We only dated for a month and it feels like heartbreak
A relationship that began with great potential recently came to an unexpected end. It took roughly a week of processing through journaling and reflection to finally be at peace with it.
Not long ago that I was writing about a beautiful experience the young lady and I shared. So to turn around and reveal how that experience ended felt a little embarrassing. I’ve even been avoiding talking about it with the people closest to me.
In my goal to embrace vulnerability and write about my truth, it doesn’t feel right to only share the good in my life. My hope is that writing about my challenges will somehow help others.
The unexpected turn
We had just experienced a fun Sunday evening of dinner and a movie. I wrote previously about my interpretation of that date, so I won’t get into details here. Just know that my takeaway was that it was a beautiful experience where two people became closer in the stage of getting to know one another. The date ended with me walking her home and us sharing a goodnight kiss.
What I didn’t realize though, was that we each had very different perceptions of the evening.
The following day was nothing special. We spoke over the phone for a bit and made plans for dancing and live music the following weekend. She was packing for a business trip so we kept the conversation short.
The next day was when she called and revealed that she wasn’t sure if she felt a “next level” connection with me. She wanted to talk about it before allowing it to linger into our Saturday plans.
She explained that she was a bit in her thoughts during our date on Sunday. And she apologized for not being fully present.
I was a bit shocked to hear that, and explained that I could sense none of what she was explaining. From my perspective, we were having a great time and feeling each other. I was kind of at a lost for words.
Somehow, though, we kept talking. Instead of ending the conversation I stayed on the phone and kind of leaned into the discomfort. Before long we were onto a different topic and chatting away. This was good, though. I needed to put a pen in the conversation and come back to it.
Eventually we circled back and were able to have a healthy discussion about what we were feeling.
I then asked her if she could be more specific. She then said, “Well, you haven’t really kissed me yet. Sometimes I just want to be grabbed and kissed.” To that, I explained how there hasn’t really been an opportunity for it. We’ve always been in public, and I didn’t want to just throw myself on her. I will admit that I probably could have been more aggressive up until this point. But when I last saw her, we were both getting over nasty colds, and I for sure didn’t want what she had, nor did I want to giver her what I had. So putting my tongue in her mouth was the last thing on my mind.
We both agreed that dating is tough. I personally was toeing the line between being respectful and yet physical enough to build on that connection that could lead to sex and a deeper of intimacy. But I think some of the onus rested with her as well.
When making advances to create intimacy, I have to feel that my actions won’t be viewed as being too forward. It’s a bit of a game of push and pull. I explained that I was getting more of an interested but yet still wanted to get to know each other vibe from her. Maybe I was too in my head.
At some point during the phone call, we each took down our walls. At least, that’s my perception of what happened. It seemed as though we became more open and honest.
I noticed that my mindset shifted to more of a nothing to lose state. I was looser with my tongue and speaking in a way that was more natural. At that point I could care less about being judged or disliked. And before I knew it, she started warming up to me again.
She mentioned how she liked the unhinged version of me. I was just being me.
It made me wonder if I had previously been showing up in a way that was inauthentic. For sure that wasn’t my intension. I am a firm believer in showing up authentically in dating. No one wants to meet your representative. They want to meet the real you.
As we talked we became flirtier and more real. We started sharing what we found sexy about each other and before long; we each started throwing out innuendos left and right. A phone call that started out as a possible breakup call turned into a two-hour conversation that concluded with us both expressing how excited we were to see each other on Saturday.
The big date
In the days leading up to the weekend, we chatted often while she was away on business. It seemed as if we were building on the breakthrough we had on Tuesday night.
My goal for Saturday was to not hold back. If this dating experience didn’t work out, I didn’t want it to be because I failed to show up. My actions during this date would leave no doubt of my intentions.
I picked her up around 9. As soon as I saw her, I got out of my car to greet her with a hug and a proper kiss. She smiled approvingly, and then we were on our way.
The date was fun. We enjoyed a night of Latin funk music and the best people watching money could buy. Going into the date, we both thought that there would be dancing, but it was more a concert vibe. Luckily we had reserved seats so we didn’t have to spend the night standing.
There was quite a bit of touching throughout the night. I would imagine that anyone watching would have assumed that we were a couple. Aside from an awkward attempt at dancing, our night was pretty fun. The connection was strong and we were both affectionate.
The let down
Where things turned weird, though, was during the drive home. At one point as we were talking, I mentioned that I liked her, and her response was, “you’re sweet”. At that moment, it wasn’t what she said, but what she didn’t say.
From experience, when someone expresses some form of affection towards me, I usually respond with a similar display of affection if the feeling is mutual. When it’s not mutual, though, my response is typically something along the lines of what I had just received from my date. I would compliment or express some form of gratitude. But I would intentionally steer clear of expressing mutual affection.
At this moment, I kind of knew something was amiss. I became even more sure about my assumptions as we pulled up to her place. As we approached her building she commented more than once about how tired she was and how she couldn’t wait to fall asleep. I took this as code for “I am happy this date is over, and no you will not be invited inside.” I realize that this is my interpretation. Perhaps she was actually tired. Either way, I knew this would be the last time we saw each other.
The next day, I didn’t call or text, nor did she. This experience was over, and I had made my peace with it. I was ready to move on.
Monday came, and I assumed that I would never hear from her again. And I was okay with that. But then, that evening I received a call from her. I was out and about catching up with friends and couldn’t talk. I returned her call a couple hours later.
When we spoke, she told me what I already knew. She didn’t feel enough chemistry between us to continue. She said that she wanted to call instead of texting or ghosting me because she had grown to care about me. During our short conversation, she mentioned more that once how she had grown to care for me. I had no idea what that even meant or why she kept repeating it.
I explained to her how there were no hard feelings on my end. This is something that happens in dating. Not everyone is going to be into you.
I thanked her for calling and providing some form of closure. Such conversations are never comfortable and take courage. The easy thing would be to just never speak again and disappear without explanation.
It felt as if she wanted me to say more about the ending or speak my feelings. Or perhaps share my thoughts. She didn’t seem to be hurrying off the phone. Perhaps it was out of respect for me or she just didn’t know how to end the conversation. But there was nothing else for me to say beyond thanking her for providing an explanation. I had already said and done what I knew how to do. I was ready to be over it.
Nothing is ever guaranteed in dating. I heard it said that all relationships end, until they don’t. This was a tough one for me, though. Maybe because I don’t remember the last time I so poorly misread another person’s feelings. I usually can sense when things are going in a different direction. Sure there have been cases where I liked someone more than they liked me, but I could usually see the signs when I look back and connect the dots.
I realize that our emotions sometimes cloud our judgment and we tend to see what we want to see. Maybe that is what happened here with me.
I have to remind myself that this ending is nothing against me. Sure, I could have probably done a few things differently, but beating myself up over it doesn’t serve me in the slightest.
At the end of the day, she wasn’t the one for me. It’s that simple. And I’m okay with that.