A friend of mine recently became a home owner and was ready to decorate his new house. He went out to purchase a living room set and went to several stores. The first day he saw a set that he thought he loved, it was the right size, he liked the fabric and thought that he had found the set that he wanted. He was about to buy it but something just didn’t feel right and so he decided to pass. A few days later, my friend went out shopping again. He found another living room set that he liked even more than the first one but just couldn’t bring himself to commit. He felt like he just needed to keep looking. Finally, he walked into a furniture store, saw a living room set and said “That’s the one”. He bought it on the spot. He just knew.
When he told me this story, he said that buying furniture is a lot like finding a relationship. There are people you meet that you think could be right for you but something just feels off. When you meet the
one ones you are meant to be with (because let’s face it, we definitely invest our hearts and time with a few of ‘the ones’ before we end up with ‘the one’), whatever unexplainable element the runners up didn’t possess becomes so clear when you find someone who is right for you.
Recently I went out with a guy that I met on an online dating site. For our first date, he asked me to meet up with him for coffee but our schedules for weekend days just kept clashing so we decided to meet up for dinner instead. It was a nice first date, we got along well and didn’t struggle for things to talk about. We ended up sitting and talking well past when the bill had been paid. We hugged goodbye at the end and agreed that we should do it again sometime. I didn’t have butterflies and wasn’t tongue tied at the sight of him but he seemed like a good guy so when he asked me to go out with him again, I decided a second date couldn’t hurt.
We continued to see each other and I realized that he was a great guy; he was cute, extremely nice and seemed like he really liked me. Let’s call him Clark — you know, like Kent or Gable; good guys are always named Clark. We started spending a lot of time together and things were going well but I just couldn’t tell if we had chemistry. I talked with a lot of my friends and they made me realize that being so early on, it was okay to not be sure about him or us. I decided to keep seeing him and try to get to know him better. One thing to know about me, is I stayed in a relationship that wasn’t right for me for so long that it has become a bit of a sticking point with me and I sometimes worry that I will repeat that pattern instead of putting my own happiness first. So I tend to over think issues like these. I was concerned that I was putting too much pressure on myself to make a decision about him too soon. Clark began to make it clear to me that he really did like me and wanted things between us to progress. Even though I had decided that it was okay that I wasn’t there yet, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I wasn’t matching his feelings.
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, Sex-Worth the Wait? AKA Maybe I Do Wanna Be A Tease, I have never been very good at taking my time physically with someone I’m interested in but with Clark it was different. We didn’t even kiss until our 6th date and after that we fooled around and I (the I is in bold print on purpose!) stopped things before they went too far. I was pretty proud of myself for not moving too fast. However, after we finally had sex, I found that that was all I seemed to be interested in. When he would ask to spend time with me, I would hope that he would settle for coming over to my place for takeout, a movie and just spending the night in (and ending the night IN my bed). My friends would ask me to tell them more about him and I just didn’t have much to say (if you know me well, you know that me not having a lot to talk about is a huge red flag). I threw a birthday party for one of my closest friends and everyone wanted to know if he was coming but I hadn’t invited him because I just didn’t have any interest in them meeting him. He couldn’t wait for me to meet his friends, he asked me five different times to go out with them and I came up with an excuse each time for why I couldn’t go (now I know that that sounds bad because it is, but in my defense, a few of those times were way to soon to meet them in my opinion — especially when he asked me to go out with them two days after our first date).
Clark really was such a great guy that I really, really wanted to like him. There were no games with him, I knew exactly where he stood and how he felt about me. Dating him was how dating should be. Almost. I just wasn’t excited about him. There was never a time that I couldn’t wait to hear from him, there was nothing else I was dying to get to know about Clark, nothing I was looking to experience with him. He wasn’t for me. Even though I hated the idea of letting a good guy go, I just didn’t like him as much as I should.
It was time to let Clark know that I couldn’t keep seeing him. Now, the other thing you probably remember about me from Break Ups: Fake It Til You Make It? (Or Pretend To Be Eaten By A Bear?) is that I HATE breaking up with people. It makes me super anxious at the idea of hurting someone and I usually find a way to take the easy way out in order to spare the other person’s feelings. Well, I believe that we should be constantly learning and growing and trying to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. And, I’m 30, it’s time to just be honest and find the right combination of being truthful while being kind. I told Clark that I think he is awesome but I just felt like there is something missing between us and it wouldn’t be fair to him or to myself to continue things when I feel like that. Clark actually thanked me for being upfront about my feelings. Look at that, maybe there is some personal growth going on!
I have to say, that I think my friend was on to something with his furniture analogy. Clark was the living room set that I was afraid to pass up on because he was dependable, and great quality and a great price but just wasn’t what I had my heart set on. I had to decide to keep looking because I want to be wowed. I want to just know.