Every once in a while life sends you a lesson, not so that you learn something from it but to test that you’ve learned your lesson and know how to move on to the good stuff. In all of dating shenanigans, I think I constantly surprise myself with how much I wear my heart on my sleeve despite my childhood but hey, we all have faults right? My professional life is very successful, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and I know that there’ve been a ton of obstacles in my way. But sometimes I’m so focused on the professional stuff I forget about me the person. So in my dating portfolio I’ve settled a few times. Not something I care to admit and reading it aloud to myself makes me a little bit sad but I’ve got quite a Kate Spade collection so you know I’m going to bounce back quickly right? I’ve always taken charge in every relationship because I prefer knowing that if I start it I can end it. Most men, especially powerful men, don’t take too well to me whipping out my card to pay for dinner but I hate feeling like I owe someone something. But that’s another blog. My last relationship was terrible, so terrible I ended up not dating for 2 years. This year I was open to the idea but not necessarily taking any active steps – let’s face it – most days I work 10 to 12 hours and when I come home I want it to be a quiet sanctuary. When you spend all day taking care of people, the last thing you want to come home to is even more of that. Get on with the story already…
About a month ago my college BFF’s who remain my BFFs to this day were in town for much needed party time. Per chance I heard a radio station advertising a club and knew that us girls were going to go whoop it up. And whoop it up we did, I haven’t laughed that hard in such a long time, it’s the kind of belly laugh only your real friends know how to coax out of you. Good times were had and I met a boy. We’ll call him Southern Boy. Apparently we exchanged numbers and I told him that I didn’t have any free time until the following Tuesday. C’mon now, you don’t mentally run thru your corporate Blackberry when giving a guy your number? Ok maybe that was slightly terrible but SB called the next day. Keep in mind I was very surprised by that move, a guy who doesn’t play mind games? That’s very rare in this world. So point to SB. The gals talked me into calling him back and we had a good conversation in which he invited himself to dinner with my friend Janine. After the awkward dinner and trust me it was awkward. SB is genuinely shy, to the point where you want to put your hand on his shoulder and tell him that people talk to each other every single day in this world and that it’s ok. In his defense he was having dinner with two girls he barely knew and one who’s very vocal and uses her hands for everything. After dinner, he shook my hands. Yes everyone, he shook my hands like a good Southern boy. I genuinely did not think I’d ever hear from him again nor did I walk away thinking this guy likes me or vice versa.
He ended up texting me and so the “textuation” began…I know it’s 2011 but I still think a guy should pick up the phone and call. Texting is great for a while but then you’re like grow a pair already and just call. I’ll condense this – after a couple weeks of texting he called and made plans to see me and then on the day of said date HE STOOD ME UP! Oh yes, he – wait for it – texted a couple of hours before the “date” to tell me he was stuck at work. Then it just flat out progressed to “I’m not going to make it” and you guessed it, he sent a text and not a call. That ladies is your cue to write that guy off, don’t listen to your friends (albeit well meaning ones) who say “oh give him a chance, you understand how crazy work can get”. Oh yes, I understand how crazy work can get, I’m a workaholic but ladies heed my words: if a guy can’t be bothered to pick up the phone to tell you himself he is about to stand you up then run for the hills. It literally takes less than 3 minutes to call, apologize and say that you’ll make up for it. Sending a text is just cowardly and in my life cowards need not apply.
No biggie, he didn’t owe me anything and I certainly didn’t owe him anything. I wrote that foible off and moved on. You know where this is going right? He texted again. Almost 3 weeks after he texted to ask “hey stranger, remember me?”. And that’s where I messed up. I should have heeded my own advice and ignored him but the fool in me was bored and so I replied asking if this was Steve Jobs? And so the textuation began against my better judgment. Move along to that Friday night when SB texts around 6:30ish to ask what’s going on. A bit into it I learned he was in town. Oh yes, he was in town but didn’t care to make any plans with me. And that’s when I knew I was just an option. I’ve only been in this situation once before but damn will I let myself be suckered into this again. [Sidebar: shoutout to the man who once left me in a park after a concert. At 2am. Oh yeah, my guy buddies wanted to kill him.]
Here’s my life lesson that I want you (and myself) to repeat: I am a fabulous priority and not some ordinary option. There is no reason to treat anyone like that and if you’re still into playing games then maybe that’s cool. I’m pretty busy and my personal time is a luxury which I can’t spend foolishly. My life is full and mostly happy, yet I too fell into that trap thinking “let’s see where this goes”. You know where that goes? Nowhere. So do yourself a favor, the next time someone tries to treat you like an option, walk away. Delete them from your phone and move on. Because the truth is you are worth it and you’re better than being someone’s option.
“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”