A man approached me while shopping in Target, took down my number and text me the very same night. I wasn’t particularly interested in him, but you never know how things can blossom. It’s flattering to be picked up and I do feel like men deserve a reward for having the balls to walk up to a woman and express their feelings right off the bat. The man was 32 years old, which to me, means he’s old enough to know that you can’t carry on a “getting to know you” conversation via text. Furthermore, he asked me to tell him something interesting about myself, to which I responded that it was hardly my duty to entertain him with “interesting” factoids. I mean, if you don’t know me shouldn’t everything I share with you be interesting at first? I also politely told him that if he wants to get to know me better he is welcome to call me at some point later in the week. He called me a “tough cookie” and that’s the last I heard of him. I am aware that I may have come off as a little harsh but I’m just no longer interested in playing the game. Even my favorite dating blog encourages women to appear unavailable, wait to answer text messages, and not to answer on the first ring. I DON’T CARE!!!! If I’m chillin in my house and someone texts me and I read it, why wait to respond? It’s 2013, everyone is glued to their phones it is not realistic that it’s going to take me 2 hours to respond to your text—I’m a single mom but I can fucking multi-task.
Anyway, as much as I detest the “rules” of modern dating, I am also a hypocritical participant. As was revealed not long ago I was on the cusp of an uncommitted but committed relationship, and it is with heaviness in my heart I share that I finally did the right thing and let it go. It is with equal heaviness that I admit I am batshit crazy for doing so. I really don’t have anything bad to say about the guy, and I really can’t even narrow down a major reason for shutting it down. I am highly aware that I resemble stupid bitches in pointless romantic comedies that end things with a great guy over a “bad feeling” or simply to discover themselves. BOOORING….but where there was confusion as to how exactly I felt about this man, there is finally clarity after having made the final decision.
This may not be a staple in modern dating, but perhaps more of a reflection of laziness on my part, but in most involvements I’ve made the mistake of inviting a man over to my apartment way too soon and eventually having to deal with the “post-up” syndrome. Post-up syndrome is when a man comes to your house, whether invited or uninvited, and for whatever reason kind of doesn’t leave. As a single mom of course I want to get out of the freaking house and go out on dates, but time is not always on my side for that and it’s just easier to have some dude come over and chill. It’s a dangerous practice so early in the game. Things progress way too quickly physically and seemingly emotionally and essentially it feels like playing house. The only thing is: it’s MY house!
He found me in the shower, sitting on the floor of the bathtub, water running and tears flowing. I resented being found that way and I knew in that moment I wasn’t ready to have someone in my space. I didn’t want him to know so much and I didn’t feel like explaining myself or reassuring him about the things that torment me. I’ve spent hours in the arms of my ex-boyfriend crying and trying to grasp at some sort of normalcy within myself, but that took at least a year of intimacy before we got to that point. Looking back I don’t know if I even consider it a healthy interaction. Anyway, on certain days of the week I was sharing a space with an almost stranger whose moods I never seemed to have the patience to deal with. Things had moved way too fast, and I don’t believe that dialing things back would have even fixed anything. As a woman who struggles, it’s quite easy for me to feel as if the walls are caving in. If only it were possible to co-exist with someone in silence. I think I’ve just become more painfully introverted and strange as the years go by, and that’s why I rely so much on vibing with a person as opposed to actual conversations. When I’m at my most relaxed (with the exception of the presence of a few old friends) I don’t really have much to say, I’m just happy to be where I am. I’ve been on dates where I just kind of smiled faintly and nodded my head as the guy talked and I didn’t mind it at all.
But I digress. This beautiful boy who found me in despair tried to save me, to hold me and do the things in his power to make my tears go away. I couldn’t quite explain to him that sometimes this was my life and that I couldn’t be fixed. He would leave dirty dishes in my room, put his unwashed hands in the potato chips, smoke weed on my balcony, and wake up early in the morning to express all his pent up aggression toward the world in general. It bothers me so that I couldn’t take care of him the way that he needed me—the way that I prefer to take care of anyone that comes into my home—but I have to take care of my children and myself. One hard adult lesson that I feel I continue to learn is that it is definitely possible to find a great guy, it just doesn’t mean that he’s the right guy for you. I wasn’t moved in the same way that he was moved by me and it would have been selfish for me to continue to be indecisive. He showed up at my door asking me to stay, his long lashes hooding his sorrowful eyes. My desire to be loved is not worth sacrificing the heart of another. I had been where he was, pleading with a love to bring life back into something that was already dying, and I wish to God that he would have said no to me.
I stayed strong in my resolve and I made the sober decision to let him go. His presence in my home was an invasion to me; it took me out of my comfort zone because I am just not ready at this time. His presence in my heart will linger and it will bring me comfort to think of him. I am a mess, one moody bitch—but he fell in love with me in this place and he fought for me with a tenacity that the men who have professed more couldn’t even muster. He is the one who deserves better.