As I wrapped up my blog post, my phone pinged with Kyle’s ring tone – he said “be there in 10 minutes”. Geez, really?
I decided to not change out of my pyjamas, I didn’t want to make any more effort.
He knocked on my door about 20 minutes later – 90 minutes after he was supposed to show up – and I said “hey sorry for being in my pyjamas but I figured you weren’t showing up when I didn’t hear from you.”
“Yeah Ann, sorry about that, I ended up talking to my Mom for a longer than I thought. Needed some advice from her.”
He declined a drink – not even water – and we settled in on my couch. Small talk ensued until I got tired of it and said “so, what’s up Kyle?”
The short version? He apologized.
He said he fully thought he was ready for a relationship when he went on to Bumble, and when we went on our first date. He said he thought his work schedule was going to let up somewhat and he would be in the city more. But obviously that hadn’t happened.
He said he was only in the city and kid-free maybe three nights in the last month, and while he intended for it to change, it hasn’t happened yet.
He said he really did want to focus on one woman because he knows he doesn’t have time.
He explained that trying to date me, and realizing he doesn’t feel “present” even when he’s with his son, has made him realize he is not in a great place. He’s been grumpy and not himself, and he needs to make a change in his life.
The reason he was late was because he had a long chat with his Mom about everything to get her advice.
He wanted me to know that it wasn’t personal. He likes me and wants to date me. He knew trying to date him was like “banging [my] head against a wall.”
I told him of course it was personal and yes, it had been very frustrating. I asked him whether he wanted me to stop reaching out and he said no (of course; what else would he say?!), and whether he needed to take a break and he said no.
I didn’t challenge him on anything; I didn’t think it was the time. I didn’t tell him how he’s failed at basic consideration and courtesy. There wasn’t any point. When I pointed out a couple of things he got very defensive so I knew he just needed to come over and say his piece so he could again feel like a good guy.
That was pretty much the end of it. We made out on my couch for a while – I figured if I wasn’t going to see him again I could at least get a little pleasure out of it – and we retained our sex-free status. It’s too bad; there’s great physical chemistry.
Before he left he mentioned he didn’t know his travel schedule yet the night we were supposed to have our third “date”.
After he left I sent a simple text that said I appreciated him making the effort to come by. He replied with a you’re welcome and good night.
The next day, I cancelled the hard-to-get dinner reservation I’d made for that date, knowing full well it was never going to happen. I again deleted him from my phone (somewhat useless since I easily memorize phone numbers).
Of course, I heard nothing from him all week. I wasn’t surprised at all. I reached out once to inquire about a work-related matter we had discussed, and then quickly realized it was futile as I didn’t want to yet again be waiting. I sent a follow up text to “never mind; I’m good” (totally flakey, I know, but I was sincerely hoping he wouldn’t reply) which started a brief text conversation where I finally said:
“…so kinda like a date where were are supposed to see each other goes by without any communication from you, it doesn’t feel all that great to wait and hear nothing. Actually it feels rather shitty. So call it self preservation I guess – it’s far better for me to have zero expectations and be surprised than to expect and hope for something and be disappointed. I’d rather associate you with positive rather than negative feelings.”
He was petulant in his response and I realized in addition to his shitty dating behavior toward me, he also can’t handle any criticism whatsoever. Insert eye rolls here. When I told him later I shouldn’t have let my frustration be expressed in text (which I do believe – it’s pointless) he was completely ungracious in his reply.
I won’t say I’m completely done with Kyle; if I choose to believe this behavior is driven by the situation versus his core attributes, then I’m open to seeing him again if the situation (and his behavior) is different.
I won’t waste my time trying to figure it out. I have no way to know for sure and ultimately it doesn’t matter. I tell myself the intention doesn’t forgive the behavior. It’s an important lesson I’ve been learning.
But I won’t text him proactively again. I unfriended him on Facebook (he requested it in the first place) several weeks ago. I’ve stopped looking at his Instagram activity because it doesn’t matter. His texts are deleted and archived.
While on vacation with Liam this week, I’ve practiced not focussing on thoughts of him. It’s worked decently so far. I know better than to try to force thoughts to go away – it has the opposite effect – but when I start down the mental path wondering why he’s been this way, I instead focus on the men who aren’t this way.
And I still haven’t reopened any dating profiles, and nor do I have the desire.