I made plans with friends from work to go to the Fete de la Musique in Paris on 21 June, a special day for me since it’s also the birthday of a family member.
I hopped in the subway with one of the work friends, who had invited someone to come out with us that I hadn’t met. “Do you like him?” I asked my friend, who had recently gone through a breakup.
“No, not at all, he’s just a friend.”
We started drinking beer on a terrace during the very hot day, and then the friend showed up. He looked to be in his early thirties, and cute, but when he started smoking that killed a bit of the attraction, being that he was North American on top of it, so it’s not quite the same as a European smoking.
We talked a lot about the French real estate market, and how now was the time to buy. “I’ll help you figure it so you can buy something,” he told me. “It’s ok if you spend half your income and stop going out as much, it is a great investment. And you’ll feel differently about traveling so much, home ownership really changes you.”
I made a joke about wanting a rich husband instead, and he said something like, “Well I’m not rich yet but my parents are.” He had also made a pretty penny from selling his house before moving to France.
We talked about France, and when we switched to wine I refused to pour for myself, because French custom is for women to be served. He started serving me.
Next thing I knew, we had gone to a much crazier area where people were packed in dancing like sardines in the gay district. “These guys must be gay if they are not hitting on you,” he said to me, “and I would be really jealous if they did.”
Mere hours later, we were kissing on the Place du Trocadero as the sun came up, and he was telling me how he is ready to have a family (read baby) in the next two years, and how he has had his eye on me in the corridor at work (I never noticed him, but then I kind of have my head in the clouds a bit, wouldn’t you believe it) for months and has been waiting for the opportunity to talk to me. I am his dreamgirl, and he can’t believe his luck. He wants to see me for lunch, take me out for dinner, and puts me in an Uber to go home.
But he is worried that our mutual friend is jealous and doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. “We’ll have to find her someone before coming out,” he says, and he wants to take it slowly, and not do anything physical, because he is really serious and wants to get to know me. Although he does mention- “My apartment is just there, maybe you’ll come live with me iin a few months.”
He texts me around noon “Wow that was amazing”
Radio silence over the weekend- he is meant to be elsewhere in France looking at real estate but in the end he doesn’t go. I get up my courage and ask him how’s he’s doing, an dhe explains he just rested up after the long night on Wednesday/Thursday (he’s not much older than 30 by the way).
We meet up during the week, before he has to go to a house showing and before I’m meant to go to the gym. He explains he wants to take it slow and start as friedns, that he is wary of the fact that we work in the same company in the same building, and and that he just got out of a relationship three months ago with someone he met at work and it was hell once the coworkers found out. The conversation started out cold and then towards the end he could barely stop himself from kissing me despite his imposed just friends rule. He told me about all the times in the past few days he saw me around but restrained himself from saying hi because he wanted to have this talk first, and he told me how pretty my dress was the day before.
I was too late to make my gym class, and messaged him, but he was already gone to look at the house.
Then I invited him to a picnic with my friends later in the week, at the last moment so he wouldn’t feel pressured- he had plans with friends but would go if things didnt work out- as it turns out it was rained out anyway, and then wished him a good weekend to no response.
About a week goes by and no contact is initiated. Is this what he means by taking it slow?
I saw him around the office complex, made a point of saying hello to him when I pass by his desk, and outside the building. I pass him in the convenience store and he waves and smiles but doesn’t take a few minutes to talk.
I’ve had enough, and feel like something is not right. I wonder if my friend, who has actually acted quite jealous and claims we both disrespected her by wanting to date because it will put her in the middle, and the fact that it was spontaneous and he didn’t ask me for a date at another time, and claiming it’s that she feels uncomfortabel because of work though she herself has many of her close friends coming from work and has dated guys from work and parties with her team at festivals, it seems a little disingenous. Needless to say, I am disappointed my friend can’t be happy for my seeming good fortune.
So I message him that I am no longer interested in anything friendly or romantic besides basic politeness, he agrees that he feels the same and thanks me for clearing up. He starts asking me how work is going, I explain (in tears) that I don’t want to talk to him really and he has really disappointed me and hurt my feelings by talking such a big game and not following through, and that I deserve more than to be ghosted essentially. He agrees, apologizes, tells me there’s something I don’t know that he dared not say because it would only disappoint me more, asks if I want to cut ties (I already have, I defriended him on Facebook) but that there’s no need for awkwardness in person. He apologizes, and the conversation just seems to go on and on. I check back a few days later, thinking maybe at the least he could let me know if something opens up in his department, as crazy as that sounds, and I can no longer message him and conclude he must have blocked me.
As for my jealous friend, I am sincerely disappointed because I thought of the person who would come pick me up in the middle of the night if I ever needed it. And I realize that, consciously or subconsciously, she has done just the same as my family in exerting some pressur eto follow her path, of being single and childless and with a big apartment and fancy job, and maybe she’s not so happy with it, and maybe she doesn’t want to end up single alone, or doesn’t want me to find my person first. She is a bit older than me and I”m sure it wouldn’t be the first time a girlfirned’s priorities changed once she found a man. And she skinny shames me for ordering a salad when she wants to get a dessert and threatens to change her order, so I get a hot dog instead.
Conclusion- time to move on….
And if you coldn’t tell in the beginning what was I even thinking of doing with this guy? He’s not like me, and he’s a bit boring and odd. But I thought,a fter 8 months of celibacy and meeting him on the summer solstice, that my ship had finally come in.
Needless to say in my frustration, the celibacy streak was broken since we were just friends and he wasn’t doing anything to make me fall in love with him…