Alcohol is often blamed for late night texts of desperation, but this time, it was the catalyst for emotional closure. Although it was over a year ago, my heart still feels a little sore when I think about the Garbage Man (read that date review first if you haven’t!) He was the first guy in awhile who I had felt comfortable enough around to let down my guard. I truly believed he was a kind, genuine person… and I still do. I didn’t spend the last 15 months harboring anger toward him, just confusion. Confusion over why he would lead me on for 5 dates when he wasn’t interested in anything emotional OR physical. Most men are obviously motivated by one factor, but not him. Our relationship ended abruptly and I never had the chance to find out why. His incessant “likes” of my tweets only further complicated the situation (until I made one obvious tweet about him that resulted in total radio silence!)
I had chalked it up to being one of those grey areas that linger in your mind, forever unresolved. But a few Saturdays ago, I went to Rontom’s for my friend’s birthday celebration. I already felt a bit disappointed in romance due to a non-Tinder related guy problem, but my despondency was exacerbated when we realized I was the only person coming to her party. Over 15 people had RSVP’d on the Facebook event! What happened to common decency? Most importantly, her crush had agreed to come. She clearly put a lot of effort into looking gorgeous and her sadness was palpable. We were already a little tipsy, so I volunteered to message him and ask if he was coming. I did. He said he was at a show. Bummer.
We continued to drink overpriced $12 cocktails (the birthday girl gets what she wants!) and talk about our dating woes. The conversation turned to how people are never trustworthy and dating is an impossible game. I whined, “I wish people would just be honest and upfront with each other!” My friend egged me on and suggested, “You should ask the Garbage Man what happened! Let him know how you feel!”
So I did. At 10:26pm on a Saturday evening. Not quite the drunken hour, but getting close.
“Oh hey! So I’ve always wondered… What happened between us? Why did we go on 5 dates if you were only interested in friendship? I really liked you and never got closure on why you didn’t want anything romantic.”
Wow. I didn’t re-read that until just now. It was pretty blunt and accusatory, but it was exactly what I wanted to say. It reminds me of senior year in college when I discovered that drinking 3 beers before writing a paper made it a lot easier. I should do more things in life while intoxicated.
I consoled myself with the fact that I hadn’t talked to him in over a year. Why did his opinion of me matter now? It was over. Nothing was going to change that. What’s the harm in embarrassing myself?
He didn’t reply. He didn’t reply Sunday either. I woke up on Monday to an empty inbox. Did he change his number? Well, technically I didn’t have his number. All I had was his iMessage email. Is that still a thing? Probably not. He was most likely ignoring the crazy ex-Tinder woman who can’t take a hint. You live and learn.
But on Monday morning, my phone lit up with a new text from the Garbage Man. I was in the middle of talking to a patient and I dropped my pen. Verbatim, this was his response….
“I had come out of a 4 year relationship before moving to Portland, and I think I wasn’t ready to be serious about dating. But I didn’t really know that and I’m a bad communicator when it comes to that stuff anyways.”
I appreciated his honesty. I was surprised he even responded. I replied thanking him for letting me know and joking about the possibility that the entire thing was a Catfish situation to trick me into dating his roommate (who came on most of our dates.) He laughed and assured me that wasn’t the case…
and that was it.
I halfheartedly hoped he would ask me out, but he didn’t. I know it’s over now. A sense of satisfaction has replaced the confusion-rage that simmered in my soul. It’s a nice feeling. I also feel enlightened with this pearl of wisdom: Never date someone who has just gotten out of a relationship. Seems basic, right? Having a hard number like “6 months” is appealing, but it obviously depends on the length and intimacy of the relationship. This makes dating trickier as you probably won’t find out this information until you’re already somewhat emotionally invested. I’m sure there’s a formula that could be written that takes these factors into account. (Just tried writing one. Had emotional flashbacks of high school algebra. Found this instead. If it is correct, Garbage Man would have needed at least 6 months of recovery time. I just ran my coworker’s data through this. He’s been with his partner for 8 years and it said he would only need 1.6 years of recovery time. There’s also a clause on the site that says you’re supposed to divide the final number by 2 to account for both parties. If that’s the case, 9 months of recovery seems absolutely insane. Try running your own numbers and let me know if this is total garbage or not!)
In total, I strongly recommend doing 4 shots of cupcake vodka and then sending a coherent, honest text to whoever you’re not completely over. Maybe they won’t reply. Maybe they will. I think it’s worth the gamble.