Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dating Series 4 of 6: Meeting Chloe

Read Part One: Here

Read Part Two: Here

Read Part Three: Here

Meeting Chloe
Note: Names have been changed.

I met Chloe when I was in the youth group. She was nice, I found her attractive, but nothing ever really happened. I guess I kind of saw her as a sister when we were both in the youth group, which made it odd once when my parents were commenting on how she was "blossoming", which really just meant her breasts’ were getting bigger. I mean, how do you react to that as a teenager? Parents… just don’t say things like that in front of your children, teenage or otherwise, its just awkward.

So the years passed and we still kept in contact. But our connection was sporadic, meaning we would chat on AIM every once in a while, but over time we started to talk on the phone once every few months. During one summer when were both home from college, we would go to this large contemporary church service at the Second Baptist Church in town. Honestly, there is nothing more attractive to me than a female worshiping next to me, talking to her about God, and hearing her sing. But I tried to keep myself cool. I had screwed things up before, so I wanted to try my best to know if she liked me before she left for the summer.

I tried a few times to see her outside of going to the worship services, and looking back now, I should have been aware that I was getting the cold shoulder. She would always make some excuse, that seemed lame, and would then tell me she had done something with her friends (or even another guy who came into town *slaps face*). I was so blind.

But I still had all these feelings for her by then. It wasn’t that I couldn’t take no, but I felt all these things and needed to get them out, so I did the worst thing you can do to someone with whom you aren’t actually going out with yet… writing them a letter. I wrote her two pages, expressing my feelings and how great a person I thought she was at the time and how much I liked her. Yes, at least I knew enough not to say love. I mean, she hadn’t gone out with me yet, so I had feelings but I wasn’t a moron. I though I was being smooth at the time. WRONG!

When the letter was finished, I got her address by being telling her I was updating my contacts. To make myself feel better, I did actually update my contacts but, of course, my real purpose was to get her address while she was away at college. I sent the letter... and waited... and waited. I felt dumb, but also satisfied I had got my feelings out. I accomplished my goal and figured, “Well I guess she didn’t feel the same, but hey... we didn’t really know one another all that well.”

Then fall break came and I was at home. I saw her at church, but I didn’t say anything about the letter. I figured if she wanted to say something, she would reply. And right between Sunday school and church she asked me to talk with her for a second. She apologized for not replying, then told me while she liked me as a friend, that she didn’t like me as anything more than that at the moment. She said she still wanted to be friends, I said ok, and we hugged. Those are the only hugs I have never liked. I was sad of course, but I had kind of already put this behind me emotionally. I didn’t like being rejected but it wasn’t as bad since I didn’t know her as much as I had known Jessy.

I think I might have talked to her on the phone once more, but later I just deleted her from my phone and AIM. I was determined not to go on about this like I had previously, grieving for a whole six months. I did try to chat back and forth on Facebook a few times, but she didn’t reply. I finally just deleted her. That might sound harsh, but I don’t consider people friends, at least not presently or in the future, if we don’t actually speak or ever write to one another.

So, she has pretty much been out of my mind. Yes, every so often I would search for her on Facebook, see what I could gather from her Public, non-friend, view. A few months ago I looked and apparently she is married now. She looks happy with him. I am happy for her, but sad for myself. Not because I don’t have her or she missed out on the great me, but because I want to meet someone and be that happy at some point.

This concludes Meeting Chloe... please turn over tape for side two.

~ Single Me

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dating Series 3 of 6: Meeting Jessy

Read Part One: Here

Read Part Two: Here

Meeting Jessy
Note: Names have been changed.

This is where things got complicated...

The years passed, not much happened in high school in regards to dating. There was not anyone I was really interested in to be honest. Then I moved to college and my first semester I met a friend of my roommate named Jessy. Jessy was a very confident female, who knew she wanted to go places in life. She had a rough childhood and was working on making her life better. Jessy wanted to be a nurse, maybe even a doctor. Jessy also had a hard time with guys. She would get lost in her infatuation of them, find out they were jerks, and then the relationships would end abruptly.

Nothing really happened the first semester I was in college. Everything was too new for me and I didn’t know how interested I was until halfway through the second semester. We would chat online on AIM about life and faith. She was smart and had such a heart for God.

Toward the end of my freshmen year, I thought about asking her out... but we were both going away for the summer and it didn’t really seem all that logical to take that next step, so I decided to wait until the new school year.

Does anyone even remember AIM anymore?

And that is when things got better... and worse. We kept on chatting online late into the night when she wasn’t working and I was online. I got her number and we talked on the phone a few times.

Then one day she was excited about something and wanted to tell me. Can you guess what? Well she was working at a summer camp and fell for this guy. I played nice but I was disappointed. Here I was taking this time to know her and planning my approach when this guy just swoops in and things happened.

We still chatted online and on the phone; however, we talked less (obviously) since she now had her boyfriend. A lot of chats consisted of us talking about God and about her boyfriend. Then, right before my sophomore year, and after her job for the summer ended, it happened. She caught him with another female while she was talking to him on the phone. What a douche, right? She felt so betrayed and I did feel bad she got hurt... but finally I thought, the time is coming to make my move. I couldn't wait much longer.

When we were both back on campus, she came to meet me in the dorm lobby. I was so happy to see her, we said hi, and hugged. I still remember she was wearing a green shirt. I was so into her at the time. I knew I couldn’t keep playing the friend card. I wanted more out of our relationship. I had to let her know how I was feeling. Besides, not telling her was driving me crazy.

The next few months became a blur. We hung out once, we went to eat at Olive Garden and then saw a double feature of Men in Black 2 and Spider-Man. It was shortly after we were talking on the phone when it finally came out.

Men in Black, Killing Alien Scum On-Screen Since 1997.

She was talking about friendship and how my roommate (her old friend) didn’t talk to her that much anymore, in comparison to myself. Then it came out, that I liked her differently than he did... and bam, I think the relief I felt in telling her was great for me... but I think it was really confusing to her and became a burden on our friendship or more-than-friendship or whatever.

She thanked me for being honest, said she wanted to be friends, and she would let me know if she felt like moving our relationship from friendship to something more. The more never happened, and honestly, things got really weird.

The truth was we got a lot closer, we would talk late and meet up. I remember we would try to save a seat for the other in the chapel services… but we always seemed to miss one another. We never did wait for the other, which I think is telling looking back.

There was something missing there, something I guess I didn’t see and maybe she didn’t see. I don’t think we were ever really on the same wavelength. It seemed like I felt we were in the beginning of a relationship and she felt we were just really close friends. This lasted a while, for about two months. I didn’t feel like I was being strung along; however, the reality is I was being strung along. Now looking back, I think she liked having someone she could talk to but there was no commitment on her side and no chance of being rejected on my side, so things continued like that for a while.

We had fall break at the end of October and I was going to stay with my roommate in his town. Jessy lived really close, so I decided to ride with her there, hang out for a while, and then spend time with my roommate that weekend. Little did I know her whole family was going to be there and I was going to be invited to dinner. This seemed like more than friendship, right? I was meeting the family; yet, she introduced me as "my friend". That phrase stung and confused me.

Let's Hang Out = You Can Meet my Whole Family at the Mexican Restaurant

That weekend turned out to be the deciding factor in our friendship/relationship. We were supposed to hang out together the next day but she blew me off and then she wanted to drive back to college by herself. Signals anyone? I was getting the cold shoulder

We were back at college a week later and she would try to chat with me online. I asked her to call me on the phone and finally asked her point blank: Do you like me that way, like a boyfriend? She said she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but I got her to finally tell me the truth: NO. Those words stung, they hurt, but I was glad to finally get a answer.

The rest of that semester and the next I was pretty depressed. I gained back all the weight I had lost my freshman year. I tried to be friends with her... but it never worked. She would ignore and not return my calls and I wouldn't stay up until 2AM to chat with her online anymore.

She told me online in a chat that she was sad things were different, but I asked her what she expected. I got the feeling she wanted a friendship on her terms only. We stopped talking, she began to fade into my memory, but I was still pretty bitter about the whole thing.

I saw her go out with some dope the next year as a junior and that was the thing that finally set me free. Later, as I reflected on this whole situation with my roommate, who was her old friend, he confessed to me that she had called him one day and told him she did, in fact, like me in that way. He was confused why she had told me otherwise.

I had always figured she wasn’t attracted to me, but maybe she didn’t want to commit, maybe she was scared. I don’t know... and now I don’t really care. I look back on this as my first real attempt at a relationship and it taught me how to stand up for myself, but also how females sometimes can and do string guys along as emotional support. I think, in some way, perhaps I was everything, ideally, that she wanted in a guy, yet either she was not truly attracted to me physically or she was scared about being with a guy who had depth.

What relationship was the most complicated for you?
What are some complications you have had in your past relationships?

~ Single Me

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dating Series 2 of 6: Meeting CJ

Read Part One: Here

Note: Names have been changed.

I met CJ in the eighth grade at church. She was fun, spunky, always so full of life, vibrancy, and had a great sense of humor. I still remember one time when the youth group was going watch a movie and the female’s vote won own over the guys, so we all had to watch "Sense and Sensibility". How highly democratic of us, right? Neither CJ nor I were thrilled with the choice so while the other females rejoiced and men bemoaned, we sat and talked.

Why anyone would choose one over the other is beyond me...

We did become pretty close. Did I mention that she was a sophomore and I was in eighth grade? I imagine if she was younger or I was older we might have gone out, but because I was in middle school and she was in high school it just didn’t really work (and the irony is plenty of female friends did go out with older guys, so maybe it was an excuse).

I remember there were times when, coming back from a youth group event or just relaxing, she would lay her head on my shoulder or rest it on my lap. Even though I was young, I enjoyed the feeling of someone being that comfortable with me and feeling that connection. I really was a little annoyed when the sponsor would tell her to sit up. I mean, it wasn’t like we were making out. It was nice. I liked feeling wanted. I liked physical affection from a female who wasn’t a family member.

As with all good things, after a few years CJ moved and I had no way to contact her. She moved a few times, family financial issues I think, and I never had her information to connect with her though phone calls or letters.

Looking back now, I think maybe she had clung onto me because I was a male figure who listened, cared for her, and didn’t "want" anything sexual from her. See, she lived with her older sister and mother who was divorced and single, her father being out of the picture completely.

Yes, I was attracted to her and if things were different I would have dated her (or at least tried), but I think I was a male who might have filled some of the emptiness she felt from her father being absent in her life.

I hadn’t heard of through of her for years until I spoke with her again online. She is now married and has wonderful family. She is also a bit more conservative than me, which is funny to me considering she always had a more outgoing and spunky personality than myself. People surprise you like that I suppose.

Have you ever felt like you were being used emotionally?
Have you ever dated someone older or younger than you?
What happened?

~ Single Me

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dating Series 1 of 6: Meeting Joy

Over the last few years as I have written on this blog, I have opened up and been vulnerable about parts of myself that I had kept hidden for so long. Before that time, I did want to write about being single for a while but I felt like my thoughts, complaints, and struggles were less important than everyone else (Everyone being those married and who have children). Everyone always seemed to think being single was great, that I was single by choice, and those who have known me well have never really understood how I am still single. In fact, when I meet people in person, sometimes they are surprised to find out I am single. They say I seem too mature and responsible to be single. Is that a compliment or critique? I don’t really know.

One thing I have not yet expressed, beneath all of my more general thoughts are the dating stories of how I got to where I find myself currently. How am I single and thirty? Well, to really understand one would have to start off at the beginning, right?

So, think of all those flashback images on TV shows and I will take you back to my beginning and then we will progress through a series of blog entries coming out through the next month.

Note: Names have been changed.

Joy was the first female I ever liked or felt the least bit of interest in when I was younger. I was in sixth grade when I met Joy and hadn’t really found any girls attractive, well… since my crush in second grade. However, with her there was something deeper than just thinking she looked good, that I was physically attracted to her. I saw plenty of attractive girls while I was at school. There was something about Joy that made me feel different.

I first met Joy while we were in the same sixth grade Sunday School class. She had blonde hair and a gorgeous smile. My dad played the piano and my mother worked in the nursery, so on Sundays we would sit together in one of the front pews of the church and talk. We were truly friends and I never really thought of the potential for anything more at the time. Honestly, I just liked being around her.

Slowly into our seventh and eight grade year Joy began to come to church less and less. I missed her when she was gone. I would sometimes call her on the phone. I always was anxious because one of her parents would pick up the phone first (ha!). Slowly, Joy stopped coming to church. She was once so full of the joy of God, but over time that joy seemed to fade. She started going out with guys in high school while she was in middle school. Later, when we were in high school, she was on the school dance team. She became popular and I... was a nerd who sung in the choir (gotta love being in the choir).

I connected with Joy again years later through Facebook. We are friends. We don’t chat much really... but I am happy to say in the last few years she found a great guy, got married, and is once again active in the church. It warms my heart to see one who was lost, come back into the body of Christ. For a while she was searching for something, but I think in the last few years she found her joy once again.

Who was the first person you ever liked?
How old were you? What happened?

More to come...

~ Single Me