Surprisingly Single Again

It’s over.  Just like that.  Two and a half months of mostly warm "conversations" down the drain.  It came out of nowhere.  It wasn’t anticipated, not detected by my emotional radar.  Sure, we had our problems, but we always worked things out.  Always.  Not this time.
 
No matter how it happens, whether it’s in person, by phone, email, fax or instant message, getting dumped stinks.  Ask anyone who’s been there and they’ll tell you the same thing:  "It’s not fair."  In my case, it’s hard to fathom.
 
It’s been about 24 hours since my then-girlfriend attempted to break it to me gently.  I knew something was on her mind when she wanted to go over something "important" with me.  I felt a sense of dread in my stomach after I read what she typed.  Uh oh.  Was her abusive, meddlesome ex-boyfriend back to his old tricks again?  Would we be back where we were just a week earlier where I had broken up with her because she refused to do something about him?  (That crisis was averted not too long after she told her brother about him and he proceeded to ream out her ex over the phone in no uncertain terms, telling him to back off or he would find himself in a world of hurt, legally and literally.  With him out of the way, we decided to try again without any further interference.)
 
I would soon have my answer.  She told me she had been thinking about last week and came to the rather sudden conclusion that it was "unrealistic" for us to continue being a couple.  It should be noted that she’s 18 and I know what you’re thinking.  It wasn’t that kind of a relationship.  When it was good, it was sweet and comfortable, perfectly normal and drama-free.  "We’re good for each other," she was fond of saying.  We got along great, we shared some laughs, a lot of smiles, and had long talked about getting together for proper dates.  Yes, I never met her in person.  With the exception of a few, short phone calls, it was mostly an online relationship.  I know.  It’s just not the same.  But we were working on taking it offline and making it more authentic.  That is, until she rather abruptly ended things last night.
 
It also didn’t help that she knew what I looked like immediately and I never did get a pic of her, even though I was very understanding of this.  Had she not called it quits with me, I was anticipating the arrival of brand new photos of her in my in-box the day before my birthday. 
 
Like I said, it’s not fair.
 
It will always remain a mystery why she decided to end our burgeoning romance and offer friendship in its place.  Why the sudden change of heart?  The night before, everything seemed fine.  I noted how I was looking forward to seeing her face for the first time.  She seemed happy.  I know I was.  We usually talked about how great it was going to be to meet and see what we had offline.  I was prepared for anything and everything.  I wasn’t prepared for a premature conclusion.
 
Both of us knew it was going to be difficult.  We’re in different cities, for instance.  But she always told me she could drive down to see me.  (She’s less than an hour away, although she said it was 15 minutes.)  She also told me we’d have the whole summer together.  That’s why last night was so puzzling.  Suddenly, I was going to be a distraction for her when she goes to University this September.  That was a new one.  "We’re on different paths," she said.  Although, in the beginning, I was under the impression that she wanted to be married and have kids, both of which I’m not interested in, she made it clear right away that it wasn’t at the top of her list of priorities and wouldn’t be for many years, which put me at ease.  As a result, I felt that she wasn’t really sure what she wanted in that department.  (Either you desire those things or you don’t.  When I asked her last night why she wanted to be married, she oddly answered, "I don’t know.")  She was most interested in getting through University and then, seeking a job.
 
So, there I was, reading this horrible news, line by line, trying to persuade her to keep things going.  It was no use.  She had made up her mind.  Her promises of a summer romance were reneged.  We wouldn’t be meeting after all.
 
When she offered me her friendship instead of what we had, well, one can’t help but be insulted by such an offer, especially after everything we talked about.  It was a demotion, more than anything, and it wasn’t what I wanted.  Also annoying was the fact that she was saying the same sweet things she had always said about me even though she didn’t want to try our luck offline.  That just got me angrier and angrier.  When I realized that it was truly the end, the sarcasm of my words practically dripped off her monitor.  I finally reached my breaking point.  I told her I didn’t want to talk to her anymore and I said, "Goodbye."  I deleted her as a contact and put her on block.  And by the end of the night, I also deleted Yahoo Messenger and even my ID.  She was the only reason I re-downloaded the program in the first place.
 
It has been an ongoing frustration in my life, this chronic inability to have a long-term relationship with a woman.  I’ll never understand it.  I’m not abusive, I do everything in my power to be supportive, kind and flirtatious and yet it’s never enough.  I’m tired of obsessing about supposed mistakes I’ve made.  I’m tired of wallowing in anger and sadness.  I’m just plain tired of failing.
 
I once thought that meeting women online was a lot easier than doing it in a public place.  God knows there’s plenty of them in chatrooms and on instant messenger programs who are more than willing to talk to you sight unseen.  But it turns out it’s way harder.  First, you don’t always know who you’re dealing with.  Second, the line between fantasy and reality can get blurred rather easily.  Third, there’s no guarantee it’ll work offline.  And fourth, good luck finding someone in your city.  Distance is almost always a problem.
 
Getting involved with a woman online is an act of faith.  Sometimes you know what they look like, sometimes you don’t.  Sometimes they’re honest, sometimes their words are empty.  Sometimes you have more chemistry online than you do on the phone or in person.  You just don’t know for sure until you take a chance and find out.  Of all the women I’ve met on the Internet, I only met one offline.
 
Unfortunately, I won’t have that chance again this summer.  It was taken away from me, as it has been numerous times in the past.  That makes me wonder if continuing to chat to women online is such a good idea.  I don’t do it nearly as often as I did a few years ago – the frustration can be unbearable at times – but I continue to harbour mixed feelings about it.  As a result, I end up chatting for a bit then taking a break for several months.  No matter how many times I declare "the chat era" to be over, I always get sucked back in.  10 years after I started doing this and I’m back to square one again.
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, June 3, 2007
9:28 p.m. 
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Published in: on June 3, 2007 at 9:34 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. beh ma rock’n’roll fratello!

  2. Hey bruther, don’t sweat the bitches… they’re even more trouble OFF-line! HAHAHA Seriously, though, it’s an act of faith no matter how you meet. Plenty of fish in the sea, my friend… I’ll give you a shout soon, we’ll go out and do something for our 22nd b-days! 😛


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