Regret is a funny thing. You try your best in life to avoid it. But sometimes it’s the hard things in life that teach us the most… which makes you wonder, if given the chance, how many of us would do things differently. For some, regret is the very thing that helps us push past our fear and move into the future. For others, it’s the thing that allows us to re-explore out past. At its best, regret can be the catalyst for a new beginning, where anything and everything is still possible.-Marin, Men in Trees
Last week was a very emotional week for me. I don’t know what was going on but I felt like crying at the drop of a hat. I think part of it was work was frustrating and stressful, but I also think it was my dating life. Things with the Potential Guy went from confusing to downright annoying. To top it off, I kind of lost it with Birthday Twin because I just wanted to have him call me, and I was sick of waiting around for him. This week I just had enough of the games from both of these guys, and enough of the maybe we should, maybe we shouldn’ts. I was just DONE. So Wednesday night everything just exploded.
It all started when PG and I went out to dinner again. We were supposed to go to a cheap pub, but he suggested this nice restaurant, with an overpriced menu. I made the incorrect assumption that since he suggested the nice place, he was going to grab the bill. I guess even though I told myself I would only look at him as a friend, I keep looking at him as a date. So when the check came and he suggested we split it, I was mortified. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I feel, especially if they suggest it, that the guy should pay for the date. Now I know our case is a little different, and I was upset with myself because I should have said something. I should have said I couldn’t afford that place, and maybe he would have offered to pay. So I forked over a credit card for the outrageously priced meal.
The bill awkwardness set the tone for the rest of the night. I was kind of sulky because I realized yet again that this guy just doesn’t see me as a potential girlfriend. He sees me as a friend. We went for a walk along a beautiful garden path, and I couldn’t help it. My sarcastic self defense mechanism came out swinging. I said, “You know, with anyone else this would be really romantic. You should take a real date here sometime.” I know it was rude, but I was fed up. He took me home in silence and didn’t bother to walk me to the door. The tears were flowing by the time I reached my door. I was so mad at myself for getting my hopes up again, when I swore that I wouldn’t. I texted him that I couldn’t do this anymore, that it was just too disappointing and that we wanted different things.
I called Birthday Twin then because I was so upset, and I really needed to talk to a friend. He was great as always and came right over. We ended up talking about how our friends with benefits thing is confusing me, and how it isn’t really fair to me either, just as the PG thing isn’t fair. He said he’d been thinking about it a lot, and he’d talked to his roommate about it. His roommate said he wasn’t being fair to me, and that I was going to get hurt, and he was worried about me. I thought that was really sweet that his roommate cared so much. This is a different roommate than the Friend Zone, a guy I’ve met only a handful of times, but who adores my dog. He stuck up for me, and while BT said he wished we could keep it up, because he loves what we have together, he wants to make sure he doesn’t hurt me. He said he wants us to be good friends, and doesn’t want me to end up hating him. So we talked about laying off the sleeping together stuff all the time. We did say that if we slip up, better to be with each other than a random stranger, but ultimately we can’t keep going on this way. He tucked me into bed, gave me a backrub, and went home. I adore him for that, because he is such a sweetheart. He’s there for me whenever I need him. I am also insanely frustrated by him because at times we seem so right for each other. So I’m glad he’s being the bigger person about it.
That night I didn’t sleep well and the rest of the week didn’t get much better. I ended up talking things out with Potential on Friday evening. He just wouldn’t let go of things, and he seemed to really be fighting for me. He said that he really likes me, and he asked if we could start over, and go on a real date. I told him I didn’t think so, because of all the drama we’ve had. I said I didn’t think it should be this hard and I wanted him to wait until he was really ready. I said it didn’t feel like he was ready, and to call me when he is. I said I might be around but I might not be. I said I really liked him, but it seemed like we were doomed to fail from the start. I hung up the phone filled with regret. I felt like I should have said yes, but I was trying so hard to do the right thing.
That night I went out with Reality Check and her roommate Social Whore. Social Whore is a great guy who is super cute but who is a purely platonic friend. We can all three sit and talk about relationships without any sort of censor. He’s usually a man on the prowl, and a little bit of a heart breaker. I think he might be turning over a new leaf though, and I’m excited for him.
Because I was so upset, I think I went into self destruct mode that night. I don’t know what it was, but I just knew at the beginning of the night that it would not end well. I got a text message from Off Limits, and before I knew it, he and a friend were sitting down with RC, SW and myself. Off Limits and I were cracking jokes and flirting with each other. The more drinks I had, the bolder I got. RC and SW went home, and before they left she took me aside and asked if I was sure I wanted to stay. She gave me one of her signature warning looks and told me to be careful. She knew that Off Limits was a self proclaimed asshole, and she was concerned for me. I was already pretty trashed at that point and not really in a place where I could reason. I will make a long story short and say I had a similar night to the night of the Mistake. In this case though, I was attracted to Off Limits, unlike Mistake. Also in this case, I felt completely, horribly, and digustingly, used. The whole time we were making out, I kept trying to stop him from going further, and at one point I said we shouldn’t have sex. He didn’t really listen, and kept pushing me. The worst part was he was sober, and I was hammered. We hadn’t even finished, we were just sort of in the middle and he got up and said it was a mistake. I agreed, and told him to come back to bed and we would laugh about it in the morning. He didn’t even bother to look back at me, just put his clothes on, said he thought we should just be friends and as he was walking out the door he said, “What can I say, I’m just an asshole.” I ended up crying my eyes out because I’d made such a horrible mistake. I couldn’t believe someone could do that to a friend. It was mean and it was cruel. I know it takes two to tango, but it could have been handled so much better. It wasn’t that he left, it was how he left. No hug, no apology, just an arrogant smirk and a shrug. I was sick to my stomach, and had a lot of trouble sleeping.
This morning I told Reality Check what had happened. I was afraid she would judge me, and think I was a horrible person. She wasn’t mad at me, she felt terrible for me, and she was disgusted with him. She said that she would like nothing more than to make his life a living hell. She was so sweet to me, and I felt a lot better. We talked about how I tend to make these stupid choices, and how I don’t have a lot of respect for myself at times. The weird thing is, I do normally. Just every once in awhile I get in this self destructive mode where I think a man’s attention is the only way I can validate myself. It’s a really bad way of looking at the world and I really want to stop it. I think this last mistake just might have been the one to shake me enough to really make some changes.