At the beginning of December I matched with Mr. Maritimes and we immediately clicked. He’s currently in school and wants to eventually work with those suffering from mental illnesses in psychopharmacology. He’s super close with his family, loves dogs, his niece and his hometown in New Brunswick. Sound like a great guy? Ya he is, and I, the family-oriented, psych grad with two dogs, quickly became infatuated with Mr. M and his optimistic outlook on life. I couldn’t wait to meet the guy who seemed like so much of what I was looking for.
There was one hiccup in what was sure to be our storybook romance. We matched while he was in the midst of (8!!!) exams and wouldn’t be able to meet in person because he was constantly studying. As timing is always on my side, he was then headed home for the holidays and I was going to Mexico, making January the first time we’d be able to physically meet. This is not my ideal situation in the slightest, and I told him that texting 24/7 was really out of character for me. He asked me to try and make the effort which I decided to do, as we’d had some AMAZING talks that went far beyond what we did on the weekend. However, while I really enjoyed our conversations, the little voice in the back of my head kept nagging me that there is a very good reason why I like to see if I have a connection with someone off the bat: People are not always as they always appear online. But, assuming I was being cynical, I put the voice in my head to rest by masking it with another urging me to give this guy a genuine chance.
After weeks of straight texting, Mr. M eventually decided to take a study break and meet me for a drink. I am not too proud to admit that I was super excited for the date, to the point where I cancelled plans that I was supposed to have afterward on the off chance that it went really well… if you know what I mean ;). Come Friday I was ready to finally figure out if Mr. Maritime was going to be as awesome in person as he was on paper.
Well, it’s not that I was catfished…he looked enough like his pictures and was similar enough to his texting persona, but the spark was not there….like at all. We met up at a really cool bar and definitely had a lot of common interests, we just didn’t have an in-person connection like we did virtually and it was far more disappointing after having already invested three weeks in each other. With time to think about our replies the conversations were awesome and complex, but in person they were static and forced. I was terribly disappointed and frustrated after the drawn out evening, but we continued to text back and forth. On my end, I knew I was going away the next week and for whatever reason decided not to “break off” our texting relationship before then. The day I left we spoke briefly and he told me to text him when I got back.
Midway through the first week of January I had still not texted him or written about our date. Initially, I wasn’t too sure as to why it was taking me so long to write the post. I am usually very good about writing about my experiences almost immediately after they happen, finding it a cathartic release of sorts. This time, I think I put it off because I was frustrated for going against my instincts and was also feeling guilty for not messaging him at that point. I had inadvertently invested about a month in someone that I didn’t want to be with, but obviously still respected, and was stuck between sending a “breakup” text or going against my instincts again and following my friends’ suggestion: ghosting him. All my friends suggested waiting for him to message me before I shut him down, but how awful would that be! At the same time, should I really reopen our dialogue with the sole intention of closing it?
Luckily, I decided to trust myself and messaged the guy. I figured it was better to let him off the hook instead of having him wonder if/when he was going to hear from me. Even though I felt shitty doing it, I explained that he was great but I didn’t see us moving beyond friendship. Turns out he had seen it coming (probably due to the delay in my message) but was cool about the whole thing and really appreciative that I hadn’t hung him out to dry. We parted ways with smiley emoticons and that was that.
Honestly, this whole thing was surprisingly hard on me and it sucks intentionally letting someone down. Nonetheless, I feel a whole lot better having tried to do the right thing instead of succumbing to the easy option of blissful ignorance. Clearly I’m very sensitive to the whole ghosting thing, explaining why I was unable to write this post until I had tied up all the loose ends. While I’m all for casual dating, it should never be at the expense of respect and human decency.
So there you have it, a moral dilemma far larger than the actual situation called for. But! If it’s true what they say and what goes around comes back around, then I’m taking this as a sign that there is sure to be some good karma coming my way soon.