A Year Of Being Single And The Men I Kinda Almost Dated



I met you some time shortly after my birthday. You were a controlling, self-described nice guy and I blame the 2-month length of our courtship on the fact that I had just entered the strange, lonely limbo that is being 24. You had this desire to possess me, to pull me away from family and friends and keep me locked up in your too-warm apartment that was reasonably clean but still smelled like old socks. I enjoyed the late-night anime marathons, loved to indulge in our shared fondness for junk food, and thought your friends were absolutely delightful. Besides that I never find myself all too longing for our time together.


Within the first five minutes of having met me, you tried to kiss me. Even after I sheepishly shared that I was already a couple beers deep having just left another date, you leaned across the table and attempted to plant your lips on mine. I admonished you for it but happily accepted your second attempt mere hours later. We carried on casually for a few months and it was never anything serious but always a great deal of fun. I liked your roommates and your Great Danes and how damn kind you were and was a little bummed at our drifting apart. But I wanted something solid and you were very recently divorced and most of our dates consisted exclusively of drinking to excess so it would have been a recipe for disaster anyway.


On our first date you were charming and funny and abundant with confidence. If I’d seen you on the street I may not have been attracted to you but the second we sat down together we were talking each other’s ears off and my infatuation was immediate. We both loved craft beer and reading and you would hold hands with me on the few occasions we went out together. You let me borrow your copy of Agatha Christie’s “Murder in the Vicarage” and made me promise not to tell you the ending. “I never read the ending,” you said proudly, which I thought was odd but the way you said it made it sound like it was the only way to read a book. After growing tired of having to fight for your time, I ended it over text message on the suspicion that your interest had almost entirely disappeared.


From our first date at one of our town’s many beer-based establishments, to the very last Sunday we spent eating yellow curry and watching Misfits on your couch, I was smitten. You were so interesting and intelligent and made your own tonic water which my G&T drinking parents told me was probably a sign of fate. We had a lot of conversations about the nature of love and dating and heartbreak and more than one visit found me in tears in your living room while I let my barriers fall. My feelings for you made you pull away but you were too nice to say anything that would end up hurting me. After spending too many nights after our dates sprawled out alone on my cottage floor willing all the butterflies in my stomach to die, I finally just asked you where your interests stood and was then dumped in an incredibly gentle, honest way that I still view as a tribute to your character.


I felt like we were cut from the same cloth, like we’d known each other since our youth, but could never quite put a finger on why. When you asked me to be exclusive, I was over the moon. I was excited for dinner dates and long weekends watching Netflix and staying up all night talking about the sorts of things you only reveal to people you feel truly, deeply connected to. Instead, our routine remained unchanged. Once a week we met for happy hour and the rest of the time I was left to wonder what the whole point was. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t me you were after so much as a relationship and tried to give you an out to say as much. But getting you to talk about what was going on in your heart and head was like pulling teeth and after being exhausted with spending too many Friday nights alone on the couch I decided that what we had was not what I wanted at all.