Dear guy whose name I have already forgotten, I feel like I may have led you on last night only to kick you in the balls at the end of the evening. I am so sorry. This morning, in retrospect, I am aghast at how I handled things. There might have been a better way. But, first let me explain.
When I saw you come into the bar, I was thrilled. Like me, you seemed younger and more urban than the rest of the crowd at the mixer for singles 40-plus.
I’d told the event organizer I would help newcomers feel welcome so I approached you and struck up a conversation. Sure enough, you told me had recently turned 40 and lived downtown. You were pleasant and intelligent enough but about five minutes into the conversation, I could tell that we weren’t going to click romantically, so I excused myself to talk to some other people.
Still, it was your first time with this group and I wanted you to enjoy your evening so later, when I saw you looking a little lost standing on your own, I asked you to sit next to me.
In all honesty, I wanted to introduce you to my friend who was sitting on the other side of you. Both of you are from Eastern Europe and I thought you might hit it off, but she was deep in conversation with another man. So, instead, I focused on you.
I told you about this blog and you told me about your job and we discovered a shared interest in live story-telling events.
Later, you almost won me over with some smooth meringue moves during a Latin song. Most women love a man who knows how to lead on the dance floor and you, my friend, have a secret weapon there. I’m pretty sure during that song with had a capital M Moment, where we locked eyes and the world stopped.
But one moment of connection couldn’t compensate for an overall lack of spark.
You went to get another beer, and while you were gone, a tall Vince Vaughan look-alike with a plate full of spring rolls appeared next to me. When he saw me lick my lips while looking at his food, he offered me one of the appetizers and I was charmed.
Just as you returned, Vince Vaughan asked me to join him on the patio where it was quieter and we could talk. And that’s when I did the inexcusable.
I turned to you and said, “I’m going to hang out with this guy for a while, can I get your number?”
One, worst line in the history of pick-ups ever!
And two, I didn’t even want to see you again! I just felt GUILTY because I felt like you were some sort of lost puppy I’d adopted and was now RESPONSIBLE for, and since I was now ditching you I felt like I OWED you something (like a date that I didn’t want). WTF?!!?? How messed up is that?
If a guy did that to me, I would say “Fuck you,” and leave. I’m surprised you didn’t.
Instead, you said, “Oh, are you leaving?” and I said, “No, I’m just going to talk with this guy for a bit. I’ll talk to you after” And so, I talked to Vince Vaughan for the next 45 minutes while you occasionally hovered awkwardly in the background and then, when I was leaving with Vince Vaughan, I found you and did it again!
Me: I’m leaving now, can I have your number?
You (pointing at Vince Vaughan): I thought you were into him.
Me: I am, but I thought we could do one of those story-telling events together.
You: I don’t understand. You’re leaving with that guy.
Me: I am but I date lots of guys. I thought we could hang out.
You: Like for what? To have sex?
Me: No! Just to hang out!
You: I don’t think so.
And that was it – all in all, a pretty shitty way to end the night.
But why should I care? I mean, I wasn’t into you in the first place. I do care because one, I like to treat people the way I like to be treated and I treated you like a douche and two, I don’t want you to leave you with a bad impression of the meet-up group. So I apologize.
If I was to do things differently, I would have asked you what you’re looking for upfront.
As cheesy as it is, it would have been the quickest way to determine that we were not compatible and there would be no weirdness when I suddenly started flirting with other people.
The truth is I’m still learning how to navigate this woolly world of casual dating, and, as this incident pointed out, I clearly have some personal issues to be on high alert for and work through as I do.
So thank you for helping me realize this. I couldn’t have done it without you. I truly hope you find whatever it is you are looking for and I’m glad you realized it’s not me before I had the guts to say the same to you.