Dater X: Getting Over The “What Ifs”

I’m sure you’re all wondering what happened with the whole Andrew/Marky Mark situation, and I’m going to get to that—I promise. But before I do, I want to thank those of you who left insightful, kind, constructive criticism about my dilemma on last week’s Dater X post. While some opinions were a bit harsh (damn, y’all, I have feelings), I still read all of your advice, followed my heart, and was able to approach the situation having really, really thought about what my actions might mean. Your feedback also forced me to dissect my feelings for Andrew and look at the possible implications of what might happen if I followed through with meeting Marky Mark. You may or may not agree with how things played out, but at the end of the day, the only person I have to answer to is myself.

My budding relationship with Andrew is just that— budding. The two of us haven’t yet established exclusivity, but in my heart, I’m emotionally and physically invested in the idea of “us.” There’s still a lot that I don’t know about Andrew and that he doesn’t know about me, but day-by-day, we’re learning. If I wanted to play fair, I needed to consider the Marky Mark situation with the roles reversed. Maybe then, I’d find some perspective. If Andrew, like me, were given the opportunity to meet someone new, and he was considering doing so, I know that would leave me feeling hurt and wondering what I can’t offer him that someone else can. If he were to actually go through with meeting someone new, and I found out about it, that would be enough for me to reconsider our relationship altogether. So, there was my answer, staring me in the face. There’s nothing that Andrew is lacking that would make me want to date someone else, and I wasn’t about to jeopardize what we have over the possibility that there might be something “better” — because what does that even mean anyway?

The only problem is that I had already agreed to meet Marky Mark (and his roommate) with my friends, and I didn’t want to break my promise to them either. My game plan was to go meet up with the group and maybe make some new friends, all the while making it very clear that I am currently happy and spoken for. I was no longer entertaining my friends’ attempt to set me up and that was that. This way, I’d appease my friends by going, but wouldn’t feel guilty about going behind Andrew’s back.

A few hours before I was supposed to meet up with my friends and the Funky Bunch, I got a text from my pals— the “matchmakers,” if you will— that they’d both stayed home sick from work and didn’t think they’d be able to make it. At first I thought their excuse was a sneaky, conniving way to get me to meet Marky Mark and his roommate alone, but they swore up and down that their “convenient” sickness was not a scheme to send me into the lion’s den solo for a more date-like atmosphere. Uncomfortable with the thought of entertaining two strangers by myself, I agreed to go to the bar and personally deliver the message that we would need to reschedule. (Somehow, my friends had managed to lose Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s phone number, so they couldn’t just call and reschedule themselves.) I would show up, give them the message and leave. I was basically agreeing to be a carrier pigeon.

I got to the bar at exactly 8 p.m. when we all agreed to meet, keeping a close eye out for the guys I saw in my friend’s photos. I grabbed a drink and waited for 10 minutes … 20 minutes … and finally after 30 minutes, I knew these dudes were no-shows. To say that I was livid is an understatement. I angrily texted my girlfriends to tell them about the so-called “gentleman” who stood me up, to which my one friend replied, “Oh no! Maybe they were too drunk to remember?” Our other friend then chimed in, unintentionally adding fuel to the fire: “They might have been waiting for us to confirm, but I lost his phone number. I assumed they would just show up. They definitely wouldn’t stand you up. We shook on it.”

I immediately called them out for sending me alone to a bar, knowing damn well that there was a possibility Marky Mark and his friend were too tipsy to remember the rendezvous, especially since I was uncomfortable with going in the first place. I then received several texts in a row apologizing for the “mix-up,” saying things like “I guess we won’t try anymore,” and “it was no one’s fault.” But the problem didn’t lie in the fact that these bros bailed—that was actually a bonus, despite wasting my time. It was very evident that my friends thought they were doing me a favor by trying to hook me up with Marky Mark, even though I’m already happily seeing Andrew. As I’ve mentioned before, Andrew is the opposite of my usual “type,” and my friends’ insistence that I needed to meet Marky Mark told me one of two things: either they disapprove of Andrew and think I can do “better,” or they simply think this other guy is a better match for me.

I’m well aware that this scenario kind of makes my friends look like pushy jerks, I can assure you that they’re wonderful women who have always had my best interests in mind. So when I asked them honestly if this whole fix-up had anything to do with them not liking Andrew, they both vowed that, despite only meeting him once, they like Andrew and have “absolutely nothing against him.” They proceeded to tell me that they don’t want me to get hurt by putting all of my eggs in one basket (as I’ve done in the past with GQ and Officer Handsoming), and that this guy just seemed like a great catch, so they thought they’d introduce us to see if there was a spark.

In the midst of our back-and-forth texting, my phone started ringing. It was Andrew, who had also stayed home from work sick that day. (Something is clearly going around.) It was like the universe was sending me a message. I picked up as I was walking out of the bar.

“Hey pretty lady,” he said, sounding hoarse and congested. “I’m lying here feeling crappy, but was thinking of you, so I figured I’d call and say hi.”

“I’ve been thinking about you, too,” I said, as I walked home alone. And in that moment, my frustration melted away and I felt what I wanted to feel all along: comfort, happiness and butterflies.

I’m still not sure why my friends were so adamant that I meet Marky Mark, but dwelling on it isn’t going to do me any good. Instead, I want Andrew’s actions to speak for themselves. I’ll bring him around more and let my friends see for themselves what it is I like about him. I was cautious about sharing the details of our relationship in the beginning, fearful that I might let my friends’ opinions sway my own, but maybe if they see firsthand how happy I am, they’ll realize that Andrew’s pretty freakin’ great … and that we’re pretty freakin’ great together.

And if not? Oh well.