Things I Learned from Dating the Wrong Guy
So I recently went on a few dates with a guy I knew from high school. He wasn't ever a close friend, but more like an acquaintance that I had a few classes with every now and again. I was surprised to learn that he had a crush on me all these years so when he asked me on a date I said yes, because I figured I would give it a try. I always remembered him as being funny and articulate so I knew that whatever happened I would still have a fun time and if nothing else gain a friend. I had never thought of him as someone I would date, but he was handsome enough to me where I could be attracted to him if we connected through conversation.
About a month had passed from the time he asked me on the date to the time we actually went because it was during the holidays and we were both busy with our families. During this time, I was going back and forth in my mind on whether I wanted to go or not. Some days I would think yes definitely and other days I leaned towards no. Finally, I just decided that I would go and see for myself if there was anything there. I try to give people a chance if I think there's even hope for a connection because I wouldn't want to miss out on anything great and regret it. I probably should have listened to myself and not went through with it though, because I had such a hard making my mind up in the first place. That should have been the first clue that it just wasn't right.
On the day of the date I wasn't even nervous. I usually get nervous before first dates but this time I was calm and felt pretty confident about the whole thing. The date itself was drinks at a local bar. Very low key and simple, just how I would prefer it. I think dinner as a first date can be pretty awkward. Sharing a meal with someone is an intimate thing and it's much harder to leave before it's over without it being way too weird. Drinks or coffee is better in my opinion. If it's going good, you can stay and chat for a few hours. If it sucks you can make an excuse to leave. In my case, it went pretty well. The conversation seemed to flow easily. We had stuff in common. The attraction was there. Still, though, I felt it wasn't right even though I wasn't quite sure why. I remember thinking to myself that maybe my expectations were just too high and I should just give it one more chance.
So I gave it one more chance and went on another date with him. This time it was to see a live band playing and I got to meet a few of his friends as well. We all got along and seemed to be having a good time. He flirted with me, gave me compliments, and seemed to say all the right things at exactly the right time. If I'm being honest, I enjoyed myself. Something was off though. I remember thinking to myself that I wasn't where I belong. I was outside of my comfort zone because I wasn't used to hanging out with the type of people that were his friends. They were more outgoing and out there than myself. We didn't run in the same circle of friends. Although they weren't the type of people I would typically be friends with, I still thought they were nice and funny, I just didn't feel comfortable enough around them. I felt really out of place. It was one of those moments of clarity you get while you're actually in the moment something is happening, like what am I doing here?
What really confused me about the whole thing and motivated me to give him another chance is that he seemed like the perfect gentleman. He said the right things exactly when they needed to be said. He texted me the first time after the date on the next day. He said he had a great time and wanted to see me again. He always initiated contact either through social media or texting. He gave me compliments and always said how great I looked. We actually had deep conversations and he said things that you just wouldn't share with someone unless you were serious about making them part of your life. As stated before, he also introduced me to his friends and you just don't do that unless you want to make someone a part of your life.
On paper he seemed just about perfect, but still something didn't add up. After the second date where I met his friends, we ended up going to his house and hanging out. We were supposed to watch a movie but we ended up just talking and that's where things really started to go downhill. At first, it felt good to be talking about anything and everything but when I caught him saying something questionable, that became the beginning of the end. I remember asking him in conversation how many women he had been with the week before. I think that number tells a lot about a person and I was just being curious..and maybe a little nosy. So I remembered his number, but when we got on that topic somehow his number had gone up...in one week. So from the week we were talking and I asked him his number to the next week it had gone up? Meaning that he had already slept with someone just between our first and second dates? Seriously? I don't think he noticed that he had let it slip but I sure did. Yeah it's not a big deal when you think about it but that's a really big turn off. I know I'm not his girlfriend or have any rights at this point, but I still think that's really disrespectful to me.
Catching him revealing that really disappointed me, but somehow I just didn't want to give up yet because we had a good connection and I didn't want to be nitpicking at things when we weren't officially dating or anything. I was trying really hard to be cool about it even though I would never do that to someone else. I'm a one man woman and I don't really have the time or energy to be anything else. As the night went on and we continued talking, I realized just how much this guy was not my type in any way at all. Was he handsome? Yes, but not in my type of way. I prefer a clean cut type of guy. Clean shaven. Business suit. Short hair. Are tattoos and muscles hot? Yes, they can be as long as the rest of the guy is what you're looking for. Nearing 30 years old though, tattoos and muscles are just not enough. Was he sweet and considerate? Initially, I thought so. He said very nice things and gave a lot of compliments. It seems like his words and actions didn't complement each other very well though. Did we have stuff in common? Sure, we had a lot of stuff in common but in the end it wasn't enough to make things work. I'd rather have nothing in common with someone but get along really well then have a lot in common and still not be right for each other. And the first kiss? That's supposed to tell you a lot about your chemistry and compatibility. Well, it happened but it didn't seem to deepen the connection.
So after that second date, I had already made my mind up that it wasn't going to work out. I couldn't let it go further knowing in my heart that it wasn't right. We had the conversation that we weren't right for each other and it seemed to go well. It was obvious that we weren't compatible and we didn't make sense even though we did seem to have potential. I felt okay about it because I had tried my best and actually given it a chance instead of just saying no right away. What I recently found out only confirmed this wasn't the right guy for me. I learned that after our first date he stayed at some other woman's house to watch a football game with her. No big deal right? Well, usually it's not because it's fine for guys to have female friends that they hang out with. See the thing is, she was more than that. She's one of those female friends that he also sleeps with but would never date. I guess a sort of friends with benefits type. I'm not sure what would have happened if I kept dating him. Would she stay in the picture too or would she just move completely back to the friend zone? Regardless, I'm kind of glad I no longer have to think or deal with those types of issues. So I kind of dodged a bullet there. Maybe I'm asking too much I don't know, but I would prefer the guy I'm dating to only be dating me. Especially if said guy supposedly has had a crush on me since high school and I'm his "dream girl." Maybe don't have a friend with benefits when you finally have a date with your dream girl. Just saying.
So what did I learn from this awkward but enlightening experience? That I should always, always trust my first instincts about people no matter how much I want to give them a chance. If you're hesitant about something, anything at all, whether it's life or dating, think about why that's happening. If it was right you would agree with your whole heart right away. But usually when it's not right it takes a bunch of time and you have to talk yourself into it like I did. Think of it this way, when you have to make a decision about something, what's the first answer that comes to mind. That's the one that you should listen to. Also, remember that anyone can say anything, but it's what they actually do that really matters. Compliments are nice but don't let it go to your head. Stay grounded and really think if something is right for you or not. So do I regret saying yes? After I found everything out, yes I wished I hadn't ever bothered to go in the first place but now honestly I don't because I'm starting to think that maybe the experience was never about him but it was about me. It was another lesson I had to learn on the journey of finding the right guy. I guess you can't really know what's right if you don't know what's wrong too. Now I am much more sure of what I want because I know what I don't want. And hopefully, I am that much closer to finding the one because there's got to be a prince among one of these frogs right?
Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
How do you feel about first dates?
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