How’s this for a story?
An old friend got in touch out of the blue because she had a guy for me. That alone was newsworthy, but the thing that I could really write home about was the fact that this guy and I seemed to really click. And I mean, really! We had so much to say to each other on our first date that for a moment there I dared to think that maybe, possibly, I had even met someone.
So how to explain why, just hours before what would have been our second date, he called to cancel? And why he cancelled again on the rescheduled date? And why he seemed so surprised when I said I couldn’t juggle everything around again to try to schedule yet another date, which, deep down, I wasn’t even so sure he would keep?
In other words: We never went out. And he never called or emailed to apologize or to try to woo me back.
What’s really sad, more than just the fact that a possibility presented and then removed itself before it even had time to take root, was that the longer I’m in this game, the more I second guess myself. Because even though I know that I would never cancel on someone twice in a row – the only exception being some kind of act of God – I was embarrassed to admit to our mutual friend what had happened. I was worried that I would be the one scrutinized. And I just can’t stomach it anymore. The suggestion that I, the single woman, didn’t try hard enough. Or wasn’t open enough. Or wasn’t accessible enough. I’ve even had people suggest that perhaps a guy didn’t call because he was picking up on my ambivalence buried deep down even if I had clearly told him I was interested in going out again.
It’s a vicious cycle. Because the longer I’m single, the more my defenses are down, and the more I seem to need outside validation. But the more I need my friends’ validation, especially the ones already paired off, the less they are able to give it. Because when they hear me feeling dejected or upset they just want to encourage me to try again! To call that guy who never called. To be open to men who for whatever reason aren’t open to me.
So what I really need to do is to listen to my own counsel. And what my counsel tells me is that a man who doesn’t have the decency to keep his dates with me is not just a man who is not interested, but also one who is not worthy.
Read Abigail’s The Matchup column here