If I had a list of what I hoped for in a partner, Jim would meet most of the criteria. Unfortunately, lists are for grocery shopping, not a boyfriend search. Although Jim is highly educated, politically active (in admirable causes), stylish, an arts supporter and a vegetarian, I am just not feeling it. It is SO frustrating. I am tempted to criticize myself, saying I am too picky, I am avoiding intimacy or I am a dating pretender who would rather live as a hermit. What’s wrong with me?!
In my heart, I know there is nothing wrong with me...at least not with regard to rejecting Jim. And, truly, I cannot say there is anything wrong with Jim. He’s a nice guy. Still, after a month of dating and wishing for a spark to surface, I know it isn’t going to happen. Poor Jim is utterly perplexed. I know he is smitten with me. He dares to call me “sexy” and “handsome”. (By contrast, a work colleague today said I look haggard and stressed.) Yes,
love lust mild infatuation
Despite Jim’s amazing dating résumé, something is missing. Too often, we engage in parallel rather than intersecting lines of conversation. I feel that I follow up on things he mentions, but my own words seem to evaporate before they reach his ears. When he does respond, it is to say something about himself. I feel my teeth clenching. That’s surely not a sign of attraction.
As I’ve mentioned before, Jim was born and raised in Los Angeles, a city I am hoping to return to if U.S. immigration would be a little more cooperative. While I miss much about L.A., Jim’s way of speaking reminds of something that did annoy me. He is big on name dropping and one-upping every story. It is intended to impress. I, however, am not looking to be impressed. I seek to connect in an honest, authentic way.
Tonight we met for the last supper. I am going through a traumatic work situation that has left me feeling vulnerable and questioning my career options. I dared to share. He listened and nodded appropriately. No comments, no questions. And so we moved on to his training plans for a half marathon coming up in August. More teeth clenching. A heaping plate of nachos arrived just on time to give my jaw a suitable outlet.
If anything, the meal affirmed that I was making the right decision. I walked him to his car and said I wasn’t feeling any chemistry even though I wished it existed. For a moment, there was a look of shock on his face, but we parted with a quick hug and I strolled back to my vehicle feeling no sense of regret, no pang of despair over being single again.
It doesn’t mean I’m destined to be a hermit though that wouldn’t be so bad if I could keep all my teeth and avoid wearing flannel. I have plenty of other things to think about for now. I can ask and answer my own questions. Dating is not a priority.