Picture this… You have just had a date with a guy you haven’t seen in seven-ish years.
The date went well. He was 20 minutes early and I was exactly on time to the minute. In fact, I was so on time that I was laughing to myself the whole drive to the restaurant because when he texted me to say that he was there, I was still standing in my kitchen. Seriously though… I was on time.
As I walk into the restaurant, which I picked because he couldn’t commit to a location, he is sitting at the table for two in jeans, sneakers and an old sweater, wearing a baseball hat. After I put in some time and effort to shower, blow out my hair, add some curls and put a face on, this is kind of disappointing. Even more so when I find out that he just came directly from work. He apparently changed careers in the last seven years and now manages a pet store. This is not me judging. This is me asking for a little reciprocal effort in the “first date after seven years” appearance department. Please understand that I do get it; life is busy and stuff happens but that’s what changes of clothes are for.
Everything starts out good, light conversation, I down two sangrias, the second one tasted like water so I ordered another, I have to choose the appetizer, he can’t make a choice… again, he won’t stop talking about his past two relationships, since me, and how ridiculous they were. Actually, ridiculous is not the word for them. These women, judging purely from his side of the story, were downright crazy pants in need of serious psychological help. It then occurs to me that in the seven years since I saw him last, on a side note… I forgot why we stopped seeing one another until he reminded me; I was dating him AND another guy AT THE SAME TIME!! (I’m dancing around the room at this thought)… More on that in a minute.
Anyways, in the seven years since we last saw each other, he has dated two women. One for just about five years and one for two years. It doesn’t take a genius to do the math. That’s right, he has had a girlfriend for the past seven years since we stopped dating. At this point I am starting to see the signs that he definitely hasn’t taken any time to himself. First sign; he hasn’t stopped talking about either of them and how they wronged him. Second, he has yet to admit his wrong doings in both relationships. Third, he still has that wounded “my puppy got kicked” look in his eyes. Fourth, he refers to me as normal?! Fifth, he keeps saying “I just thought you should know”. Sixth, it takes him longer than it should, to realize he is focusing on him, his venting that is, and not the date. There were many other signs but why list them all. You get the point.
And so after me catching him up on some changes I’ve made since seeing him last, what I’ve been up to and a quick, like five-minute, synopsis on my last relationship (which you can read about in my upcoming book Letters to my Ex), the conversation fell back onto him and some serious drama lama mama stuff. It’s not my story to tell but I think I found my next book topic. Anyways, we get back onto the subject of his two crazy pants ex’s and I decide to ask him where he thinks went wrong.
Let me preface this next part by saying this; I was a very different person seven years ago, mentally, physically and emotionally. That being said, this is the point where he reminds me why we stopped seeing each other; apparently I was dating him and another guy, who didn’t even live in this country. Basically, he couldn’t make the choice to commit to a relationship with me and I chose to leave the U.S. to see if I could be with the other guy. Obviously that didn’t work out. So as we are sitting there talking he is telling me about how all of his relationships have been messed up crazy and not normal. Except for one. This is the one who got away because, as he put it, he was afraid of normal and let her go without a fight.
Imagine hearing this… right? So I’m sitting there thinking “what the ef… I’m normal. I’m not cray…. OOOOOhhhhhhh” then I notice he is intently staring at me. You know that stare when you are telling someone something and you want to make a point so you “pointedly” stare at them? Yeah, that one.
Apparently I am the one who got away. I’ve never been the one that got away before and I clearly, judging from my avoidance of what he just said, have no clue how to handle or respond to this little bomb shell.
Now I’m starting to freak out a little because I really don’t want to get involved with someone who needs me to fix them. At the same time, I don’t want to get involved with someone who thinks that I can give them normal. What is normal anyways? Just because I’m not crazy pants crazy, doesn’t mean I’m not my own brand of crazy. It seems like way to much pressure to put on someone you haven’t seen in seven years.
Ok hold up…. put the brakes on. This is just one date. No one is talking forever here. Phew!!! Now I can get back to sipping my sangrias and not main-lining them.
A little while later, after we finish the flatbread pizza, that I chose… again, we head outside to say our goodbyes except its freezing outside and he is still going on and on about this and that, and my car is already running so its warm. I tell him that if he wants to keep talking to me then we have to sit in the warm car. So we do. Bad. Idea. Don’t ever follow my lead. Clearly I’m not a reasonable thinker in the cold. Or after four sangrias.
This is where I find out that he has been wanting to tell me his drama for “a long time now” and feels so relieved that I’m not judging him. And I’m not. Not on the drama part anyways. And then it happens.
This guy leans across the seat while I’m looking down and tries to kiss me. I say “tries” because as I look up, he awkwardly head butts me. This doesn’t deter him though and he proceeds to go for the kill except he does this darting thing with his tongue. So weird. Call me a jerk if you want but I laughed out loud and told him he was awkward. Apparently he likes that sort of “flirty” talk, his words not mine, because he starts rubbing my knee and leaning into me again and just when I think I might have to break his heart or face… thank the Gods of all desperate for a miracle interruption ladies because my phone starts ringing through my cars bluetooth and up pops my daughter’s name on the navigation screen. The seventeen year old saves the mom!!!
Thankfully and blessedly, the date comes to an end and now I’m left reeling. I’ve never been the one who got away and as much as that flatters me, I know I need to handle this guy with kid gloves. Not only is he very clearly vulnerable, but I notice he is tailoring his new lifestyle very similar to mine and the things I do with my free time; volunteering, charity events, etc… Theres probably only one thing that I know for sure about this whole situation; It is not one that would benefit either of us. While I have no problem being a friend, I can not fix him or make him a better person who garners the respect of others.
Until next time!