Last Sunday, in the wake of the cataclysmic conclusion of whatever it was that me and Robbie had going on, naturally (or not) I took to Tinder for solace.
I surprised myself by being in the mood for it. I wasn’t, like, devastated over Robbie or anything because there wasn’t much to be devastated over. We’d hadn’t spent any significant time together or had sex or really any kind of real attachment whatsoever besides a litany of texts. Even still, there’s a certain feeling of withdrawal when you find yourself suddenly on the outs with someone you were used to talking to on a daily basis. There’s kind of a jolt to the system, like coming to a sudden stop in a speeding car. So I was feeling a little sour over it, and usually when I’m feeling that way about a guy it’s next to impossible for me to even think about trying to focus on anybody else.
So I was surprised that I found myself trolling Tinder. And that I wasn’t comparing everyone to Robbie out of wistfulness like I usually do after any romantic failure. That’s usually why it’s so hard for me to try to date immediately afterward. But this time it really wasn’t much of an issue. I guess that just goes to show that maybe I didn’t like Robbie as much as I thought I did.
During my Tinder travels I ended up swiping right on a cute blond guy whom I shall affectionately refer to as Dusty. And I’m usually not into blonds. I tend to have a weakness specifically for dark-haired guys with blue eyes. But hair color notwithstanding, I thought Dusty was pretty attractive. And as luck would have it, he thought the same of me because he swiped right eventually too and from there we got to talking.
He was engaging, witty, funny, and we clicked through effortless conversation. It wasn’t too long before he gave me his phone number and we progressed to texting. When we were ready to call it a night, we agreed to speak the next day.
Only…when I heard from him the next evening he was texting to tell me that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea if we talk any further. He was still getting over a recent breakup and hadn’t realized he was still harboring feelings about it until I asked him the night before if he was actually single. He felt that he should spend some time alone. That was a blower, but what can you do? At least he bothered to text me at all to explain.
I’m not quite sure why – maybe because I didn’t know him well and didn’t think I’d be speaking to him after that night anyway and just wanted to vent – but I asked him if I could talk to him about the Robbie situation really quick before we parted ways for good. (I had mentioned it during our initial conversation, but didn’t get into details.) He agreed, and I relayed the gist of that situation to him. He actively listened and provided insightful feedback, and from there, before I knew it, we had drifted back into normal conversation again. He kind of alluded to maybe having jumped the gun a bit by trying to cut things off so early, but I wasn’t confident that I’d hear from him after that night even though he said we’d talk the next day.
But I did. Throughout Tuesday evening it was more of the same. And I was really liking him. He seemed like a sweetheart. A genuinely nice guy. And smart. With an established, interesting career, a stable background…all the good stuff. Things seemed to be going just swimmingly.
He asked me out on Wednesday afternoon. Only he wanted to go out the next night and I was going to be working. I told him I was free that night, but he had an exercise class late into the evening and so wasn’t able to meet up until around 10 PM. So we planned for 10 initially, but in the end he decided to skip the class so he could come out earlier.
There was a certain neighborhood of restaurants he wanted to go to not far from me (he lives about an hour away). He said he’d prefer to go the traditional route of picking me up, but under the circumstances he was fine with just meeting there. As a compromise (and because parking sucks in the restaurant area anyway), I parked my car in the vicinity of a strip of bars I frequent that is a few miles away and directed him to meet me there so we could drive to the restaurant together.
What a gentleman he was. When he saw me coming he immediately hopped out and walked me over to the passenger side of his truck to open my door for me. And he was just as adorable in person as he was in his pictures. Very tall – 6″3″ – which I just love because I’m a tall girl myself and I loves me my heels. Solidly built. Alluringly scented. I was very pleased.
Dinner was excellent. We ate at a great Italian restaurant that I knew was a good bet from eating there a couple of times in the past. There was no initial period of shyness or awkwardness that there can sometimes be on a first date. I immediately felt comfortable with him and the conversation and laughter came just as easily in person as it had through texting. The chemistry was palpable after a while. I was really enjoying myself.
We weren’t yet ready to call it a night after dinner, so we drove back over to where my car was and had a couple of drinks at one of my go-to spots there. I’d had 2 glasses of wine at dinner already, so after my second vodka & soda at the bar, I figured it was time to call it a night. Never a good look to get hammered on a first date.
As we were wrapping things up he told me he wanted to kiss me but knew it would be kind of awkward in the middle of a bar. Once we got outside he pulled me over to him and planted a kiss on me. And it was a good one. And I wanted more. But I wasn’t about to make out with him in the middle of the street, so we hopped back in his truck and I directed him to a waterfront parking area just moments away.
We spent maybe a half hour in his truck looking at the water. And talking. And kissing. More kissing than talking. We couldn’t get enough of one another. I could’ve made out with him for hours, but in the spirit of being a good girl, I managed to pull myself away before things got too carried away. He drove me back to my car, walked me to it, and kissed me goodnight. I went to bed that night with a smile on my face.
The next day he texted me to tell me good morning, and we talked somewhat throughout the day but not too extensively. I was working that night and he was feeling kind of ill and taking medication that made him drowsy, so I wasn’t too pressed about not getting to talk much. I figured at some point we’d make plans to get together again and I was looking forward to it. I felt good about him and was prepared to be patient.
And there I was on Friday, in the middle of writing about Robbie and all set to eventually expound on the charms and promise of Dusty at some point…
And then I got the fatal texts.
The gist of it was that he’s still not over his ex-girlfriend. He hates to hurt me in any way, but he’s not ready to date. He wants to take some time for himself and be alone. I tried reminding him that there are actually intermediate stages to romance…you now, a middle ground between going on a first date and getting married. Like…talking. Getting to know one another. Being friends. Things of that nature.
But he said it’s “all or nothing” for him and it’s just the way he’s wired. Hmph.
I was taken aback, of course. And at the end of the day, his explanation essentially boiled down to the old tried and true “It’s not you, it’s me.” Everyone knows that an explanation like that is complete BS 95% of the time. What it usually means is that it is in fact actually YOU, but he or she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. So it was difficult to hear something like that in so many words and not feel like I failed to live up to his standards in some unknown way when I was thinking this had so much potential.
He reminded me that he had almost cut things off after our very first conversation, thus going to show that he was obviously having reservations before we even met. True enough. That’s the only reason that I managed to believe in what he said. It really wasn’t me. It was in fact him.
Even still…really? After we had such a great time together? Our sizzling chemistry? Why’d you bother making out with me then? “Because you’re beautiful and I was attracted to you.” Right.
Part of me was hoping that some way, somehow, he’d change his mind once he could see how bummed I was over it. But it was all for naught…his mind was clearly all made up. He said he’s lost right now, and possibly still in love with his ex-girlfriend. But he wasn’t sure if he was really still in love with her still or just lonely. Either way, he needed to step away and be alone to figure things out.
He certainly wasn’t kissing me like he was in love with someone else. But whatever.
He remarked several times on how great and wonderful and amazing I was, and wanted me to be absolutely certain that this had nothing to do with me. But how could I possibly think that it didn’t? If I’m so amazing, why would you let me slip away? Those two events are mutually exclusive events in my head.
At least that’s how I view things. But men and women are wired differently, I realize. I heard something said once along the lines of how settling down for men is a mostly function of WHEN, whereas for women it’s mostly a function of WHO. Meaning: A man is only going to settle down when he has it in his head that he’s ready to, and who he’s with at the time might not necessarily be that critical of a factor. He just might let “the one” get away and then 6 months later marry someone questionable just because that’s who he happened to be with at the time that he decided it was time to settle. Women, on the other hand, are pretty much ready to settle whenever they come across a person they can see themselves setting with. Period. The end.
I’ve always believed there was some truth to that, and with that in mind, I knew that Dusty was a lost cause at this point in time. It really wasn’t me…he’s just not ready to date and it is what it is.