I got to tell my story about why I don’t go to weddings anymore for The Washington Post this week. But this is the part I had to leave out of course.
The night before the wedding I walked out of, I’d just been in Canada screwing a dreamboat I really liked. Rarely do I see a tinder hookup more than once (or even remember his name and I’m not even kidding), but I’d fallen pretty hard for this Canadian guy, despite only one night together.
I’d met him in LA months before on his vacation. He was an outdoorsy, super sweet feminist guy (his actions showed me, not his boasting). He drove me all over the hills of LA in an old convertible, bought me dinner, spoke French to me, and filled my mind and heart with hours of some of the best conversation I’d ever had. He loved going down on me AND he taught me I’m a squirter! (I’m convinced all women are, ya just gotta relax and have a partner who knows how to hit that magic button). ANYWHO, I was really into this guy, which rarely happens on one night stands (and why I don’t sleep with men in LA unless I get to know them first. I can get DICKMATIZED instantly, but even worse, MINDMATIZED, if he’s smart. Then poof!—bad relationship I can’t get out of. I wait a loooong time to sleep with men I want a future with).
So while I was in Vermont, I drove up to Montreal for a quick visit. We went to lunch, walked all over the city, went to dinner, then made out in his hot tub and watched bad late night TV. At one point in time, he mentioned he’d been saving all his money so he could retire in 5 years (at the age of like 40) and sail the world. “Maybe you could join me and do your writing from my boat.” I’m not one to fall for this “we” future talk, but he didn’t seem like the type to make bullshit statements, so I definitely tucked that thought away into the crevices of my fantasy brain. I should also mention, several times during our first and now second date, I’d thought to myself “I’d marry the shit out of this man if it ever came to that.” I do not have this kind of thought often, you guys. But he was the one talking future plans, not me, so these thoughts started to multiply.
We hooked up that night of course and it was amazing as ever, then I left for the wedding in Vermont the next morning. I texted him after I crossed the border and said I’d totally be down to see him again, even though that seems unlikely and perhaps insane. He ghosted me for three days. And that’s another reason why I was a mess at that wedding.
He finally wrote me back the day after the wedding and said I was one of the smartest, funniest and coolest girls he’d ever met, that he had an amazing time with me (insert lots of other really nice shit here)…. but he was in love with another girl abroad. They were allowed to date others until they could be together, but his heart was with her.
This chick is the one who’s gonna live on that boat, not me.
At first I wrote back that I was disappointed, but I get it. Then I let some time pass and sent his text to my housemates, who’d met him and loved him. They were PISSED. So then I got to thinking about it and realized I was kinda pissed too. So I wrote him back. “Look, I think you’re a good guy. I really do (insert lots of nice shit here). But the next time a girl who seems really into you drives SIX hours round trip to spend a day with you, it might be considerate to mention the fact you’re in love with another woman.” He realized that was a real dick move on his behalf and apologized.
This is why I usually don’t text men first or make grand gestures or chase them anymore. The ones who don’t come after me aren’t available, period. And even if they think I’m the coolest chick ever, they’re not gonna date me. (I hear that cool chick line a lot, but I’m tired of being the cool chick. I want to be loved too, goddamnit. “Cool” chicks are girlfriend material too ya know). The thing is, I’d had a gut feeling there was something stopping him—that I like him more than he liked me, even if it was just ever so slightly—but I ignored it. I don’t do that anymore.
I don’t do that anymore. My gut has never once been wrong about someone. But I’ve ignored my guy on many occasions, the last major time almost got me killed.
So this was how I learned to see pink flags—the “I’m actually not available but I’ll treat you like a girlfriend cuz I don’t know how not to” flags. My life has gotten so much easier since I started paying attention to these. Now that I know how to spot them and I pay close attention to men’s behavior, I don’t get my feelings hurt or get ghosted anymore.
I don’t regret any of it. I learned what I needed, namely not to chase men and that I’m a squirter (seriously, I this is a goddamn miracle). But that’s the frame of mind I was going into that wedding with. And the day after the wedding, I was flying home to move my dad into a memory care home.
But you can’t talk about squirting in the Washington fucking post, so there ya have it, folks. That’s the bigger story.