You know how when you bitch about dating your Mom always tells you: “You’ll meet the right guy when you’re not looking.” or “I’ll just happen once you meet the one.”? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.
It was like a scene from a movie. I was helping a friend move into her new apartment, and she’d asked some other people if they could lend a hand as well. One of them was an old classmate of hers who lived nearby. I immediately thought he was cute, but I pushed the thought from my mind almost instantly.
"C’mon Bea, you’re here to pick up furniture, not men." I reminded myself.
However, we soon struck up a conversation about a TV show we both liked, and it became a little harder to ignore my attraction. As it turned out, we had quite a bit in common. I learned that he was a bit older than me, with a good job as an accountant. He’d just recently purchased a house, and he clearly took good care of himself. Shortly before leaving, he asked for my number. I’d officially abandoned my attempts to ignore my crush by that point. After all, he seemed like a nice enough guy. I didn’t count on hearing from him, though.
The next day, he surprisingly texted me during my lunch break (he’d remembered me saying that I take a late lunch hour). From that day on, I received daily texts from him chatting and flirting back and forth.
By midweek, he’d asked me out for coffee.
I was excited, but certainly not imagining it would go anywhere. I felt if anything it would be an opportunity to make a new friend. He just seemed too normal compared to the army of functioning alcoholics, religious zealots, and mama’s boys that littered my yellow brick road of previous boyfriends.
Our coffee date lasted four hours. He asked me out for the following weekend right away. He was the perfect gentlemen. He was handsome and dressed well. He was funny. I felt myself beginning to wonder if maybe this could turn into something after all.
Date two involved dinner, drinks, and the most romantic kiss goodnight I’d ever experienced. He’d even held an umbrella for me when it started to rain. I stumbled into my room that night not quite sure whether I’d imagined it all. He wanted to see me again ASAP.
I went over to his house that weekend for drinks and to watch a movie. He asked me to dance in his living room. He never once made a sexual advance even though we were alone and most guys probably would have. He told me he hadn’t seriously dated anyone in almost two years, because he’d been looking for the right girl with whom to have a meaningful relationship. He talked excitedly about introducing me to his friends. My mind was blown. Was this what my Mom had meant?
Our mutual friend was absolutely giddy with excitement. She couldn’t believe she’d never thought to set us up. I told her I was still sort of afraid all of it was an elaborate dream. She dismissed my concerns, gushing that he was the most upstanding man she knew and that I shouldn’t worry. He was literally prince charming, she said.
I wish I could say the story ended happily ever after right there.
A few days later, he took me to dinner. He told me how much he enjoyed spending time with me and how I’d made the past few weeks better. I told him I liked him and wanted to keep seeing him. He said he agreed, and wanted to continue taking things slow. I was fine with that, as I have never been the type that rushes into serious commitments. He seemed happy, and hesitant to leave me that the end of the evening.
The following morning he texted me that he’d told his Mom about me, and she’d asked quite a few questions. I was surprised that he’d taken such a step, since I’d made no mention of telling my own parents I was seeing someone. However, he seemed like he was declaring his intentions by doing so and I didn’t worry about it.
That weekend, I didn’t hear from him as usual. He was on a weekend trip with friends. I didn’t contact him because I figured he was busy having fun, and I didn’t want to interrupt. We had plans for me to make him dinner when he returned on Sunday.
4:30 PM rolled around on Sunday, and I still had not heard from him. I was somewhat concerned, because it was unlike him to forget about or to break plans. I texted him about dinner, and he said he wasn’t feeling well and would like to rain check the following day.
I saw no reason not to believe him, so I obliged. However, the following day I’d still heard nothing. I called to see how he was feeling, wondering if he was still ill. He never picked up. Two days of silence passed. By this point, I knew what was up. He’d houdinied. Disappeared without explanation for no logical reason.
I was pretty devestated, I’m not gonna lie. One moment I was so happy. Everything felt so easy about our interactions. So good. He was so aggressive in pursuing me. He seemed so set on his intention of building a relationship. He said and did everything right. He’d even told his mom about me for pete’s sake.
And then, just like that, he was gone.
I felt awful. Our mutual friend was furious about his actions. He’d called her and said that he felt I was “getting attached to him really fast” and that he’d realized he “either had emotional issues or a fear of commitment”. The friend instructed him that disappearing was not cool, and he needed to be honest. He abruptly ended the call, and hasn’t returned any of her messages since.
About a week later, I sent him a text of my own. I told him that if he didn’t want to see me anymore, that was fine. But he needed to just tell me, because avoiding me was not a respectful thing to do.
As predicted, he never replied. I just really needed to write the message for closure. I then deleted him from my Facebook, erased all 450+ messages from him out of my phone, and tried to move on.
It’s hard though. It really is. I was angry that he’d tried to pin the problem on me. To attached!?!? Oh, but he could text me constantly and tell me I was awesome, and remember my schedule, but that wasn’t too attached? That wasn’t implying that he wanted to pursue something in the future? Ok, yeah, f that.
It’s absolutely ridiculous the double standard that we have in dating for men vs. women. Women cannot make the first move, because they are supposed to leave the thrill of the chase to the man. Then, once the man does make a move, he can do and say whatever he wants. It doesn’t matter how aggressive he is or how much he implies that he wants a relationship, because he’ll never be held accountable for anything he says or does. But you as the women, you have to be careful. Because if you for any reason take any of his BS words or actions at face value, you are a crazy, clingy, overly-attached nutbag who has caused the poor nice guy to run wearing out of fear that you’re concealing a wedding planner in your purse at all times. You’re gonna chain him up and drag him down the aisle.
Like, uh, here’s an idea idiots: If you don’t wan’t a girl to think you want a relationship, don’t act like you want a damn relationship. Don’t pour on the charm like freaking molasses and talk your game about stars and unicorns and meaningful relationships and youresopretty blahblah. You could just as easily say, “Hey, I’m not that interested in anything serious, but it’s cool to hang out every so often.” Don’t blow up her phone with messages. Don’t say you want her to meet your BFF. That way, the girl knows it’s “hit it quit it” and everyone’s happy. It would save everyone involved a ton of damn time, and you wouldn’t have to go to such great lengths to disappear and avoid her forever. Jeez.
Sorry this was such a long rant, but this douchebag really took a lot out of me. I really was petrified after this happened that the whole rest of my life where men are concerned was going to be like this.
It’s like you’re riding a bicycle down a lovely country lane. The birds are chirping. The sun is shining. There’s a nice warm breeze. You feel so genuinely happy you could burst. Then suddenly a brick wall appears out of nowhere and you hit it. Hard. And as you lay there and bleed the only thing you hear is the bicycle saying is, “She was enjoying riding way too much. I don’t even know how this happened…”
I’m getting better, but it’s a real work in progress. It really amplified my underlying fear of abandonment and loneliness.
So fellow Post-Grads, have any of you ever had a guy houdini on you? If so, do tell. It helps me to know I’m not the only stupid girl to fall for a guy who up and disappears.