That's About Right
When I say that it was out of nowhere, I mean that. I am a lot of things, but I am not delusional.
He took me to drinks and dinner in Brooklyn last night and met two of my college friends out at a local bar, where he tried to get in good with them and impress them. He took me to brunch this morning, then to a bookstore, and then to an art gallery he "wanted to take (me) to," holding my hand and engaging in light conversation the whole time. He then said he was cold and wanted to go back home. Once inside, he kissed me multiple times and took off my coat. I could tell by his face that something was wrong, and I said, "What's on your mind?" He led me to his couch, sat us both down, and went silent. I said, "I'm not going to push you, but know that you can tell me anything."
That's when he said that he didn't "see this turning into a relationship." Ever. He said he "had fun" when we went out together but that he felt "disconnected" from me when we weren't together, and that he also felt disconnected from "everything." He said that he felt that two people should feel connected to each other at all times, and that he had been trying to force that with me. He said that he didn't want me to think that he didn't like me, because he did. And that he didn't necessarily want to stop seeing me, but that he didn't want to "disappoint" me by not giving me what I wanted. I said that I didn't want to push him into a commitment that he didn't want and that we could keep things casual. He said, "Would you be okay with that?" And I said, "Well, would you see other people?" He said, "I don't know." That was the nail in the coffin. That was an "Oh, hell, no." I was taken aback, and I was sad. I told him that he should work out whatever issues he was dealing with. He continued to kiss me and hug me. That made it difficult to leave, even though I knew I needed to leave immediately. I needed an exit strategy.
"Want to fuck one last time before I go?" I said.
"Is that what you want?" he said.
"Yes," I said.
It was a power-play move. The sex from my end was strong, dominant, forceful. He took forever to come. I stared up at the ceiling afterward and then, with a half-smile, collected my things, refusing to cuddle next to him, even though he was inching closer to me.
I put my sweaty hair into a ponytail and shrugged my coat on -- he always used to help me put on my coat, which always used to make me smile. I looked at him and said, "I had fun. Good luck working your issues out. I know it can be hard." He kissed me, and I left, avoiding eye contact. He doesn't have to know that I cried in the elevator, and on the subway, and all through the streets of the Upper East Side.
I've been broken up with twice in the cream-colored turtleneck I was wearing today. I'm throwing it away tomorrow, maybe with unnecessary flourish into a streetside trash can.
I always used to pity women I met who said seriously that they're "not dating" or are "over" dating or can't deal with the scene. I found them sad. I thought that they harbored no hope. I understand them today. I know that I'll be over N's and my short-lived non-relationship in about three days flat, but I cannot go through this again. I will choose not to go through this again.
They say that nice guys finish last, but it's nice girls who get the short end of the stick, because we care first and think later. That is a recipe for hurt.