It’s Not You, It’s Me.. Or Is It?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my friends and she asked me “what’s that thing that all boys keep doing when you’re dating”. She told me about her and her friends and the patterns that they kept falling into whether it was falling for the same fuckbois, or only being asked for snapchat and instagram as forms of off app communication. As she was asking me that, I happened to be waiting, rather impatiently, for an answer from a boy I was seeing, Mr. Hockey.  My conversation with my friend got me thinking and based on my patterns of dating behaviours and experiences, made me predict what his answer was going to be “I like you a lot, but I’m just not ready for a relationship”. When it was confirmed yes that was his answer, I got to thinking: why does this keep happening and what does it mean?

My last two little flings with guys, have both ended the same way – they like me a lot, but they aren’t ready for something serious. After Mr. Hm, I thought that this might just be a really polite and respectful new version of the cliche “it’s not you it’s me”. But I accepted it for what it was, and decided I had no choice but to move on. Once it happened again, just about a month later, I’m starting to wonder if that’s true of if there’s something more behind those words.

I had swiped right on Mr. Hockey, not even 4 days after Mr. Hm and I had ended – I mean what better way to get over one person than to try to get under be respected and go on dates with someone else who was cute and presumably more emotionally available. When he asked me out I was, definitely not ready, but wanted to go out with him anyways, because TBH he was very attractive (again, I’m well aware at how shallow this is, but can you really blame me?). I thought he’d just be some great eye candy that would be a nice distraction, but after a really nice date with him, I knew there was a lot to him and I even started, to my own disappointment, to actually think I could like him. We talked everyday, and unlike Mr. Hm, he gave me that attention that I craved. He was kind, and attentive and caring and just gave me those butterflies. He would always message me first, and take a genuine interest in me and my day. Pair that with his incredible chivalry (I mean, I never even had to open my own car door when I was with him!) After a couple more dates, I could confirm that I liked him and liked where things were headed. It seemed so clear to me that he was ready and respectful.

Until Saturday night, where we had made plans. He had messaged me in the morning to confirm, and had solidified the plans with me. I was excited to get to spend more time with him, since our constant talking just left me longing to see him!  At about 6pm he last minute cancelled. WHAT!? This just left me upset, disappointed and confused. A million thoughts went through my head about what it could be, why he did that, what does that mean. If I have learned anything remotely helpful from my dating endeavours, I have learned that for me it’s best to just ask WTF is going on, so that’s exactly what I did. I crafted up a direct, but sweet message that would help me get to the bottom of it. In my head, I had a feeling something was up when he last minute cancelled, but I clung on to the response I had wanted “Of course I want to hang out again when are you free”

However, as each hour passed, it became clearer to me that something was wrong, and my feelings of anxiousness were at an all time high. Upon waiting approximately 10 dreadful hours to my message about wanting to reschedule I get the text I wasn’t waiting for. It felt like verbatim the same situation with Mr. Hm, “I’m really sorry, I’m not in the right head space and don’t want anything serious with anyone. I really like you and I really like being around you but it’s not a good time for me”.  Of course I was upset, but after waiting so long I was glad that I finally had an answer. But now what? Of course I wished him well and blamed it on the timing – to which his response was that he hopes we can reconnect when the timing is better, because he really does see something with me.

At this point, I was upset, but his words, and what I think were his genuine expressions, left me hopeful. So I continued to talk to him for the duration of the evening because I was just not ready to let go. A few more hours of normal, flirty banter later and he has invited me over. This quick 180 to this (what I’m assuming) proposed casual relationship took me by a great surprise, but also left me with quite a few wild thoughts:

  1. Anyone who knows me knows that I have never done casual. Maybe I’m a prude, maybe I’m just more guarded, but I have always steered very clear from anything casual.  Something about this guy has ignited the thought that maybe it’s something that I want. I mean, I’m busy with work, so is he, I know he respects me and I know at this moment in time I’m not interested in meeting someone new. Could I really be considering a casual relationship?! And what does this mean? Could it be that I am also in a place where I’m career focused and something less time consuming might actually fit better into my schedule? Casual dating has been a territory that has been so unexplored, and now I begin to wonder and think about why?
  2. When I think of this situation – I am brought back to Miranda’s post about her 6ix month relationship. Am I thinking that I want casual with the hopes that it will develop into something more? He made it very clear that he isn’t ready for serious, BUT he also made it very clear that he likes me and sees serious with me. If I don’t see him again soon in a more casual (or even plutonic way) does that mean my chances with him are over? Will I be upset if it stays casual? I think that I know the answers to my own questions, but I can’t help from having a little bit of a wandering mind…
  3. WTF does it mean that these boys keep telling me that they aren’t ready for serious? With Mr. Hockey especially, we had only been on a few dates. The conversation about what we are, and what do we want has hardly even come up. Do I give off such a relationship vibe that the boys I’m dating sense it before I even know it myself? I mean, after just a handful of dates, does anybody really know if they want a relationship?
  4. Should I feel respected or rejected? I have now heard this line a few times, by guys that have been so wonderful and kind and respectful – but what does this mean? Does this mean that it’s an easy way out and they want to spare my feelings? Or does it genuinely mean that they aren’t ready and don’t want to lead me on. Does it just mean that I’m not the right girl? If I was right, would they do anything to make it work, or does their current lifestyle really not leave room for a girlfriend? As I struggle with figuring out the underlying meaning, I think about how I could have avoided this happening again. How I can I gage what a guy wants before I start liking them, all while seeming cool and chill? I mean is my right move REALLY to be asking them on a first date where they see this going. I’m sorry, but thank you, next.
  5. How do I keep finding these guys that are so not ready? Is it an age thing? Most guys I date are in their mid twenties, but does that just mean they want one last hurrah of single-hood before they have to settle down? What pattern or sign am I missing that I so easily misread these situations?! 

With these questions in mind and at play, I know that I need some deserved ~me time~ and need to take myself on a dating hiatus to figure out what is going on and what I need. The apps are gone and there are zero dates on the horizon for me! So cheers to girls nights, buckling down into my job and just having fun with friends and family!

See ya (maybe – but hopefully not too) soon!

 

Advertisements

So Tell me What you Want, What you Really, Really Want

Well Spice Girls – I wish it was that easy! What do I want? What do the boys that I’m dating want? These are the questions that have been roaming through my dating mind and to be honest I’m not sure if I have an answer to any of them, and lately I’m wondering if I really need to.  Where I’m at with my modern, mid twenties dating I’ve been wondering: how much do we really need to know what we’re looking for when we start dating someone?

Let me take you back to when I did know what I wanted. A boyfriend. That’s why I was on the apps, that’s why I was frantically swiping and that’s why I was agreeing to all of these first dates weekend after weekend. I just knew that one of these guys could be my boyfriend and that’s exactly what I really wanted. So off I went. Each date felt like a checklist. Cute, check, Job, check, Apartment downtown, check, (I’m shallow I know) and so on and so forth. After each date, there I went, thinking that I had just met the boy who was going to be my boyfriend, and live happily ever after with me *cue wedding bells. I was so certain after each date that I had found ~the one~ But clearly (still single) my intuition wasn’t totally accurate.

Here’s exactly where I started to get confused – after 2 or maybe 3 dates, things would fizzle. We’d stop messaging, they’d be “really busy with work” or they’d just tell me that we weren’t a good fit. Quickly, after each guy,  I could see it: yeah he was boring, the conversation didn’t really flow, we didn’t have much in common, maybe his suggestion of movie night at his place really did mean that he just wanted to hook up with me. All of these things had come into my mind during the date, but I was so quick to push them aside, because maybe it wasn’t really a big deal. Think of all their other great qualities, I would tell myself and smile through the awkwardness that was the date. What’s worse is thinking back, had things not fizzled out (often by them) I would have still been keen and wanted to date them. Why? They were nice, they checked my list and I could tolerate my time with them. Then it hit me. Because I was looking for a boyfriend, I would date anyone who wanted to date me. I didn’t think about our chemistry, or if I was even remotely into them, but rather I checked off a list – what would my family think, would they get along with my friends, would be photograph well together etc. (you can see how this went). I was so into finding a boyfriend, that I forgot to use the date to get to know them and see anything other than a boyfriend figure sitting across from me, who realistically could have been anyone.

Fast forward to me deciding I needed to regroup. Maybe knowing exactly what I was looking for was detrimental to my dating, and my chance at finding ~the one~. Maybe I needed to be more go with the flow, and take the time to get to know someone and just see where it goes. Leaving my Type A planner personality behind, I decided to step wayyy outside my comfort zone and try it. I went into dating again much more open minded. There I went on  dates, trying really hard to be much more selective and really focus on the PERSON in front of me, not just the idea. Now I felt more confident, because I was going on dates no longer to look for a boyfriend. After one long date of a guy who only talked about himself, or a boy with whom I ran away from so he couldn’t kiss me, I became much more selective in the people I would see, and it seemed to be working well.

Next, I met Mr. Hm. Mr. Hm and I hit it off on our first date. And I know I say that about practically every date I go on, but he wasn’t just “really nice and cute”, but it felt like we had more in common, and I even left the date with those butterflies fluttering in my stomach (something I’m cluing in is an indicative sign to someone being more than just a friend). After the 4 hour long date, I texted him thanks, we chatted and we went on with our weekends. I hadn’t heard from him but knew I wanted to see him again. So like a modern, strong woman I texted him first again, and waited for him to ask me out. I didn’t think much of it, because when we spoke he seemed interested so I rolled with it. We had continued to see each other, and go on all of the dates exploring basically all of the Christmas and winter fun we could find. I was so into him, but tried to balance it by being chill – I mean, I was no longer dating for a boyfriend.

My chill attitude steered me away from anything that would make me seem “unchill” even though these things bothered me. Our dates were great, and he was kind and respectful and our chemistry together was pretty good ;). However, our dates were often a week apart, and within that week I could go days without talking to him and he could go hours without answering me. Mr. Hm was so hot and cold, I was constantly wondering “does he like me, is he seeing other people, where’s his head at” and though I would ask variations of these questions to him – (though confirming we were exclusive) I never asked him to clarify anything about what he wanted, or where his head was really at. The entire time something about it seemed off, and I never had that same confident feeling of knowing where we stood that I had with other guys that I’ve dated. I wondered what it was – aside from the fact that he didn’t like dogs (which really should have been my biggest red flag to begin with) I couldn’t find the flaw that I was looking for. After two months, I felt constantly confused – when we were together things were great, but during the week I felt as if he wasn’t in my life at all. It was as if we kept taking one step forward, and two steps back. It honestly became exhausting.

After enough of my frustration, with some advice from a friend I messaged him what I wanted to ask, trying to figure out where his head was at. Two and a half months of exclusively seeing each other, I really only thought that there would be one logical response. Trying to convince myself I didn’t want to be a girlfriend and I didn’t care about the title, it became so clear to me that I did want that with him. And I wanted all of the emotional support and responsibility that came with it. I realized I was upset if he didn’t text me after a long day, or would wait to make plans with me – likely only after I initiated it.

After a weekend of talking post message, I was going to see Mr. Hm and was excited about it. At the end of our date where we chatted about real things: our families, our charity work our job prospects, he drove me to my car. As he pulled up to drop me off, what felt like out of nowhere he decided that we should end things. EXCUISE ME. I was shocked, I was confused and all of a sudden I was sad because in that moment I knew that I had wanted something more. Leaving me with a very fair, and a very respectful “It’s really not the right time for me” type schpiel that he wasn’t ready to be a boyfriend again, and he agreed that was very clearly where we were headed. Confused and sad, I said goodbye to Mr. Hm and questioned where things went wrong.

All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had wanted to date him the whole time, and was too scared to say anything. I tried to play it off overly chill, but in reality I did think about what it would be like to be his girlfriend, and I was convinced that it was just a matter of time. I overlooked his signs of being emotionally distant and never called him out on it because I didn’t want him to say something that I didn’t want to hear. All in this, I followed his lead and pretended I was okay with what he was giving me, all because I didn’t want to say I wanted him to be my boyfriend. His mixed signals paired with our complete coupley date-y activities left me longing for an answer I was too scared to ask for.

My overall conclusion is still TBD. I know what I want (I think), but how do I go about the beginning stages of dating not jumping to conclusions or just hoping a guy will make the decision for me.   When I wanted a boyfriend, I misread every situation but when I “didn’t want one” I misread everything too, leaving me to question how clear my intentions should be when I start dating. I may be naive, and think every guy really is just super nice – but how will I know which guy is right for me?! As I continue to try dating through the six, I struggle to find what that happy medium is, and how much it affects who I date and how long I date them. Hopefully one day I’ll figure out  what I want, what I really really want and how I can get it!

Stay tuned

How To Be Single : Not a Movie Review

Carrie – You would think that around Valentine’s Day would be when we dating bloggers are most inspired, but at the risk of being presumptuous, I think it’s a fairly safe consensus to say that we here at DTT6 are in a funk. I have yet to miss a deadline for my weekly posts but I’ve been finding it really hard to blog about something – anything – when I really have no desire to be in any type of romantic relationship.

Continue reading “How To Be Single : Not a Movie Review”