Break Up Stories- The Bridge Engineer

I was smitten immediately with the tall, handsome and dark haired Mark. I went out with a friend just for catching up over cheap beers. I saw him across the bar, she knew his friends, but I assumed he was with another girl there. But he kept talking to me.

He was so smart. So outdoorsy yet interested in art. So kind. When he walked me to my car I wanted him to kiss me, but he didn’t. A gentleman, too?

Must be. He actually called to ask me out on a date, and suggested a very nice first date- dinner at one of the best restaurants in Baltimore and then tickets to see a play. I felt like I hit the jackpot!

And yet, I ignored all the signs. All the warnings about how he would get so tense about anything in the future together. When he postponed any conversation about the two of us together. He didn’t want to introduce me to family yet. The way that I would just feel awful for no reason when I was with him. My gut was telling me this wasn’t the right guy.

But I ignored it. I kept focusing on all the good and ignored all the bad. I fell farther and farther. I introduced him to all my friends and gushed about how perfect I thought that we were together.

Oh, how blind I was.

He had been studying hard for a major exam that he needed to pass in order to get promoted at work. We had an amazing, relaxing day on the day before the exam and had planned a night in New York to celebrate together after it was over. The day of the exam came, and I didn’t hear from him when he was done. It was a Friday, and a beautiful spring day. I knew that his neighborhood would be packed with people going out after work. I waited for a while to hear from him, but eventually I gave up and went to his neighborhood to at least park. Eventually I did hear from him, but his energy was completely off. I thought it was the exam. It was an odd night. But we were leaving for New York the next day after I taught my morning classes, so I just let it go.

New York was fun, but…off. And then the next day he showed up at my doorstep with a box of all the things I had left at his apartment. He just didn’t feel as strongly about me.

This would have been nice information two months ago. Or before going on a mini-vacation. Don’t wait four months to tell someone you don’t like them all that much. Tell them as soon as you know. It usually doesn’t take very long to figure that out.

In hindsight, I can see all the things about Mark that I wouldn’t want to put up with in my life. He was a coward, that hid behind running Tough Mudders and long hiking and camping trips. He was incredibly religious but struggled with balancing that in his life and talking about what he valued. He was uncomfortable with sex and wouldn’t talk about it. Relationships are about communication, and if you insist on hiding and not communicating about what is important to you than you will have a hard time being with a person.

I found out that he was engaged less than a year after we broke up. It always seems to work that way- the guy that uses the easy out by saying he’s not ready for a relationship finds himself over-comitted in his next one.

I wish the couple well, but I am so glad it wasn’t me.





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