Once upon a time, I got extremely drunk on “New Years Eve”-Eve and went on OK Cupid to browse profiles at 3 AM. I came across what I considered to be one of the better looking guys on the site — a young hapa guy that somehow ended up my feed (although my preferences are for guys 28 to 42 years old). I impulsively decide to message him, even though he’s waaaayyyy too young for me, because: 1. I was having a hard time in my statistics class, 2. He’s currently working on a Master’s Degree in Math, 3. I was inebriated and being a bit ridiculous.
A few days later, he replies. And then I reply. During my winter break from school we end up sending each other ridiculously lengthy OKC messages, having thoughtful and interesting conversations about our attempts at dating, personal hangups, and gentrification, of all topics. He asks me if I’d be interested in hanging out sometime, and even though I had told myself “no new friends” (I have enough friends, I need to find TO DATE), I said I was down.
Fast-forward a few months later: he kinda takes me out on a date (I didn’t know it at the time). Eventually the young guy whom I once regarded as just a friend somehow manages to be someone that’s a little bit more than a friend. It’s fun and it’s a bit complicated. We continue to engage in lengthy email conversations about the things that we’re thinking about: personal life goals, our current challenges, gender issues, and of course — gentrification. I have to admit that I fell in love with his writing: he’s extremely intelligent, thoughtful, witty, and just an overall good writer.
We manage to unintentionally see each other every other week for a couple of months…until I finally ask him one day at dinner:
“So when do you think this is all going to end?”
His reaction was pretty confused and somewhat conflicted. Looking back, I don’t think he’s the kind of guy that’s very in touch with certain emotions, even though he definitely in touch his own psychosis. Every time I try to contact him to talk about what’s going on between us, he never replies. When we see each other, he acts as if nothing was mentioned.
I finally email him so that I could fully explain how I felt about him, and us. I tell him that I thought that we had three options:
1. We could stop what we were doing (it would be hard to go back to being just friends)
2. We could be more serious (potentially — I didn’t even know if that was possible), or…
2. We could keep doing what we were doing — but I was going to try and date other people too. I’m too old to be involved in something that wouldn’t amount to anything.
He never replies. We see each other one last time before we both leave the country for a few weeks during the summer.
I thought I’d never see him again.
Fast-forward four, maybe five weeks later: he’s back from his first trip and he wants to see me. I initially joke that I couldn’t see him, and later reply that I can. He texts back:
“Ouch. I was in a dark place between those two texts.”
We end up seeing each other only two times after that. On the last occasion, I went over to his house and he cooked me dinner. I distinctly remember that morning when I woke up to him, when he extended his arm so that I could roll over and embrace him in bed. That feeling of being close to him is one of my favorite memories.
I called him a two weeks later, shamefully drunk and missing him. I asked him if he was free to hang out that weekend. He tells me that he’s busy because he’s learning to build a shelf with his roommate. He never contacted me again, even after one or two additional attempts on my part.
A part of me is pretty indignant. That part of me wants to tell him to fuck off for not even bothering to communicate how he felt about me, about us…whether it was good, bad, or somewhere in between. For throwing away a friendship (and everything else that we had) that meant something to me…something that ended up lasting for seven months, more or less.
And then part of me – a lot of me – knows that I need to let it go completely. To remember that we both have the right to do whatever we need to do to take care of ourselves. To not over-think the situation like I usually do and just move on. I mean, I’ve already moved on. I’m not sad about it anymore. I take it as just another bump in the road, just another person passing in and out of my life like so many others have done for the past few years.
Yet I still sometimes wonder what happened. If he ended things with me because he knew that we had no future, because he knew that he couldn’t be what I wanted him to be and vice versa. Part of me wonders if he knew that I was dating other people and just didn’t want to deal with that shit. And then there’s a large part of me (and a few friends) that say that he probably just met someone else. Probably some girl that’s young and starting out on life like him, who’s a better fit for him in so many ways.
Or maybe he just never really gave a fuck about me to begin with.
Once in a while I still think about how he’s doing. And if he ever thinks about me from time to time.