off my shoulders and she stopped dead in her track and she turned around and when I remember looking into her eyes and when did I saw tears running down her cheek and then she walked toward me so gracefully and she she kissed me on the cheek and said she was sorry and if the situation was different she would love me too. But at the time I was a very well known gang member and I wanted out because my life was in danger so I left and I left my feelings for her hanging in the wind. When I left that lifestyle I became a missionary and was traveling the world , but the whole time couldn’t stop thinking about her smile her personality the things we talked about. After many many years past and graduated from college I settled down and got married and had a child, when one day well into my life with my family I got a friend request that shocked me to te core when it was her, trying to reconnect.
    Well one night we talked and talked for hours and all of my emotions came flooding to the surface and now I’m so confused because I love my wife and family but I the heart wants what the heat wants …. Please help What should i do ?????????
    donte recently posted..What is loveMy Profile

  18. Jenn says:

    Just had to chime in. I spent 5 years in a “we’re sleeping together but are we dating or not” relationship with someone who told me on the first freaking date that he didn’t think he wanted to be in a relationship with anyone (having just ended a long-term serious relationship). And how did I finally move on from him? By spending the next SEVEN years in the exact same type of relationship (only actually worse because THAT guy will still, to this day, say we never dated) with a guy who told me when we first freaking met that he wasn’t interested in dating me! After some serious therapy, my number one dating rule became “if he isn’t clearly into me and want the same thing I want, I’m walking, no matter how awesome he seems”. The happy ending is that when I did find the right person, it was so obviously right that it made me wonder what the hell I was thinking all those years. So trust your gut – when it’s actually right, it will be worth waiting…
    Jenn recently posted..ChemistryMy Profile

  19. Lennie Ross says:

    I agree with your post. I wrote one a while ago called “Catch & Release”. Sometimes that fishy needs to be tossed back into the pond to mature a bit. Sometimes, you stay friends, look back and wonder why you didn’t feed that fishy… but more often than not, you don’t mind if you never hook him again.
    Lennie Ross recently posted..3 Questions Women Ask MenMy Profile

  20. Brooke says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I love your take on dating! We just launched a blogging site of 2 girls in Toronto. It’s new but I would love for you to take a look.
    Brooke and McKenzie
    Brooke recently posted..The Bird DanceMy Profile

  21. susan says:

    oh but it’s so hard to turn away when if it wasn’t for that one little thing (ie that they are not relationship material right now!)
    rebounds…hmm well I’ve seen some supposed rebounds last happy ever after. maybe its more a case of right person right time no matter what the circumstances
    susan recently posted..I’m just not ready for a relationshipMy Profile

  22. I agree. Women’s instinct really works. I really believe in that. Tried it a lot of times. :D

  23. Cindy says:

    always forget about your past relationships, but clear with new partner about what you want and if he/she agree take it slow I agree with private asian girls women instinct really works.