Awhile back, I had a first date with a man in a quiet restaurant of my choice… we chatted, had great food and a bit of wine. He was retiring in a couple of months and moving to his house in the town where I live.
He told me that he had been married once for 20 years and that she left him for another man, and he didn’t understand why. That she didn’t communicate well, and didn’t tell him that she was unhappy, and to him communication is everything. He had been focusing on his career and ‘planning’ their financial security. And in the divorce, she got a hefty amount of money. He seemed bitter about the money and that she married the man with whom she was having the affair.
After that, he dated lots, had many sexual encounters that meant nothing. He stated that he left many dead bodies in his wake, but that was in those days. (I pondered, he’s not all that attractive, so umm, why were ‘all’ these women ‘sleeping’ with him? I’d think it’d be more like he was the dead body left in their wake.) Then more recently, he had a four year relationship, that ended months ago. She, too, had another man. She lived in his house in one town, while he lived in another for his business. I asked why he hadn’t married her. He claimed, “I suspected that she was after me for my money and didn’t really love me.”
He said that ‘continuity’ and ‘communication’ were the issues in both relationships and it was because of his work. I asked why this last woman didn’t move to where he lived and he said she had kids, was working, and in her business she worked primarily on the weekends.
As we talked, I noticed that his eyes became glassy. He had a drink, while he was waiting for me, and as I stated, we had wine with dinner. He had played golf that day and in my experience with golfers (was married to two and dated many), I knew that with some, the 19th hole is often too much a part of the game.
I pretty much enjoyed talking with him. He was attentive, complimentary, liked my looks, my dark hair, and said that when I walked in his heart skipped a beat. He stated that he likes my take charge attitude, intelligence, obvious strength, and the fact, that I know what I want and what I like. He told me that he was tired of dating and would like to see if we can make a go of it.
At times, during dessert, he would hold my hand and it felt ‘kind of nice’, but also a bit ‘strange’. When a person touches me, I usually know instantly, if I am attracted or not, but I didn’t know, or felt pretty much nothing with this man…
He went onto explain that he had plenty of money and wanted to travel and enjoy life. That sounded good, in that, I am done with men who have so much baggage, ex-wives, children with issues, etc, that they can’t focus on me, our relationship, and just have fun…
To which I nodded, “Okay fine, let’s get to know one another.” He walked me to my car and as a matter of conversation, I asked what kind of car he drives. His reply, “I have a fleet.”
Umm.. I thought pretentious and braggadocios…
We hugged good night with plans to get together two weeks from then, on a Saturday night.
For a man that expressed such interest in me, I ‘think’ he called me ‘once or twice’ and emailed a couple of times and texted. (I can’t stand texting with someone I barely know. I think texting is impersonal) So, in an email, I expressed that I prefer talking on the phone.(Sure this is an age of technology, but texting and emailing are lazy communication to ask someone out, cancel, or even to announce you’re going to be late. Anyone who is reliant on texts, or emails to keep in touch is a red flag as someone who might be lazy in relationships as well as in the bedroom.)
But I rationalized, he’s retiring, tieing up loose ends… so whatever…
I went out of town and he did communicate by email and phone.
Our next date, I picked a Mexican restaurant. He picked me up in an ‘upscale’ sports car, Maserati or Ferrari, I don’t recall which. He informed me that he wasn’t going through a ‘mid-life’ crisis (reference to the car, I’m guessing), that he had done that years ago, and he only drove ‘this car’ on occasion. I like cars and have dated guys with the best of the best. A car is not relevant to whether I connect with someone. The character of and connection with the man is what matters.
On the drive to the restaurant, he didn’t talk. I tried to make small talk, but he didn’t respond. When he asked, if he should turn, and I responded that I wasn’t sure. When he realized that it was the way. He snipped. “You should’ve said, yes turn.” To which I replied. “But, I wasn’t sure.” while I thought, what a grumpy jerk. Were I not hungry and were we not in front of the restaurant, I would’ve said. ‘How about take me home, Bucko?’
At the restaurant, we sat off to the side. I suggested the table, since the restaurant was loud and we agreed that we liked it quieter. As I was trying to communicate, I realized he wasn’t looking me in the face. He was detached and distracted.
We would connect for a moment then it would swing back to his being aloof. So, I enjoyed the food, thinking, well, he must’ve met someone else, or isn’t that interested, and so what…because I am not having much fun and after he snapped at me in the car… well…
Walking out of the restaurant, he took my hand as we walked to the car.. ummm…
In the car, I asked, if he had ever been in love (knowing this is a self-absorbed man. Then I thought that he might have a lot on his mind ‘retiring’, and he had also informed me that he was remodeling his house.)
He got a strange, abstract look on his face and hemmed, hawed and didn’t answer.
I prodded. “This is not a difficult question. Don’t you know if you have ever been in love? I could answer this question immediately.”
Again, no eye contact, as he told me that he needed to focus on driving. Chuckling, that this was his ADD and he could only do one thing at a time. That he didn’t drive this car often and needed to be careful and focus. So, on our second date, he is more concerned with some car than talking to and getting to know me. I felt so cared for (sarcasm). Was he trying to impress me with the car, or why even drive it?
He can’t talk and drive? ADD? Um really? Many use this overused term humorously, when they can’t be emotionally available, or communicate. It seems the whole world is ADD or ADHD. He ‘appears’ a successful man, therefore, he can control himself enough to function in business.
Before the movie started, I attempted conversation as he wolfed down popcorn. He barely responded and again didn’t look me in the eyes when he did. From his energy, I felt stress. I felt alone on this ‘date’ … ‘to get to know one another’. Ummm… is this how, perhaps, all the women in his life felt? Because on the second date, I am pondering, ‘affair’. I need another man…HAHAHAHA!… I have never had an affair in my life and never would… but being with man was like being alone…
Movie over, we ran to the car holding hands as it was windy and cold. I suggested going to a wine bar that I like (thinking it might be relaxing, as I was feeling strange and was not enjoying the evening thus far. So, I was giving an effort to have some fun.)
His response. “I’m tired.”
At my house. I exited the car fast, ran up to my front door and opened it. I was done with this guy and glad to be home.
But he stepped in the door and told me that he would like to talk with me. I felt like I was being called into the principle’s office, but was polite and invited him in.
He emotionally threw up concerning a recent dating experience with a woman who apparently liked him, but he didn’t like her. He went on and on about the details of it. That he broke up with her and she cried and cried. I asked him what he did to encourage her and he said nothing. He didn’t know why she reacted the way that she did. Except, that her husband had died and he didn’t want to be some rebound guy. But that she had asked him if he had ever been loved.
So, when I asked him, if he had ever been in love, this is why he didn’t answer in the car because it triggered what she had asked.
I could tell that this man has issues and that relationships with women are not his best suit even though he considers himself such a ‘good communicator’. And he never knows ‘why’ the women leave him, or react like they do.
I inquired. “So, have you ever loved, or been loved?”
With a pouty child-like expression, “Not unconditionally.”
My response, “Only parents love you unconditionally.”
Angrily, “Well, mine didn’t”.
I brought up his detachment behavior in the restaurant and he told me that it was the noise that distracted him. That our first date was perfect, but this restaurant that I had chosen was loud. (As if his behavior was my fault.)
He apologized and revealed that his retirement was weighing on him. He had lots of loose ends to tie up.
I stated. “Anyone can have a bad day, so let’s chalk it up to that.” I was so ready to have this man leave.
We ended the evening and planned to see each other in a couple of weeks when he moved back.He kissed me lightly, barely touching. (while I pondered, if I even wanted to go out with him again.) As I felt exhausted after the evening.
We communicated by email, and, maybe, one phone call. I again told him that the detachment dinner was worrisome and his sharing all that he did concerning some woman tedious. He over-explained, apologized and stated that he was just trying to explain his ‘distracted’ behavior. Communication on the phone was better than in person. Although, he said that he liked to talk in person rather than on the phone.
In about a week, he emailed that he would be in town and would like to take me to brunch and for a drive around the lake.
I was insulted being asked out by email. As the day went on… I thought whatever…I don’t have plans and it might be interesting to check him out again. So, I emailed back, sure, and suggested that he call me when he was on his way to town.
No call. The next morning, the morning that we were ‘supposed’ to have brunch… I got a TEXT! Stating that he was ill with food poisoning, or something, and that he was very sorry, but would need to cancel and that he would try to call me later…TRY?!
The next day, he passed through my mind, so, I gave him a call to see if he was feeling better.
He sounded ill, but was dealing with repair people at his house. I offered to bring him food, or whatever. He thanked me and declined, but stated it was lonely being sick and all alone. He said he was leaving town the next day to go back to work and was looking forward to seeing me again when he was back for good, so that we could have ‘continuity’ in our relationship.
I pondered… umm… doesn’t call me, but has repair people at his house. He’s obviously ill, I could tell by his voice… but whatever… I don’t even know the man…
Share your thoughts thus far….
And stay tuned… more to come…