Last May, I met a boy, which we’ll call V. He was from NY, visiting Montreal with some mutual friends. He was attractive, witty and attracted – close to perfect, really. Unfortunately for V, the night I met him was a mere few hours after the biggest trainwreck of my dating career, so I was very wary of anything with a penis. I acknowledged the attraction and promptly ignored it, apart from adding him on Facebook. 2 weeks later, I vacationed in NYC, and I flirted with the idea of meeting up with him. However, I was still recovering from the fall-out of Trainwreck, and V’s enthusiastic interest in me was tangible and made me nervous, so I bailed on him every single night. #dontjudgeme
The following months were uneventful. V and I would exchange the occasional flirty Fbk message and a few compliments.
If you have an itch, don’t scratch it
2 months ago, I was in a mood. V happened to text me flirtily. That is all it took for me to have a serious lapse in judgment: I embarked in a torrid 2 day sexting fest with V. No, no, I did not send any nudie pics/videos – I am not stupid (anymore). But we most definitely gave each other a graphic laundry list of the various things we would like to do to each other should we ever be in the same room. It was fun, slightly ridiculous (as all quality sexting should be!) and lighthearted, or so I thought. He was in NY, and I was in Montreal. With a 6 hour buffer between us, clearly this exchange was to remain in the realm of wishful thinking, right? Wrong.
I didn’t get too worried when he started discussing the possibility of driving up to Montreal with friends in July for the Montreal Jazz Festival. Afterall, the Jazz Fest is Montreal’s biggest tourist attraction, and my favorite time of the year. Completely reasonable that he’d want to experience it, and reasonable that his friends would want to as well. I figured that his presence in Montreal might lead to a hookup, but maybe not – why not wait and see?
I got anxious when his rate of texting increased: good-morning texts, mid-morning “how are you” texts, afternoon “just checking to see how your day is going” texts, and good night texts. I tried subtle hints (“I am working, can’t text”) and the not-so-subtle hints (not answering for hours, and then just responding with a smiley face). I got seriously anxious when V suggested that waiting till July to see each other was too long, why not go on a weekend getaway to Albany? I seemed to have skipped over the fun flirty stage, and found myself in the long-distance relationship phase! I explained to him that I have anxiety and major commitment issues (slight exaggeration), and that while I was comfortable with the idea of hanging out with him if he happened to be in my city on holiday with friends during a major tourist season, ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HOWEVER MUCH I HAD SEXTED HIM I WAS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO HOOKUP OR EVEN KISS HIM, I was not at all comfortable with dedicating an entire weekend to him in a city I had zero inclination to visit. Yes, I wrote all of that, explicitly – it was a bit too brutally assertive for my tastes, but I wanted to be fair and give him all the information required to not faceplant.
The part where nothing I said made an impact
V promised me he had zero expectations. I relaxed. I stopped relaxing when he asked me if there were any books he should read so that we could have something to discuss when he visited in July. When I unhelpfully told him that there were no doubt aplenty of books to be read, he explained he wanted to know my top 5 books.
That triggered a small meltdown.
He asked for my input when selecting the AirBnB apartment for his Montreal stay, to help chose the best location. Reasonable. Except it stopped being reasonable when he also asked for my feedback on which interior décor most suited my tastes. In desperation, I reminded him that I didn’t care about interior décor as it was highly unlikely that I would ever see the inside of his apartment. To be sure there could be no misunderstandings, I reminded him that I would be working during the weekdays that he was planning to be in Montreal, and that I have commitments on the weekend, so that really, there would be little opportunity to see each other. To which he responded, “But I was hoping for a Vanilla saturation.”
I HAVE BEEN SPENDING TWO MONTHS TELLING YOU TO STOP HAVING THAT HOPE. DON’T HAVE HOPE. IT IS HOPELESS.
I didn’t write that. Instead, I reminded him once again that I had in no way committed to anything, least of all a hookup, and that I was prone to anxiety and excelled at the disappearing act.
The Jazz Fest
V came to Montreal, as planned, last week. He asked me to please go on a date with him – one with no assumptions. Feeling trapped, since he had made it abundantly clear for over 2 months that this trip was to see me, and not to be on vacation in a beautiful city with friends, I agreed to spend Saturday evening touring the city with him. He tried to see me on Thursday, even offering to drive to my side of town, but I told him “not to bother, I want an early night, big day at work tomorrow.” Sledge-hammer techniques. Vaguely, I wondered if the only reason he wanted to see me for the date was to murder me and cut me into little pieces as payback for the months of awful, humiliating set-downs I’d been giving him. I made sure to tell Nene and my roommate my plans for the evening, and gave both of them a deadline to call the cops if they hadn’t heard back from me by a certain time. Funny? No. Morbid. But that is what 2 months of being not listened to will do to a gal.
The date itself was awkward and ok at the same time. Part of me felt slightly bad, because it was almost romantic: dinner at my favorite wine bar, walk to the Old Port to watch the International Fireworks competition, outdoor concert at the Jazz Fest with a perfect balmy starry night sky… I figured, when planning my night, that I shouldn’t miss out on the glories of the city, just because I was faced with an awkward date!
Poor V. I can see how that date confused him. Although I refrained from being flirty, I couldn’t help but enjoy parts of the conversation, and relax (wine and romantic outdoor concerts will do that to me). He must have felt my signals were mixed. And perhaps they were – had his expectations not been so palpable, I would have been inclined to hookup with him, since he was a fun dude. But that is the thing: I could feel his expectations, and that made me very resentful. Because of that, he got two kisses on the cheek (à la française), and nothing else.
My boxers’ feedback
I told this saga to Coach and Nene, and their feedback was very simple: I blew it the second I sexted V. There was nothing I could say from that point on that would ever get through to him: it would just be interpreted as playing hard to get. As for my skepticism that a guy would really drive 6 hours just for a potential hookup, neither Nene nor Coach saw anything odd about that. (I think that’s insane!!!!) Coach told me that if I wanted to avoid these situations, I shouldn’t be a tease. Valid point. He also said my sledge-hammer techniques were too cute: the only way I could have avoided this two-month long anxious saga was to have completely cut ties with V and ignored all his messages and texts.
Y’all, I think that’s nuts. I can’t, for the life of me, believe that both Coach and Nene honestly feel that it is normal for a guy to repeatedly ignore blatant, explicit, direct statements from me stating that I am not interested in a hookup. And yet, clearly, V did that. I also can’t believe that the only options I had, after making the initial mistake of sexting V, was to either hookup with him or ignore him. Why is no one proposing a 3rd option, that V LISTEN TO WHAT I WAS SAYING AND BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAID IT?!
Coach made an analogy. A guy and a girl drunkenly hookup, and the next day the guy tries to explain to the girl that it was a mistake, they should just be friends, and the girl refuses to accept it, causing drama – Coach says that I did the Vanilla version of that.