Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ending things when you're in a casual, not-yet-definable relationship


Why did the chicken cross the road?
Screw getting to the other side. She was scared as hell to break up with her latest beau.

I'll admit it. I'm a chicken. I hate confrontation.

I can think of a million things I'd rather do than tell someone something I know they don't want to hear. But, it's unfortunately part of dating.

I've never really been in the position where I've had to tell someone I'm not interested after only a few weeks of dating. In the past, the relationships have always led to something more or they just fizzled out on their own.

That all changed this past weekend.

I had been hanging out with a guy for about a month. He was a super sweet guy who I knew would treat me well. The first three dates were fun. Not spectacular, I-was-swept-of-my-feet fabulous, but fun enough that I wanted to continue seeing him.

But by date number four, I started to get annoyed by him. They were stupid, petty reasons - incessant whistling, horrendous dancing, looping his arm through mine when we were walking. I told myself to stop being ridiculous and to give this geniuinely nice guy a chance.

So I did. I gave him about five more dates worth. But I never looked forward to hanging out with him. I always wished I was out with other people or at home on my couch with a glass of wine, watching some quality reality television. It became painfully obvious that something didn't click between us, and I needed to sever ties sooner rather than later.

I talked to my friends about it - just for reassurance that I was making the right decision. My friend Morgan put it best: "Just because he's done nothing wrong, doesn't mean he's right."

I decided to break the news to him before our dinner date this past Sunday. He called when he was outside my apartment and I asked him if he would mind coming upstairs first. Once he got upstairs, he said he probably needed to call the restaurant to change our reservation so we wouldn't be late.

FML, I thought. I can't have him cancel the reservation, so it looks like I'll have to do this post-dinner.

Dinner was...bearable. I've definitely had worse dates but it didn't help that I had to fight the urge to vomit I was so nervous. I had even written out what I was going to say beforehand so I would be prepared.

He kept making suggestions as to what we should do after dinner - grab another drink somewhere, rent a movie. I finally told him that I needed to meet up with Just Jack since his boyfriend had just broken up with him the day before. (This was ironically true, and I did need to be there for JJ, but it may not have been the best thing to say considering I was going to put him in the same boat as the friend I was about to leave him for.)

He was understanding about everything, though, and when the bill came, I offerred to pay my share - there was no way I was going to let him pay for me and then end things five minutes later.

On the way home, he asked what my plans were mid-week. I'm sure I was slightly deer-in-the-headlights when he asked me, but thankfully it was dark so I made some excuse about not having my planner with me and said I'd let him know.

When we got to my apartment and were saying our goodbyes, I almost chickened out. But I had called enough people that evening for moral support that I knew I needed to follow through with it, so when my friends asked, I wouldn't have to tell them I ran for the hills.

My Shakespearian-style monologue went something like this:

So, er, um - I had wanted to talked to you before dinner, but when you mentioned you ahd already made reservations, I figured we should just go ahead and go so we wouldn't, you know, um, be late. And um, I'm not sure who you feel about where things are going, but I have a good time hanging out with you, but um, I ::cough:: feel like you're more in the friend zone. I really do like hanging out with you and I know everyone says this, but I would still love to hang out as friends.

Bear in mind that throughout this entire jumbled mess, I was incessantly shaking, my voice was quivering and couldn't bring myself to look at him in the eyes for longer than .2 seconds.

His response? "Yeah, I've felt the same way for the last couple weeks, honestly."

Now, I'm not sure if he actually did feel that way or if he was trying to save face. But either way, I was just relieved to get the whole thing over and done with.

And in hindsight, I'm glad I told him to his face. I thought about freezing him out, sending him a text or calling him. But I bitch and moan enough about guys who just stop all forms of communication out of nowhere so I felt like it was good karma - and the mature route - to say everything in person.

I almost think it's harder to dump someone when you're in the beginning stages of dating. If you could really even classify it as breaking up. I mean - what are you really to a guy you've gone on maybe 10 dates with? Certainly not his girlfriend. Maybe that's what makes it so difficult. When you never make it to that next level. In essence, you're being broken up with because you're not good enough for that person - be it because of looks, personality, mannerisms, weird quirks.

Further down the road, when you're in a relationship, sure it hurts more. But that initial rejection stings like hell. I've felt it before, and I know I'll feel it again. Which made it so hard to do it to someone else.

It's also entirely possible that this guy didn't give two shits that I ended things. And maybe guys don't feel the same way girls do when this happens to them.

I just tend to put other people's feelings above my own and stay with guys way longer than I should to avoid situations like the one on Sunday night. So, as lame as this sounds, it was kind of a dating milestone for me. I've reached a lot of those, lately.

Dear God, do I still have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I may be Dutch...but I'm not a fan of going dutch on the first date


See this? It's not rocket science, fellas.

There have been countless articles, books and debates about guys picking up the tab, particularly on the first date. Uber-traditionalists will tell you that a guy should always pay. Uber-feminists will tell you that it's demeaning for you to let them pay.

I guess my views would be somewhere in the middle. I do expect a guy to pay on the first few dates, but I think it is unfair for them to pay for EVERYTHING. So as I go on more and more dates with a guy, I'll pay my share or even the whole bill. However, I always do the "reach for my wallet grab" or offer to contribute.

Most guys adamantly refuse. One guy was even shocked at my offer and asked if any guy had ever accepted. At the time, none of them had.

But as I get older and go on more and more dates, I'm experiencing more and more categories of men. Many of whom should not even be allowed to date.

When I was back in Richmond over the holidays, I met a guy. A fellow Steelers fan. It was a Thursday night. Pitt was playing Carolina. I dragged my bff, SK, to the bar to cheer on my team. And I was decked out in black and yellow.

So this guy approached me and we start talking. And then we end up at a different bar and numbers were exchanged.

I hung out with him a couple more times while I was in town and he hinted at continuing to see each other.

I didn't take him too seriously, so I was pleasantly surprised when he asked me to come visit a couple weekends later. I decided to drive down for only a night, because we had just started talking or whatever the hell you want to call it, and I thought it would be weird for me to stay with him an entire weekend while we are still seeing where things were going.

So, I got to his house late afternoon and we decided to go out to dinner. I was on the phone when the check came (I promise I'm not a rude phone-talking date...I was touching base with a friend we were meeting up with after dinner) and while I was talking to her, I saw him open up the tab, and place the receipt face up so that I could see it, too. I thought it was weird that he was showing me how much the meal cost, but when I finished my conversation, it was obvious why. He immediately turned to me and said, "Ready to settle up?"

I'm pretty sure my mouth dropped a little. I'd heard of guys doing this, but it had never actually happened to me.

I would like to stay the story ends there, but sadly, it does not.

After dinner, we went to a bar to meet up with some of his friends. I had SK come, too for moral support.

When the time came to close our bar tab, which was sitting in a highball glass right in front of him, he looked at the receipt, pulled a $100 bill out of his wallet, and sat it back on the bar. After a few seconds, he grabbed the $100, shoved it back into his wallet, pulled out a $20 and some ones, and then turned to me and asked if I had a couple bucks.

After telling him that all I had was a $5, he said, "that works," took the last of my cash and we left. (Side note: Thank God SK was there. Not only did she have my back and make a "you have got to be effing kidding me" sound when he asked me for money, but I didn't remember giving him my $5 and had to ask her if she knew what had happened to it the next day.)

As if this doesn't make him look bad enough already, I feel it necessary to breakdown everything that's wrong in this equation.

  1. He invited me to spend part of the weekend with him.
  2. I drove there - which already cost me $30 in gas and wear and tear/mileage on my car.
  3. I don't know his exact age, but he's in his late 30's - early 40's.
  4. He owns his own company, so combined with the age difference, he definitely makes more money than me.
  5. The drinks he had at the restaurant and the bar were more expensive than mine.
  6. He took the last of my cash when he clearly had enough to cover the bill.
  7. When you ask a girl out, it's common courtesy to pay for her.

I really didn't think it took a genius to figure this out, but clearly, there are some dense toolbags running around.

So fast forward a few weeks and he's still texting me, and I don't know why, but I'm still responding. He asked me to meet up with him when I was in town a couple weeks ago. I had plans to attend to a friend's birthday party, but I told him he should join. He made it pretty clear he didn't even want to make the effort when he told me to text him if it was fun, and if not, that I should come to wherever he ended up.

Yeah, um...I didn't bother. If you can't drive 15 minutes to see me when I'm in town then you don't deserve to hang out with me. And I'm not desperate - I shouldn't be the one constantly coming to you.

I hadn't heard from him since and thought that was the end of it. But SK ran into him last night so the texts have started up again. The best part of all this is he told her that he thought because the Steelers lost the Super Bowl I was upset and needed some time.

Um...did you just pee your pants laughing? Because I sure as hell did when SK told me that.

Either that is the lamest guy excuse in the world for going MIA on a girl for a few weeks or he is just the biggest dumbass EVER.

You know, if anything - these schmucks are providing some laughs and some damn good blog fodder.


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