I met a guy, unexpectedly. I was fresh out of a relationship and I wasn’t really looking to date. But we clicked. Something about him drew me in. He seemed to feel the same way too.
I was going to an event that weekend so I invited him. He said he’d call when he got there so we’d hang out.
Come Saturday, I prepared myself and headed out. I met some friends there and basically had a good time. My phone was in my hand the whole time because I was expecting a call. As the night wore on, I gave up hope. I figured he had probably changed his mind about coming. I let it go.
Days later we met. I asked, just out of curiosity, what had happened that night. He said he’d made it to the event but couldn’t get through to me no matter how many times he tried calling. We chalked it down to network issues.
We chatted for a bit and it was very clear to me that we liked each other. I hoped, like every girl that come the weekend we would meet up for a date.
That never materialised as well.
We’d bump into each other and chat for what seemed like hours. Then one day he told me that he really liked me but he wasn’t ready to date. I was heartbroken, but I also knew that when a man says he isn’t ready to date, you should leave him be. I withdrew.
About two weeks later he called me and said he really missed me. I was confused. I didn’t understand the change of heart. He asked if we could meet up and talk. So we did.
After a few minutes of riveting conversation, I asked him what he wanted from me. I wasn’t willing to spend hours just chatting with no clear definition of our relationship. We could either date or be friends. He said he had decided he was ready to take the plunge and date.
I was ecstatic, no lie. I will put a caveat and say, I had been through a fair share of bad relationships and I knew it would take a lot of work to trust and completely immerse myself in a relationship.
The weeks turned into months and we spent quite a bit of time together. But date night was a pipe dream. We only managed twice. Most of the time we’d plan to meet, he would not make it. I tried my best to understand him to the point where I started making excuses for him. His work schedule was crazy. But I also knew that if he really wanted to spend time with me he would have found a way. I even made it easy for him and told him it didn’t have to be anything fancy; we could meet up when he left work no matter how late it was, go have a drink and then go home.
At some point I gave up on the dates.
Then there was the distorted communication. Most of the time I had to make first contact. If not, we would go days without talking. I hated this. It made me feel like I was chasing him and my ego wouldn’t allow me to be that girl who goes after a man. I was brought up that a man does the chasing not the girl.
Sometimes I’d go silent intentionally just to test him. I’d still end up the one calling or texting. Sometimes, my calls would go unanswered and, like any normal well-brought up person, I expected him to call back. That hardly happened.
When I brought up that I felt like I was chasing him, he said to me, “Have I complained? Did I say that?” My answer was always no. So I thought it was okay to be the one who always made first contact.
Then there was this girl. I had noticed that they were quite close, spending hours talking. When I asked about her, he said there was nothing going on. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to their relationship. Then I discovered that he hadn’t been truthful about her and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
You know how men say women aren’t patient, we don’t want to understand them, give up easily, we’re flaky, attention seekers? I was patient, understanding, even naïve at times but there was always something that kept nagging me. This wasn’t right.
I gave him space where he needed it, didn’t demand too much attention, kept myself busy and avoided the advances of other men.
But he didn’t see it. I gave and gave and got nothing in return. And now, when I have finally given up, I wonder, are relationships meant to be this hard? Is it possible to meet someone and, even though the two of you face challenges, you don’t spend hours asking yourself if it is worth it? Is it normal to long for singlehood just so that you can have peace of mind?
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