After the mildly disappointing cancellation of last night’s date, I’m bouncing back pretty quick. While several of my friends were concerned that I’d fallen too hard too fast for Mr. Nice Guy, in reality it had nothing to do with any kind of emotional commitment whatsoever. The man was very good at giving compliments, which was a thing I needed after the crazy, disastrous chaos that was the Boy and the handful of trifling fellas that happened during the 3 year reign he had on my heart, but it wasn’t enough to form a serious bond.
My disappointment and my hurt came from something entirely different, which we’ll get to in a moment. Right now, I want to talk about the new Tinder-fella who stepped up in Mr. Nice Guy’s absence.
Introducing the Investment Broker! Not as passionate and exciting as Mr. Nice Guy’s plans to go back to school for film, but exciting in that he’s pretty well established, and he’s more settled, more ready to be in something serious.
He’s ex-military, so in equally as good of shape. A little shorter than Mr. Nice Guy, but not so short that I can’t wear my heels…which I’ve decided is a new requirement. I personally don’t mind the height difference, but we already know that men are insecure around me because I’m smart; we don’t need any other reasons for them to find me intimidating.
The Investment Broker and I will be about the same height when I’m in my heels, which I think is a good thing, and it means that without heels he’ll be a good height for if we ever go walking and he puts his arm around me. Which, with us getting into the cooler weather (finally) might actually be a thing… if this goes anywhere.
We’re meeting tomorrow for a few beers and to watch the game and get to know each other in a casual setting at a place he likes to go with some of his buddies. Right about now, I need a wing-woman.
Actually, this guy got my attention before Mr. Nice Guy, and so he should have been the guy I spoke to first. He got my number first, but I was unsure of how the whole Tinder thing worked. I was afraid that it was just a hookup thing and that what I’m pretty sure happened with Mr. Nice Guy would happen if I gave out my number before meeting them in person first.
I think back to one of my friends who, before she met her very steady boyfriend that she’s with now, had very specific rules about how long you should talk to a person online (or on the app) before you give them your number. She’s done the dating thing a lot more than I have.
Prior to moving to Houston, I didn’t date much…
And the few people I did date… well, it never ended well.
I was trying to explain to another friend, one of the ones who told me I fell hard for Mr. Nice Guy, that it was never about having feelings for him specifically. It had to do with the way he presented himself versus what I thought he was after.
While he said he wasn’t looking for anything serious, and that he just wanted friends and maybe to play a little bit, he said really sweet things. Told me I was stunning, and that he desired me, and things that while, yes, they were sexual, they had a more sincere connotation. They left me feeling legitimately pretty and not just “exotic” or whatever “compliment” men give me that means they think I’d be a nice lay, but because I’m not easily fit into a category means I’m not worth keeping for anything serious.
My hope for Mr. Nice Guy was that he might only be looking for play right now, but because he saw something in me that was more beautiful than that, that it would eventually grow into something more…
More what? I don’t know. I legitimately didn’t have any expectations one way or the other.
What I did have was that fear. That crippling fear that, like all the other guys, he was saying sweet things with the intention of solely getting me into bed, and then would have no further use for me. That he could legitimately say really sweet things, make me believe them for a time, and then toss me aside without so much as an honest explanation as to what I’d done to deserve such callous treatment.
See, the thing that my friend (the one who told me I obviously had feelings for Mr. Nice Guy) didn’t understand was that just because I can separate the romantic emotion from the physical act, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have feelings.
I don’t mean romantic feelings toward the guy, but just feelings.
Just because I don’t have to love someone to go to bed with them, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt when I get blown off. It still hurts. And for me it causes feelings of anxiety because I like to think that I’m extremely picky when I choose my partners; why else would I have fought so hard for the Boy? When these things happen, it means that I chose poorly. It makes me see the flaws in me.
Plus, it makes me scared that I’m so damaged, so broken, so ugly, so (choose your negative adjective) that I’m unworthy of love. It’s become a legitimate fear for me.
Particularly because in all my 30+ years, I can’t think of a single time that someone I was dating seriously ever made me feel beautiful in the way Mr. Nice Guy did when he told me I looked stunning. Not one time.
The Boy came close, but it required a knock down drag out kind of fight, and he gave the compliment begrudgingly, like I’d asked him to kill a puppy with his bare hands or something equally as terrible.
Every time he gave me a compliment it felt like that. Like he knew it was a thing he had to do, but he didn’t understand why, and he didn’t really want to do it. The result was that usually I ended up feeling worse instead of better because I didn’t believe he meant it. Even when he gave spontaneous compliments, they’d be diminished by him telling me to file that away and not forget so that later there was proof that he’d done a nice thing.
I’ve spent three years hoping for a single, spontaneous, legitimate compliment from a man who couldn’t care less about me.
And when I finally found someone willing to give me the kind of compliments I needed, he did it just to get sex.
That’s what I meant by it would destroy my faith in humanity.
Just once, I want to be pretty because I’m pretty. Not pretty because a guy thinks that’s the correct phrasing he needs to say to make my panties drop. And to be blown off by Mr. Nice Guy, which I’m fairly certain is what happened, proves to me that yes, he did indeed say all the right things with only one goal in mind.
Hence, we’re moving on, yet again. In search for an honest man. One who doesn’t save compliments just for trying to get time in the bedroom. One who isn’t afraid of saying nice things. And after nearly an hour and a half long conversation with the Investment Broker, I think I might finally have found one. It was a really good conversation, one in which I was actually really comfortable. Enough so that I told him all sorts of things that shouldn’t be brought up within the first 5 dates or so, let alone a pre-date conversation!
I hate to admit it, but I’d blown him off originally because of what he does. He tried to describe some things to me, and my math blocking filter came on, and I placed him in the “No way in hell” pile. Then, while I was debating on whether or not I should actually confront Mr. Nice Guy on his sudden change in behavior, I got a text from the Investment Broker, and we began talking from there. On the phone. As in verbally, not just texts! That alone is a huge departure from the last 4 or 5 guys that I’ve dated!
So, we’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I should get a nice meal and a few drinks out of the deal.
*The cover image is from a website in the UK designed to help women get better Tinder matches. But it was just too awesome an image to pass up!