Naked Ironing Man takes Public Transport

Soon I would like to have a pain-free week.

By pain-free, I mean my heart. I wish I could just leave behind all the shit and all the men that cause me to cause myself pain.

^^ I chose those words carefully. In some cases, there is no intent on their part to cause me pain. It just happens.

Like this morning.

I take public transportation to work. Depending on where you live, you might call it the tube / metro / commuter train / subway. Whatever. I have only ever once run into someone I recognized from dating sites and he was a bailer who I had never met, so it was more funny than anything else.

Today, I get on the packed train car. I look around like I always do and lock eyes with none other than NIM (aka Naked Ironing Man). It doesn’t make sense to me and I do a double take. He doesn’t live north of me and he doesn’t take the train. Oh, wait. One of the last text messages he sent me was that he wasn’t responding to me because he was moving.

I look again. It’s him…I know this because he is looking at me too, a few times.

He doesn’t acknowledge me; not even a raised eyebrow or a small smile. I look down, fuss with my iPhone, and think about whether to smile or nod or try to squeeze over to see him – he’s about 20 feet away from me. A few minutes later he has adjusted his body a bit so we aren’t staring face to face. Um, okay…I figure he’s embarrassed at ignoring me. At a busy stop I end up further in the train car. I look over and realize why he didn’t acknowledge me.

He’s with someone.

A petite blonde with a ponytail. They are standing close together, albeit not talking. Her back is to me. He looks at me again and he sees me see him, and her.

And then the pain begins.

Why, you may ask?

I didn’t write about it, because quite frankly I was embarrassed to do so, but I had reached out to him a couple of times. Before that time, he said he couldn’t see me anymore because he needed time and space to focus on his health and his work. This from someone I saw incredibly rarely.

The first time I inquired about his health, which had been quite bad. When he was basically non-responsive, I suspected he had someone else in his life. I asked him point blank if it was okay if I reached out to him again, and instead of ignoring me (as I knew he was capable of doing), he said Yes, it was okay.

Fast forward a few weeks, when I reached out again. This time, I was having an emotional meltdown and quite frankly, needed to be comforted. There were a lot of complex things going on in my head. I reached out and used pretty desperate language, asking if I could see him, and in response I got:

“I’m moving. Can’t. Try to explain what the issue is.”

Which I did – I put myself out there in a vulnerable and honest way, explaining why I wanted to see him. I never heard back.

I sent one more text, that simply said “Why won’t you talk to me? :(“

Yup. I did that, and I’m not proud of it.

So there I am, stuck on a train with him.

I want to be the kind of person who thinks, oh, fuck him, his loss, and then moves on with their day. But that’s just not me. Instead, I go down this terrible rabbit hole of thoughts that end up hurting my heart. Such as:

  • I guess it was me, not that he needed time and space, because he could have had me if he wanted.
  • He never was willing to commute into work with me. He only stayed overnight on weekends.
  • Obviously this is who he moved in with, yet he denied seeing anyone else during the whole time we were seeing together, even when it was infrequent. But that can’t be true because he wouldn’t move in with someone so quickly.
  • Perhaps we was always seeing someone else. Perhaps I was a secondary relationship…which means my gut was wrong. Or I just didn’t listen to it.


I texted two girlfriends because that was better than texting him. After all, what was I going to say? I’m not going to get a positive response, let alone any response, from him. If there’s any part of him that thinks he treated me badly, then he already knows. And if he doesn’t, then any response I send to him just makes me sound like a crazy person and it won’t change the outcome.

I haven’t reached out, and I won’t. But I’m hurt.

Why couldn’t he just tell me the truth? I used to be a management consultant and would coach C-level executives that it is always better to share information, because in the absence of information, people will make up a far worse reality. Right now, I just don’t know what to believe.

The bottom line however is that I wasn’t what he wanted. And that never, ever, feels good.

0 thoughts on “Naked Ironing Man takes Public Transport

  1. I’m sorry, that does sound hurtful. You’re way better off than with someone that doesn’t respect you with the truth. Liars are the worst.

      • Oh for sure. I got ditched for a date last weekend… Everything seemed great, we were set to have dinner Saturday. We had texted thurs morning but thurs evening he said he had to cancel and that he had had a really tough day with his boss and would be looking for a new job (he’s a chiropractor in the area) and I said ok, sorry to hear you had a rough day… I never heard from him again. Not sure what his job would have to do with a dinner date but I suspect he was just seeing someone else and wanted to duck out. It was a first date, so I wasn’t that invested just more confused!

        • Dating sucks ass. I’m sorry to hear about that Hollie and can say I absolutely know what that’s like.

          I’m glad that at least right now I’m not seeking anyone new out. I don’t have any time and can’t put up with that kind of BS right now.

          Good luck Darling 🙂

  2. Hugs, know about needing comforted….and the difficulty of finding someone you feel could or would want to understand and offer a shoulder… never a good feeling to just sit and mull it over alone.

  3. It’s not you, it’s him.

    He had plenty of opportunities to tell you he was seeing someone. He choose to keep you as an option, maybe in case his current fell through. Maybe he thought he could be your friend? End of the day he failed on everything.

    Don’t let your heart hurt over assholes. This should be our new mantra.

    He was and is an asshole. Turn those questions around to see his true character.

    It’s not you, it’s him.


    • My god, woman. We should make t-shirts. Or better yet, phone covers – so we can turn them over when we are tempted to text or call.

      Thanks for the support. I will save hurting for those who aren’t assholes 🙂


      • Hahahaha! Yes yes! Phone cover would be so handy. It could be like a flip reminder.

        Seriously, I’m tired of the assholes. And we never question their shonky behavior, but always look at ourselves like it’s our fault.

        Sometimes it is just about them being assholes.

        And good you should, he’s not worth the heartache and he just proved to you why.
        Ps. You’re welcome Xoxo

  4. First off, I think you are brave to be open about being stung with rejection. I am also reminded of my own mantra: not everyone will like me. It hurts because we all want to be liked/wanted, but it’s a reality. I am no less wonderful for it. It’s just about personal preferences.

    I hope you remind yourself that you are a beautiful, articulate woman that countless people would love to spend time with. Fuck the rest, and certainly fuck him. Jerks like that don’t deserve you.

    • You are so right, Jami…and it’s hard to remember sometimes. The rejection stings and it’s hard to not have it affect how we see ourselves.

      and thank you for those kind words!!

  5. He sounds like a coward to me. To afraid to answer your questions, to afraid to tell the truth, to afraid to reach out, to afraid to be the person he said he was… Coward!!!! Don’t ever let yourself feel bad over someone else’s lack of character.


        • YES!! I had a conversation last night that reminded me of that. It was with Andrew (he of the threesome) and I was sputtering about something and he just said, kindly – obviously you are worried about something so it’s far better for you to just tell me what it is.

          • it sucks how others past behaviors can damage how we look at others in the present or in the future. a couple things about that. if we believe others will fail us because that’s what’s happened in the past, guess what? it’s inevitable they will. sometimes our fears become our realities because its what we expect. thoughts become things, so if you think he will flee, he will. its not about believing in him or others, you have to believe in you. just my early morning pre-coffee opinion… lol

          • I get what you are saying, completely. And that is what I am afraid of – having the exact opposite happen of what I want, precisely because i am afraid of it happening.

  6. When you saw he was with someone else, you could have had a little laugh by walking towards him as if you were going to speak to him, close enough to worry him but then just walked on past ignoring him. Remember that another time, might give you a little feeling of power to boost you through 😉

    • Oh yes, absolutely. Honestly had the train not been jammed full I would have walked over there just to say hi – before I’d even noticed he was with someone.

      It’s fun to fantasize about the discomfort I could have put him through 😉

  7. If he can’t respect you enough to tell you the truth than he’s obviously a douche. Yeah, it hurts, but it sounds like it’s better off without him.

  8. I love that you are honest and transparent, truly. You could have written about how it didn’t bother you other than the moment of awkward acknowledgement but instead you were honest. And in the honesty you also hit upon the gist of the issue; in the end he didn’t want you which is what sucks. Because you know you didn’t want him nor want him now. I think rejection of any kind hurts in different ways but still hurts. A very good friend went through a whirlwind of interviews for a company he’s been interested in for a long while. Ironically he’s a c-suite type, great gig now etc. but this potential company did the full court press of courting, even bringing his family out for a visit etc. In the end, they decided to go a different direction. He said it best when he said “Damn it sucks, I mean yes I wanted the job but more importantly, I wanted the opportunity to say “no”.” You know you would have said “no” 😉 {hugs}

  9. Hi. This is my first time visiting your blog, but I want to say that I can totally relate to you. My feelings are too soft. I care for people too much, and I also give too much of myself for people who dont care enough for me. I know its easier said than done, because I haven’t succeeded at it myself, but we both need to know that we are better than this.

  10. Worst thing that someone can do to me is lying… Unfortunately, I have lived enough to see too many of them. At this moment, I can say I am generally disappointed in humanity. I know, it’s not a very optimistic thing to say. I believe that are good, genuine people out there. I really do. But for those that are not…they are just not worth our time.
    Be strong.It was not meant to be.

    • Welcome to my blog – I hope you hang around for a while 🙂

      Yes, I know where you are coming from. There is so lying and deceit out there and you are right about my time – and yours! How do you move on?

  11. I am sorry you had to deal with that.

    Been there, done that about not being told the truth about who a person really wanted (as in, definitely never was going to be me) . It sucks to feel so vulnerable and small in those situations.

    Here’s to a better day tomorrow.

    • “Vulnerable and small”…yes. Exactly. I HATE feeling vulnerable. It makes me very uncomfortable. And small is good only from a body perspective…and small I am not.

      I will drink to that – thanks!

  12. You know I can’t even maintain the control you did so I’m pretty impressed with just one text. I hate feeling this way and I’m sorry you did. And it stinks there’s nothing to be done about it. His loss for sure.

    • Don’t forget that I’m a year ahead of you in my journey. I’ve been through so many bad (and some good) experiences so am in a different place.

      But even then, it still always sucks.

      Thanks xo

  13. Being hurt always really sucks, but don’t try and second guess what is/was going through his head. When I am in a similar situaltion I just remind myself that if I wasnt right for him then Ok he is not right for me either then, so it’s good we can both move on. I also remind myself I have felt shit and hurt before and it DOES go away, eventually.

  14. {{HUGS}}
    I’ve never met you nor have I seen a picture. Even as an outsider, I can ‘see’ that your spirit is strong and beautiful…way more than anything NIM can handle.

  15. DATING SUCKS ASS. That’s the bottom line. It requires vulnerability and distance simultaneously; we’re the lure trying to get someone to bite and we’re forced to try all sorts of things only to end up empty fucking handed.

    Incidentally — and this is totally relevant — in my Notes app on my phone I found an old draft of that terrible encounter I told you about the other day (the two-pump chump). It’s the only draft I have on my phone.

    Anyway, I told you how I felt about it: strong, detached, accepting and that’s truly how I remember it today, but apparently his fleeing immediately after did piss me off. I said something like, “It madee feel like a glory hole.”

    • *Dammit – accidentally hit Post Comment* anyway, my point is that with time – real time – all of these mishaps wil begin to feel less painful and personal.

      It’s true that maybe it was you that kept him from committing (or being cool) BUT THATS NO REFLECTION ON YOUR WORTH, just a statement of his tastes. He’s allowed to not dig you. Think of all the men whom you’ve not been into.

      Good luck on the train. And definitely delete his number out of your phone.

      • Thank you, Hy. I find it difficult to not internalise rejection, so I’m working on that.

        Deleting him is a good idea – while I am not tempted to text him right now, I want to ensure I don’t in the future, either.

    • Ah yes, I do recall. I wrote my post while still intoxicated and the next day didnt edit out that hurt stuff. I’m glad the lasting impression for you was that you were in a place of strength.

      (And on another note will you play two truths and a lie? I put up the game yesterday)

  16. This post shows another side of you Ann. NIM was on the London tube, according to your map. So that means you’re either a British girl and my perception that you are on the west coast (of North America) is completely wrong, or NIM is superman in which case you’ve made a big mistake by not doing him. Er… dating him. Either way, a week without pain sounds divine. There are some people out there who will gladly see you just for who you are and enjoy a coffee or drink with you because they are intrigued by who you are.

    The trick, of course, is finding them. So long as they’re not under some rock.

  17. If everyone was good for everyone … life would be so damn boring.

    being hurt makes us appreciate happiness. Pleasure makes us forget our shitty moments. ( and you have a recent experience that proves it… literally 🙂 )

  18. I had a crush from about the 9th grade all the way up until I got married to my ex. This guy/boy would flirt with me and tell me he cared for me, we had a moment in our 20s where we finally kissed for the first time, and it was all I expected it would be. But it didn’t change anything. Clearly I was never enough for him, because I always seemed to come in second. It always felt like rejection with him, because he never seemed to commit to any feelings. It took me a very long time to finally look at myself in the mirror and realize that HE was the one with the problem, and he lost out.
    However, in even further retrospect, I know he wasn’t the one for me either – and I know that I have found what I have needed all my life.

    • I’m so glad you got to the place where you realized he wasn’t the one for you either. It’s SO hard sometimes to realize that, when you are the one wishing for the other. It’s the same with NIM…I know he wasn’t the right one for me…but the physical stuff…OMG it was some of the best ever.

What do you think?