Fine, I’ll admit it. I had many a daydream about how I was going to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I was looking forward to a staycation and getting to spend lots of time with the Architect. We’d been dating for a month and a half and I imagined us heading out in the snow to museums, cuddling up on the couch to watch TV shows, going to parties as a couple, and having sleepovers where, for once, we could actually sleep in. So my stomach got that just-belly-flopped-off-the-high-dive feeling when he called on Christmas Eve and said, “Can we talk?”
Noooooooooo!Of course, we’ve all heard those words—some of us, like myself, on freaking repeat for years—and know what they mean. I won’t give you the long, convoluted conversation. Here is what he said, in a nutshell: He feels like we have a strong physical connection (translation: the sex was good?), but didn’t feel like we had the kind of mental connection he needs to want to be with someone long-term. Ouch. So, yes, I got dumped for Christmas. Meanwhile, I had a gift waiting for him in my bag for the next time I saw him.
I was definitely bummed for a day or two. OK, maybe three. Because I thought we had a great physical connection and a great mental connection. Sure, we didn’t always land on the same side of the political spectrum. Sure, we didn’t always like the same bands. Sure, our backgrounds are total opposites. But that’s what keeps things interesting, no? The truth is that I really enjoyed my conversations with him, and really looked forward to spending time with him. I’d gotten past the fear and to a place where I felt calm about our relationship—living in the moment and just enjoying, like you all told me to do. I didn’t think he was a natural choice for a partner for me—but I did think he was a really interesting choice for me. It’s hard to hear that he wasn’t feeling the same.
But now that it’s been a week plus, I feel pretty good. I’m proud of myself for not spiraling on this one, and for not letting it be another tally mark in the column of guys who don’t want to be with me. I didn’t let myself go to the place of thinking, “No one will ever love me.” I just thought, “This guy doesn’t love me.” I didn’t start asking myself, “What’s wrong with me?” Because I think the issue here wasn’t actually about me. I have a feeling the Architect is looking for a romantic comedy, you know? Actually, I found myself thinking about something Wendy once said on the site—that every guy who disappoints you puts you one step closer to finding one who won’t. And I think I am very ready for that.
So, amazingly, I’m ready to get back out there again. And hey, being single did mean that, while at a bar on New Year’s Eve, when a hot sound engineer with tousled hair casually slid his arm around the small of my back while we talked about ridiculous ’90s memories, I was free to look up. And make out with him for the next hour.
In her last column, “Everything Is So Perfect, It’s Absolutely Terrifying,” Dater X wrote about the beginning of her relationship with the Architect.