I am no longer interested in dating.

And I’m going to tell you why.

Online dating. Never been the best way to meet people and I, more so, saw it as an extension to meeting people in real life. Not a replacement. Never the less, this guy shows up in my messages. If you’re a woman in the online dating world, you know looking through your received messages is like looking for a needle in the haystack. 90% of them don’t even warrant a response in the least. But this guy – let’s call him J – had written a very thoughtful message showing that he read my profile and that he had similar music taste. (Full disclosure: music is the way to my heart. Though how is that even hard to find out?)

Anyways, I agree to go out with J. First red flag was that he was late. It was only 15 minutes late and he apologized for it but as you read further, remember this detail. The date itself was fine. J was interesting and attractive but I did notice how whenever he would talk about himself, it’d have a very negative undertone. My interpretation of that in the moment was that J was allowing himself to be vulnerable which I respected at the time. I also noticed that whenever I’d ask him what kind of things he would do for fun, the answer was always “I’m too busy. I’m a father and I work.” Ok, then. Sure. I didn’t want to ask the obvious follow-up question about why the fuck he was out with me if he was too busy to make time for himself but we’ll return to that.

Our next hang out was when I invited him to a concert with me. J showed up somewhat late again but this was actually a very fun date.

Stop. Let’s pause for a second.

Whenever I online date, I make it clear to the person that – 1) I’m not looking for a hookup. 2) I like to approach potential relationships from a friends-first perspective. 3) I will never be in a rush to take things to the next level. When I’m comfortable, you’ll know.

Resume.

So, again, the date went well. Not only did I come out of my shell, J came out of his shell too and a comfort between us was forming. But he said a couple more questionable things listed below.

“I’m a loner.”

“I don’t have time.”

“My life has been hard.”

“I’ve had a broken life.”

Let me reiterate that it does not scare me when people are vulnerable with me and I wish that people in general were more open with each other. But laying this kind of information down on someone you barely know can be telling.

So let’s fast forward to my first attempt to break things off with him. J’s communication between dates was extremely poor. I’m a very busy person myself and I have absolutely no desire to spend all day texting with someone. But if I am interested in someone, I like to let the person know that I am thinking about them even if I don’t have time for a full conversation. In J’s case (and I realize this now), I was not important enough to acknowledge. If I’d text him, 80% of the time he wouldn’t respond until the next day. If he finally remembered that I still existed, he’d initiate a text and ask “How are you?” but would easily get distracted and leave me hanging after. And so here comes the first attempt. After dealing with the poor communication for over a week, I told him that he doesn’t seem to have time to date and that I think it would be best if we were just friends. And the first round of monologue texts from J begins. In a nutshell, he said that life has been tough and he had been dealing with not having a car but that he’d really like to keep seeing me if I will allow it.

And because I am a truly awful and forgiving person, I let him back in.

So our dates continue to be fun and adventurous and J continues to be late for all of them but the underlying principle prevails: I seem to be an afterthought for him in the mist of his broken life. And it is only my fault for allowing myself to be. There was one particular date that we planned where he was purposely vague on what time we’d be meeting up which ended up with me waiting 2 hours for him to arrive. I should have left. I was going to leave. But I kept on getting text from J that he was on his way and so I stayed like a fucking idiot.

But the date was fun 😅

After that happens, it’s the return of the horrible communication. I don’t hear from him for days and the check-in texts that I send him go unanswered for 24 hours. And so I made another attempt to go our separate ways knowing how extremely unhappy I was. And for God knows why I was still trying to be amiable and nice when trying to break things off with him. I told him that I haven’t been happy and that we have different communication styles that just don’t work. I never attacked him directly and phrased it the way I did intentionally to not hurt his feelings. But here begins the second round of monologue texts. And, once a-fucking-gain, in a nutshell he details out how he wasn’t sure about my expectations and he’s been enjoying getting to know me. He’s a father and he needs to make his daughter a priority. Life has been keeping him busy.

Stop. Let’s pause for another second.

I will never ask anyone to choose me over their family and I would not date anyone who would. However, my point lies in the fact that he kept on insisting that he had the capacity to let someone into his life when the truth is that he had zero fucks to give. And the fact that he kept on sending me long heartfelt texts after my attempts to breaks things off shows how little self-awareness he has and will continue to have if he continues to go through life like this.

But. I let him back in. 😅

And this is where I TRULY fuck up. What I didn’t realize when I let him back in was the fact that I had already been scarred by the way that he made me feel and that it was not worth it to trust that he would act any differently to undo that feeling. The relationship was young enough to have easily stopped giving a fuck but I chose not to because I’m FUCKING OPTIMISTIC, DAMN YOU EBONIE.

So we hang out a couple more times and he is more responsive (which is typical after having recently called him out on it). And let me just point out that I genuinely had fun with him when we were together. It just felt easy with him which is why I gave him too many chances.

Anyways – you guessed it – the horrible communication makes its final arrival. I am no longer interested in calling him out on it because he should know better by now. I am no longer interested in being understanding and putting his feelings first because I never should have been doing that to begin with. And I just stop. Before he went ghost on me, I sent him a text after a week of silence to make sure he was still alive and asked him how he was doing. He responded a couple hours later answering my question but not really inquiring about my life and how the fuck I was doing. So I pretty much took the backseat and let him live his life.

Fast forward a month later and we haven’t talked. And so I felt the need to reach out to him to close the door officially. My text was short and sweet. “Hey. Haven’t heard from you but I wanted to be an adult and reach out. It was cool knowing you for a short time but take care!”. Did I need to send this text? Absolutely not. Did it make me feel better to send it? Hell yes.

The next day – I get my final (and longest) round of monologue texts from J and this time he wasn’t having it. In this monologue he turned the communication table on me saying that I did not reach out to him enough and that I was being selfish. It turns out he wanted to date a clingy girl who would be on his ass 24/7 and who would keep texting him even when he wouldn’t respond. Not me, sir. Fuck off with that shit. I’m too busy for that.

The next thing J pointed out in this monologue text was the fact that I was not intimate enough with him. He pointed out how I was not affectionate enough and how we didn’t even have sex yet. Ok so, that’s why I wasn’t important enough to pay attention to? Noted.

And the final thing that J pointed out was that he was going through a serious & heartbreaking situation (that he gave me every detail of, by the way) and, because of this and the aforementioned, I don’t warrant his attention at this time in his life. And there you have it, folks. I saw this from the beginning. Him not having the mental capacity to let anyone into his life. But I chose to believe what he was saying instead of how he was acting.

So this is what is interesting to me. You are going through something in your life that is incredibly heartbreaking and terrible. But you choose to spotlight this to someone you chose to cut off for not being up your ass 24/7 and for not fucking you because you wanted to make this person feel even more inadequate for reaching out in an attempt to properly close out the relationship? Sure, I’ll have sympathy for the situation that you are in but that still makes you utterly pathetic.

My response to his final monologue was simple acknowledgement. J was not worth an argument because I know longer gave a fuck about him. I did not give him all the receipts laying down the track record of his horrible communication. I did not reveal to him that I, at one point, wanted to be more intimate with him but his body language made it seem like he wasn’t into moving too fast. And I did not try to one-up his situation by revealing the tough situations that I’ve been dealing with in my life. Because J was no longer worth my time.

This whole experience. I admit that I was extremely upset and affected by it. Not because of J. But because I allowed myself to be treated like this. I saw all the signs early on but my optimism allowed myself to be treated like this. I love to see people happy and smiling so I tend to put other people first before myself. But as I get older, I am learning to stop that bullshit. I can still be incredibly amiable and friendly with others but still put myself first.

And yeah seriously, no more dating. The next dude will literally have to move mountains to get my attention.