When he told me he’d met his most recent ex-girlfriend via a threeway with the girlfriend before that, and that those two were friends, I should have known this guy was kind of a mess. The second girlfriend had problems with the first girlfriend and the first girlfriend was still heavily in the picture and so that gave the second ex-girlfrienf the sads. I heard all about it by the second time we hung out. Apparently the first girlfriend totally approved of the second girlfriend and encouraged the pairing. Because, of course.
Of course your second girlfriend didn’t like the first girlfriend. You date the ex of a friend or the friend of an ex and you’re a piece of shit. Period. End of. You complain about said friend whose ex you’re now dating, boo hoo. You brought that on yourself.
I mean, who puts themselves in the eye of that kind of storm? The ex of your friend? The friend of your ex-girlfriend? That you had a threeway with? So basically, she sat on your face before you two ever had an official first date? Oh, and your previous girlfriend that orchestrated the threeway is still your friend? Oh, and that first ex is someone you consider your “best friend?” Oh…OH…wait….and you have pictures of yourself with both of these women ON YOUR DATING PROFILE? (Dude, seriously. That was such an easy catch.)
I think it’s safe to say I got what I deserved.
Here’s how it started: Michael and I met on OKCupid back in November. Our first conversation knocked my socks off in that he wasn’t your typical OKC creeper dropping sexual innuendo every chance he got. He was normal. And interesting. And smart. We met up and talked for three hours, never running out of things to say. I won’t be cliche and say we had this amazing connection and chemistry because we didn’t. There was no flirting at all. So, the next day, I sent him an email saying thank you for drinks and that I didn’t sense a romantic spark but thought we’d be great friends.
I’ll stop here and say I’m an idiot. I found him attractive. I totally would have gone out with him again. I didn’t communicate my thought to him properly. What I meant to say was that I didn’t get the sense from him that there was a romantic spark.
He replies and says he agrees and that he wants to stay in touch. Now, how many of us have been in that situation and done the “let’s be friends thing”?
So I don’t respond because I think he’s just being polite. The next day I get a message from him with his phone number. “Text me whenever!” I respond with my number. A few days later he sends me a text “just to check in” and says we need to meet for a drink. Cool. Let’s do that, I say. Then I start to wonder if maybe I jumped the gun with my misguided “I didn’t sense a spark” email. (For those playing at home, I TOTALLY JUMPED THE GUN.) So, a few nights later, I text him and say:
To which he replied:
Can anybody decipher this? Anybody at all? He’s kind of circular here, yes? I respond and say that I get what he’s saying. (I DIDN’T. AT ALL!) No response. A week later I send him an email and say that if he just wanted to be friends all along, he should have said that. I asked him not to respond. Why? Because I didn’t want another word salad put in a blender explanation.
About a month later I message him. We talk. I ask him to meet for a drink that night. He says he can’t because he has a friend in town, but asked me if we could meet two nights later. Sure. Not a problem. So we meet. And again we have a great time. He brings up the fact that I said I’d be in the city for Christmas and that – if I wanted- we could hang out. Sure, I say. I’d like that. “Definitely,” he says. “I’m I’m around we’ll hang out.” Suddenly he wasn’t sure if he was going to be around. At that I assume he’s just being kind by inviting me to hang.
Two weeks go by and I don’t reach out to him. Christmas day comes and he sends me a text.
“Merry Christmas!” the message read.
“Same to you. Happy Hanukkah!”
Then…crickets. When he doesn’t follow that text up with anything concerning his invitation to hang out, I assume he’s blowing me off. I don’t respond. The next day I realize that – oh wait – maybe I was supposed to respond to that text. Not wanting him to think I blew him off, I texted him saying I thought it was weird that he messaged me on Christmas but didn’t bring up getting together.
“Umm, I thought the same thing. When you didn’t respond I assumed you made other plans.”
Ok. Fair enough. I suggest we meet the next night, a few days before my birthday. “Definitely!” he says. We meet up again, things are great. At one point he tells me I have chocolate on the corner of my mouth and reaches over to dab it away. Okay. Not something I typically do with my friends, but okay.
My birthday comes around and he sends me a text wishing me happy birthday. Very sweet. A week goes by. I hear about the mass shooting in Ft. Lauderdale and panic. Michael was coming home from Ft. Lauderdale yesterday. I send him a text asking if he’s ok. Then I wait.Finally he texts me. He was on the runway when the shooting began. I tell him I’m relieved. But in that moment I realized that this whole grey area thing wasn’t working for me. The fact that I was so upset waiting to hear back from him meant I liked this guy. If I spent more time with him, I would develop deeper feelings. Like I said, the fact that he dated his ex-girlfriend’s “friend” could be an indicator that he very well might be an asshole, depending on how close these two women were. If he coudl do that to someone he loved (depending on the situation) then imagine the teeth-kicking he could give me. Soooo, I bit the bullet and sent him this text today:
I don’t want to be angry, BUT……..
Come on. COME. THE FUCK. ON. He had to know he was sending mixed signals, right? Or was he not sending mixed signals at all and I’m just an idiot? Are my antennae so broken that I misinterpreted all of this?
He’d recently moved here from Boston. I couldn’t tell if he had much of a life here or not. I think I was the Friend Side Chick. Like, he had his main friends and then there were the people he hung out with when he wasn’t hanging out with them. He genuinely liked me as a person. I don’t question that. He probably just wasn’t attracted to me. It happens. Not his fault.
Here’s the thing: I’m glad I know. I don’t regret putting it out there so bluntly. It had to be said. Of course, the wine I’m drinking probably helps numb the pain. Kidding.
But the thing is: I still don’t think he’s a bad guy. He’s just a really bad dater. Like, he doesn’t seem to know basic dating etiquette. If you’re just interested in being friends, don’t pay the bill. (I once offered to pay the tip and he rejected my offer. “Next time,” he said. “But I probably won’t let you pay then, either.”) Don’t invade their personal space and wipe their mouths, you freak. (J/K!). Don’t invite them to hang out, period. Just walk away until a reasonable time has passed. Then try to be friends. His messiness could be because he’s a serial monogamist who has never been single for any significant period of time. Seriously, the guy has been in a relationship since he was 25 years old. Married and divorced by 33, then Ex number 1 for 6.5 years, then Ex number 2 for 1.5. He just turned 42. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for experience gathering. Or introspection.This guy was one continuous rookie move after another.
Keep in mind: we’ve never taken things to a physical place. He could have been that asshole who sleeps with women knowing he doesn’t want anything from them. He wasn’t that guy. He’s a guy who doesn’t know how to be anything but a boyfriend. Or he’s just a guy who needs women to like him so he tries too hard. He’s like that SNL character Caveman Lawyer. He’s single after a long stretch of being in a relationship and confused by our mystical world.
What say you? (This should be fun.)
PS…he gave me permission to write about him.