We made plans to go to dinner the next night, and he said he wanted to come pick me up. I was okay with that since we’d met in person. I’m pretty good at reading people’s vibes and if they’re going to turn out to be weirdos (though I’ve been fooled more than once).
He drove a Lexus SUV, which surprised me. I’m not an SUV fan or a Lexus fan in particular, but this spoke well of his financial status, an important qualification to be an FPM.
We went to dinner at Cerveteca in Venice and had a great time. I asked him if he drank (many Senegalese don’t as the vast majority are Muslim) and he said he did, sometimes, but when I ordered wine, he had water. I also tried to ascertain how seriously he practiced Islam, since I’d decided a long time ago that dating a guy who prayed five times a day and had all kinds of rules about everything from sex to showering was not a compatible match. This was probably not the best thing to ask about on our first date, but he seemed so interested in me and so cute and smart and nice, I wanted to see if there was any chance of this actually working.
During dinner he told me that I was “super confident” and how attractive that was. I was getting more and more excited about him and was certain this was a good omen for my personal life and my year. The minute I cut off the junk-food dating pipeline, something healthier appeared, directly in my path.
After dinner he drove me home. He leaned over in his SUV and started kissing me rather aggressively. He was a wet kisser. So wet I had to turn my face away and wipe it off with my hand. But this, like so many other terrible kissing techniques, could be remedied with a little instruction, I knew. I would not disqualify him based on this alone. And I wouldn’t correct his technique the first time we kissed either. So I continued to make out with him and occasionally turn the other cheek to wipe off my mouth with my hand.
Throughout the evening he’d discussed many things he wanted to do together, including hiking to the Griffith Observatory and going dancing. He told me that he loved to dance but hadn’t had a partner to do it with since he moved to LA. I asked about an ex-girlfriend. He said he’d had a girlfriend in Portland and that when he moved here she wanted to move with him, but he didn’t want her to because he didn’t want to marry her and didn’t think that was fair to her. They continued to visit each other for months but had now officially broken up.
“Actually, she’s in LA right now,” he said. “I saw on Instagram. But she hasn’t contacted me and I haven’t contacted her, and I’m glad.” Then, “When can I see you again?”
I never like when guys ask this as I don’t know how to respond. It’s so much better if they say, “Can I see you again on Thursday?”
“When do you want to?” I said lamely.
“How about tomorrow?”
“Wow, isn’t that a lot?” My thoughts sprung out of my mouth without the benefit of a filter. “We just met yesterday, we went out tonight, and you want to get together again tomorrow?”
“Why not?” he said.
“Okay,” I agreed. I’d planned to go hiking and go to my Sunday evening yoga class. He told me he’d just had knee surgery and couldn’t hike yet but suggested we take a beach walk.
He got out of the car and walked me to the driveway of my building like a gentleman. I’d told him he wasn’t coming upstairs, and he didn’t seem to be pushing for that. I know, I shouldn’t have to say that – and probably shouldn’t say it – but I wanted to be clear about my boundaries. He kissed me goodbye in the driveway, this time not too wetly, and I went upstairs feeling happy and excited. Other than the wet kissing, the date was awesome.
He’d told me he had to go in to work on Sunday morning but should be done by noon. We hadn’t set a time to get together, but I expected to hear from him around noon. I didn’t. When I hadn’t heard from him by 2 pm, I decided to go for my hike after all. I still hadn’t heard from him by my 5:30 yoga class. When I came out of yoga at 7, I expected there to be a text. Nothing. WTF? I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t want to text him, but I hated hanging in this abyss of silence after he’d made plans with me the night before and been so intent on seeing me again ASAP.
At the end of our date, he’d been complaining that his knee was starting to hurt.
I sent him this text: “How’s your knee doing?” Lame. Completely lame, I know. Embarrassingly lame. I didn’t want to say “What happened to you today?” but I wanted to to say something. When a guy doesn’t contact me when he’s supposed to, it makes me insane with insecurity. My misguided response has often been to contact him in the theory that if he’s going to ever contact me again, he’ll respond to my text, and if he doesn’t, at least then I know I’ll never hear from him again. Not hearing from him when I’m supposed to should be enough to indicate I’ll never hear from him again, and that even if I do, he is unreliable and should be disqualified immediately.
He didn’t respond.
I felt stupid, embarrassed and disappointed. What had happened between last night and today that had made him go from super interested to super silent? Did no guy ever follow up and do what he said? It didn’t matter if I met him online or off, it was the same shit, different dude.
Two more days went by and I didn’t hear from him. I was so incredibly tired of taking the high road and ignoring men’s bad behavior when I’d experienced so much of it. I was tired of rising above it through my silence and longed to call men out on their lies and disappearing acts.
So I sent him this text, not expecting to get a response:
So did you:
- Get hit by a car
- Get back together with your ex on Sunday
- Tell me a bunch of lies on Saturday
- All of the above?
At least I could call him out and amuse myself in the process.
To my surprise, an hour and a half later he responded:
Hi there, none of the above … I am sorry for the delayed response … Lol … I started work earlier than expected and just got really busy.
That was it. There was nothing to say back to that. I’m not even sure why he did respond, other than out of guilt or in a halfhearted attempt to save face. The fact that he said nothing about rescheduling made it quite clear I would not be hearing from him again.
So much for signs from the Universe.
The one thing I learned is that the next time a guy says “When can I see you again?” I am not going to make myself so available. “When do you want to?” is definitely not the right response.
The only thing that made me feel better was thinking about what a wet kisser he was. I thought I could fix that. But what I really want is to find a guy who doesn’t need fixing. All this time I’ve been looking for someone to accept me just as I am, like Bridget Jones, but what I really need to be thinking about is if I can accept him just as he is.