In the five short days between date #1 and date #2, Teddy continued to text me mercilessly. Each day, he would text to confirm that we were still on for our Thursday night date for dinner and the show. He texted to ask about my day and told me about his, he sent me “sweet dreams” texts each night and “good morning” texts each day. I still am not clear exactly what kind of job that Teddy has, but apparently he has to get up at 0-dark-30, because he wished me good morning at 4:35am! FOUR-THIRTY-FIVE AM!!! Who does that? Who texts at that time of day? No, Teddy – it is not a good morning! He followed that up with another text at 7:40am and then again at 9am. I got to the point where I would ignore his texts and respond just once a day – but still they kept coming.
By this point, I had decided that true love was not in the cards for Teddy and me. Not only did he remind me too much of my brother with his voice, laugh, and mannerisms – but the excessive emails and texting was coming off as clingy, desperate, and audacious. I was not his girlfriend – in fact, I was more of an acquaintance at this point – and he wasn’t winning me over by bombarding me. Perhaps Teddy felt like it would show me how attentive he was – but as I had told him early on I wanted to move very slowly, all I saw was that he either hadn’t listened to me or that he chose to ignore what I was saying. Neither was a very attractive trait.
I decided that after our date, I would discuss things with him. Teddy was friendly and interesting – I wouldn’t mind hanging out with him from time to time as a friend – but I had no interest in him romantically. While I would certainly enjoy experiencing some of the finer things in life he so often told me he liked to do, I’m not a gold-digger or a status seeker. I couldn’t use a man in that way and, quite frankly, I felt guilty enough keeping our upcoming date when I knew that there was no future for us.
The night of the show, I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early to find Teddy waiting in the vestibule. We perused the menu as I attempted not to gasp at the prices. My intention had been to offer to pay for dinner, as Teddy had already purchased the tickets to the musical – but I hadn’t expected the prices to be so high. Still, I made the offer – and thankfully Teddy waved it away, stating it was his pleasure to treat me. We had a pleasant conversation over an excellent dinner and then shared dessert before walking to the theater.
As we entered the venue, Teddy led me to our seats. “I couldn’t get the seats I normally do,” he explained earnestly as we sat down on the sixth row, left. “I always sit in the fourth row, center – but I was late buying tickets this time.” Now, I had been to this theater before to see other shows – always buying my tickets at a reduced rate on Craigslist and inevitably sitting in the upper tiers of the balcony. To be seated on the sixth row was incredible to me! The actors seemed close enough to touch – I could even see their chests heaving slightly after a particularly exuberant dance number. I felt a little twinge of sadness – I could get used to this lifestyle if only Teddy was the man of my dreams!
Teddy walked me to my car after the show, keeping up a lively monologue comparing the musical and the actors to the Hollywood movie and big name stars. All the while, my thoughts were skittering around like a drop of water on a hot pan and I had my own, private conversation going on in my head.
Emotional Me: “I don’t want to “break up” with him – it will hurt his feelings. He’s obviously smitten with me!”
Logical Me: “It has to be done. You can’t keep dating him when you know it’s not going anywhere! That’s not fair to him OR to you!”
Wicked Me: “But, he has money! Think of all of the great restaurants, the shows, and the trips you could be enjoying!”
EM: “And he’s not a bad guy – he’s really quite charming most of the time.”
LM: “Don’t forget the gazillion ‘charming’ text messages and emails. Or the fact that he really didn’t listen to you when you said you wanted to take things verrry slowly. Or the fact he reminds you of your brother – it’s practically incestuous! Put an end to it now.”
EM: “How do I even tell him? I don’t want to be mean!”
WM: “Don’t forget – he has a boat! Just imagine spending your summers on that – the sun on your face, the wind in your hair….”
LM: “Stop it! Stop it both of you! Just tell him the truth – he’s a big boy, he’s not going to flip out and attack you or anything. And besides, you parked right next to the police sub-station – if there are any shenanigans, all you have to do is scream and the cops will be right there!”
When we got to the car, I thanked Teddy for the wonderful evening. He responded, “What are your plans this weekend? We could get together on Saturday and go for a little hike!”
Really, Teddy? Three dates in seven days? Is this your idea of going slowly?
I took a breath and told Teddy that romance was not to be. That I enjoyed our time together and, if he ever needed a plus one for any activity, I would be pleased to accompany him as a friend – but that a friend is all I would ever be. He nodded his understanding, gave me a hug, and wished me a good evening – and then lumbered off into the night.
My relief was palpable – I had acted like a grown up and had the hard conversation (something I rarely did in my marriage). I was truthful, but not hurtful – and Teddy had taken the news in a mature fashion. And I didn’t have to worry about being asked on another date – two had been plenty.
When I got home, I washed my face and got ready for bed – and then my phone chimed with a text message alert. I regarded it as one might a poisonous snake – and I approached it just as warily.
It was from Teddy: “I would have preferred that you told me straight off that you weren’t interested! Bye! I’ll be blocking you in the future!”
Fair enough, I suppose – but the snarky text harkened back to grade school. Really? You are going to block me in the future? Here’s a newsflash, Teddy – I’m not she of the gazillion texts. That would be you, sport.
I blocked his number and deleted his text. And I learned a few things: 1) From now on, I’m going to more shallow. If I can’t see myself getting jiggy with a guy based on his profile and pictures – I’m not dating him, period. 2) If I go on a first date and don’t feel some sort of connection right away – there will be no second date. And 3) Nobody gets my phone number unless we make it past date #3 – the website has a very nice system where we can contact each other without personal, private numbers being involved – let’s use it.
Any other gems of wisdom that you have for me as far as dating goes? Have you ever been tempted to date a guy (or girl) because they were well-to-do? How do you handle telling a date “so long!” without hurting their feelings (or is it even possible?)