Rendezvous, Then I’m Through With You

One of my friends wants to set me up with her friend’s neighbor.

Liz doesn’t know about what’s happened with Jack. In one of those classic crazy life twists, she actually knows Jack from about 15 years ago when they worked together, but she doesn’t know much about him. She knows we were good friends, but that’s all, and she used to tell me all the time that she thought he was a great catch.

Sigh.

Liz had emailed me the other day, telling me that she thought either our friend Alicia or I should go out with this guy, Ben. She particularly thought I might be interested because he’s a classical pianist and violinist, and an economist, to boot. Given my love of classical music as a singer and my pseudo-wonkiness, she figures this is right up my alley. He’s also a runner. Because apparently everybody is a runner these days. The only problem, as she sees it, is that he’s short. She doesn’t know how short, because she doesn’t actually know him.

“I’m told he’s taller than Peter Dinklage, but shorter than me,” she told me.

So that means he’s between 4’6″ and 5’10″. I’m 5’7″ barefoot.

Well, that’s not the only problem. The other problem is that my heart is currently sitting on my counter in a blender.

Also, he lives an hour away from me, and I just can’t stand the thought of going back to driving back and forth after finally ridding myself of my 100-mile-per-day commute. But that’s really neither here nor there. Although it does add to the list of reasons I slump over when I think about this idea.

So why even consider it, right? Well, that’s the thing. It’s not that I have any interest in running the risk of attaching myself once again to someone who, in a month or a year or a decade, will walk away. I know I don’t have the stomach for dating at the moment, starting over with getting to know someone from zero, investing time and energy into something that ends with a whimper or a thud or an explosion, but ends nonetheless.

But I know that I am dangerously close to never trying again.  I feel like there might be a delicate balance, and that if I listen to the voice that tells me not to bother, I’ll shut it all down for good.

I ran into Rick the other day at work and he was telling me something that doesn’t matter because all I could think was that I have to keep it professional or I’ll get stuck again, falling for someone I can’t have. Every time I have to ask him for information on a project we’re both involved in, he responds to my cold email with a phone call. Someone says something nice about me in his presence? He leaves me a handwritten note at my desk. I send out an email to the people involved in the project? He replies just to me. We went on a site visit for the project the other day and while everyone else was talking amongst themselves about planning an event (which we don’t have a role in), we wound up standing off to the side together. I looked up and he was looking at me from behind his RayBans.

It helps that it’s difficult to have a meaningful wordless exchange when you’ve both got sunglasses on, but I suddenly remembered what he once said about me wearing his, and I had to walk away.

I can’t get stuck again.

So, what do you think? Should I tell Liz I’ll go out with the economist musician runner (damned runners)? Swallow the trepidation, dose up on anti-anxiety meds, drink a couple glasses of wine and pretend I have the emotional energy required? Is that fair to him? Or should I spare us all the struggle?

*In case you’re wondering, the title of this post is a reference to the ’90s Eve 6 song, Inside Out. “Wanna put my tender heart in a blender, watch it spin around into a beautiful oblivion/Rendezvous, then I’m through with you.”

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17 thoughts on “Rendezvous, Then I’m Through With You

  1. You have some healing to do. You have to learn to trust yourself around men again. Not every man will do to you what Jack did. Not every relationship will end badly, leaving you with a broken heart. But if you believe it will before you even go out on a date with someone the risk is, it could become a self fulfilling prophecy. You’re the only one who knows whether or not to go out with Ben. Whether it’s fair to you, let alone him. Because every time you unconciously will a date to go wrong you prove to yourself you are right and you will never have a happy ending, even though finding the man, and relationship of your dreams is possible. Speaking from personal experience here.

  2. I agree with fransiweinstein. I’m glad you’re thinking about the other guy – you know, he could fall madly in love with you and be heart broken when it turns out you were just going out with him so you don’t give up on taking those chances. It can work both ways, you know!! :) But I’m hoping you don’t let yourself give up on romance completely. I’m thinking that now is the time to go out in small groups, or even meet the neighbor that way. Less pressure, no obligations or expectations for either person, but it gets you out and keeps you in the realm of (the idea, at least) of dating.

  3. Some time ago, I did a lot of research on transitional relationships (I’m an amateur psychologist, don’t you know). They are relationships that are primarily to take you out of a relationship and they almost never work out. Somebody … sometimes two somebodies … almost always gets hurt. In 12-step programs when someone comes in in crisis, we usually tell them don’t make any big decisions for six months. So, I guess I agree with the other comments … take your time. I like Michelle’s suggestion of small mixed groups. Take care of yourself … treat yourself like you’d like to be treated.

    • Hmmm. So what do you call a thing that happens more than a year after you first realized your heart was being broken and eight months after it officially happened, and after you’ve already dated another guy?

      • Well, the amateur psychologist says it’s a transitional relationship until you’re past trying to break away from the last one. And your blogging friends says, Just be careful with your heart.

  4. Tough call. There’s that whole “get right back on the horse” school of thought, and you might really like this guy! Or you could really NOT like him and it will just reinforce that you shouldn’t have bothered. Whichever way you go, hope it works out great!

  5. I immediately got that song in my head when I read your title. Not complaining, just that it’s there.

    You should definitely do it. Worst case, he’s not the guy for you, but you got back out there. Best case, well . . . I guess best case is he’s your soul mate, but really best for you right now is that you both his it off, have some laughs, and you briefly forget about this whole Jack mess. I think that’s what you need to start to heal. I say dose up and do it!

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