“Girl, he’s definitely going to call you.”
These were the words I read from a close friend after I told her about my first date in over a year. I digested them and reflected on the events of the last week and the short amount of time I had spent getting to know Eric (the name has been changed to protect the innocent… or the guilty… you can read and decide). And I realized almost instantly that even if I never heard from him again, I wasn’t sure if I would care. But it was a completely different kind of “I don’t care,” than I had ever really felt before…
I don’t like dating and I envy those who do. I listen to others talk about how fun it is to go out with and get to know new and interesting people. After a couple of months of being single, I went back online last fall, but the sour feeling in my stomach wouldn’t go away as I judged profiles of men with such severe scrutiny that none of them had a chance of getting through this brick wall. I gave up quickly and over the next few months started to turn my gaze inward and sought out to heal that hurt on my own rather than expecting anyone else to take over that huge job.
I kept reading lovely quotes like “What you seek is seeking you,” (Rumi) and “The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life,” (Jack Canfield). I had conversations with my friends about how to re-enter the dating world. I wanted to be out more and be “visible,” but didn’t want to put myself into a setting I normally would steer clear of because why would I want to meet someone somewhere I would never usually be? Regardless of my positive approach and attitude, I began to feel frustrated. Was I meant to be alone? Did men even find me attractive? Why is this so freaking hard and how can others always make it look so easy when to me, it feels like I’m training for a marathon with absolutely no finish line in sight?
As much as I didn’t want to do online again, I was introduced to a site by a friend that didn’t feel so “meat market-ish.” And one night while sitting on the couch, I said – probably out loud – “what the f&*k do you have to lose?” I put together a profile and the connections (like magic!) started rolling in. One of these, Eric, quickly stood out to me… he had nice eyes and seemed to have his life together. When we started chatting, he was responsive, but not overeager. We had a decent flow of conversation and then decided we would talk on the phone. This thrilled me because I actually like the phone whereas most people think that using the phone to talk these days is a hideous, archaic concept. Our conversation was fun… we seemed to have some things in common, including a mutual love of Phil Collins, which is not an easy thing to find. We agreed to meet up a couple of days later at a local brewery and I was looking forward to it. But what was so strange is that I wasn’t the least bit jittery. Maybe a little nervous about what to wear and if I would get sweaty in the heat, but overall, I was calm and comfortable.
We met and spent three pretty easy hours together. I wasn’t overwhelmed with chemistry or physical attraction, but was alarmed with how okay I was with that because it was something that had always been so important to me before, and we all know how well that’s worked out so far. We talked openly about family and football, work and weather and I can tell you, I was never bored. As we parted, I only thought, “I would be happy to hear from him again.” But there was no pining. There was zero time spent wondering if I had said the right thing. No reflection on the day thinking, “I shouldn’t have had so many beers or that many pieces of pizza.”
My friend was right in her prediction and the next day, I did hear from Eric. And what transpired in a couple hours of sporadic texting can only be described as… kind of indescribable. The conversation started out benign enough… an overview of the workday and the photo shoot he went to after leaving me the night before. He shared a couple of pictures from a shoot he had done at a hot air balloon festival. I remembered he had told me about the last book he had read and asked again for the name of it. In his response, he told me that I was welcome to borrow it if I would like. I responded, “Yes, I would like that.” Then…
“Well, that means you would have to see me again.”
“Yes, I know. I would like that.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I had a great time yesterday.”
“Are you sure?” (Huh? Didn’t I answer this already? Did he not read my initial response?”)
“Ummm… yes. I just said I was sure. Why are you asking again?”
“Do you want me to be honest with you?” (Oh shit, really? This can’t be promising…)
Text silence for about 5 minutes and he doesn’t have an iPhone, so I couldn’t see if he was typing… and then…
“I kind of got a weird vibe from ya. It’s hard for me to explain, but you’re just too nice. It’s not bad or anything, but something definitely felt off.”
At this point, I was dumbfounded and texted a couple of friends to ask for their translation of “weird vibe.” Yeah, nothing good…
“I’m not really sure how to take that…”
“Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I like you and I really would like to see you again. The weird vibe had nothing to do with your personality, so you know. I would just want to see if I get the same vibe. I’m sure this is confusing, lol.”
WTF???? Seriously?? You need to see if I’m still weird or possibly even weirder??? I had to think about this for a bit, but this was the last text I sent to him:
“Yes, I’m even more confused… if the weird vibe had nothing to do with my personality, then there had to have been a reason you felt that way… trust your gut. Always. I’m not sure I would be able to feel that relaxed around you (like I was yesterday) given this. But I am grateful you were honest. People should be that way more often. I’m sure you will meet someone you get better vibes from. Thanks again for a nice afternoon.”
And with that, I erased Eric’s number from my phone and despite a couple of follow-up texts from him saying very compelling things such as, “I’m sure it isn’t that bad! I’m 110% sure I want to see you again!” I didn’t respond.
But this was by far the best part… I didn’t care. A year ago, I would have read his words and thought only, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? WHY DOESN’T HE LIKE ME?” Even given the fact that I wasn’t super into him, I would have started there and would have then broken myself into a 500-piece puzzle trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together in a way that would make me a less weird version of myself. Eric and I are not going to be exposing our vibes to each other again, and I am super okay with this and it’s not the “eff you” kind of okay. It’s the – we’re not all meant to fall in love with each other and just because you can’t feel my vibe, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a wonderful one for someone else.
In the end, my friend was right. He did call. The next one might not. Regardless, I’m riding my vibe and will until the right one recognizes that awesome energy of mine and says, “I can feel it… coming in the air tonight… oh Lord.”