Everyone loves a cliffhanger, huh? I guess I waited too long for Part II, though, as I got a few emails asking me to update the story that began in my last post about waiting to be dumped.
Ah, yes. The gentleman in question (I’ll call him Mr. Thoughtful) texted me around 5:30 that night to ask if he could call me after my kids went to bed. Greeaaaaat, sounds like a plan, let’s put this off another four hours just for fun! CAN’T WAIT.
Finally, after much angry ranting inside my head about the delay, my phone rang. After two awkward minutes of banal chatter about our days, he got to the point.
“You’re very sweet, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, but I think I underestimated how hard it is to work with our schedules, and I don’t think there’s enough, uh, there, you know, to, uh, work around that.”
The man had a point, one I’d brought up to him several times before. Dating as a divorced parent isn’t always easy, and one of the issues I’ve come across is discovering that an intriguing new person has a custody schedule that doesn’t mesh well with mine. In the case of Mr. Thoughtful, we had our kids on exact opposite days. Not a single day aligned.
I didn’t realize this until after our first date, however. Had I known, I may not have agreed to go out with him. He asked me out for a night my kids were with their dad, so I assumed that meant Mr. Thoughtful and I had the same weekends free. Not so. He’d swapped with his ex since she’d needed him to take their children the weekend before. But sparks flew that first night (cue the rom-com scene with music and laughter and smiles and wine and some silly, sappy song playing over our adorably animated conversation) and we continued to see each other for five more weeks, using babysitters and some creativity with movie times after the kids were asleep.
We probably weren’t thinking very clearly when we decided to go on more dates after realizing the custody incompatibility, but perhaps we both thought, initially, enough of a connection existed to at least see how things would play out. Giddy hope and all that nonsense.
Maybe, ultimately, Mr. Thoughtful discovered he hated my laugh, or maybe he realized I was too social a creature and therefore not going to be free every weekend night or maybe he didn’t find me to be in good enough shape or maybe he thought my taste in music was too juvenile (hello, there is nothing wrong with buying New Direction songs at my age, I don’t care what anyone says). In the end it doesn’t really matter- he decided there wasn’t enough of a “something” between us to deal with the schedules. The schedules may have just been an easy out, a way for him to back out without hurting my feelings, which I can respect. I suspect the schedules weren’t THE reason and I typically prefer a more direct approach, but a white lie may be better than having my love of pop music ridiculed or being told I need to follow through with that tummy tuck STAT.
Saying I was dumped may be a tad melodramatic, since we hadn’t made it to exclusive couple status and had only spent five weekends together. In the case of this young whateveritwas ending, it’s more about the loss of potential than about the loss of the person; we hadn’t even gotten past the initial on-our-best-behavior stage. Everything was still fairly surface level. We’d never seen each other with our kids, we’d never met each other’s friends, we’d never done any normal everyday things together since our time was quite limited, we’d never seen how the other dealt with daily irritants like traffic jams or missing phones.
I felt more anxiety about the whole thing waiting for him to end things than I felt after it was done. I was like, “Hmmm, that wasn’t fun,” but couldn’t consider myself sad. Like a vaccination, the reality was much easier to take than the fear leading up to it – a sharp pinch but within a day all that was there was a faint reminder of the sting.
But I tell you, the next guy I meet, my second question after learning his name will be, “So, which weekends do you have your kids?”
Image of the dude with the flip phone by David Goehring used under creative commons license.