There is one thing that I’ve struggled with in this new round of dating… that’s the overall concept of dating (I know simple right?) When I dated as a Mormon, before I got married, I dated with the idea that I was vetting out each date for potential marriage material. This was especially true if I felt a connection or spark with someone. You would date for a short time (in the traditional sense) and then become exclusive very early on.
So when I entered the dating game for my life round 2, I went on several dates before I found a guy that I clicked with (many mentioned in this blog). His name was Mark* and he was a Browns fan and loved sports in general.It was apparent from the first couple of messages that we definitely had some type of chemistry. As a matter of fact, the very first time I texted him was a total failure. We had been talking about my love of singing. He had asked me a question about my singing and then gave me his phone number. I replied back to his question within the text message. Turns out it was to the wrong number… at 1 am.
Our first date was going out to eat at a Mexican place. It may have been the Bad Juan or just the chemistry but I agreed to go to a bar after dinner to continue talking. He didn’t even mind when I broke out singing along when Ludacris’ Ho came on. The entire date lasted several hours and the conversation and laughter flowed throughout. We even had a killer first date kiss (Ooo la la).
As with any great date, he texted me on the way home from our date planning our next date. We texted each day and he cared about how my day went and remembered things about me. The things that I would imagine that a good date guy does. We planned on another date bowling in the next couple days (another great sign).
So when I had seen Mark again at the bowling alley it was like we picked up right where we left off. Now I don’t mean we started out with a great kiss (that came later) I mean the overall connection. To say I suck at bowling would be a vast understatement. I mean I genuinely celebrate every time I don’t hit the bumpers (yes I still use the bumpers). Mark was actually really good at bowling. JK Rowling once wrote “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a look at how he treats his inferiors not his equals.” When it came to bowling I was truly his inferior and he was definitely beyond supportive throughout. He would celebrate with me when I hit the pins and was positive when I didn’t. I ended with a 83 score… yeah with bumpers…
So far I know what you are thinking… wow Jill this must be the great ending to your dating story… but no! As with any Jill dating story it must end with an epic crash and burn. That crash and burn began on our third date. So for our third date we decided to go to his place, find a recipe and make dinner together. We then went to the grocery store and got our supplies and came back to his place and made a killer dinner. Now throughout the dinner his phone went off several times. Now he did a good job of managing both his phone and my conversation but there were a couple of times I heard the “Uh huh” and the fake laugh that happens when someone is not listening. I am so old fashioned when it comes to phones and time together, especially on dates and dinner. I, in normal Jill so shy style, said “Golly geez your phone is going crazy!” which he then mentioned it was fantasy football trades and turned it on mute. He then spent the rest of the night focused on our time together. I’m telling you he was a great guy.
We continued to text after the date. He was very kind, attentive and super sweet. But, for some reason I couldn’t shake the phone going off. . I know, I know, what why? It all goes to how I used to date… connection lead to exclusivity pretty quickly. You were dating for marriage. So in my mind I couldn’t shake the idea that he was probably texting girls and I didn’t know how to reconcile connection with multiple people (I still don’t.. will be a later blog).
So later on that week, we had a health scare in my family and it hit me to the core. It was that moment when you feel like your life is on the brink of collapsing and I was just recovering from my last life tidal wave (my divorce). I was driving home from work in an emotional tizzy (very safe for other drivers… crying while driving). I don’t know how else to describe it. So I began to think about texting Mark about the issue just to talk. But then I stopped myself because I thought about the entire concept of dating “What if he was on another date?” “What if he was talking to someone else and I interrupt?”. So when I got home in my emotional tizzy I began texting. Lesson learned- Do not go rogue and text in emotional tizzies… you make rash decisions and say things that you cannot take back.
So I text him that I cannot do this “dating thing” that after this time I need to be exclusive or I’m out. Now looking back…what the heck was I thinking? It was way too soon and I can understand why in the heck he would RUN the other way. I mean the guy really never showed me one time that he was even talking to anyone else. Nor would it be so bad if he was.
He was taken off guard (as to be expected) and was kind but said he wasn’t there yet so I ended it. Later on that week, I tried to text him a funny message trying to win him back but I could understand his concerns. The medical scare ended up turning out to be fine but the damage I did, did not. I understand everything happens for a reason and after having that connection with a few other guys I realize that I have and will have that connection again…. so lesson learned and on to the next one…
*Mark is not his real name… I think in this one I should have changed my name versus his