What started out as a polite attempt to pick a fight ended with me developing a real interest in someone. I’ve been apathetic about this guy since before our second date, but now? Now I’m interested.
Last night I was in a fucking cranky mood. I wanted to fight with a friend of mine, but since I would like to remain friends with him, I decided wait until I no longer have PMS to email him. Instead I picked a fight with a guy that keeps talking about a date, but never follows through.
When I say he never follows through, I mean we met on CollarSpace and went on our first two dates 18 months ago. A year and a half. I liked him, but I didn’t feel much of a connection. However, every six months or so he gets in touch and while I’m always interested enough to talk to him, we’ve never made it on that third date.
This time he sent me an email and I didn’t respond right away. Why would I? It’s not like we would actually see each other. Then he sent me a message on CollarSpace. Two messages in two days was unusual, so I got back to him.
We went through our usual routine of trying to work out the logistics of a date. We had tentative plans for Tuesday, so I sent him a text Monday night. Tuesday afternoon he replies, telling me he went on a last minute camping trip (completely in-character) but he’ll have more free time soon. I tell him it’s not a problem and ask him to get in touch with me when he has some free time.
Last night I realized that he still hadn’t texted me and that I wouldn’t hear from him for another six months if I didn’t do something. Like I said, I was pissy, but I tried not to be a complete asshole. I pointed out his complete lack of follow-through and asked why we kept almost going out.
Given that half the reason I texted him was to blow off steam by arguing with someone I don’t really care about, his response blew me away. Before we talked last night, I assumed we’d never see each other again and I was fine with it. Now? I’m pursuing him.
1. He provided an explanation for his actions.
Not only are spontaneous camping trips a part of his life, but his work schedule is all over the place. He usually works nights, except those two days a week he works days, etc. He doesn’t want to rudely call or text too late, but late night nights are when he has free time.
Everything he said made sense and was consistent with what I already know about him. He wasn’t lying and he wasn’t making excuses. He gave me a real explanation so I could understand the situation and make my own choices.
2. He cared that I was upset.
As soon as I made it clear that I wasn’t happy, he took steps to make me feel better. Few things end my relationships faster than someone who can see that I am upset, but just doesn’t give a fuck about my feelings.
Last night I was more irritated than upset, but he still made an effort to ameliorate the situation. Seeing that he was willing to take some responsibility for his actions and their effect on me built a little trust: since he cares about my feelings, I can trust him not to intentionally hurt me.
3. He made it clear that he is genuinely interested in me.
This helped a lot. Sure, the bi-yearly emails indicate an interest, but the fact that we never see each other sends something of a message. Knowing that he’s interested in me eliminates some of the risk of pursuing that date.
Now that I feel confident that he’s interested in me rather than just bored or lonely, I’m more willing to make an effort to make this happen. No one wants to waste time on someone both flaky and barely interested, but someone who likes me is completely different. It’s now more of a risk to ignore him and miss something good than it is to pursue him and get rejected or waste my time.
4. He offered suggestions to solve the problem.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that laziness irritates the fuck out of me, but at no point in our conversation was he lazy or passive. He took responsibility for his part in the situation and he actively tried to find a way to work things out.
He he didn’t expect me to do all the work of problem solving, nor did he expect me to just suck it up and deal with a situation that I didn’t like. He acted like treating me well was worth the effort.
After all of this I see him as worth my time and effort so I’m going to go into the date with the goal of treating him well rather than protecting myself. A little effort on his part turned the entire situation around.