So there I was, a complete puddle of misery, insecurity and rejection. The Terminator’s tantrum had decimated me, if only for a day or so. I mean I wasn’t confined to my bed eating doughnuts and drinking Coke, but it really, really hurt. Not constantly, not totally, but it would swell up suddenly. He was gone (even if I didn’t — and still don’t — believe our story, whatever it is, is over yet). He had let some stupid misunderstanding come between us. Or worse, he had used it as an excuse to end things, which meant I was Undesired and undesireable. I’m not saying this is how things are; this is how I felt when the full impact of what happened finally hit me completely.
I tried mightily to reverse the tide before it even started. I gave myself a day of pampering: hair, facial, mani-pedi, body scrub and deep moisturizer. I wrote about it, trying to exorcise the negativity; I worked out like a fiend, trying to expiate the anger, sexual frustration and body hate that always pops up during situations like this: “If my thighs were more toned he wouldn’t have dumped me,” all that crazy shit that women think when romantic disaster strikes. Hell the whole cosmetic surgery industry is built on moments like this. I hung out with my best girlfriend, and analysed the shit out of it like two ESPN game analysts. I told myself, over and over, that this was not about me. These were his issues, his problems, his drama spilling onto me. Exactly what I didn’t want in the first place, right? Right????
It worked for the most part. There were moments when the sense of loss would overtake me like a wave and I would be carried away with it to feelings of sadness, loss and regret. Inadequacy. Grief. Looking back it amazes me that there was this much emotion after only a few meetings over three months. Oxytocin is a bitch. But now, with the perspective of a few weeks of separation, I believe that it was more than that. Not that we were meant to be together, but that those emotions were real. Who knows why these things happen, or if chemistry has to mean anything? Maybe, like the sky, like the air, it just is.
Of course I started scanning profiles online again looking to distract myself, but for a couple of weeks I got no play whatsoever; it was positively dreadful. I was ignored by so many guys it made me want to check my internet connection. But then…
Amid a sudden flurry of responses from various guys I had reached out to or who had noticed my profile, there was a response from J. His profile was detailed, meticulous, erudite, funny and grammatically flawless. It even had style. We had so much in common it was creepy. We’re both geeky, bookish, grammar snobs who like music, and on and on and on…I messaged him when I received his profile as a match from one of the sites. He wrote back and sent me his phone number in the third email. Three days later we had our first date. A couple of hours turned into the whole day. I feel comfortable with him. He gets me. When I apologized for going off on a tangent during a talk he said “It’s ok, you’re thinking of ten things at the same time,” YES. How does he know this?
Originally we met seeking something casual. When we met, I thought he looked good, slightly older than I’m used to (early to mid-50s) but tall, lanky classy and slightly nerdy. “This is the type of guy you marry,” was the first thought that popped into my head when I saw him. It’s true. Not that I want to get married, but he’s totally that guy. You could give him the keys to your car and he would give it back to you the next day cleaned, shined and with a full tank. Dependable, solid, in charge. Boring? Just the slightest bit. But he is funny and smart.
A couple of hours into the date (a stroll along the High Line and brunch) he asks me: “So do I have any competition?” For a minute I have no idea what he’s talking about. Then I realize he’s asking whether I’m seeing anyone else. Up to that point I had been getting signals that he was not acting like this was casual, and that confirmed it. “It’s too early to get into that,” I told him, and he seemed to accept that for the moment.
As we’re talking over brunch, I get more and more freaked out by how comfortable I feel. Easy. With a little heat underneath it. Interesting. He’s a perfect gentleman the whole time, but he lets me know that he’s seriously interested in me. I like this but find it unnerving. Go figure. He takes me home and I only allow him to kiss me on the cheek, as we’re in my neighborhood and I like to keep my personal life private. We make tentative plans for a second date, and say goodbye.
I am compelled to tell him the truth about everything…including the fact that I’m not crazy about the idea of monogamy at the moment. Is this a sign?
Image: via High Resolution Photos, Public Domain