In order to understand what happened last night, you need to know that last Friday, as we were heading to work in the morning, I said to the guy I WAS dating, who I met on OkCupid, that I would like it if we talked more often. He said he would definitely try to improve the communication. Then I said, “Since I’m already feeling awkward, I need to ask you, are you seeing other people?” He said, after some hemming and hawing, “I think that until we have a serious discussion about it, it can be assumed that we’re both doing what we want.”
OBVIOUSLY this was his way of telling me that he was, in fact, seeing other people. The conversation ended there, because we were about to hop on the train and neither of us wanted to have a public discussion on the future of our relationship. In fact, I had planned it that way, because I wasn’t ready to have the conversation either. I just needed to throw it out there. I didn’t feel hurt or betrayed, since we had never discussed being exclusive. But it got me thinking about what I wanted from him, and what I want from a relationship in general, and I decided that I couldn’t date him anymore if he didn’t want things to move forward.
Fast forward to Tuesday. After saying he would try to improve communication, I didn’t hear from him until Tuesday afternoon, when he asked me if I was free that night or the next. After being a little distant I ended up making plans for last night. We decided to go to a bar near my house.
He picked me up around 9:30. The conversation in the car ride was casual, almost too casual, like we both knew this serious conversation was looming and wanted to keep it as upbeat as possible beforehand.
At the bar he ordered food. I had a glass of water, so at least I managed to stick to my diet. While we were waiting for the food the chit chat tapered off and I was just looking at him. To his credit, he brought the whole thing up.
He said, “So I was thinking about what you said last week and to be honest it sounds too serious for me.” I said, “How so?” He started telling me that he’s not really a relationship kind of guy, he doesn’t like to do things on a timetable, he’s a free spirit, etc. etc. He went on a bit, and then it was my turn to talk. I said “Well, I like you, and I’d like this to move forward, but that can’t happen for me if you’re seeing other people.” He said “See, even those words ‘move forward,’ that sounds way too serious for me.”
He said something about relationships, so at this point I asked him about his last relationship. He said it was 4 years ago, it lasted 1.5 years, and it didn’t end too well. He asked me about my marriage, and I told him about my ex-husband, the reason why it has taken so long for us to get a divorce, etc. He said that he was surprised that I seemed to want a relationship; based on my Okcupid profile he had the impression that I had just gotten separated and wasn’t looking for anything serious.
We actually talked a lot, and I’m kicking myself for not having this conversation much sooner, because it really wasn’t as daunting as I imagined it would be. I said to him, “Don’t you think it’s weird that we haven’t talked about this sooner?” He said, “No, I kind of like to keep things ambiguous.” (Douchebag.)
Then he said, “Do you still want to be friends? Just hang out but not hook up?” I shrugged and smiled, but I guess I looked skeptical because he said “I take it that’s a ‘no’?” I said, “I don’t know if that would really work for me, but we’ll see what happens.”
The conversation went on like that for a little bit, but there really wasn’t anything more to say about it. By this point he had finished his dinner. He asked me if I wanted to leave, and I said I didn’t mind staying. So we kept talking, about my dog and his roommate and other random things, and it was fine. Then we left.
On the drive home I said, “The words ‘moving forward’ scare you. That’s crazy.” He said, “Well, I just don’t like to do relationships on a timetable.” I said, “What the hell does that even mean?” I forget what his response was. I said, “It’s not like I’m looking to get married or anything. I just think there comes a point when you’re seeing someone and you decide that you like that person enough that you don’t want to see anyone else and you want to see where it goes.” He said “You mean figuratively?” I laughed, and said “No, I mean literally, you literally stop seeing other people.” He was like “Yeah, that’s just too much for me. Sorry I’m such a manchild.”
By now he had pulled up in front of my house to let me out. I leaned over to kiss him goodbye, and kissed him on the lips and said, “I’m going to miss this.” He said, “I am too. I’m going to leave this in your hands, so text me if you want. And I apologize now if I get drunk and forget and text you first.” I smiled, we kissed one last time, and then I got out of the car and went home. And that’s the end of that.