Lesson in Dating: Do Not Act Out of Guilt

Dec 28, 2013 by

          “Girl, that guy I went out with on Sunday texted me on Christmas Eve,” I told my friend yesterday during a special pre-lunch edition of Passions.

          “The Italian one?” she smiled.

          “Yes. I waited until Boxing Day to read the text and respond, because I didn’t want to reject someone on Christmas.”

          She rolled her eyes.

          “He texted to wish me a merry Christmas,” I admitted.

          “See?!” she yelled with her finger in my face. “You overanalyze!”

          “I know,” I agreed, “but I knew that he’d follow up any text I sent in reply with a request to go out again, which he did after I guiltily texted him back to say that I hope he had a lovely Christmas. It was then that I saw a delayed text come through that he had sent me while my phone was dead earlier in the day. Probably thinking that I wasn’t going to respond to the text he sent on Christmas Eve, he said that he hoped I had a good Christmas, that I should keep going for my dreams (I had told him about Europe), and that he hopes to see me in the new year.”

          “He said this?” she clarified, seemingly impressed.

          “Yes. I felt even guiltier, so I said yes to a second date that I was going to say no to! I don’t want to go!” I whined. “Do I have to go?”

          “Yes! You’re going, and you’re going to have an amazing time!” she smiled brightly. “And you’re going to let him pay!” she instructed.

          “That’s even worse! He wouldn’t let me pay last time, so I doubt he will this time. He’s paying to be led on!” (Darling readers, welcome to my ongoing dating guilt complex.)

          “You’re going. Good for you for going out and meeting guys! You’re doing really well with dating, and you’re so good for not leading guys on!” she beamed at me (love her!). “But, you’ve got to be more open to giving guys second chances. You don’t know this guy yet. He could turn into a really good friend or a really good boyfriend, but you won’t know if you don’t see him again.”

          I sighed, knowing she was right. “I have to go, don’t I?” I sulked.

          “Yes!”

          I lifted my hands and bent my fingers into the shape of a heart pointed in her direction. “You’re the best! Thanks for the advice! I’ll go on the date.”

 

***

 

          Lesson learned: do not pity a guy by saying yes to an unappealing second date. By doing so, I will only lead the guy on and inflict self-torture. Let’s quickly recap, shall we? The Actual Nice Guy picked me up today to go to Ripley’s Aquarium, which recently opened downtown. As soon as I entered his car, he told me that I looked beautiful. I had just spent the morning fighting with Olivia to the break of tears and spent no more than five minutes getting ready to see him, but I’ll take it, I thought. Wanting so badly to be alone in order to reflect on the verbal daggers that Olivia and I had thrown at each other, I was not looking forward to spending the day with a guy that annoyingly wouldn’t stop telling me how pretty he thinks I am. Please let this be over soon, I wished to myself. Ripley must have heard. The line to enter the aquarium was wrapped around the building! He and I decided to skip it, and go straight to lunch instead. He was unnecessarily apologetic; I was silently thanking the dating gods for their part in saving my ass from what could have been a much longer second date. We went to go grab pizza at Enzo on Queen W, which I’ve been meaning to try since the summer (at least something good came out of the day). I wasn’t allowed to pay. His reasoning? He was just so happy to see me. Roll my fucking eyes. I don’t do too sweet, desperate, or sickening. His compliments were all of these things. Kill me. Our afternoon cut unexpectedly short by the busy aquarium sitch (bless those fish!), he wanted to go see a movie or grab dinner (we just ate) or do anything to hold me captive in his presence. I politely said that I was busy this evening. I did want to write, so I wasn’t being dishonest until he pressed me for details, prompting me to lie that I was meeting friends in order to ensure my own safety via the subtle I’m-meeting-people-who-will-notice-if-I’m-abducted-by-you hint. It was my only way out! He was already asking for my 2014 schedule. I was so irritated! I hate when the new year gets close and people jokingly emphasize it by replacing things like, “I’ll see you next week!” with “I’ll see you next year!” How original. I’m nitpicking. I know. He was just too suffocating to be around.

          This guy was in awe of me to the point that he couldn’t hold conversation. He could only repeat how beautiful he thinks I am, how thrilled he was to be in my company, how happy he is to have met me, how he thought about me this week because he saw the number that is my floor number (I don’t remember telling him what floor I live on!), how the rest of his weekend won’t be as good as today because I was the only part of his weekend that mattered (can’t breathe, need air!), and on and on and on! He told his friends about me, he listed off future dates that he wants to take me on (sure, let me just add kidnapped to the list of experiences I hope to have before I die, and I’ll meet you at the movie theatre), and he mentioned that he’s going to delete his online dating profile (I can only guess because he thinks he’s found his girl, ha!). People fear stage five clingers. I could only wish for one. This guy was stage 50! He went so far as to invite me to celebrate New Year’s with him! Why would I celebrate New Year’s with a guy I met less than a week ago that I have no interest in? New Year’s is a time for friends, which I explained to him with all of the kindness I could muster through my shock. It gets worse: he called me an angel. He said that he looked up and thought he saw an angel the first time he met me. Okay, bud, pedal to the fucking metal! Let’s get me home! (Olivia, I know that you’re laughing reading this. You know sensitive, mushy crap makes me cringe. I am literally shivering at the memory. I wanted to open the car door and flee. Rolling into the street sounds a lot more appealing than angel. I wish you were home so that you could hold my hair back as I fake vomit. Ugh!) Angel? Really? So much for this one presenting no red flags. The flags were fucking fire-engine red and multiplying! Even Hot Bartender would have been unattractive to me if he ever referred to me as an angel. Friends, in order for you to understand the severity of that statement, I must reiterate: Hot Bartender was a god! Without doubt, The Actual Nice Guy can expect an easy, guiltless (but still tactful!) rejection in reply to his next text. I hope the engagement ring that I’m scared he’s shopping for as I type this comes with a full refund.

 
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