Dater X: An Ex Returns To Stir The Pot
Update: Baby Face and I are moving full steam ahead, getting together as often as possible and still having amazing sex (with only a brief hiatus during Aunt Flo’s visit), which is why it’s so typical that one of my exes resurfaced— looking all handsome like he popped right out of a J.Crew catalogue— and tried his absolute damnedest to lure me back in. And he almost — almost — had me.
I knew I would see Tim* at a friend’s wedding this weekend, but was hoping to avoid actual conversation, especially since I’d RSVP’ed without a plus one. Three years ago, Tim and I were introduced by the bride and groom. Upon meeting, we had a fun, happy relationship for just over two months until things fizzled out and dissolved completely. When our communication began to falter, I was so nervous to confront him that when it ceased entirely, I just accepted the fact he didn’t want to be with me anymore, without understanding why. A few weeks before the wedding, the groom told me that Tim had been asking about me, which actually felt a little bit victorious considering how things ended. Still, I wasn’t exactly eager to see him.
That night, we made it through the whole ceremony and reception without saying a word to each other, though I caught him sneaking quite a few glances my way throughout the evening. He wasn’t my only admirer, though. Before we all hopped on the hotel shuttle to the wedding, one of the bride’s longtime friends took a liking to me and proceeded to remain attached to my hip the entire night: he sat next to me in the church and at dinner, and escorted me around the reception, so I wasn’t at all surprised when the bride told me Tim assumed I was taken. Minutes after she informed him that I was attending alone, Tim was by my side greeting me with a hug and kiss on the cheek.
“You look even more stunning than I remember,” he said. It was clearly a line, but one I didn’t mind receiving. “As soon as I saw you walk into the church, I wanted to talk to you, but assumed you were with that guy and didn’t want to impose.” I told him that my shadow and I had only met hours prior, and that it was good to see him. Before I knew it, we were at the bar area, reminiscing away from the crowd.
“It’s really great to see you,” he said. “I’m glad we have the chance to catch up. You look fucking amazing. You must have known you’d have that reaction on me in that dress.” I did (sucker). And for the next 30 minutes, time flew by as we caught up. When I started to get cold, he took his suit jacket off and wrapped it around my shoulders, just like he used to do when we were together.
“It’s almost as if nothing has changed,” I said sarcastically, hoping he’d catch my begrudging tone. “I have to ask … why did you things between us without giving me an explanation?”
He inhaled and sighed. “Honestly, I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I had just broken up with someone before I met you, and then I met you and really liked you— we had a blast together— but I felt pressure to make things work even though I wasn’t ready. I know not giving you an explanation was a dick move, and I truly am sorry. It was my messed up way of easing out of things. Are you seeing anybody now?”
“I’ve been seeing someone for about a month who I really like, but we’re still feeling things out,” I said, knowing damn well where this conversation was going by the way he was looking at me. “I don’t have a boyfriend, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Well, if you’re willing, I’d love to take you out again and start over with a fresh slate. We had so much fun together and I was stupid to let that go. What do you say? Let me take you to dinner.”
Despite all of my instincts telling me that rekindling this flame would be a bad idea, I felt myself blurting out “Sure, we can do that.” The wedding had been over for at least 30 minutes by the time we finished talking, so he called for a car to pick us up and bring us back to our respective hotels. The whole ride back I felt both guilty for agreeing to go out with him, and glad that he fessed up to being a jerk. Just before I got out of the car, I thanked him for the ride, and he leaned in to kiss me. “Nice try” I said, and turned to give him my cheek. Things have been going so well with Baby Face; our relationship feels natural, comfortable and exciting, and in that moment I knew I would have regretted kissing Tim. But then, I stepped out of the car and heard my mom’s voice in my head telling me to “keep my options open.” I was second guessing myself, completely confused.
The next morning, I woke up to several texts from Tim asking when I was free for dinner and telling me how great it was to see me. I thought about the remainder of my weekend, which I was about to spend with Baby Face, and knew I needed to trust my gut: I don’t want to see anyone else, and shouldn’t jeopardize a good thing for someone who’s already blown their chance with me.
I texted him back: “I’ve been thinking, and I don’t think dinner is a good idea. I’m going with my gut on this one, and want to pursue things with the guy I’m seeing. Thank you for the offer though. It was great catching up.”
He told me he was disappointed, but that he understood, and to please call him should things not work out. That day, when Baby Face asked me if I ended up seeing “that guy I used to date” at the wedding, I said yes.
“And … what did he have to say for himself?” he asked, obviously curious as to whether or not we spoke in depth.
“Not much,” I said. “We just made small talk.” Then he grabbed my hand and we headed into the bedroom…