I met David in December. We had two fun little dates; there was physical chemistry, good conversation and enough laughs to keep me interested. He was quite sexy actually and very good looking; I liked him, even if I thought his kisses were subpar. I could always fix that later…
Right before Christmas he went home to visit his family, and he’d be gone for at least a month, since it was a long ways away. I can’t say I was pining for him, but we stayed in touch. He would text me every other day or so to ask how my day was going, or to tell me what he’d been up to. Just little messages here and there to keep him on my radar. It was nice, and I suspected he liked me.
A week before his return to New York, he started planning our reunion. The texts became more frequent and more specific: “I’m back next weekend. Let’s get together. Will be nice to see you again.” I was on board but I kept warning him about the debilitating jet lag that was bound to consume him. After all it was a 24-hour trip and he needn’t rush into anything. But it didn’t deter him. He was determined to see me the minute he landed.
Then the “but”s and “if”s and “maybe”s started. “If I am awake, can I come to you?” “But we will have to play it by ear because I might be a total zombie”. “I’ll have to see how I feel because right now I need to crash”. “Definitely up to hang out tomorrow though at some stage”. “I’m starting a freelance job tomorrow. Can I text you after lunch and let you know how I’m doing?” “Let’s stay in touch and hopefully we can catch up later”. “Maybe I can come over?” “I am still working here but I’d like to see you. I’m just worried if we arrange something I’ll pass out”. “I’d say come over now but I’d be a terrible host”.
This went on for days. It was exhausting. I was very agreeable and patient the entire time though, playing nice. But it bothered me immensely why he wouldn’t just pick up the phone and call me. Surely this would make things a lot easier. Then I got this text the following Monday:
David – 8:43 AM: Hey Natalie. So just wanted to apologize for my silence. Been a crazy week since I got back. for various reasons. Jet lag, work, and also met someone through a friend literally the day after I got back. And I like her a lot, and wanted to see where it goes. I think you’re great… just wanted to let you know what happened. It might come to nothing, but I’d like to give it a shot.”
Well I’ll be damned.
Natalie – 10: 29 AM: You know how ridiculous this is, right? After ALL your texting and your pressing to see me, for weeks, ensuring you stay on my mind and claiming my time, you drop the ball.
But I had to respect his honesty I suppose. In New York it’s all about ‘first come, first serve’. And I didn’t make it to dinner on time…
Natalie – 10: 29 AM: I appreciate your honesty though and I wish you all the best with your new endeavor. Fingers crossed!
He didn’t answer until the next morning.
David – 9:08 AM: Thanks, not sure if anything’s going to come of it. It’s only been a week… Was more a way of explaining why I’ve gone missing. Although work has been a big factor too.
Last night’s date with his new target must have gone awry.
David – 9:44 AM: So maybe I’ll be free by the weekend and we can hang out, ha.
Natalie – 9:45 AM: I hope ur kidding….
David – 9:45 AM: Haha yes.
Was he though? It sounded like he was keeping the door open and betting on two horses. Why he thought I wouldn’t be hurt by his dumping me, and making jokes about it, also eluded me. Are we friends now?
Three days later I was in my seat at Jason Wu, just as the show was starting when I got this message:
David – 1.21 PM: So my attempt to be honest backfired. Turns out this other thing hasn’t really happened… I was just trying to let you know what was going on with me. Anyway, if you don’t want to see me again I’d understand… But it’d be a shame. Happy Valentine’s Day in advance.
I think I shrieked when I read this. Not loud enough to disrupt Jason’s show, but certainly sufficient to make the guy next to me jump. The nerve! What a way to make me feel special! So am I to settle as his back-up? And if he’s trying to redeem himself, why not pick up that goddamn phone and call me? Speak to me? I hadn’t heard his voice since the last time we met in December!
David – 1:49 PM: I’m having dinner with some friends on the East side later. Not sure if you’re busy but if you’d want to meet up later, I’d love to.
I thanked him kindly for his reconsideration, but “No, thanks.”
It got me thinking though: how honest do you have to be? David and I had only met twice, and I had gone on plenty of dates with other men while he was away. I didn’t tell him about those encounters because nothing had happened. As long as I had no serious romantic feelings for anyone else, I didn’t think I needed to share my private life. I understand why he told me about the other girl – he wanted to be honorable and not date two people at the same time – but it was too much, too soon. If he hadn’t said anything, who knows… We may have been happy, and I could have showed him how to kiss more proficiently, which is a valuable contribution to any relationship.
On the flip side, when is the right time to ask: “Are you dating other people?” It’s quite a common mistake to think you’re exclusive. You may be fully committed on your end, but as long as you’re not 100% sure the other person isn’t planting seeds elsewhere, do you just sit back and assume? How can you be subtle about it? Will you sound insecure if you even bring it up?
Anyways, it’s a shame about David. He was nice, and I totally get where he was coming from, but he was sloppy and it showed a cowardice side. He treated me like his friend, not someone he wanted to fall in love with. I felt disrespected, not only because he changed his mind, but because he was so casual about it. He sheepishly replied later, after I had given him an opening to call me: “I haven’t been myself lately” and that he was “just trying to do the right thing” but it’s not enough for me. Man up, David.