Have you ever liked someone but the timing is off? How many times do you give yourself advice and not listen? For me, countless times, and the greatest advice I give myself which I ignore is not to fall for someone. Don’t take down my walls. Don’t let anyone in. Don’t allow anyone else to make me happy other than myself. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Well, this time I’ve nailed the head on all bad advice and fallen for a man at the wrong time. And this morning, as I consider what to write in this post, I’m reminded how useless my little conscience can be once again.
I joined a dating site on the advice of a good friend. She did so and met a very nice guy through the site and they are now “officially together” and happy and secure in their adoration for one another. I see her genuine happiness and think to myself, “I want that. I’m ready for that again.”
I wasn’t sure what I was going to find on the site. Or rather, who I was going to find. As fate would have it, I can be quite witty and charming through an online dating site’s profile bio. This is no easy task, friends! In only a day, a number of eligible bachelors attempted to reach out to me through messaging. Most messages lacked any substance and typically were the vague, “hey” or “how r u?” I’m not a snob, but when I’m looking for a suitable partner, grammar and fundamental conversation points are key. So my hunt through the messages continued in a slightly disinterested and unimpressed manner.
Cue the Golfer.
The Golfer’s message was an impressive multi-paragraphed story telling me little details of himself while asking for some on my own part. He was intelligent and had an easy flow to his words that made me curious as to the person behind the “Send” button. So I clicked to his profile. Redheaded, lots of pictures with friends, and a great smile. How could I refuse returning such a great message to such a happy person? So I did. And so began our correspondence.
More than a week later and we slid into our first date. I was a bundle of nerves. Talking to the Golfer all this time had been a whirlwind of emotions; he made me feel beautiful and appreciated and liked. That is something I had been lacking for awhile, even touching into my time with Army. It’s funny how you don’t realize you’re missing something until it comes back into your life. I was sure the Golfer had to be too good to be true. Yet that first date was amazing. Easy, fun, and dedicated to making me feel like a priority. The Golfer was wonderful.
A few more dates occurred, each one better than the last. The conversations became increasingly longer and more direct in accomplishing a growth in feelings for one another. He was breaking down my walls faster than I have ever let happen in the past. I liked this guy. I liked this guy since that first message. And that is not how dating usually works for me.
As our courting (his verb choice for our relationship status) continued and my walls broke down, I became more complacent in how the Golfer entered my life. I allowed him to meet two of my best friends. I wanted my friends’ honest opinions of this gentleman who was causing this flood of emotion in me. They approved. Tenfold. He was kind, compassionate, social, and just down right perfect.
And so Mr. Perfect was invited to meet my parents. A huge stepping stone in any relationship, but especially in mine. As my parents had once viewed X as their son, they lost something when we broke up. They were extremely hurt at this loss, and I felt the need to protect them and couldn’t allow just anyone to enter their lives. Then there was Army… he met them, of course. But Army never cared what my parents thought about him and sometimes went overboard on swearing in front of them and talking down to them. I knew my parents weren’t a fan of him; a fact which hurt me, as my parents’ opinions matter a great deal to me.
The Golfer excelled, of course. He charmed his way into having my mother even befriend him on Facebook. As soon as he left they both described how great he seemed and how happy I appeared. My heart felt light. I was so exceedingly happy at the prospect of what this wonderful man and I could become that I let my heart get ahead of my head.
This past week the Golfer has been MIA. I was not worried though; I knew this would be the case for he had told me. He’s working on a master’s program on top of working an incredibly demanding job. His hours this past week needed to be focused on schmoozing for work, class, and ironing out homework. (I can’t get over how impressive he is; he’s such a hard worker and so dedicated to the jobs at hand.)
The less I heard from him though, the more I began to think. It’s funny how things become less and less clear when you have some time to yourself to think. Thinking is no one’s friend.
And so I was thinking… Thinking how surprising it was that my communication with the Golfer diminished from, say, 90% a day to 1%. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit saddened simply because I enjoy hearing from him and talking to him. Our conversations are just.. easy. However, when you’ve become accustomed to Good Morning, How is your day going?, and Good Night texts daily for an entire month, not receiving anything for three days makes you question things. So I would venture a text here and there to let him know I was thinking of him and receive a short response followed by silence. With me being the only one to begin every conversation, I began to feel like a nuisance. And when I stated as much, his response began to follow the pattern of, “I told you I was busy, I can’t stress about your feelings right now.” Within a few long days, the walls began to rebuild.
Then the fateful Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon the Golfer bought a new car. Unfortunately, I did not find out about his excitement by him telling me. No, instead I heard after I finally sent him a message to see how his day had gone. Feeling like I might be intruding on homework or guy time (he has a great relationship with his roommates — something else I admire in this guy, he’s a great friend and surrounds himself with good people), I didn’t want to ask many questions and kept the message short and sweet. He responded almost instantly meaning he was available to talk. And after a few minutes he told me he had bought a car. And it was apparent how enthusiastic he was about the new ride. I swallowed hard after reading that text; I could literally feel my heart harden. Even as just a courting subject, I would think such an exciting event might make you want to share with the “only person you’re dating”, you know, that person not even a week prior you had stated was “far too good for you.” I was not even considered in letting know the news; if I had not texted him to ask of his day would I have even heard from him? I’m doubtful. And I was a bit crushed.
Here I was, falling for this guy, and now questioning every motion he ever made in the past. Was he playing a game with me? Were the compliments and “I miss you” texts in the past simply this Casanova’s sweet talking? I’ve had these games happen to me before, I thought I knew all the red flags, and this guy was, in my mind, on a pedestal of perfection. I had never doubted him before but now I began to fear I was being played…
In the past month, I have told the Golfer constantly that he’s too good to be true. His compliments lift me up so high I can hardly see the ground. His smile is (ridiculously cute) contagious. He has always seemed so kind and so genuine and so sincere. He just seemed perfect. But sometimes perfection is too good to be true.
Last night I chose to voice my opinion on his lack of communication this week and how it has upset and hurt me. Not in the respect that I wish to demand his very limited time to be directed solely towards me. No, I am in awe of his work and dedication. I’ve told him this again and again. I do not wish to be a distraction or cause any unwarranted stress in his life. Nonetheless, I need something from him. Anything, really. And asking for knowledge that we’re on the same page in terms of our relationship and our feelings is not too demanding, is it? (Seriously, please give me your opinions!) I had hoped he would diminish my fears and remind me why I fell for him so quickly.
His response to this is that I’m causing unneeded emotional stress in his life. And that hurts me most — I did not realize sending a text message to let someone know they’re on your mind warranted stress. Knowing this is his thoughts, I am also stressed. My stress, though, is in the form of wanting to hear from him, but not reaching out because I feel like a bother to him.
We’re a mess. A very unnecessary and unpredictable mess. And I think we both are at the point where we know such a mess should not be happening before a relationship is even fully formed.
I am not a big fan of texting. I think it has added to this entire mess of stress. I believe talking in person allows people to hear tone, and not misconstrue words in a text message for more then they are worth. The Golfer and I have not seen one another for over a week and limited texting has been our only form of communication. So I asked the Golfer if he would like to have dinner tonight so we might correct what should not be wrong and simply enjoy one another’s company for a change of pace. After such a stressful and demanding week on both of us, the idea of seeing the Golfer and being in his arms again felt peaceful.
His reply is that he needs a night to himself.
Truth be told, I’m fine. The Golfer and I have only been courting for the past five weeks. That’s how he views us: we’re courting. Not dating. And I have loved every moment of that courtship. I can honestly say I’ve felt no need to rush as I viewed our place in one another’s lives as… right. Its been comfortable, and with my busy schedule that’s what I want at this time. Yet perhaps his comfort was a bit more pointed than mine… He doesn’t have much invested in me, other than some sweet words and good memories. And though he was the partner in our relationship to straight-up say he is not interested in dating anyone else (just last weekend he said if I was interested in dating anyone else then we weren’t on the same page), there has been no discussion on a future together.
This should have been a red flag, I suppose. He said being exclusive with one another was what he wanted, but yet never touched upon actually being official. He’s expressed excitement at meeting some of the most important people in my life, but there’s been no discussion for me to meet those closest to him: his family. His words don’t match his actions, and that is always something to make me turn and walk away.
I’m not playing games anymore; I’ve been through that phase already and I’m done with it. I am a mature, independent woman who holds a steady job, has a healthy home life, is happy with her life, and is ready to include someone of depth and importance in her routine.
So I’m fine. I’m fine in the knowledge that he does not consider our relationship more than it fundamentally is: a courtship.
Now I’m going to take my own advice (remember when I talked about this topic in Clear Head > Lonely Heart?) and follow my head for a change. It’s not what my heart wants. I like the Golfer. A lot. I like what he told me and what he led me to believe. I liked that he’s a lot like me: hard working, family-oriented, Christian, caring, social, and looking for something more in life. I liked that he was someone I had never experienced before: witty, kind, and sincere. I liked everything he brought to my life.
However, I don’t like feeling as if I am harming someone by requesting their companionship. I do not need someone to worry and stress out over me. I want someone who values my time as much as his own and wants the two to mesh when possible. And with that in consideration, I definitely don’t like the feeling that someone might be playing a game with my heart.
I don’t want to think the worst of the Golfer, so I’m not going to. Instead, this is the conclusion my mind has made: my head is telling me this guy — this wonderful, sweet, kind man — is uninterested at the moment. He has too much on his plate and dating someone who wants more than a simple friendship of “hello” and “good night” is not on his menu right now. Perhaps a dating site wasn’t the best place for him to look for a partner, but then again, maybe it’s just that I’m not the type of person for which he was looking…
So in the end, my advice to myself is to take three steps back. Reevaluate. Don’t engage. Leave alone.
And in time, maybe things will fall into place. Or else I’ll get over the prospect of something that could have been great just not having the right timing.