So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

rule for life #203

If you like someone enough to date him, you should like him enough to be his friend when the dating ends.

if i haven't told you about, or haven't updated you recently regarding, NASA guy, don't get too excited for this update.  in short, it didn't end well.

it would appear that i have, as of late, behaved responsibly and maturely in my dating life.  i took things very slow with NASA -- slow like one drink, no touching, and a scheduled second date an entire week later.  like an adult would do.  the truth is, maturity had nothing to do with it.  when we first met, i was cautious only because he seemed like a good catch, and i didn't want to tarnish his sterling opinion of me.  even now, looking back, i have to admit that NASA is great on paper, which reads like this: ex-military midwestern guy, taller than me, blue eyes, drives an awesome Volvo, works for NASA (obvi) and has a dog.  for what more could i ask?  

a personality, for starters.

after a couple weeks of talking and one date under our belts, i still wasn't sure what was the deal with this guy.  he wasn't getting any more interesting, and i needed to figure out if i should check the friend box or the boyfriend box beside his name.  on date two, i decided that NASA was boring and that there was no chemistry.  afterward, at our sidewalk goodbye that he made uncomfortable by asking for a good night kiss (dear everyone: never ask.  asking, in reference to kissing, is always the least attractive move you can make), i realized that i needed to have the JF talk with NASA post-haste.  

to make my to-do more awkward, NASA hadn't noticed that our dates were boring or that we had no chemistry.  apparently i just had no chemistry.  NASA had lots of chemistry.  over the course of the next few dates, he made abundantly clear that he liked me and saw me as a potential husband.  way sooner than he should have made clear anything of the sort.

then i got an idea, which NASA supported eagerly, mostly because he supported eagerly everything i ever suggested or decided, because he had no personality of his own.  i wanted to make one final attempt.  my idea was that we needed to drink together -- not just a beer or a few happy hour cocktails, but an actual drunken night.  the level of fun of that event, and that alone, would finally determine whether NASA was dateable.  

did you know that it's possible to be bored while you are also intoxicated?  i, sir, did not.  until last week.  now i know.  it was boring.  that's what i'm getting at here.  drunk date was boring.  for me, i should add.  not for NASA.  while waiting for his cab to arrive, dude attempted to finally get physical.  i'm not exaggerating (which i rarely do on here, believe it or not) when i tell you that i literally pushed his mouth away from my face by reaching up a hand and exerting physical pressure against his face.  it was time to have the talk.  

i tried several of my tactics: we have great friend chemistry, i have a lot of fun with you as a friend, i'm just not feeling romantic chemistry, yada yada yada. NASA was not having any of it.  not responding well.  and here's where we get today's rule.  

"I had a fun night with you.  I'm just more interested in hanging out as friends."

"I have no interest in being friends with you."

verbatim.  can you belie'dat?  being the kind-hearted, Gandhi-ish person that i am, i gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn't give up on him.  i decided that i should try again when NASA was sober, such as the next morning.  when i asked about his day, his response was arctic:

"I respect that you don't want to date me. Please respect that I don't want to be your pal."

ver-ba-tim.  24 hours prior, he was planning to introduce me to his friends and had even asked me what i was doing on the following two weekends.  24 hours later, NASA wanted nothing to do with me. 

do you think this is acceptable?  is it understandable?  to me, this simply doesn't make sense.  how can you like a person romantically but want absolutely nothing to do with him or her once romance is no longer on the table?  i'd like to know your thoughts.


Clint said...

Very acceptable/understandable in my opinion. NASA sounds like he was getting seriously smitten with you, and found out that you don't feel the same way. First, it's embarrassing for him. Second, any friendship that would result would have a distorted dynamic because he was interested in you and you weren't in return. He might perceive that as giving you a certain power, for lack of a better word, or upper hand. And third, maybe he REALLY liked you, like, liked you enough that "just friends" would be more painful than not seeing you at all. (That happened when I broke up with my bf of 3 years. I suggested we remain friends, and he responded, well I'd actually prefer to pretend you don't exist).

So it's unfortunate, but there are many understandable reasons for him to act this way. I'd say don't hold it against him, and on to bigger and better.

Piney said...

I agree with Clint on all three points. it sounds like he was really invested in you, he's clearly looking for a husband. Any further contact could just be a constant reminder for him of his unrequited feelings for you. I think in these circumstances, you have to respect his feelings and just let go. Break ups are never easy so you have to give him his space. Perhaps once he's had time to digest things, you can have some sort of friendship in the future but wouldn't push it or hold it against him if he doesn't.

On a final note (playing devil's advocate here so sorry for sounding harsh) BUT if he was really that boring, did you want to be friends that badly anyway or was it just an excuse to get out of the boyfriend role? Are you offended he's the one turning you down now? (sorry, sorry sorry!!!)

tobethatguy said...

I appreciate your comments and perspectives, guys.

As for you, devil's advocate, I did want to be friends with him. He's a good guy, and good guys have good guy friends. Sometimes they have fun, attractive, good guy friends...

As I always say, "no man is so rich as to throw away a friend." Perhaps some men are.

Piney said...

Well that's fair enough then. Hopefully in time he'll feel more comfortable with a friendship. In the meantime, happy searching for Mr Right!