…just not happening.
Last July, I visited a friend in NYC – let’s call him Simon – while just hiking around and seeing a few things. I don’t have too many friends at all in NYC, unlike most people from Penn who went to NYC, I stayed here, the few friends I had go there are no longer in that area. Most do their 1-2 years in banking and get out.
Simon is a friend of one of my best friends in college – he’d done undergrad elsewhere, and I’d met him on several occasions where he visited my friend in Philly. Nonetheless, he always had wanted to keep in touch – the few times he’d landed in Philly, we’d have dinner very casually wherever in Chinatown, WSW, Old City, wherever.
I had randomly mentioned to him that I was hitting up NYC solo for the weekend, just needed to get out of Philly, check out a few things I hadn’t seen in ages. It’s a cheap $20 both ways taking the Chinatown bus, so I was like whatever, I had wanted to do NYC for awhile, but as I’d mentioned time and again, until I had made some more friends recently, I was hard on luck doing anything with anyone – most of the people I knew are married and settled down and don’t really go out like they used to. So I’d done it solo – why not? No one is stopping me.
So I hit up the sights. 6th Ave. was closed due to a massive, and I mean massive street fair. Did the touristy thing and did Top of the Rock. Strolled through Central Park. Did the Met, which I haven’t seen in almost 10 years. That was the main thing I wanted to see. Finally Simon called up and wanted me to crash at his place for the evening, which I was like yeah sure why not.
We went out for a light dinner on the waterfront in Lower Manhattan towards Ellis Island and then he’d mentioned he wanted to take me down to the LES (Lower East Side) for some clubbing. I figured I was totally down with that. Well we hit Verlaine in the LES alright, but as we danced, one thing with Simon led to another. I had a hunch Simon might have crushed on me, but this only confirmed it. Yes we certainly hooked up – it is what it is. Unfortunately, at one point, it felt weird. I enjoyed his companionship, but damn if he liked me that way, I sure felt he was going fast. Faster than what I was used to. But I had nothing to really judge that on, because it’s been years since guys hit on me to begin with. So I was frozen on multiple levels – what in hell’s half acre did I do?
We hung out on Coney Island and spent most of the day together Sunday. It wasn’t too bad except for when he asked me how I’d imagine I’d be living life down the road. “Do you see yourself having children in the future?”
Okay if you are a regular reader of mine, you’ll know I’m biased against settling down too fast. But if this was a real date weekend, holy hell. If there’s one thing that turns me off it’s asking that sort of question WAY too fast. But on the other hand, I think Simon was a lot more comfortable with me than he probably should have been. I can see why some people would do it, but knowing where I stand, it was a huge turnoff. I decided to partially answer the question.
“Well Simon, I am a bit more career-focused just to let you know.”
“Well you can have children and certainly be more career focused!”
Alright, now that was just massive fail. If he meant something else, the words certainly did NOT come out right. Otherwise, he’s just not getting it. And whilst some women have it all, it’s not easy. There’s some give and take with balancing career and family and I am nowhere near tackling that yet.
Fast forward a few months later, he’s been trying to keep in contact with me, but he did hint in emails that he’d want to go out with me and that he was “extremely comfortable” with me. Which is nice and all, but I’m not interested. As a friend, if he can respect me, cool, but he’s not what I’d be looking for in a boyfriend or partner. Plus I don’t, and can’t do the long-distance thing either. Not with my packed schedule now, and even if I reciprocated feelings, our relationship would definitely not survive four years of graduate school.
Except, I don’t think he’s getting the hint. I have not tried the direct method yet, which I’ll have to very soon. Explaining that distance stuff doesn’t work for me, but I will have to hit him on the other end – that I’m just not interested and we’re not compatible as he’d like to think – soon enough since he’s applying to jobs along the East Coast, Philadelphia included. (He’s just gotten his MPA and is looking around.)
I’m just dreading what will happen if he still doesn’t take no for an answer. I’m headed up to NYC this time on business and I intend on telling him directly about how I do – or don’t – feel. I know he’s not going to go off the rails on me (e.g. I know he won’t turn violent or anything) but I don’t know what he will say in response. Would hate to lose a friend.
Here’s hoping I don’t, but I can’t control what others think. Sigh.