Licking My Wounds

Recently I met the cousin of a friend, and he’s amazing. We seemed to have a lot in common. Our politics are in line, and that’s really important to me. He’s around my age. He has an energy that he puts out that makes me feel really comfortable. Even better, he doesn’t live that far from me, and he’s also good looking, which never hurts.

After talking to him a few times, I decided I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. Even though it’s against my Southern upbringing, I decided to stick my neck out from my safe little shell and make the first move. I texted him and said I really enjoyed talking to him. Would he like to meet for dinner tomorrow?

He responded that he had something doing tomorrow, but maybe we could do so on another day. I thought, “Okay, that’s understandable. It was short notice.”  “Another day” certainly sounded encouraging. I knew we’d be crossing paths briefly the next day, so I thought we could make plans then. I found myself happily humming in anticipation the whole next morning.

When he showed up, I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face. Until I realized that he wasn’t reciprocating. In fact, he was formal, tense, and left so quickly you’d think his butt was on fire. Message received.

Okay, so apparently he’s just not into me. It happens. In fact it has been happening a lot to me in the past year. God, it hurts like hell, but unfortunately I’m starting to get used to it. I’m starting to expect it. Frankly, I’m sick of it.

But why the mixed signals? That is monumentally effed up, if you ask me. He could have easily said, “Thanks so much. I am flattered, but I have a girlfriend.” I wouldn’t have known the difference, and my ego would have remained intact. Would that have been so hard?

Then I heard the rest of the story from my friend. He’s in the middle of a divorce, and apparently his wife did something pretty awful. He’s probably a bit gun shy.

That makes sense. I’ve never been known for my stellar timing. But the sad thing is that even if he did feel the connection that I did, now he won’t ever get in touch when he’s reached the point where he’s ready, because I’m sure he’ll think that after blowing me off, that bridge has been burned.

Part of me thinks that I dodged a bullet. I am a little too emotionally fragile myself these days to be someone’s transitional woman. But part of me wishes that I could say to him, “You have no idea, yet, how messed up the dating world is for our age group, and just how many crazies are out there. Eventually you’ll find out. When you do, I hope you’ll try with me again. If I’m still available, you might just discover that I am worth the effort. Because I thought you were.”

But there’s always a chance that my first assumption was the right one. He wasn’t interested. No doubt his wife was thinner, prettier. He hasn’t been in the 50-something dating world long enough to lower his standards to a real person. Yet. I guess I’ll never know.

It is a good lesson to be reminded that not everyone has the same priorities or agenda that I do. I tend to forget that sometimes, to my everlasting regret. But meanwhile, I freakin’ give up. No more first moves for me. Waaaaay too painful. Honestly, I don’t know how men do it.



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