Tuesday, May 1, 2012


We came close.

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 is blind.

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.

1 comment:

Rick Modien said...

First, RG, I admire your courage for sharing details about your dating experiences over the past month. You didn't have to do that, but I'm glad you did (and I hope you are, too).

Second, I don't need to tell you that, despite our best efforts, sometimes things don't work out. For two people, not at all related to each other, from very different backgrounds, with very different life experiences and points of view, to really and truly connect to each other and decide to be in a relationship together–well, all of that is something of a miracle. I'm surprised any of us ever finds himself in a relationship, let alone in one that lasts over time.

Third, what I didn't read in your post was that you spoke to Jim honestly about what wasn't working for you. Wasn't there enough going for what you shared to invest a little time and energy, at least once, to level with him, to see if he was open to what you had to say, and to discover whether or not he was willing to make some changes?