There are women out there who seem to really understand how dating works. They meet guys everywhere and go out all the time. When you ask them what they did over the weekend, they say, “Oh, not much, I went shopping, got my nails done, had a couple of dates...” A couple of dates? In one weekend?
My girlfriend Sarah is one of those women. It pains me to admit that I am not. Men don’t approach me — not in a bar, not at the grocery. It just doesn’t happen. I suppose I meet as many men as anyone else in the course of a day, but these days it takes me a while to warm up to a guy. I must give off that vibe. (If you knew my ex, you’d understand why.)
Dating after divorce has been a learning experience for me. Right away my cousin thought it would be a great idea to sign me up for an online dating service. The first guy I felt any connection with turned out to be married and wanted our first date to be in a motel room.
I kept trying the online thing and eventually did meet a very nice guy; we dated for several months. Then one day he said that he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. I may not know much about guys, but even I know that this is code for “I’m just not that into you.”
My girlfriends banded together and immediately took me out for a “breakup celebration.” They had good intentions, and we definitely had a blast partying our way through downtown, but picking up a stranger in a bar has never seemed like a great idea to me, so I begged off and went home alone...as usual.
I have to believe that there is someone out there for everyone, so I held out hope that I would meet Mr. Right through friends. I couldn’t help but be intrigued when my girlfriend Sarah emailed me: “Hey girl, I went out on a date last night with this great guy. He wasn’t my type, but I think he might be perfect for you. Want me to set you up?”
She and George had gone out to dinner, and then he had taken her to a bookstore and offered to buy her a book. I love books! I read all the time, and the bookstore is one of my favorite places on earth. Sarah hasn’t read a book since high school. She told me that the whole time she was with him she kept thinking, Jennifer would really like this guy.
Sarah mentioned that George was a little heavier than she preferred, but I’m a little more open in this department than she is, so I doubted it would be an issue. She gave him my number, and the next day George sent me a cute text message: “This is a completely random text from a total stranger. Sarah thought we might hit it off — do you mind if I call you?”
We texted back and forth throughout the day and hit it off immediately. George called me that night, and we talked for hours. We discovered that we had a lot in common and made a date for the upcoming weekend. I was really excited, and Sarah said that George thought I was adorable and that he was so glad she had introduced us. She told me to be sure to invite her to “the wedding.”
Did I mention that Sarah can be a little over the top? I love her as a friend, but I couldn’t imagine dating her. George agreed. He said he felt as if he had “dodged a bullet” when Sarah passed him off to me. He said he knew her type, and although she seemed like a nice girl, he was tired of “the drama.”
George and I were emailing every day and talking all night on the phone, sharing intimate secrets and planning dates. It was that great time in the beginning of a relationship when you are both so excited about the possibilities.
A week later, Sarah left me a voicemail saying, “Hey girl, we really need to talk. It’s about George. Call me.” I saw that George had also tried to call me. I called Sarah first, but she wasn’t available, so then I called George. When I reached him, he swore that he didn’t know what Sarah was calling about, but when pressed he admitted that he was still “sprung” on Sarah and that he might want to give her another chance. He said he liked me too and still wanted to explore what we had.
Are you kidding me? One minute she thinks he’s fat and he thinks she’s a drama queen, the next thing I know I am smack dab in the middle of a Jerry Springer episode. He tells me that she pursued him; she tells me that he just wouldn’t leave her alone.
I didn’t want any part of it. I don’t know what became of their relationship, because I believe that when people show you who they are, you need to believe them. I never spoke to either of them again.
On this journey of dating, I confess that I’m finding it difficult to be excited about what might come around the next bend.
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