Escape Plan   Leave a comment

Here’s some advice for you singles: always have an escape plan.

Nothing you haven’t heard before, right?  Well you might think a middle-aged gal would have figured it out (or read it on the internet somewhere) but nnnooooo.  I did know about the phone call thing – where you have a friend call you 20 minutes or a half hour into your date, and you have a pre-arranged signal for “Yes, it is going ok” to “No I hate this please get me out of here”.

What I didn’t realize was that I needed to have an escape plan even after dating the same person a few times.  An example:  I met a man online and we connected via email and then phone.  We agreed to a date.  The date went fine – pizza and a movie.  He wasn’t terrific, he wasn’t terrible, he wasn’t handsome, but he wasn’t bad looking.  I was interested enough to get to know him better.  Apparently he felt the same way since he asked me out the next week.  Again, we had a pretty good time, got to know each other, and he was good company.  He wasn’t making my heart go pitter patter, but again I was interested enough to keep dating him.  We communicated during the week, and we had a third date that I thought also went well.

Up to this point he had not attempted to hold my hand, put his arm around me, or kiss me.  Which was ok – I didn’t mind that he was a gentleman and wasn’t pushy.  At the end of the third date as we talked next to my car before saying goodbye I stood a little bit closer to him than usual.  I was letting him know if he wanted to give me a kiss goodnight I wouldn’t object.  After 5-7 minutes of casual talk it was plain he wasn’t going to so I said goodnight, thanked him for the evening, got into my car and went home.

I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t upset.  I was happy to let the relationship proceed at a slow pace.  4-5 days later he contacted me and said he needed to talk to me about something important.  He didn’t want to do it on the phone – he said it was better said in person.  So we talked about possibly getting together, but after a week of hearing nothing further I was getting concerned, but also ticked off.  I mean, when I guy says that to you two things come into a lady’s mind: either he’s going to want a serious relationship, or he wants to break up.

I had a feeling that he was going to break up with me.  We finally arranged to meet at a pizza place, and he arrived late.  We ordered and as soon as the waitress left he told me what a great person I was and how enjoyable it was to spend time with me, and then he said, “But that’s IT!” and to emphasize the last word he held out his two hands in front of him, bowed his head slightly, then with both palms facing the table, he pulled them apart quickly while saying “IT”.

Nice, huh?  So there I was – sitting across from someone who just told me what a great person I was but that he wasn’t attracted to me and didn’t want to date anymore.  We had just ordered.  NOW WHAT?

My mistake was not having an escape plan.  I was 80% sure going into the lunch that he was going to break up with me.  Why didn’t I have an escape strategy?  UG!  I should have just said goodbye then and left, but darn it I was hungry and wanted the pizza we had just ordered.  So instead I stayed in my seat, had pizza, and then endured an awkward time when we both wanted to leave but didn’t know how to wrap it up and say goodbye.

It was a few years ago, but it still stings how he told me and showed me that he wasn’t attracted to me.  I wish he would have done it over an email, or over the phone.  It would have been far less hurtful.  I did learn my lesson, though:  Always Have An Escape Plan!

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Posted May 25, 2013 by Maureen in Being Single, Musings

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