I met him in the waiting room for my tax guy. Odd place to meet someone, I know. I thought he was trying to start a conversation with me, and I decided to go for it and talk to someone new while we both waited. He was very cute, after all. And he ever-so-casually dropped the line that he was single, so I figured that was a green light.
We talked for a bit and I learned he made sushi for a living at Wegman’s near where I work. There was some fun banter and flirting between us. I decided to make a move and I went to Wegman’s for lunch that week. He was shocked and excited to see me since there was a palpable electricity between us.
A day or two later we were talking on the phone (thank goodness for older men, they still call and talk on the phone!!) and we decided that we might as well get together for a drink even though we had a date planned for a few days later. After we had a drink at the bar he realized he left his wallet in his car, and it had been stolen. I believed him because you cannot fake how embarrassed and pissed he was. I paid for our drinks, and then we made out in his car. It was an exciting and steamy end to the date, I was excited to see him again a few days later.
As I was getting ready for our official first date I had an intense conversation with a friend from work. I was in complete upheaval and almost cancelled the date. Plus, he still didn’t have his credit card or debit card, so dinner would have to be on me. I was feeling shitty and I was paying for dinner? But I really didn’t want to cancel, at the very least some making out would lift my spirits.
So we met for our first date, where he took me to his favorite sushi place and ordered his favorite dishes. He was great- patient and supportive and offered the perfect tid-bits of wisdom when I needed to hear them. Perhaps some people would have seen the wallet problem as a red flag. I saw it as a true human moment. I still think that it was, even looking back with hindsight.
Don’t worry, there are red flags later that I do not ignore.
Our chemistry was off the charts. We met each other’s intensity and kept things really hot. During one moment when we had ripped ourselves apart, we were sitting at opposite sides of the couch to breathe and get a little distance in a moment to cool down. In that charming and disarming way, he said to me “We’re in trouble. This is one of those things that is either going to burn really hot and fast or this is just the beginning and it’s going to get much hotter.”
He was absolutely right. But the more I got to know him, the more I could see that we didn’t fit together quite right. He was a little critical. He was a complete contradiction in a way that I didn’t understand, and I didn’t really want to understand. But the chemistry was still hot, so I was willing to push those things aside.
I promise I open my eyes to the red flags. I was seeing lots of yellow flags and I wasn’t ignoring them. They were there, but nothing big enough to throw it all away.
I knew it was over when he started to forget dates we had. For example, we went hiking one morning. (Side note- I had to wear addidas for that, and now I keep boots in my trunk just in case. I know it’s an odd thing to keep around but you would be surprised how often I wear them. Thanks for that one, Sushi Guy!) He hiked often and when he told me much later that he wanted to take me on the same path that he had taken me, I brushed it off. Maybe he takes a lot of people there, maybe he goes there a lot and forgot he already took me?
And then, there was the big ah-ha moment. We were chatting over appetizers and a cocktail on a Saturday night, and he suddenly lit up. He excitedly told me about an Irish coffee he had earlier this week, and it was so amazing we would have to go get one sometime. I nearly dropped my fork and did a spit take with my cocktail. I put my drink down so I wouldn’t throw it in his face.
“That was with me on Monday,” I said.
I got really angry, and quiet. We were in public, I wasn’t someone that liked making scenes. We had a hushed angry conversation. He tried to play the card that I do the same thing when I tell him the same story more than once.
Nope, not the same thing.
Never ignore the red flags. You can see yellow flags and keep things slow, but never, ever willingly pretend they are not there.
We hung out a few times after that, but it was mostly just physical. I knew on that Saturday that it was over, that this could never be someone that I cared about because he so obviously didn’t care much for me. I knew I couldn’t trust a guy that couldn’t keep his dates straight and I wasn’t willing to open up to that guy.
It didn’t take much for me to walk away. It mostly just fizzled out. Out flame that burned hot and fast at first quickly reduced itself to embers.
Sometimes relationships are great love stories, where two equals come together and make something bigger. Two people coming as they are, flaws and all. Flaws make us who we are, but when two people come together you have to be willing to work with those flaws. I believe that we saw and accepted the flaws in the other person without judging them, but we realized we weren’t willing to work with them.
I felt strong for walking away, for not forcing this into a relationship that wasn’t so great. It takes strength to look at a relationship and see it for what it is, not for what it could be.
This week I am going to share a few of my dating stories, so you can see a little bit of where I am coming from and where I have been. There won’t be anything revealing or cruel, just straight up honesty from my point of view.