Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mr. Intimidated

I haven’t written in weeks because life and work have been keeping me too busy for the moments of reflection I need to blog about it. I guess the main thing to report is that I got rejected by Mr. Intimidated. Which, although I sort of felt it coming, was still a bit of a shocker.

As a refresher, this is the guy with whom I had three consecutive dates. On the first, we had sex and he initially expressed that he felt intimidated by me and that he was going through a bit of a life crisis. On the second, we saw It Follows and when he dropped me off and I went in to kiss him goodnight, he kept his lips pursed tightly shut. On our third date, we ate ramen and talked and laughed and when he dropped me off, I decided to not initiate the pursed-lip kiss and he didn’t either so instead we sat awkwardly for a moment until I shouted “okay, goodnight!” and ran into my house.

If you remember, I liked this guy a lot despite his obvious baggage and the awkwardly sexless nature of our interactions. I felt that he wasn’t quite what I was looking for and that I had a lot more going on than him, but still enjoyed spending time together and wanted to give it a try.

A couple days after our third date, I booked tickets to see Sleater Kinney perform at the Hollywood Palladium and, with no angry feminist female friends excited to go with me, I invited him. He said yes, that he loved Carrie Brownstein and was excited to go.
“It’s gonna be like an episode of Portlandia,” he said.
Cacao,” I responded.

Then I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. A mutual friend told me he was out of town at a movie premiere. I texted him “congratulations and have fun” and he sent me a pic of his premiere outfit. I felt something was up when I didn’t hear from him again. A week before the concert I texted to check in.
“Hey, are you still going to the concert with me next week?”

I headed into a meeting and forgot about it. During the meeting, I was midsentence when my phone vibrated and I glanced down at it. I caught the following on my lock screen: “Hey. I know I sort of fell off the map these past few weeks. I appreciate you inviting me but I don’t think I want to go...” My words caught in my throat and I lost my train of thought. I thought it best to wait until after the meeting to read the rest, but having no self-control or patience whatsoever, I couldn’t resist. It continued: “I’m sorry. I’m just not feeling it. I know I expressed to you how I feel this is a weird time for me, and my lack of sex drive. I think I just don’t want to be going on dates, and want time alone to just figure shit out. Hope you understand.”

The coldness of the message unnerved me. It had none of the usual rejection niceties: “It’s not you, it’s me. You’re amazing. I like you a lot but (fill in the blank). You’re too good for me…” etc. I was also frankly surprised to be rejected by this guy who I felt was (I know this sounds douchey) lucky to have my attention in the first place. I wanted to write: “You’re rejecting me? Seriously?” But I didn’t. I wrote: “I understand. Thank you for your honesty.” I did appreciate his honesty. And I actually did understand—after our very first date, in light of his personal crisis and recent breakup, I had told a friend of mine, “He probably shouldn’t be dating anyone right now.” But I was still taken aback by how quickly and cleanly he had cut it off.

And I sort of felt like crying. I thought we had fun together, and that was worth something to me. For whatever reason, I actually liked him more than most of the men I meet. But then I was also grateful, and felt profoundly that I had been let off the hook. I would have let it go on for weeks because I liked him. Even though it was awkward, and I knew I wanted something more, and it clearly wasn’t the right thing for either of us at this moment in time.  

I was also slightly annoyed that he hadn’t told me sooner he didn’t want to go to the concert. Would he have told me at all if I hadn’t asked, or would he have let the day roll around and offered some last minute excuse? I scrambled to fill his spot, and decided to invite my friend the DILF, a 40 going on 25 year old Man Child I had sex with over a year ago. He said yes immediately, although he didn’t know the band. Then, apropos of nothing, he texted:
“I am so angry today. I gotta meditate before shooting this gig.” Immediately, I regretted inviting him. Not knowing what to say, I asked why he was angry.
“I’m just frustrated with everything and blaming myself therefore taking it out on the world today.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I replied lamely, not wanting to hear any more.

Why are all the men I attract carrying so much baggage, and why do they all feel the need to take it out and show it to me without my asking to see it? Why do I feel more like a mother figure to these lost boys than an equal, a partner, a lover? Where is my equal and why can’t I find him? I went on Facebook seeking distraction and soon found myself stalking the Hot Guy I slept with at my Housewarming Party back in October. I found a photo of him lying on the beach next to a girl kissing his sweet bearded face, #staycation. A wave of sadness passed over me. Not because I necessarily want to be with this guy, although I did have a slightly desperate moment of trying and failing to see him again after that night we slept together. And I haven’t seen him since. But I suddenly viscerally felt the reason people feel sorry for single folks, and this is not a feeling I usually relate to. In a way, I also felt relieved. Because I could let it go—that weird distant hope in the back of my mind that I might someday run into this incredibly hot man I slept with once, and we would go on that follow up date. 

“You’re strong, you’re like a sturdy tree, that’s why these guys are attracted to you,” said a wise friend. I guess that’s true, but I also think these men somehow think I’m stronger than I am. They don’t see my vulnerability and therefore feel intimidated or insecure around me. Maybe this is my fault. I know I do present with a lot of confidence and bravado, and maybe I’m looking for a man who has the strength and confidence in himself to help bring out my vulnerable side.

I was chatting to this guy on Tinder, a kinkster looking to get into some dom-sub play. Naturally, he wanted me to dominate him. He said he was into “feet, ass worship, objectification, voyeurism, domestic servitude, to name a few.” When I shared that I was from NorCal, he shot back: “I was just telling my roommate how San Fran women are so masculine. They need men to inspire their feminine side.” At the time I thought this was an incredibly dumb thing for him to say and showed an extreme lack of good sense. What kind of man thinks it’s a good idea to call the woman he wants to sleep with “masculine”? Masculine to me means I have a mustache and big calves. I value people putting thought into how they communicate, and his word choice was so thoughtless it was virtually irredeemable, and a big reason why I never ended up meeting up with him.

Now I think part of my strong reaction might have been that, poor word choice aside, maybe this guy was actually onto something. Maybe I do need a strong man to bring out my feminine side. The best relationships I’ve had with men have been when they could see past my feminist rants and loud mouth opinions and crude jokes into the sensitive and thoughtful person underneath. They have been with men who feel empowered, rather than belittled, by my strength. Despite my know-it-all personality, my ex-boyfriend always knew how to find the softness in me, and he always understood his value in our relationship. Best Guy Friend will debate me all day long—he knows how to find the weak spots in my seemingly ironclad arguments and enjoys poking holes in them. This is the kind of give-and-take I need in a man. I think I often like to be right and I get frustrated when people argue with me, but conversely it’s hard for me to respect anyone who doesn’t have their own strong opinion.

I realized after my second date with Mr. Intimidated that I didn’t know what he thought of the movie we had seen. I didn’t remember him saying one way or another. I asked him about it on our third date, shoveling ramen into my mouth.
"I just realized I don't know what you thought of the movie."
"What?" He looked surprised that I would bring this back up.
 "I don't think you ever said what you thought of It Follows."
"Oh. I loved it," he responded flatly.
"You did? Really?! You didn't tell me that."
"Well, you just seemed so weirded out by it I guess I just didn't know what to say."
I stared at him. Something in me felt disappointed. I couldn't imagine being in a relationship with someone whose opinion they wouldn't share for fear of disagreeing with me. I would eat that person alive. I pictured a future of me monologuing and him nodding vaguely by my side. This image made me shudder. I should have called it right then and there--at that moment, I knew instinctively that this would never work.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Relationships are always complicated but some people make them more so by over analyzing them.

    It may sound like levity or sarcasm, but I am sincere when I say the best relationships are based on great sex and lots of it with a loyal person who genuinely cares about your well being and will stand by you when you're down.

    Go with your gut on matters of love and don't spend too much time trying to understand why it works or why it didn't.

    Warm & sticky regards,

    Reverend Hornibastard

  3. I agree with you. It is so easy to dismiss your instinct when dealing in love relationships. It's always fascinating to me that I so often know from the beginning the reason it won't ultimately work, and yet I choose to live through the experience and still end up surprised by the outcome. If I'm honest, I knew from the get-go how this would end up with this guy, and yet I wanted to let it play out. If I followed my instinct, I probably wouldn't have gone out with him in the first place. But then where would I get my stories?


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