Monday, September 17, 2012


I suspect there may be a saboteur in my midst.  I further suspect it may be me.

Yes, I went on the second date on Saturday.  But it almost didn't happen.  Instead, I had an awesome panic attack an hour prior, and I got myself all twisted up into knots.  I had this sudden tidal wave of a flashback to the ex-bf and his scary side.  I called my mom and while talking to her I started crying, and I felt my own shock as it happened...I had no idea this was still so fresh inside of me.  The fear.  The sickness in my stomach.  It felt like the bad moments, when I felt threatened and unsafe. 

I tried to get out of the date over IM.  The whole thing was sparked by a misunderstanding through that same medium.  I should have remembered what my therapist told me many moons ago:  electronic conversations are fraught with opportunities for misunderstandings.  He ended up calling me, which I was NOT happy about.  Why? Because within three minutes I was crying.  AWESOME.

I was trapped.  I had to explain it.  The awful, mentally traumatizing ex-boyfriend and the scars he'd clearly left on me.  I was mortified.  He was sweet.  He cleared up the misunderstanding that sparked it all and apologized for what it had triggered.  He was kind and he listened and he quelled any concerns I'd had in the midst of my panic earlier.

We decided to get lunch and go from there.  And go we did.  Lunch turned into one winery, and two wineries, and three wineries.  Then miniature golfing (I won by 11 strokes..biggest margin of victory ever!).  Back at his place, he grilled us burgers and corn on the cob.  We watched our teams college football games on alternating channels.  Then we watched a movie.  Then he took me home.

In the midst of miniature golf, he came up behind me at one hole and put his arms around me for a moment. While we were sitting outside on his little patio, I got chilly.  He loaned me one of his prized team hoodies and I cool it is to swim in the big hoodie of a guy you kind of like.  During the football watching, he grabbed my hand. I lay with my head on his shoulder for the movie, our hands entwined.

Sounds like an awesome day, right?  14 hours together.  Second date.  The date included miniature golf, grilled food and football, three of my favorite things ever.  There was no kiss at the end of the night, though.  Just a hug.  I don't know why.

Sunday, I panicked.  We'd spent an entire day and night together.  I needed space.  I secretly hoped he would let me be.  He didn't.  He IMed me in the morning.  Later in the afternoon.  I was short.  I didn't want to be bothered. The more the day progressed, the worse it got.  He wanted to hang out again.  I told him about having to reschedule plans for next weekend to accommodate the football game (both of our teams are playing each other).  He was clearly hoping I was telling him that to schedule plans with him.  I wasn't trying to do that, at least not yet.  He seemed disappointed.

I let him be disappointed.  I let the conversation end with his disappointment, but not before I put another tiny stamp of assurance that I wasn't getting at what he hoped I was getting at. 

I don't know what I'm doing.  I ended the conversation with him and texted Artboy.  I was met with indifference, as I sometimes am.  Boring, pointless, tiny conversation that died off with no I'd just done to the other guy. 

Here is what I know:
I don't trust my own instincts anymore. 
I'm a cliche.  I bitch about the guys who just sexualize me, who don't want to do anything fun, who play games with me so I don't know where they stand, who blow me off.  But then I meet someone who is being a total gentleman, who wants to do all sorts of the same fun things I want to do, and who has been very direct about liking me, and who wants to make plans with me.  And then I feel the base, instinctual urge to run away.  To bail. 

I find fault in it.  He's too needy.  He's acting like a girl.  He likes me too much.  Doesn't he want his own space?  What's wrong with him that he hasn't kissed me yet?  Does he even want to? 

I immediately feel territorial over my space.  He suggests repeating our bowling date on wednesday, I cringe.  How dare he assume that just because we did the Wednesday bowling once that we'll do it again?  He says we should have watched the game together yesterday, I roll my eyes.  My sunday.  Mine. Because I'm 12 and antisocial and ridiculous.  He wanted me to want to watch the game with him next Saturday.  I refuse to commit to anything so early.  On principal.  Because I'm a bitch.

I am a saboteur.  I have no idea if this guy is the right guy for me, truly I don't.  But I know that he is more worthwhile than anyone I've met in awhile, and I'm screwing it up.  Why can't I want someone who wants me?  Why do I sit there and think about Artboy, and how nice it is to have someone who expects nothing of me, feels no ownership over my time, has no right to question anything I do.  How do I forget that packed in the same wrapping with those "perks" is indifference, dismissiveness, a total lack of reliability?

I need perspective.  I need a reality check.  I don't want to stomp out a flicker of even the tiniest possibility of something wtih substance because I'm a crazy person who wants the wrong things....


  1. You are walking the walk I did. N told me, "That's a good way to end up alone." Harsh words and I was *PISSED* he said them to me. But he was right. Try to open yourself up a little. I think this guy might be good for you - even if you don't ride off into the sunset together. (It took awhile for C to kiss me, too. Some men still do believe good things come to those who wait).

  2. @Heather: You are 100% right. I know it. I'm going to try.

  3. I agree with Heather on this one. However, it really could be, you're just not ready to date. I did this too! I would go out with someone, seemingly nice, attractive, funny, successful and find reasons to not go out with him again. They were all ready to dive in head first and I was all, WHOAAAA, everyone just needs to relax. The only reason I got into my current relationship was because, being long distance, in a lot of ways, I was able to ease my way into it. If you had a good time with this guy and there's a spark, keep trying him on for size and maybe you'll get past the whole, he's invading my territory phase. And it's OK if you're just not into him and just not ready. Also, can I just mention how ironic it was he gave you a hoodie considering the convos you've had with the other creepers online?!?!

  4. PS: The first trip I took to see my now bf, he didn't make a move and it was because he was actually one of the rare ones who doesn't push things too quickly. It sounds like this guy is into you if he keeps contacting you. Plus, he made you dinner. That's reason enough to hang onto him ;) jk

  5. There is no chase. PERIOD. This guy is available to you, wants to hang out with you, get to know you, and take things slow, respecting your space and its disgusting to you because he isn't playing 'the game' that we daters are all used to.

    I did this same exact thing, I had the nice guy that would text me good morning, every morning. He would ask about my yoga classes, my work day, everything. We would talk for hours on the phone, he was always setting up plans to go on proper dates. I felt SO SMOTHERED! I would tell my friends "He needs to get a life". Uhh, no he didn't. He had a life and he was making room for me in it, instead I was being a huge bitch, and being selfish.

    Being selfish is okay in certain scenarios, as in, putting yourself first, being selfish with workouts, etc. If you are on a dating site, then it seems like you want to find someone.

    I ended up breaking up with the guy and I was so miserable. Its the classic line, you don't know what you've got till its gone. So if you need to, write a pro and con list, think about not having him around, (I know you just started dating, but think about what he is offering and how his character is compared to other men), think about all the dirtbags you usually date, or the ones that email you with disgusting lines about wanting to have sex. Now how do you feel?

    I groveled to date the guy again, he accepted, and once I accepted that he wanted me for me, I was so happy. We broke up a month later because he got a job in another city. Its my biggest dating regret, because I always think "what if we hadn't of broken up, would he have stayed, or not applied for the job?" mostly because I think he was that one that got away.

  6. @Ames: I like that idea of trying him on for size. I'm working on it. And that's good to know about the kiss thing. I think I've just become so jaded to fast moving men trying to sleep with me instantly that the idea of someone waiting for even a kiss strikes me as strange. Kind of sad. :/

    And love the point about the hoodie. ;) He's a big hoodie fan, and loves a girl in a hoodie. So, that's a plus, LOL.

  7. @Danielle: You're right. And I hate myself for being that cliche. Your post really rang true to me. That sounds EXACTLY like what I've been saying all day, no joke. I'm trying to rein myself in before I screw this up, but it's hard.

    I had a work friend tell me today that maybe I just wasn't ready to date. I get why she thought that, but honestly...I feel like this is something that isn't going to be fixed until I try to actually work through it. Talking myself through it in my head isn't going to do anything. I need to actually try to open myself up and make changes in my real, actual life.

  8. If anything, date other guys too, we both know what's out there, maybe you need a little dating shock therapy..

  9. @Danielle: I will. I at the very least have plans to get together with another new guy on Thursday.