Forget almost everything I’ve said about Tiger. I’ve been trying to talk myself out of liking him since the night I met him because I think I’m not supposed to like him. But I do like him and the more time I spend with him the more I like him.
This means it needs to end. Again. Now. For real.
I’ve said it over and over again and I’ve tried – truly tried – to stop seeing him. But I have so much fun with him, and I keep fooling myself that I won’t get attached but honestly, it’s going to happen. I have started missing him.
This can’t be allowed.
We’ll never be in a true relationship – he’s made it clear he’s not after that, but he makes it hard to resist spending time together. He does relationship-ish things that confuse me even though his words to the contrary are clear – he cooks for me, pays my way when we go out, and up until a few days ago he was checking in with me several times a day to see how my day was going. I should not be feeling confused, people! I am a rational person and I know, logically, we’re not exclusive with one another and won’t be, for his reasons and mine.
I cannot even fully describe how annoyed I am that I cannot shut off my feelings in this situation.
Whether he’s met someone new or he was getting worried things were getting too boyfriend/girlfriend, I don’t know, but the texts have died way down since last Thursday, even if we did spend most of the weekend together. As we went out separate ways yesterday I realized that, because of the nature of our arrangement, I never know, when we say goodbye, if it’s for the last time or not. And that’s starting to feel unpleasant.
Casual dating is temporary – it’s for people who are okay with that kind of uncertainty. It works for people who can stay unattached. It works for folks who are comfortable dating multiple people at once. If not making plans more than a week in advance is your idea of a good time, then enter into this type of dating scenario, it’ll be perfect for you.
I’m realizing this set up is not at all good for me, though, even if I felt I could hack it. I thought, I just got a divorce, why would I want to be in a relationship right now, anyway? I said to myself, This guy is way too young, we don’t have enough in common, I’m in no danger of getting attached because we’ll have nothing to talk about. I told Hildy, He’s got so much sketchy baggage I can’t overlook. I felt confident I could stay aloof and relaxed and not over-think anything.
I know dating doesn’t offer any guarantees – it’s not like I’ll meet a man and we’ll be exclusive right away or be on the same page from Date Number One.
But after spending all this enjoyable time with Tiger, I’ve learned a lesson. I don’t want a casual dating relationship. I can’t stay rational or detached in this scenario. I want a relationship where there’s at least the potential for more. My family is so important to me – I want to be with someone, eventually, who’ll meet my siblings and my dad and my kids and spend time together on holidays. I’d like to be with someone who’ll travel with me – it’s not as if I can make plans for vacations with someone who might not be in my life one week from now. I’ve met two of Tiger’s friends but as more of an aside, not because I’m a valuable person in his life. Going back to an older post about spending time as a couple, I hope to someday be in a relationship with someone who will go out with me and my friends.
As much fun as I have with this guy, we’re never going to be the same age, I will always be older. He is not at a point in his life where he wants commitment of any kind. He’s told me things about his past relationships that would make me distrustful of him if we were ever to seriously date, but that I overlooked for the time being because I don’t NEED to trust him. I am much more stable in my life than he is – he is just barely starting to figure out what he wants in life but has no plans about how to get there.
I thought I was safe – the red flags are still there, but despite them I’m still drawn to him. His unavailability quite possibly makes him more attractive to me; I do have a history of being drawn to challenges. But there is no “winning” in this situation – we are two people who should be merely friends, nothing more. I should have walked away so many weeks ago when I said I would – I’m still going to stop seeing him but it’s a little harder today than before.
Whatever the reason for my continued contact with him – friendship, companionship, entertainment, attention – I am feeling the first little tendrils of attachment and that just isn’t going to work. I need to move on.
Easier said than done. Then again, maybe not – he may already be done with me. Such is the nature of casual dating.
Photo used under creative commons license from Andrew Malone.