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:
- 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?
- 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…
- 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?
- 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.
- 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!