Monday, June 18, 2018

A Different Version of Myself

Last week, I decided to rejoin Bumble, the online dating app, and signed up for a one-month membership. The very next day, the Model texted me.

I was surprised and baffled to hear from him, to say the least. He ghosted me more than six months ago, and when he texted me, he didn't apologize for what he did or explain why he did it. Instead, he said that he had been thinking about me and wanted to see me.

There were several ways I could have responded:

1. I could have taken a picture of my hand and texted it to him, saying, "Talk to the hand!" (What? I grew up in the nineties.)

2. I could have said, "I can't. I'm dating someone who's much nicer and richer than you are."

3. I could have said, "Why the HELL did you ghost me? Unless you went into hiding from the mob, there is NO EXCUSE for what you did!"

4. I could have said, "Who is that Ann Coulter lookalike you hung out with in Chicago? I saw her Instagram page, and everyone knows that when you show up in someone else's pictures on Instagram, that means you're in a relationship." (God, I sound like one of my students. I spend so much time with them that sometimes I end up talking like them, even though I don't understand half of what they say. They keep saying things like, "She's so extra," and I'm just like, "Extra WHAT?")

5. I could have texted him a picture of a pint of ice cream and said, "Do you even realize how much ice cream I've eaten since you left?"

But I didn't say any of that. Instead, I agreed to meet him for drinks. The truth is, I never got over him. I've thought about him a lot, and even though I knew it was unlikely to happen, I always hoped I would hear from him again.

When I saw him in those pictures with Little Miss Push Up Bra, I thought all hope was lost. That's why I signed up for the Bumble membership. When the Model texted me the next day, I thought at first that someone had hacked his phone and was pretending to be him. But it really was him.

When I saw him again, he looked even more handsome than I remembered. I didn't ask him about that other woman. I should have, but I didn't. I was just really happy to see him. He told me about how he'd moved to Chicago, but since he was originally from College Town, he still came back occasionally to visit his friends and family. He told me about his new job and asked me what was going on in my life.

Later, when he took me into his arms, I didn't pull away. When he kissed me, I kissed him back. And when he asked me to spend the night with him, I didn't say no. Maybe I should have, but I didn't because I knew that I definitely would have regretted turning down the chance to be with him again. I don't want to go into too much detail about what happened, but let's just say there were fireworks. It was more passionate than all the other times I've been with him.

He went back to Chicago a few days later, but he said he wants to see me again when he comes back to College Town later this summer.

"Don't answer his texts next time," one of my friends advised me when I told her about it. "He just wants to hook up. Move on with your life, and find someone else."

The rational part of my brain knows that she's right. I want more than what he's given me. Last fall, we only dated for a few weeks and weren't in a serious relationship, but it still hurt like hell when he made it clear that he wasn't interested anymore. I've been rejected by guys before, but this was different. I've never felt this way about anyone before.

Last year, when I had a crush on Small Town Guy, it all made sense, even though he didn't feel the same way about me. Small Town Guy and I had a lot in common, and it felt like he was the type of guy I should be with. We liked the same books, had similar interests, and I felt comfortable with him. (Incidentally, he's still with his girlfriend, and they often gush about how they have the best significant other in the world on Facebook. That's right. They're one of THOSE couples.) I was attracted to him, but it wasn't close to being the same kind of overwhelming physical attraction that I felt for the Model. Once I realized that Small Town Guy didn't feel the same way, I accepted it, and I moved on with my life.

But the Model is different from all the guys I've dated or had crushes on. And when I'm with him, it's like I become this different version of myself: someone who's impulsive, bold, and sexy. But he also makes me feel more neurotic and anxious than any other guy I've met, and I don't like that. I also don't like the fact that that other woman lives in Chicago, which means that if he really is dating her (or is still seeing her), she'll get to spend more time with him this summer than I can.

It's easier when I can just focus on my workaholic life, rather than dating, because it's safe there. The Model is like the guy that is often described in romance novels: the kind of guy that you know you should stay from, but you can't help yourself because there's something about him that draws you back every time.

I know that if I keep seeing him, I most likely won't get that happy ending in romance novels because I don't think he wants what I want. But letting him go means never seeing him or being with him again. And it's hard to feel excited about meeting guys on Bumble now, especially since I just read a guy's profile where he stated, "Me: the best guy you'll ever meet. You: Don't be a crazy."

What about you? Have you ever fallen for someone (and found it difficult to let them go) that you knew couldn't give you what you wanted?

P.S. I hope that this post doesn't significantly lower your opinion of me. I normally do the right thing, and in every other part of my life, I do what I'm supposed to do. But the Model makes me forget about all my rules.


  1. This is nice,

  2. You don't have to marry everyone you date (at least, that's what I remind my daughter). Have fun!

    1. Hi Jacqui,
      Interestingly enough, one of my other friends said something similar. And you're right. I think one problem I had with most of the other guys I dated was that I didn't have fun with them. And I think when people go into dating with the mindset that they want to get married, they're putting too much pressure on themselves to find "the one".

  3. That's probably why I focus on MY workaholic life instead of dating. lol

    I will say this, though..."I know that if I keep seeing him, I most likely won't get that happy ending in romance novels because I don't think he wants what I want."...That should tip you off. Do what YOU need to do for yourself. You deserve a happy ending and you will find someone who wants what you want.

    1. Hi Chrys,
      Thanks for the advice. I think I might get my happy ending, but I have a feeling that my happy ending doesn't include a guy but rather a life on my own. Also, I've become so burned out on dating; I don't know how many more bad dates I can go on before I just swear off dating altogether.

  4. I think this all depends on how well you know yourself. If he's just looking for a hookup and you have a good time with him and you won't get too emotionally attached, then great. But if you could see yourself getting infatuated, or jealous, or falling for him I'd stay away. The cons will eventually outweigh the pros.

    There was a guy that I had great physical chemistry with but he would disappear for weeks at a time and then want to see me non-stop for days. It wrung my heart out. Finally, he ghosted me for almost three months and I answered his text with a "Who's this?" I couldn't do it anymore.

    He was engaged 6 months later. Was probably dating the girl the whole time.

    1. Hi Amy,
      I'm sorry about what happened with that guy, although I like the way you responded to his text. I don't understand why guys pull disappearing acts like that or are on-again, off-again. It makes me wonder if they're indecisive or just expect us to wait for them.
      I do have fun with the Model, but I must admit that I've become emotionally attached to him. When I saw those Instagram pictures of him with another woman, it bothered me a lot. He and I never said anything about being exclusive, and I figured he was dating other people anyway (not to mention I was dating other people too when we first met). But actually seeing him with someone else definitely stung.
      And also, thanks for your advice! It helps to know what other people have been through in this type of situation.

  5. Argh, it sounds like such a difficult choice. Obviously if he's living in Chicago, he's only ever going to see you when he visits College Town, and he's probably not ever going to want more than random hookups. But until you're in a different relationship, it'll be hard to refuse those hookups... I suppose if it's not hurting you at all, I'd say keep seeing him when he asks, but it really does give him all the control over the situation...

    1. Pretty much what Amy said :-)

    2. Hi Deniz,
      The thing is, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he wants to hook up. We did meet on Tinder, after all, which is a well-known hookup app. I didn't join Tinder looking for a hookup, but there are a lot of people who are on that app for that reason.
      It is definitely difficult for me to turn him down, and you're right, it does feel like he's in control of this situation. It feels like the only power I have is to walk away, but I don't want to, at least not yet. And I also hope he doesn't walk away again, but I don't know what will happen, honestly.