Wait, for real?
It had been seven long years since I’ve dated anyone, I last had broken up with my then-college sweetheart (and we still remain good friends, mind you) way back in (gasp) 2003. The period that followed simply barely allowed me to have a social life let alone allowed romance to brew anywhere. Even when I had wrapped up my postbac studies at Villanova, I had made some friends there and tried getting out and about. Of course, I wanted to get back into dating, or at least meeting people. Of course, I crashed and burned several times over. My social skills at the time were admittedly shot and even when I’d made a good impression, having any guy attracted to me proved difficult at best.
Last night I was composing a message for myself to actually telling someone that I wasn’t interested in pursuing a romantic relationship. It wasn’t because he wasn’t cute enough or because he wasn’t “ambitious” enough (he’s a medical resident for goodness’ sake!). It was because our takes on family and children were extremely different, to a critical fault. To me, that’s substantial, even though I’ve never married, I know differences over children and family are a big factor in many divorces. Maybe I’m making a big deal of nothing, but what bewildered me was that I’ve never been in this position before. What in God’s name do I tell a guy when I’m not interested? Or in this case, we aren’t quite compatible?
I’ve had loads of guys – and I mean loads – say in the past they weren’t attracted to me. Granted this was me 30 pounds heavier but even in the online world, when I’d only posted pictures of my face (and not my full body) a lot of them would say they weren’t attracted to people of my race. It was one thing to hear it once. Hearing it twenty times in a row (from people of different races mind you) only made me the more weary. And high school? Forget it. I was an outsider at best in high school.
This year, a lot of things changed. I have a rewarding career now with plenty of free time. I’m working out and running like a fiend, and preparing for grad school next year. I’m probably more relaxed, but more importantly a lot happier than I have been in the past decade. Still I’m not sure I’m able to explain how I’ve been turning heads and now my newfound inability to deal in the sense that I actually have to tell people now that I simply wasn’t interested. Some are cynical and say that guys are only interested in looks or mainly interested in looks. Others say they look at your money potential and there are some that really do test your personality. In any case, maybe it’s a combination of reasons as to why things have turned around. It’s not like all of a sudden the guys woke up and were suddenly like “omg South Asian women are SO attractive!”
In any case, my glaring lack of social skills show yet again. Sort of. Never having been in the position of telling someone the bad news in this domain, I’m wondering how bad I’d be bruising the guy’s ego. It wasn’t him, there’s nothing wrong with him. Being a live and let live person, I’d never criticise someone for when/how they want to run/raise their family. I’m not sure I want to have children, and if I do, it’ll be one child, later in my 30s. I’m way more a career and hobbies oriented individual and I have a load of things I want to achieve before I have a family, if I ever decide to do so. A child is a permanent commitment, 20+ years and a huge investment of money.
I cannot imagine compromising my lifestyle making the wrong decision. One can call me selfish, but I value happiness, and knowing myself and knowing what I want out of life.
So today I called and decided to be straightforward. I decided to be straightforward – didn’t say there wasn’t a romantic connection because there IS nothing wrong with him. I told him we weren’t compatible and what he’d revealed to me on the second date that set me off. Our take on family and life was completely different. If he didn’t believe me, I didn’t know what to do, I gathered the feeling that most men figure women size them up on income and/or looks.
Strangely enough…he didn’t bite my head off. Amazingly he said he was astonished that I had put the amount of thought into it (I didn’t call him right away because I had gone to DC right after our second date) before letting him know. And even he thought he wasn’t sure how he felt after the first two dates, he would have used more time.
But we both wished each other well and ended things amicably.
I know it’s not like that with everyone…but thankfully this one went off without a hitch and that he understood. Hopefully he won’t feel bad about himself, we just didn’t fit. And as for me, I guess I’ll get a little more confident doing this more if I have to. Another day about learning about life. It is what it is.