Of all the guys I’ve been out with, Date 20 is the one I could most see myself marrying at some point down the road. Unfortunately, I don’t think he shares my viewpoint. After our last date, at the end of which Date 20 perfunctorily informed me I snored, we had texted briefly, but then communication between us fizzled and disappeared. And then my birthday passed with no acknowledgment, electronic or otherwise, despite Date 20 being well aware of the date.
[Side note: The birthday thing? It’s kind of a test. Without giving it away, I’ll just say I have an extremely easy-to-remember birthday, since its date is kind of a novelty. That said, I wondered who, of all the guys I’ve been out with, would remember (and/or make the effort) to say happy birthday. As it turned out, Date 23 wished me well before the fact but not on the actual date, and Date 5 said happy birthday because I wound up texting him that night, telling him it had been my birthday during the course of conversation, but only Date 27 texted me specifically, complete with all sorts of cutesie little happy-face and decorative icons, to say he hoped the day was a good one. Everyone else either forgot or decided saying anything would send a message they didn’t want to convey.]
Anyway, when Date 20 let my birthday pass without sending any greetings, I figured we were done for good. Oh, well, I inwardly said with a sigh. I’d been figuring things were done between us, but it still sucked to have it spelled out so clearly in such definitive terms.
About a week later, however, I received a text from Date 20: Happy belated birthday! he said. Kind of pissed he had missed the actual date and kind of figuring he was only texting me because he wanted sex, I texted him back a one word answer: Thanks. No smilie, no exclamation point, just a period afterward.
My therapist, my sister, and my friends were all so proud of me for holding my ground. Too bad I broke down after less than forty-eight hours. I couldn’t stop thinking about Date 20, so I texted him late Friday night, telling him so. Less than thirty seconds later, my phone rang. Date 20 was on his way home from a family gathering. We chatted by cell until he pulled into his garage, and then he called me back from his land line, since cell reception isn’t the greatest at his house.
All together, we talked for almost two hours that night. Even if he didn’t want to be with me long term, it was clear that we’d both missed each other, as our conversation was warm and genuine. At the end of the call, he asked if he could come over Saturday night and take me out to dinner at one of the restaurants near where I live. I said yes, and I could barely sleep after we hung up, I was so excited at the prospect of seeing him again.
Saturday night, I let him into my apartment and we hugged in the doorway. I had decided I wasn’t going to have sex with him that night, since I wanted to know if he had reasons besides getting in my pants to see me, but that resolve faltered when he started to kiss me. He just smelled so good, and I loved the insistent way he kissed and grabbed at me as we made out. Left literally breathless, there was no way I could say no when he suggested we move things inside my apartment.
That said, we didn’t even make it to the bedroom–we did it on my couch. Besides feeling awesome in a sexual way, I found myself emotionally engaged in the act, knowing my hunger for his body wasn’t just physical. When he climaxed inside me, I know this sounds mega-cheesy, but I was fighting back tears of joy. Luckily, though, I was able to hide them when I started crying for real, but I knew what the tears meant: as suspected, I was in love with Date 20. This phenomenon had happened to me twice before–once with my high-school boyfriend and once with my main college boyfriend, who eventually became my husband.
Oh, shit, I couldn’t help thinking. This is bad.
Because I knew Date 20 liked me, but he wasn’t really emotionally available, so I was wasting my energy. But I’ve never been able to help being an optimist, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt that night as he took me out to dinner. Not to mention the fact that he treated me extremely well while we were out together that night, making it way too easy to get my hopes up.
At one point in the evening, we even ran into one of my friends at the restaurant. I introduced Date 20 to her, and I could tell she was happy for me. I was proud to be with him; hanging out as a couple felt right, further cementing my notion that Date 20 and I were meant to be together.
As we said goodnight later on, however, I knew the real test would come in the weeks ahead, when I found out whether he was going to ask me out again. As suspected, communication between us again dwindled to nonexistent.
Two weeks later, though, I texted Date 20, asking him a question related to some upcoming travel I was about to embark upon. He answered enthusiastically and I thanked him but didn’t push for us to get together, figuring he’d ask if he wanted to see me. A few hours later, he texted, asking if I’d like to join him for a hike.
It was great seeing him that afternoon, and we had fun hiking together, but when we made it back to our cars afterward, he hugged me goodbye instead of kissing me. Not wanting our relationship to only be about sex, I didn’t ask him back to my place, and he didn’t ask me to dinner. Instead, I drove away and he sat there in his car, checking stuff on his phone while I crawled along in the stop-and-go traffic our hike’s timing had left us fighting at its conclusion.
The next day, I texted him to say I’d had fun, thanking him for asking me to join him, but his reply was brief and somewhat curt. Maybe I’ll hear from him in a few months, when he gets horny enough, but you know what? I don’t need to have my chain yanked like that, so I’m feeling pretty done. Because, this hot and cold thing? It’s the pits.
I may still have feelings for Date 20, but I deserve better.