I think the key to getting a man interested in you is to NOT be interested in him.
But Julia..you wonder…what happens if at first I’m not interested and then he’s interested and then I’m all..well now I’m sort of interested, but I can’t tell if he’s interested anymore and now I’m really interested because he’s not as interested, so should I pretend to not be interested and then what if he was interested but now thinks that I’m not interested? What then?
Yea..haven’t quite figured that part out yet. I’m a English teacher, not a fortune teller. You’ll see that below.
After my impromptu date with Kyle, I think it would be fair to say that I was interested, but not sure of the extent of my interest. I am (usually) a very positive person. At one point in the evening we had gotten into a discussion about what it was…at the very core of it.. that people wanted most. I looked at him across that table and gave him a sad little smile. “Don’t you know?” I asked. “It’s love. At the end of the day, when the high-powered businessman comes home to his penthouse apartment, when the art teacher drops her keys in the little dish by the front door and the boy is tucked into his bed at night…That thing they all want most is just to be loved. To have someone meet them at the front door, someone to give them a kiss, ask about their day, care that they came home. Some people could say that money, or power is what drives most..but what do we hope to gain by attaining these things? Acceptance? Comfort? Aren’t those all limbs that stretch back to the same tree? A solid base that thrusts roots into the ground and holds. That, is love.” Kyle looked at me, this man who saw the world as a glass that had already spilled out it’s contents before he could reach for it, and he smiled. “Who are you?” I looked down at the table and felt my face getting hot. Sometimes I can be so embarassing. “No, I don’t mean it in a bad way.” He explained. “I’ve just never met anyone who felt so much before. I don’t care about anything most of the time. In my experience, it just leads to disappointment. You’re so positive..almost too positive.” The word “positive” came out of his mouth with a look as if he had tasted something sour.
We shouldn’t have worked, him and I. I left that dinner thinking, “Well, that was nice.” But, after that text that night, I began to wonder..what if opposites really do attract? I left him alone and sure enough, three days later, I got another text asking what my dinner plans were that Thursday. And so it went. Every couple of days, I would get a text and later, a knock at my front door. He brought me dinner every couple of days, took me to a movie (where I gradually got him used to the idea of holding my hand. I started by touching his arm to make a point about something in the movie, then left it longer and took it off again..then I touched his hand casually..let it lay there for a few seconds and then took it off. I was warming him up to the idea just like my mom always used the steps in the shallow area to ease herself into the pool, getting herself used to the water temperature. About 30 minutes into Django Unchained, his hand was tangled warmly into mine and there it stayed until the credits rolled.) One weekend, he told me not to make plans for Sunday night. He was going to take me to do something but it was going to be a surprise. We went to the circus…my second time seeing it that day, but I didn’t even care. And even though I know it pained him to do it, he held my hand the entire time. We went to his favorite Mexican restaurant one night, where, even though it had already closed, the sweet owner and his wife opened the doors just for us. It felt like a scene from a movie and while we talked I sat there thinking “why me?” He had already told me about the type of girls he liked to date. He had even been married once before. They were NOTHING like me. Everything from personality to body type. He was able to read my thoughts so well that he even stopped mid-sentence. “What are you thinking?” He asked. I smiled and shook my head. No way I was going to tell him. He gave me a look I couldn’t decipher. “I can tell. You’re sitting there thinking ‘why you’ and I honestly, I have no idea. You aren’t my type.”
(Did I happen to mention that Kyle was almost brutally honest sometimes? He wasn’t a holding back kind of guy, at least with his words..his emotions, well..we will get to that in a minute)
I knew better than to be offended and instead laughed at him. “Yeah. It isn’t too hard to read me. I was trying to figure it out. Why are you sitting here with me tonight? Why are you spending time with me if I am not what you are looking for?”
“I don’t know.” He answered honestly. “But I can’t seem to stay away.”
At this point in our story, I’m sure you are there on your couch cheering. Or at least my mom is. Kyle made me laugh..he made me think..challeged me…made me want to prove him wrong about the world..about people. There was only one problem. Kyle was leaving in 6 months to be stationed in Norfolk, VA. Kyle also couldn’t seem to figure out what he wanted. I already knew about the whole “touching” thing, but his boundary lines seemed to shift constantly. I was always worried about what he was confortable with and not comfortable with. The first time we kissed, I felt like I was kissing him and he was just along for the ride. As you might guess, it is a very frustrating place to be when you have feelings for someone who has a phobia of showing emotion or affection.. especially when I was still feeling the sting of rejection from past relationships. He started throwing in little comments about how I should “try not to get too attached” because he was going to be leaving. Go figure. As soon as I became interested, Kyle started the slow slide toward the nearest exit. When it came down to it, Kyle didn’t know what he wanted and was just like the countless other men I had been in contact with over the last 7 months. He wasn’t ready for a relationship and honestly, I wasn’t sure he would ever be. After one confusing night of talking at my house, he left and I knew that was the last time I was going to see him. I tried texting him a few days later and no response. A week later, I realized he still had a travel coffee mug of mine that I’ve had since college. I didn’t have anything else to take my coffee to work in, so I sent him a text.
Me: Hey, could you drop off my mug on the front porch at some point? I will be gone all weekend so you can do it then if you want. Thanks.
To my surprise, he responded.
Kyle: I’m not going to just drop it off on the porch. You deserve more respect than that. I’d like to come by and bring it to you and explain some things. I’m sorry I didn’t respond before, I just needed to take a step back and figure things out. I do want to see you.
We planned on him coming over on Sunday and like a complete idiot, I waited around all day for him. He never showed. Never called or sent a text. The next morning, he sent a text saying that he was sorry and he had gone out with friends that Saturday night (even though he told me the night before he didn’t feel like drinking anymore and just wanted to have a quiet weekend) and had been sick all Sunday. I’m sorry. Were his fingers broken too so that he couldn’t have sent a “sorry..sick..raincheck?” text? I’ve learned my lesson about second chances. This was my response:
Me: You can keep the mug and the explanations. I’m good.
Sometimes, no matter how much you want them to go together..oil and water just can’t mix. They are however, two of the crucial ingredients in brownies. While I don’t think Kyle was a bad guy or meant to hurt me, he turned out to be just another act at the circus..a man who used smoke and mirrors to dazzle me, but when the smoke cleared..so did he.