So, the inevitable return. In brief, I went on my Saturday date which was lovely (for both of us I might add) and interesting because it was the direct opposite of my first-date with my recent hard-hitting experience. That now-blurred memory was the traditional – over-dressed, fancy restaurant, awkward nerves, getting lost on the way etc. This recent one was casual, outdoors, involved an (unplanned) pop into a Catholic shrine in York and was basically an outdoors picnic in glorious weather. We talked in each other’s company from 11:30 until 19:00!
The significant point is I turned up to this in good spirits with no expectations – our online communication had made me fairly convinced that she was more ‘on-board’ than I was… She seemed to be enjoying herself – the first real clue I received things were ‘off’ was at the very end when I asked as to the road for us and received the response “We should definitely keep in touch.” Yowch. Needless to say, a couple of days later and I receive an email declaring “we’re not right for each other” with no real reasoning (uh-oh, we’ve been down this road before, ain’t we?)
Crucial difference here is at least she had the courtesy to inform me pretty quickly before we suffered a repeat of my last dating expedition! I am, truth be told, slightly stunned at the rejection as I thought (arrogantly) that if anyone would be leaving with second thoughts, it’d be me! At least I’m not heartbroken again though. This has raised two salient issues for me:
- Me: I appear to be made differently to the stereotyped man – speak to women and read articles online and you’ll see the non-committed man has almost reached farcical levels due to its regular stereotyping. All I am seeking is a life-partner who I find attractive and can add to my development whilst I can enhance theirs. The weird thing I’m finding is that an online profile can leave me with questions but a real-world meeting with the same person seems to massively inflate their attraction-potential in my eyes. Instead of sensing imperfections, my mind picks up on details and memorises them helping to cement their image as somebody important in my mind. An example to illustrate – my last date this Saturday kept swapping her spectacles for sunglasses and back again, depending on the shade/sun. I found it adorable. My more heart-breaking experience used to twist her neck suddenly to face you, flicking her dark hair with it. Again, adorable. My issue is this sets me up to be emotionally invested from Date #1 – also meaning, that my hurt and suffering are both compounded by any future rejection (particularly, the unreasoned variety!) I never chose this way though – this is just my natural reaction to being on a date…
2. The ladies – what is going on with the Catholic ladies I’m dating? Not a bitter question, just one born out of disbelief. Were I dating a secular atheist who wanted to leap into bed, I’d understand that rejection (and it’d be a mutual one!) But these are women who bother to write profiles on a website, not only declaring their faith to the world, but also declaring a search for substance over appearance. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve scoured profiles to read “looks don’t matter”, “if a man can make me laugh”, “his God-fearing nature is important” etc.* I mean, on paper (or rather online) this is excellent! Women who are comfortable enough with their faith and confident enough with the world to realise what they seek in a partner. Similar to me! And yet, they meet me and something either switches them off or fails to switch them on…
I’m fighting desperately against the embitterment effect – I don’t want to apply these feelings to the whole of womankind – a puerile movie if ever one existed. What irritates me even more is that the above will sound (to you my readers) like I’m pompous, chauvinistic even and talk this way to women in person. That’s why he gets nowhere. I promise you it’s not the case. I’m a quiet, introverted person at heart. When on these dates, I do my very best to be confident, cheery and positive whilst being light-hearted. And it clearly works in one way – I got multiple dates and a hair’s breadth away from a proper relationship with Dater 1 and Dater 2 (of this weekend) had a lovely day – I just somehow sold myself as a friend, rather than a romantic interest…
I’ve recently (coincidentally) read several articles about the “friendzone.” You know, that idea that if girls aren’t interested in you romantically, they ‘demote’ you by wanting your friendship. It’s obviously playground nonsense peddled by heart-broken blokes. What does kick me in the gut is that many female Catholic bloggers I’ve encountered online seem to stress how important it is to them that their (future) significant other be their best friend, confidant and most trusted ear! I feel like I need to grab someone by the shoulders and just scream “Why” until I lose my voice.
My sis summed it up best whereupon hearing of rejection 2 in 2017’s CatholicMatch born endeavours, she simply remarked: “What do these women want?”
*Quick addendum. My heart-breaker actually compared me to her previous boyfriends to help justify herself whilst just plunging the blade in deeper into my chest. She regaled me with a tale of how she took one of her exes to a wedding as a +1 and hated it! As some sort evidence of how you never know people… What really makes me laugh – her closest to a rejection rationale was that she couldn’t see herself marrying me (cheers, love!) but she could have happily married the previous two despite the fact that they mistreated her and seemingly didn’t love her as they ended it… Hasn’t something gone starkly wrong with the world of Catholic romance if people are chasing those that can’t offer fulfilling relationships whilst dismissing those that could…? *sigh*