Someone once said, "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime'" or something along those lines. I believe that. I believe in soulmates, and I also believe that they aren't always meant to stick around. I also believe that people come in and out of our lives to teach us things, shake us up, tear our world apart, help rebuild it - there are so many reasons for the people who wander along the path of life with us....and this is the story of an individual who both made me realize that I was ready to fall in love - while subsequently reminding me of all the reasons why I have grown to hate MEN in general ever since my single life began three years ago.
It began, as it usually does, on Tinder. Boring profile. Boring photos. He wasn't that attractive. I had just recently gone back on the dating apps because that #DenverKid ripped my heart out and I had to get my mojo back if I was ever going to be able to drag my ass out of bed and become a productive member of society again.
So...I met a few different guys through Tinder and Bumble with potential that week, the forerunner being a handsome Marine. He worked weird hours and we texted off and on for a week or two before finally meeting - the week we ended up meeting, I'd also made a date with....shit. I don't even know what to call him. I never had a nickname for him, just the neighborhood he lived in, I'd refer to him as (this is a fake name to protect his identity) "Three Lakes Michael," but over the course of the week, during our random conversations, a friend of mine nicknamed him #Tesla. Granted, I never called him that, but we'll go with that because I am lazy and can't think of a nickname for him right now. He doesn't really deserve one, to be quite honest.
We'd made plans to meet for dinner on a Thursday night, and he even chose a restaurant that was halfway between us...MEN NEVER DO THAT. They always ask ME where we should go, and I usually suggest bars, for two reasons.
- I don't eat a lot.
- I don't want men to waste a lot of money on dinner and drinks with me, in case I hate them and never see them again.
However, Angeline had a REALLY bad day at work that day, and when I picked her up that afternoon, she was upset and I didn't want to leave her home alone. I explained this to Tesla and he understood. He texted throughout the evening about yoga and shit, I appreciated his understanding, and we talked about trying to get together another time.
HE WAS SO PERSISTENT.
I had ZERO interest in him, to be quite honest. But he texted me every day. Several times a day. He was weird. He biked to work when the weather was nice. I worried that he was a fitness freak, and I am VERY LAZY. I voiced my concern and he advised me that he made fitness a priority to counteract all of the beer he drank. I began to kinda like him a little. JUST A LITTLE.
I was afraid he might secretly be an ethical vegan and envisioned him spitting on me if I ordered a steak at dinner.
The next day, I had a lunch date with #Macklemore. More on that later, because he's an odd bird and deserves a story. I had happy hour with my girls later, and then crawled into bed, completely exhausted...and Tesla kept texting me asking to see me. I felt so bad about having cancelled our first date the night before, so I got dressed (I looked like a hobo, I don't even know what I wore, but I wasn't dressed for a date because I thought I'd hate him anyway) and met him at a small bar about 2 miles away from me.
He looked like a dirty Hippie. His hair was shaggy. He told me he lived with his mom (for a fantastic reason, but still, that meant if I ever liked him and wanted to get romantic, it would have to be at my home, and I only bring men around my daughter if it's getting serious). We had two beers, and he ordered tacos. MEAT TACOS. Not a vegan. I think we spent an hour together, and I didn't kiss him goodbye. You can imagine my surprise when I got home, and he checked in with me to tell me that he'd gotten home safely and that next time, he wouldn't be such a gentleman. Like, huh? Why? What next time? *insert hysterical laughter here*
We kept texting, he kept asking to see me - not in an oppressive, harassing way, but in the way that made me feel kind of special. As though he liked me. A few days later, I was at an event with my girls and we went to a local bar after for a drink. It was early, and I didn't really want to leave...so I asked him to join me. I think I hated him a little less that night, he was warming up to me, made more eye contact, and was becoming more interesting...He drove me home and he got a little kiss goodnight.
Our third date...well, that's when things went haywire. We met at a local sports bar and had a few beers, wings, and he showed up with a hair cut and a more "put together" look. He was suddenly very charming and quite handsome. When the check came - we'd once again closed down a bar and the staff were waiting for us to leave - he asked if I wanted to go halfsies.
Now, if you know my dating style...I NEVER PAY for dates. NEVER. If I pay for a date, it's because I hate the guy and throw down cash in an effort to emasculate them and let them know just how disinterested I am. Not only did I agree to go halfsies - I offered to get the whole check, and I did. The thing is, I'd been out with him twice already, and he had paid both times. I didn't want him to think that I was using him for free drinks, regardless of how inexpensive they were. At that point, we'd been talking daily for almost a month, and had seen each other three times. I wanted him to know I was on these dates to get to know him, not to take advantage of his generosity.
Then things got heated and this guy whom I had no interest in whatsoever a week prior, well...things got wild. We got to know each other quite well. In my car. I felt like a teenager and I went home with stars in my eyes, and this man who I thought was a total dirty hippie weirdo quickly moved into the number one position in my dating rotation.
The following week, we had a double date with my best friend.
By our next date, he was being introduced to my daughter (which I NEVER do), and having beers with me on my back patio.
I deleted the dating apps from my phone. I quit making plans to see anyone else.
I WAS SMITTEN.
I know, gross.
And then things got really weird and complicated. He'd told me when we met that he had recently broken up with someone and was moving - which was okay with me. He joked, "I'm here for a good time, not a long time." However, given my dating style - and the fact that I maintain relationships with men all over the world with no problem - that didn't phase me...until I realized there was someone else in the picture.
I began a hardcore stalking mission on social media, trying to find out if he was, in fact, single. The evidence was inconclusive. We had long, rambling but articulate conversations about his status. He essentially told me that they'd broken up, but she wanted to stay together, and he was taking this time to experiment in the dating world and see if he wanted to go back to her or not. I could totally understand that. I was okay with it.
You'll notice at this point, he's already deleted from my phone. SWIPE. DELETE. MOVE ON. That is how I handle men who aren't emotionally available. I kept trying to walk away, a little at a time, but he kept talking to me in a way that made me keep coming back. I won't say he played me, but he 100% manipulated me and told me what he knew I needed to hear to stay.
That's MY THING. That is how I work, and at first, I didn't even realize he was doing it. I should have known better, because we are very much alike. I should have known. Yet, I didn't.
By that point, we'd been dating for over a month and I was attached. I was on the brink of falling in love, to be quite honest.
Then things began to unravel at a frightening speed, and I was almost certain that he was NOT single at all. I found a photo of them together and freaked out. He then told me that their relationship wasn't completely over, that he was still deciding...
In the end, through a series of very honest discussions - FINALLY - he admitted that he hadn't broken up with his girlfriend at all. Well, not that she knew of. I was devastated. I WAS THE OTHER WOMAN. I had suspicions that something was wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it...I should have trusted my instincts, but damn, this man was everything I've ever wanted in a man that I didn't even realize I wanted. We clicked on so many levels, and the chemistry was...I will say that it's the best sex I've had in years.
So I struggled not only with knowing that there was this girl out there that was probably just as in love with him as I was - because I was in love with him at this point - and that she didn't know he'd not only slept with someone else, but he'd actively pursued another woman. I mean, we're talking about a guy who went on double dates with me, met my daughter, CAME LOOKING FOR ME ON MY BIRTHDAY. This wasn't a random thing that happened on a drunken night in a bar. We were dating. He met all of my friends. He slept in my bed. So I struggled with "Do I find her and tell her?" as well as, "Wow, I just accidentally fell in love and I was just a side piece."
Somehow he talked me into forgiving him, and promised to do a lot of self reflection, and I thought we could be friends.
I know, why would I want to be friends with someone like that? You know why? Because I understood WHY he did what he did. He was going through a HUGE life transition, one of those pivotal moments when your entire life changes - and I understood WHY. I am not a bad person. I am not a homewrecker. I am not a mistress. I felt guilt for what I did, but I also knew that what happened between he and I wasn't going to have an impact on their relationship, and based on my knowledge of her, I knew that she wouldn't leave him even if I found her and told her.
So we tried to be friends.
That did not work out so well for me...you see, even after I KNEW, I still wanted him. The knowing didn't make my feelings for him go away, and while I can definitely care about a taken man, I can't be "friends" with someone that I am in love with.
So it ended. It ended pretty dramatically, with me receiving a text from him asking to see me...and me responding like this:
The last time I saw him, I told him that I was writing this post. I even told him the working title. HE STILL CONTACTED ME AFTER THAT asking to see me. I said no.
I am still struggling with the knowledge of the girlfriend, but I am proud of myself for standing up for myself, and my emotional well being, rather than just following my heart blindly. Let's face it, my heart has gotten me into some really tricky situations. Some awful situations. Some life-shattering situations.
I made a decision at the end of 2017 to take better care of myself, my heart, my mind, my soul. Walking away from something that is toxic for my soul, no matter how badly I want it...well, I am making progress.
But I still hate Tesla and hope his bike breaks into a million freaking pieces and the tires go flat.