Quality Time

You know when you just know?

After my sniffling meltdown on my drive home from my last date, I perked up the next day. I can’t stay in that negative space for long. The next day I felt the residual effects, but I concentrated on getting my kids back. Once they came home from their dad’s, they lifted my spirits. My little lovebugs were chatty and tan, and they kept hugging me because they missed me so much. My priorities. I don’t like wasting my time on things or people who aren’t my priorities.

I exchanged a few texts with The Brooding Man I was attempting to date on Friday and Saturday. And then I had a little light bulb moment. After three weeks of observing his behavior, I caught on to a pattern, one that mimicked a couple guys I’ve dated in the past.

It goes like this: He works his butt off to the point of exhaustion. This typically gets my attention as a good sign, but I’ve come to find this can also be used as a distraction to deal with… well, life. He works his weekday job and then always has something he’s preoccupied with after work until he finally sits down in the evening and marinates in his exhaustion to doze off early. On the weekends, he also becomes preoccupied with a project, but its tenfold. His weekend evening routine is similar. He’s so tired he has no down time to think or form relationships with anyone. Just to sleep and do it all again the next day.

This annoyed me at first, but then I thought Oh, he’s just hardworking, of course he’s going to be tired. And I’ve let these last few weeks slide by, not really getting to know this man because how can you get mad at someone for being tired? This seems like an innocent hard-working man problem, doesn’t it? It does, until you pair it with someone who also:

  • Claims he can’t ever sleep well, and
  • Refuses to answer any question that remotely dives into getting to know him on a more personal level

We all have nights when we can’t sleep, but to never be able to stay asleep is a sign your subconscious messing with you. If you’re a normal healthy human, you’re awake at night because you need to clear something out of your psyche or your sleep environment sucks. Deal with the crap that keeps you awake at night and you’ll be able to sleep. Speaking from experience on this one.

Similarly, we all have personal areas off limits to others at first. But this guy was extra special when I tried to veer from surface level chit chat. He did not want me to get to know him personally, and he did not ask me any personal questions either. It was confusing to go on a date with him and have him pour his heart out, but then be blocked from asking questions as soon as we were back to texting. As far as I could tell, he wanted to be safe texting buddies with a few dinner dates.

To say this guy’s dating pace was slow, is an understatement.

On Saturday night I was scrolling through the dating site and kept seeing people with prompts about their love language. I’ve always hated the 5 Love Languages book because of my past experience with it. My ex and I used it when we were trying to patch up the ol’ marriage with counseling. I couldn’t remember what my own love language was, so I took one of those online quizzes just to see. Apparently I’m a close tie with Quality Time and Acts of Service. And then the light bulb that went off earlier… it kept getting brighter and brighter…

I’m frustrated with this guy because I want Quality Time and he apparently could care less about that. He’s clearly attached to some past trauma, and no matter how understanding I am, I can’t fix it. Only he can fix it. I want and deserve Quality Time from whoever I date.

Welp, I decided to make one last-stitch effort to see if he would open up and I sent him a link to the 5 Love Languages online quiz. We’re a month into this texting-dating situationship, so I didn’t see this as crossing the line. Maybe it did for him.

That was at 9 PM on Saturday night. I did not hear from him again until 3 PM on Sunday. This was sad and amusing to watch play out. I had a hunch he would avoid taking the quiz, or responding back about it. He did just that – he waited until enough time went by so that he could send a very surface level text the next afternoon that simply said “How’s your afternoon going?”

Well, there was my answer. He was never going to open up, let alone spend any quality time with me. I responded “I thought you’d ghosted me”… and he did not respond again for a couple of hours, to which he replied “Now why would I do that?” Answering a question with a question… where have I see that before? hmm. Clearly, this is not a man equipped to deal with even subtle confrontation. I accept that.

I didn’t have the will or energy to continue. I had my answer. He was as closed off as they come. I’m no savior, and I’m not here to make it my life mission to have this guy open his heart. And I didn’t want to either.

I had many things I could respond with, but his maturity level wouldn’t have been able to handle it, so I stayed silent. This morning, as I dropped my son off, I discovered another text from him… “Morning” he wrote.

My initial thought was to text back “Nope”. But I didn’t. I will just let him feel the frustration of being too unimportant for me to waste anymore of my Quality Time on him.

Add another one to the dating dump.

I’m not sad about it. I’ve already met another nice guy who is very interested in getting to know me as I am interested in getting to know him.

Stifle Me Not

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