So I got stood up last night. I sincerely don’t think it was intentional, or at least I didn’t when it happened. Waking up in the middle of the night and now unable to go back to sleep has me doubting and wondering if perhaps this isn’t a thing I should get used to. The situation hearkens back to some of the things with the Boy, not in the most important ways, but the patterns are similar enough to make me wonder if maybe this isn’t just the way things are going to be from here on out. For the rest of my life. Maybe longer…
It wasn’t the guy who’s an hour away and yet reminds me of several of my exes. He’s gone for good.
I realized that I was already putting forth more of the work for something that felt wishy washy at best, and I didn’t want a repeat of that particular scenario.
If you’ll remember, we were supposed to meet and that weekend he was ridiculously sick, as in he thought he might be developing pneumonia type sick, or bronchitis, or some other horrible thing that could turn fatal without the proper amount of sleep and fluids and what have you. And I understood that, didn’t push to see him while he was sick. The conversation was good, so we continued to talk…
For a while.
The thing is, I’m not really good with small talk. Small talk, for me, is a way to find out about someone so that then we can have real conversations. Somehow, people seem to think I’m good at small talk, but in reality, it’s a very subtle interrogation. People think I’m good at it because I tend to pick up on a minute detail and then expand that into a new conversation that isn’t just talking about the weather or something equally as droll. And one topic leads to another leads to another until we’ve had a full conversation that doesn’t seem like we’ve been talking about anything important.
I’ve decided this is a gift.
But it doesn’t work when talking in text. It requires a certain level of immediacy that is lacking in texting. With text, a person can put the phone down, or, if it’s in chat, they can walk away from the computer. The result is that I am sitting there waiting for a conversation that doesn’t quite happen.
And each subsequent text/line of dialogue is the continuation of the conversation because we didn’t get to complete the conversation. It was just left hanging there…
Apparently this is not the appropriate protocol for such things. The Boy used to comment on it sometimes during our many fights, and even would make a point of making me go back and say “hello,” or some such.
It’s one of the gazillion ways he used to make me feel like my very existence was wrong. Reason 934 why he’s gone.
I haven’t figured out how to politely explain to people that I need to actually have a real, live conversation with them because the texting thing doesn’t work for me. You would think that would be the best way to do it, but every time I’ve tried that it gets awkward. With the Boy, he would do it, but then we’d still end up having most of our conversations via text because the only time he had to “waste” on me was while he was at work (Reason 935). I finally got fed up with the hour away guy (which is apparently his nickname since he’s not sticking around), and let him know that this method of communicating wasn’t working because I felt like I was working really hard to have a conversation and that I needed him to pencil me into his schedule, or let me know if he was no longer interested in meeting me.
His response: …
I’m still waiting for it.
I attempted just a simple “good afternoon,” text, just to see if perhaps he’d missed the previous text, and that also got no reply. So I resorted to saying that I gathered he was no longer interested, but would appreciate him at least responding since we were both adults… the not so subtle implication being that Ghosting is immature.
So he’s gone. Officially.
Enter a new guy, equally as intellectually stimulating, but I don’t know what his schedule is, or what it is he likes. He had impressed me with a discussion over books and politics, and asked if he’d earned the right to a conversation. And then, after I gave him my number, we had a very brief conversation and now it’s back to waiting for him to make a move.
I had invited him to a thing with me, one with lots of intelligent people, one where it was guaranteed to have meaningful discussions… if we wanted to be a part of those, but also plenty of other options for more private discussion if we wanted to do that instead. He had said he was absolutely going to be there, as soon as he got off of work.
This meant to me that he was going to be late… I could deal with late. The event started at 6. By 7, when I got there, I texted to ask if he had an ETA. He said he was walking out the door (at work) that very moment. By 8:30, I doubted I was going to see him and asked. His response was that he’d just gotten home and that he still had to take a shower.
So, yeah. That happened.
I told him I was sad, but I understood, and when would be a good time for us to actually meet?
Yep. Still waiting for it.
So, that particular part of the story is nothing like the Boy. The Boy was always really good about making sure to respond because he knows how much it bothers me when people ghost on me. I don’t understand it (ghosting); I think it’s illogical and childish. The Boy understood that, and it is one of the handful of ways in which he was good to me.
In his mind, that should balance out all the bad, like the unfulfilled gifts, staycation, and various other things he just decided to take away from me because we would have what should have been an insignificant fight, but because he compounded it by refusing to follow through on something he had said he would do, something meaningful the fight would become so much worse, and never get truly resolved.
This guy is totally new, doesn’t know me, and I don’t know him. This was our first attempt at getting to know each other… So how is it at all the same?
Because of the event.
The more awkward things got with the Boy and me, the more I felt like he would just say “no” to an outing of just the two of us (I thought this because he was fond of telling me he wasn’t ready for alone time with just the two of us, even though what I really needed was the alone conversations and the comfortable just chilling… not Netflix and Chilling, just regular chilling).
So, I started inviting him to things where there would be other people around, partly because he wasn’t ready for alone time, and partly because then, in theory, if he said no, or didn’t show, there would be other stuff to do or other people to talk to.
The problem is, in doing so, I was lying to myself. I wanted to talk to him, and not all the other people there. I wanted to know what he thought about whatever topic was being discussed… With the Boy, inviting him to a thing where there were other people always backfired because he always made sure that he was part of the group, and not that we could have time to talk just us. It was more disappointing than fulfilling on my end, and led to awkwardness. That disappointment would sit in me because it basically proved all the things that I thought that were the reason for me suggesting an outing where we would be part of a group in the first place, namely this: he didn’t really like me.
In inviting him to something where there were other people around, I was giving him an opportunity to show me that he liked me, that given the opportunity to spend time with them or me, he would choose me. The Boy always chose the others.
Because it was never me that he liked.
The idea of who he thought I was? Sure, but me, the damaged, insecure, needing reassurance me, no. He doesn’t like the me that exists under the mask. And it hurt for a long time, but I deserve better, and I believe that now.
In inviting an entirely new person out to such a thing, it’s the same test, only I don’t word it the same way in my head. With a stranger, I feel like I’m giving them an out. The very wording is suggestive of the lack of self-esteem I have about the situation. And until I woke up in the middle of the night dwelling on it, I didn’t realize how hurtful it was.
I deserve one on one time, and so does he. It was wrong of me to suggest a meeting where there would be lots of people around. For one thing, it’s an unfair test. For another, I didn’t think of how uncomfortable that would be for him. After all, I bailed on the Investment Broker the first time because he invited me to a bar where he would probably be with friends. Why would I think someone else would would feel comfortable with that?
And yet, shouldn’t he have said something to that effect instead of saying he’d be there, and then just not showing up? And do we think he would have texted at all, had I not beat him to it?
I don’t know, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think I’m going to apologize and just explain to him that I was excited about having a real, live conversation with him, and so I rushed to that.
He doesn’t need to know it’s because I get bored otherwise…