Monday, April 23, 2007

it's simple, except when it isn't

I wanted to go on dates. The kind where you pick a nice place to meet ahead of time, get a little dressed up, bring your A game. The kind where there is food or drink or some sort of mildly engaging activity involved, like a movie or a museum.

I wanted to go on dates with BT. However, after the email I received from him earlier in the week, I got it into my head that he was taking a step back, about to do the fade. There were further text messages, but nothing about wanting to see me again. I felt neglected and was scared that I was starting to like him too much. After witnessing Polly's recent ordeal, where she was the one who cared more, where she spent months being uncertain and insecure, I was worried about having an emotional imbalance. I needed to stay level-headed, so I went into self-preservation mode.

My self-preservation mode involved a brief return to the world of online dating. I figured that meeting new people would help put things in perspective and keep me from getting too attached to BT. I also figured that there was a good chance BT was seeing other people, remembering everything I heard about how easy it is for bartenders to get play. Of course, the smart thing to do would have been to have a conversation about that beforehand. But the idea of BT fooling around with other women was so disturbing to me, I decided to be a coward and do my own thing until he and I established whether or not we a real couple. I figured until then, we were on a break. Then BT made a an offhand comment about possibly moving across the country and that put even more fear into my heart.

So I went on a couple of dates. They were like 85% of all the online dates I've been on: pleasant but uneventful. No spark, no chemistry. No BT. I tried to be open, tried to give these guys a chance, but when they would leave the table, I would check my phone for texts from BT. Not fair to the dates, not fair to BT.

Saturday night, we both got drunk separately and met up at my place at 5:00am. We had a date for the following day and I know we were continuing a pattern of behavior that is maybe not the wisest early on, but I cannot convey how good it was to see him walk through my door. I was tipsy and giggly and so, so happy. This is what I was waiting for. I could go on a million dates, but it wouldn't do any good, because it was too late, I was hooked on BT.

"What are we doing?" BT asked.

"I don't know," I shrugged.

"Me neither."

We looked at each other and I realized that the previous times we were together, I shied away from prolonged eye contact. This time, I really looked at him and I know why I had avoided it. When I gazed into his eyes, it was like moving at warp speed, the walls and floor and bed melting away.

"Tell me you're not getting emotionally attached," he said.

I looked at him, saying nothing.

"You are," he confirmed.

Shit. BT was right.

"I am," I admitted. "But you are, too."

"I am."

It seems like it should be so simple from here. Two people like each other, have a physical and emotional connection and decide to be in a relationship. Except that last bit was a stumbling block. It's too convoluted and personal for me to go into, but suffice it to say that a relationship was deemed Not a Good Idea by both parties.

"What if we kept it open, saw other people?" I suggested.

"I think you are already too attached to do that."

I came clean, told him about the two dates. I was floored at how upset BT was about it. He hadn't been seeing other people, he had been thinking about me, about us. He thought I'd be loyal while we were figuring things out.

Oh my god. I had no idea. I wasn't even sure he liked me that much. I thought he was too caught up in his other problems to give me much thought. If we had Saturday's conversation a week earlier, I never, ever would have gone on those dates. The fact that I left BT feeling so betrayed horrified me. And it made me realize just how much I care about him, even though I had just hurt him.

More conversation, no sleep until 7:30am. Kinda throws off Sunday's plans. No resolution on where we stand.

Yesterday afternoon, after BT left, I was still confused, but oddly hopeful. In my previous post, I mentioned that when two people get together, the beginning needs to be fun. When I'm with BT, it isn't fun, it's exhilarating. Through the chaos and uncertainty, there is the kind of passion that I live for.

Then there's last night. Last night was madness. BT came over, drunk. His knuckles were swollen, because he had punched out a troublemaker at the bar. I had eaten a spicy Indian meal for dinner and felt like I ingested a gallon of acid. We played Scrabble for ten minutes, then started fooling around, then started fighting about my stupid two dates. He said I ruined the trust between us, that he didn't see us going the distance.

I felt sick. I went to the bathroom and threw up. Went back to my room and cried, thinking this was it, I'd never see him again. BT held me and stroked my hair and I didn't want it to be over.

More fighting, more crying, more holding each other. Then I went to the bathroom and threw up again (yay, food poisoning).

BT asked me to call in sick, so that we could spend the day together. I wanted to, but logistics and circumstances at work made it impossible, even though I felt nauseaus again and didn't know if I'd be up all night vomiting. I was really sick and he was really drunk; hardly a dynamic duo.

He left, and I went into the bathroom and puked the last of the Indian food, got really scared at how much was coming up, thought I'd start vomiting blood. I shivered and crawled into bed, finally fell asleep.

Went to work this morning, happy to be keeping food down, uncertain about everything else. When BT left last night, it might have been for good. I said that if he was so sure he was going to break my heart, that this couldn't work between us, we might as well put a stop to things now instead of getting more deeply involved.

I sent BT an email this morning, trying to put all my thoughts in order, apologizing again for damaging the trust between us. Ultimately, after everything that has happened, despite trying to keep my emotions in check, I want BT. Nobody else. It's that complicated and it's that simple.


clarissa said...

honestly, here's my opinion: he said he didn't want to be or felt he should be dating. in general that's a pretty definitive "we are not in a relationship" type statement to make.

if one is not saying "yay we are all committed and lovey dovey" then it's not fair to expect you to sit at home all night waiting for an errant text message or email. i mean, seriously, when i first met mr. clarissa (for those not in know, mr clarissa is my husband) we had quite a few weeks where things were not defined, and i still went on dates with other people (and yes those dates sucked because they were not with mr clarissa since i couldn't get him out of my mind), and he knew that after the fact and while he wasn't totally psyched about it, he also knew that we had set absolutely no boundaries.

i think we've been spoiled by john hughes movies to expect that the instant there is some sort of emotional connection that means instant monogamy, but that's really not fair since we don't all operate the same way.

it sounds as if he wasn't being communicative on the points that either a) he wanted exclusivity or b) this not dating you was a really short temporary thing.

i can see him being hurt you went on two dates since it is a blow to the ego you weren't sitting around waiting for him (which it seems like what he wanted since he was so hurt you were getting on with your life while he was placing you in relationship limbo), but in the same vein, he shouldn't expect you to do all the work to figure out where things stand or make the initiative to find out what he wanted from you.

you shouldn't have to go to him and say "is it ok for me to do things while you figure out if you even want to date me or what?"

he also shouldn't hold it against you that you went to work is important.

RazzleDazzle said...

You have nothing to apologise for. I think he just likes feeling wanted but yet put you on a leash. The whole thing sounds dramatic! Maybe he thrives for the drama..

MissCurious said...

Pretty good advice from the people below.

Let's see... what do I have to add... well, I think BT needs to realize that finding someone with whom he has chemistry and genuine feelings for is rare. He can hook-up with any chick at the bar, but at the end of the day, finding someone you really like and someone who really likes you back is pretty much a fucking miracle.

He says he has all these "personal issues" that are inhibiting him from moving forward... There is NEVER going to be the perfect time for a relationship... never. We always think we should reach some crazy nirvana state before getting into a relationship... but really, we're going to be falling apart and having "personal issues" our entire lives.

Why can't he just find solace in the lovely Dolly?

Why can't two people who care about each other just be together???! I don't get it. It does seem so simple... yet WE - WE make it complicated. Can't he just uncomplicate things?!??!

Ah... stream of consciousness here (this entire comment, oops!), sorry... why can't BT just say, "I like you - you like me... let's give this a try." End of story. Grrr.

Lastly (as if this weren't long enough), he can be bummed that you went on dates, but you owed him nothing... there was no committment; therefore, no betrayal of trust... and he just needs to realize that you going on those dates was really because you liked him so much... because you didn't want to have all your eggs in one basket - like you said, it was a self-preservation action... nothing deceitful about it.

Frankly, I was stunned that he said he "lost trust in you". You broke no committment... told no lies. In fact, I completely get why you did it... when I start falling for some dude and freak out, I start calling all my past dudes, flings, whatever I can do to distract myself... obtain some sort of balance of emotion, hahaha. It never really works though.

Anyway, I'm sorry Dolly. Wish I could make everything better.

Pretty Polly said...

Yeah, I agree with everyone else here -- if he's not stepping up to the plate with boyfriend behavior, then he can't expect you to be sitting at home, waiting for him to call.

Reminds me too much of Smitten. Yuck. That can't be good, as we all know how that ended....

Omar said...

"Ultimately, after everything that has happened, despite trying to keep my emotions in check, I want BT. Nobody else. It's that complicated and it's that simple."

OK, well I know this.

And so does everyone who reads this blog.

Does BT know this?

Dave said...

I don't know, you said that the beginning should be fun but crying and fighting doesn't sound like fun. I may be off on the dates as I've only been reading this blog for a little while but this seems like an awful lot of emotion for someone you've known for a month or so.

Ellegant said...

Maybe this weekend was needed to put the perspective at hand for both you and BT. You know you want him and only him, and from what he's told you of not seeing anyone else, he also wants you and only you.

You took the first step on trying to settle the situation. Now, talk to him about it. Let him know how you feel. I'm sure he's going to feel the same way about it all.

After all, nothing even happened on those dates anyway.

Leigh (the DFMer) said...

I agree with most of the previous comments.

But just one thing, you sent BT the URL to your blog. I'm wondering if he's reading everyone's comments. Might not be such a bad thing.

Jane is Dating said...

honestly haven't you known each other for like a couple of weeks? based on your writing there was no real relationship- he said he didn't want it didn't he? and of course it is exhilirating,you've just started seeing each other; that's how it is...I think you should watch out for yourself- trust cannot be gone if you guys weren't a solid item to begin with- just my .02.

coasta said...

I haven't been able to comment on your blog for a while. Couldn't sign in for some reason.

I know you'd like to think BT doesn't play the game, but his 'cut through the bullshit' method is actually pretty solid game. He really works the whole 'sexual/ relationship barriers' aspect between you two.

He also is good with the push/pull emotional ping pong. Creates emotional drama. Very direct as well.

There's no need to feel guilty for 2 platonic internet dates, even if BT wants you to. Remember what you learned from last years 'down' period: you've got to take care of yourself first, above anything or anyone else.

Auntie Mom said...

Oh, what-eva. He seriously guilted you even though he wasn't offering any kind of commitment? You should be sitting around waiting at home just because he (says he) is? You did nothing wrong and you shouldn't feel as though you did anything wrong. What you did was logical and healthy!

Honestly, I think you should be dating MORE. This thing sounds like a big roller coaster and you need a break. Ride some other rides for a while. I know you want him, but it just sounds like a lot of drama for a new relationship. You should be happy, not tortured. He's being manipulative, or immature, or both.

Stretch said...

I think they both thrive on drama....but so did Sinatra and Ava Gardner. These two sound like mirror images of one another, which usually means the relationship can go in one of a few directions: really well, really bad, or a tumultuous combination of both of the above until it finally gets to be too much for both of them. At least it won't be boring. Sweet sorrow indeed.

Flash said...


Love your writing and love your honesty, but now for some advice from a married guy:

1. Don't take advice from anyone who's married.

2. Bartenders don't pull as much tail as they would lead you to believe.

3. Don't reveal so much about yourself and your feelings so early in the relationship cycle. You are such an open book that all of the guy's issues are multiplied by your issues and then all of the sudden you have an exponential amount of issues. Plus, keeping some cards face down will add a pleasant level of mystique to the relationship. You don't have to lie, you just don't have to reveal everything. You seem to start off your relationships in a deep hole of expectations, dependencies, and definitions. Then you spend the first six months trying to claw your way out of the hole. The first 6 months should only be fun and discovery. Don't be so quick to turn over your cards. Don't admit that you are ga ga. Don't put it in his face that you are dating. Resist the temptation to define things too early. It creates unnecessary baggage.

I don't mean to preach, but I want to see you happy. Although, once you are happy, your blog will likely suck.

365atbwh said...

you sound very paranoid and insecure and drammatic.

for crying outloud, it's just dating. try to enjoy and have fun. all this crying and drammatic conversations would only drive sane men away.

99% of guys avoid drama at all costs.

act sane, happy, and, secure. and be fun to be around. you'll attract the right kind of guys taht way.

Anonymous said...

Well, lots of great comments above here. I want to add my support and tell you that I hope you find your way to some clarity and calm soon.

FWIW, my heart just broke when I read "Through the chaos and uncertainty, there is the kind of passion that I live for." You keep saying that you are full of wonderful 'passion' for these really inadequate men. After film felix and barman ben and BT, isn't it time to start to wonder if this 'passion' is really what you live for? Is it really Passion at all?

Stretch said...

Actually though, Dolly, I have to give you much credit for expressing these thoughts here, especially knowing that they guy you like is probably reading it. While I agree that your revealing this much of yourself this early on probably isn't helping your cause romantically (but who knows?), I think most of us can see parts of ourselves in what you are going through. As a man, it is encouraging / comforting to see that women go through many of the same things / thoughts we do when we have found someone we really like.

RazzleDazzle said...

you give great advice for a married man!

Omar said...

"Oh, what-eva. He seriously guilted you even though he wasn't offering any kind of commitment? You should be sitting around waiting at home just because he (says he) is? You did nothing wrong and you shouldn't feel as though you did anything wrong. What you did was logical and healthy!"

I totally agree with this.

However, as a general rule, NEVER tell men about other people you are dating. They do NOT take it well.

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