Dating is stupid. It’s a rollercoaster. So is life, but whatever. That’s besides the point. I’m mad about dating.
3-Date Guy turned into 4-Date Guy by the end of last week. He asked me out on another date before my kids returned from their vacation. He said he wanted to squeeze in as much time with me as possible because we’d both be busy in the weeks ahead. That was so attractive. Finally, a guy who was planning ahead, liked me, and didn’t play any games. He took the initiative to see me as much as possible, without making me second guess. Lovely.
It was a great 4th date. We went to an art museum, then to a minor league baseball game. There were fireworks after the game. It was one of those rare hopelessly romantic nights. The night was full of great conversation, good vibes, and all of the hopes that go along with new dating.
He let me know he’d be going to North Carolina that weekend to get his son. 4-Date Guy lives in Ohio (as do I) and his ex moved to North Carolina with their son after getting divorced. They have 50/50 custody and he basically lives part-time in Ohio and North Carolina, constantly going back and forth. He works remote, so it doesn’t matter where he works. He set himself up to be as flexible as possible to accommodate being with his son. Got it. Makes sense. What decent father wouldn’t make all the effort in the world to be with his kid?
At first glance, dating someone who is in another state part-time could seem like a challenge. I didn’t give it much too much thought because he said he still very much wanted to be in Ohio since his family and friends are here. I don’t need to be with the person I’m dating 24/7, so this actually appealed to me for a moment. I like my freedom and space just as much as the company of another. What I like is consistency of communication. I don’t need to be smothered by another person on a daily basis.
After the 4th date, everything was positive. That was a Thursday. On Saturday, as he was driving down to North Carolina, he called me. We had a nice chat, he said that he’d be back in Ohio with his son that same week and he could get his mom to watch his son one night. He asked if I want to get dinner again one night. I said that would be great. He suddenly said a tunnel was coming up and he knew the call would drop soon. So we said good-bye.
He called back 5 minutes later. He said he was out of the tunnel and felt bad getting off the call so fast, and that he wanted to say good-bye properly. He then said he missed me and I made him happy. I hung up the phone, grinning ear to ear, squealing like a little girl.
That was Saturday afternoon and I knew he’d be busy from then going forward. On Sunday it’s like he disappeared. My life didn’t stop. I got my kiddos back and life kept going as usual for me. It felt odd to go from two weeks of non-stop texting back and forth with him to a cold turkey stop. On Monday, there was little texting, but I knew he was driving back to Ohio with his son.
On Tuesday afternoon, there was a little back and forth texting followed by, what I like to call, a text bomb:
“By the way, planning out the week, it doesn’t look like there will be a good night for the two of us to get together. Sorry if you already carved out the time… [for someone to watch your kids].”
Deep breath. How to do I respond to this? Quite frankly, I’m annoyed. I have two kids and can make time to text and call and even to go out for dinner sometimes. He has one kid and the world stops.
WTF? (like I said, text bomb)
This is a bigger red flag for me than him wanting to get a hotel room on Date #3. I can handle the male desire to get frisky too soon, and set a boundary about that. But I do not have the patience to be put on a shelf every other week because you can’t multi-task when your kid is around. I don’t need to meet his child anytime soon, we don’t need to meet in-person when his child is visiting, but you can certainly send a text and keep getting to know each other in the meantime, right? Right?
The answer is yes, yes you can, and I know that clearly. My response: “Oh that stinks, but I get it”
Actually no, I don’t get it, but I don’t think it’s worth it to confront this unless I’m given more context than that. Actions speak louder than words.
Maybe I didn’t make enough of an impression in 4 dates. Maybe he’s a coward and doesn’t want to change. Maybe he likes me when he’s single, but not when he’s in dad mode. Maybe I’m jaded and make up excuses for people too often, and then I get pissed when things don’t work out. Maybe I’m a fool because I rush in, or maybe I’m brave because I walk away. All I know for sure is if I’m making an effort, someone else should be too or dating them is just plain stupid.
Stifle Me Not