I think it's about time I finished the second half of my meet-cute story, don't you? I know I tend to categorize all the guys I meet as either Mr. Collinses, Wickhams, or Darcys. Regardless of the fact that I haven't yet met my Mr. Darcy (spoiler alert), I have met such terrific guys who, though we didn't end up working out, can't possibly fall into any other category. In many cases, I think I've met a lot of other girls' Mr. Darcys. A lot of the time, these Darcys are just almost my very own Darcy, but something isn't quite right in the end. If a guy doesn't turn out to be your Mr. Darcy, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's automatically a Mr. Collins or a Wickham, either. And truth be told, one girl's Mr. Collins or Wickham is potentially another girl's Mr. Darcy; it's all very subjective.
Six weeks have passed since I first met the bespectacled blonde. I recently reunited with the same friend at the same coffee shop, and, of course, her first question concerned the cute guy she'd left me with last time. I'll break it down for all of you the same way I did for her: date by date.
The First Date: He suggested an apple orchard so we could do something nerdy like look at the leaves (and that's the exact phrase he used--to which my friends asked, Is he even real?). I picked him up (because safety first obviously), and he emerged from his apartment looking dapper--I think he might've been wearing the same outfit that I'd met him in (but I guess boys don't pay as much attention to that kind of stuff?). We wandered through the orchard for a good two hours or so before we sat down on a log overlooking the entire grounds; there's nothing like a Minnesota fall. I think we sat there, talking, laughing, and sipping on apple cider (it was an apple orchard after all), for a good two more hours. We talked more about Harry Potter, our shared love for the TV show How I Met Your Mother (one Halloween he went as Barney and wore a suit and the ducky tie), and just about everything in between. I felt like my voice was raspy and on the verge of being lost from such a surplus of talking. I'm not sure if that's something that had ever happened before this date.
The Second Date: More talking and a mini binge of How I Met Your Mother.
The Third Date: He was really eager to cook me dinner, so obviously I let him. First we went on a walk down by the river and headed off the beaten path. We talked a lot about our families and pasts. I gently eased into my writing and mentioned my blog and all of my lovely followers. Most guys kind of freak out when I talk about my topic of choice, which is more or less being single and having such unrealistic expectations that no real man could ever measure up. But he was weirdly okay with all of it--to be completely honest, it was a little off-putting just how okay he was with it all. A girl tells you she runs a blog using Jane Austen's characters to comment on the norms of 21st-century date. You're allowed to freak out a little--in fact, it's kind of expected.
In fact, I really felt like we just jumped right into the middle of a relationship, maybe it had something to do with the fact that our first date lasted like seven hours total. It was like two or three dates wrapped up into one. All of our dates were very coupley, staying in, drinking tea, and watching TV together. Not that it's the same situation, but I keep thinking of Darcy's quote: "I was in the middle before I knew I'd begun." That's more or less how I felt. We had the "what are you looking for" conversation on the third or fourth date, which felt a little fast to me. Looking back, everything went kind of downhill from there, because I really started to thinking about his question. What was I looking for? To be honest, I didn't have much of an answer.
The subsequent dates were few and far in between. I saw him probably once a week or so, and the texting/Snapchatting started to taper towards the end. I'm sure you're all asking why? Why was such a new, seemingly great relationship fizzling out so early on? I honestly can't put my finger on it, but I know it all kind of fell to being my fault. I'm a pretty ambitious person, and I think he did like that about me, but maybe only to an extent. The thing about my ambition is that I tend to put work and school-related stuff ahead of most things. So friends tend to get cancelled on from time to time, and they always understand because they're in the exact same boat. Professional stuff never slips by me, but personal texts and stuff do get away from me occasionally. I've never been super great at maintaining what most people would call a "healthy" balance of work and play. And I slowly realized that the reason I wasn't seeing him very often was because he wasn't really a priority.
I've never actually had to have the "it's not you, it's me" conversation before. And I know that it's a conversation that's labeled kind of a bullshit excuse. This is typically because people use it as a way to get around difficult conversations. People don't want to say what the real reason is, so they fall back on an old reliable line like "it's not you, it's me." I think that this "line" can actually be used honestly. Sometimes, we're just not in a good place to start a relationship, even if we think it's what we want. The truth is, the bespectacled blonde was a truly great person: adorable, athletic, bookish, funny--literally everything I thought I wanted. But it turns out he just isn't what I need right now.
The way I understood it, and so did he (as he told me), is that it's not that I don't have the time; it's that I don't want to make the time for him. If he were the right person, I'd be making the time. And he was absolutely right. It just really sucked to hear from a guy I was breaking up with.