Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Surprise, surprise

Just when I think things are on an upswing in the romance department....they drastically head south. What else is new?

Yes, folks, it's true. Shawn is no longer in the picture. Let's just say that I found some raunchy texts on his phone that were neither to nor from me.

(I should stop here to say that I truly had a non-psycho reason for playing with his phone. See, his phone was originally MINE. I had ordered a new phone through T-Mobile but then put it aside because it's so much work to switch over phones. Then Shawn's phone died and since he also had T-Mobile, I said he could just take mine. When I was over there last night, I was playing with it after he went to bed (I'm usually up later)--checking out the features it had, the layout, the ease of use; basically comparing it to mine to see how good of a phone it was, since I hadn't so much as turned it on before giving it away. I went into the message section, just as I had explored every other section in the menu--truly innocently, not thinking I would find anything--and I was sorely mistaken. I saw these messages and my first thought was "WTF?!" (Literally, I thought the letters "W-T-F." And then, in the midst of all this, I laughed at myself, thinking that I clearly needed to cut down on my emailing and texting.)

Anyway. After he called me his girlfriend, referred to this thing as a "relationship," called me "all his," told his parents about me, and started calling, texting and hanging out more frequently, I--silly me--assumed I was his girlfriend and that this was, in fact, a relationship. Not a SERIOUS one, mind you, but that we were at the least not dating other people. Well, I found these texts and called him on it--and man, you guys would have been so proud. I never once raised my voice, threw a plate, called him names, etc--I was calm and SANE. I just explained what *I* thought we were and that it seems he had a different point of view. He said yes, we were dating, and things were going great. He loved hanging out with me. However, he continued, he never meant to imply that it was exclusive. "I don't know why you thought I was looking for a serious relationship," he defended himself.

I don't know, jackass. Maybe because the headline on your Match.com profile is "Looking for a serious relationship"????????

And THEN, he said he didn't want to be exclusive because he "wasn't ready to go ring shopping yet."

(I shit you not.)


First and foremost, I pointed out that he was a bit mixed up. ("Fucked up" would have been more accurate, but I digress.) "Exclusive" and "serious" were in no way synonymous. We could date only each other but still have it be the way it HAS been--casual, fun and light-hearted. Nothing would change. I told him (quite honestly) that "ring shopping" was not on MY agenda, either. (Frankly, I was thrown off balance to even have that thrown into the mix. WTF?) I then told him, calmly, that if he wanted to date around, he certainly had every right; however, I could not--STOP READING HERE, MOM--have a relationship of our particular nature knowing that he was "naturing" with other people, too. I'm done dating around and I'm looking for something more. I know myself, and knowing he was out on dates with other people and doing who knows what else would just hurt to much. It would, almost literally, drive me crazy. So I opted out.

I left a note for him this morning (this all went down at 3 am--long story), again very calmly reiterating my point of view. He seems to think I want this big, heavy, serious thing and I don't. I told him I want exactly what we've had the last couple of months but have it be just the two of us. That's all. No more, no less. I said I thought we had a good thing going and I was perfectly content just hanging out with him and seeing what happened--and if he didn't feel that way about me, it's better we found out now. I told him I truly hoped, if nothing else, that we could be still friends (shut up, guys--you know how I am). Really, everything went down as civil-y as they could have, considering the situation. Can I say again how proud of myself I am? =-)

So yes, I'm disappointed. I'm pretty damned bummed, actually. But, hey. It was two months. Shit happens. If he still feels the need to "look elsewhere," fuck him. Somewhere, there's a guy who won't.

(Thank God I never told him about the bipolar. Good call, Anna.)


Jen said...

Let me clarify one thing. It wasn't just the texts. He had actual DATES lined up. He's actively out there. He has one tomorrow, for example. And sure, maybe it would go nowhere, and so he and I kept dating, and things progress to the point where he wanted to just see me (after exploring the other fish in the sea, etc). BUT...maybe it will go well. And that's an option I can't deal with. Maybe I'm in the wrong here, but I care about him a little too much to be able to sit by and watch him date other women.

Renee said...

WHOA. I don't have time to comment on the whole thing; I'm trying to get my pokey pants kid ready for school. But WHOA. Totally unexpected. And right now I was compelled to tell you that you AREN'T in the wrong. Those are your feelings and they shouldn't be discounted. I guess maybe we know why you guys only saw each other on the weekends... he had dates during the week? Wow. I'm really sorry, but at the same time I'm smiling because I'm so proud of the way you handled the situation!! Way to go! Okay, we're gonna be late so I have to go.

Nik said...

Jen-- again, I don't know what to say to this. I applaud you for first, not spazzing out on him and secondly, for how you handled this whole situation. That's beyond fucked up that he toyed with you the way that he did. Referring to someone as "girlfriend" means exclusive relationship to pretty much anyone. This guy sounds like a total douchebag and I know it sucks, but in the end, you're better off without this asshole. I'm sending you hugs in the hopes that they might make you feel a little bit better.

Jen said...

LOL in light of nik's comment this is kind of funny but...

things may not be "off," after all. He called last night. We had a really good talk. Basically, he's used to relationships going a LOT slower. He said that for him, 2 months was a really short amount of time to even be talking about being exclusive. You know how we only hang out once or twice a week (sometimes more, especially recently)? He said that's how he usually is, for a good 8-12 months in. He said, "yeah, there will be weeks that we see each other a lot. but I dont want you getting pissy because I had a night "off" and I didn't call you to hang out. Sometimes I just want to be by myself."

He also said that he hadn't actually gone out on any dates and that although he was thinking about it, he said that he hadn't liked a girl this much in a long time and that although it may seem slow to ME, he was actually moving quicker than he usually does.

I talked again about how exclusive doesn't equal serious and he said that as long as I understood that even if we WERE exclusive, we wouldnt be spending 4-5 nights a week together (at least not all the time), then who knows.

I went over there last night and we talked some more. It's hard to know what to think. I THINK he's being sincere but you guys know how I am. =-) really, 8 weeks ISN'T a long time and I can't really get mad at the guy if he just moves at a different pace. And maybe he's doing something right--he's only had 2 major relationships in the last 10 years but they've each been 5 years each. so maybe starting out really slow and working up to it works for him. it's just different from what i'm used to.

so for right now, I do like him enough to at least hang in there for a little while longer. 8 weeks is pretty quick to throw the baby out with the bathwater if everything else is going so well. i think the exclusive thing is going to happen--not overnight but i think he just needs more time to see ME and how i react to certain things. and it's true--in the past, if he had plans iwth his friends and they fell threw and he called to talk, and i found out that he had a "free" night and hadn't called earlier to hang out, I'd get a little pissy. but to him, a free night of changed plans means some time to recharge.

as far as him dating other people: I have to believe him when he says he hasn't yet, and that he'll tell me if he does (either before or after the fact). i'll drive myself crazy otherwise. It may only be another month or two and we'll go through this whole thing again, but it sounds like he likes me enough to at least consider it, so I like him enough to give him time to do so.

Anonymous said...

Don't be stupid

Renee said...

I don't think you're being stupid, and I actually agree with what you're doing. You guys never talked about being exclusive; you just assumed you were. That's not HIS fault. Everyone moves at different speeds and I don't think he should be faulted for wanting to take things slowly. It works! I'm just glad you guys had this convo fairly early on and now you both know where the relationship stands.

Anna said...

Wow! I'm sorry it ended like that. But I'm SO PROUD of how you handled it!

Anna said...

Now I read the comments. Wow again! I don't know what's going on. Dating is so complicated!

My thoughts: I think it's fine to take it slow as long as YOU ARE REALLY fine with it. If you want to "get serious" and settle down, then don't waste your time with this guy who wants to go slowly. However, if you trully are up for taking it slow and enjoying where you are, then I say that's wonderful and more power to you!

Keep us posted on how it goes.

Jen said...

Renee you're right, we never DID agree to be exclusive, have "the talk," etc. I assumed we were going that way (and maybe we still are) based on things he said, etc--even if it WAS a perfectly reasonable assumption. But anna, you're right too. am i "truly" ok with the status quo? I dont know yet. I wish it were more quickly going in that direction but i'm also okay, for now, with waiting for it to get that way.

i'm the first one he's dated since he's been here and i can understand that he's hesitant to settle down with the very first woman--like dating a man right after his divorce (ahem). Look, if this is meant to be and he likes me as much as I like him, he can date a MILLION other women and it won't freakin matter cuz at the end of the day, I'll still be the one he wants to pursue things with.

In closing, here's my advice from Liz from my old workplace (you know who I mean, Anna), a (slightly, in her 40s) older friend:

"My suggestion is to just appreciate the fact that he likes you now. Listen to what he is saying and respect his wishes. Let him express the want for exclusivity becasue based upon my experience if the guy wants one he will defintely let you know through his actions but if not, then forget about it and kiss him goodbye, even if it hurts. You know what you want, need and what you don't want.
He knows how you feel, leave it at that and do not mention it again. Enjoy the shared experiences and getting to know him, you really haven't known each other for very long when you think about it. There are so many facets to a persons personality and character that don't show up until 4-6 months or more down the road.
In the meantime I say make yourself available to others and most of all don't forget about you...schedule a pamper Jen night with no men allowed... your life, your schedule, your terms. it's all about taking care of #1 baby but leaving room on the side if all he wants to be is a side dish rather than the entree...lol
:) Liz "

Anna said...

I LOVE Liz!!!