Part V in the Dating Game series brings us to the story of “Tarah”.   This will likely be a short one – about as long as the experience lasted.  She and I met through a site that caters to single parents.  I hadn’t taken the site very seriously as there just weren’t many people subscribed in my area.  Until Tarah sent me an Email…

“It’s Not Me, It’s You”

Fear Factor: 0
What-the-hell-just-happened? Factor: 10
Good Riddance Factor: 9
Crazy Factor: 8

The Date Setup

Tarah was probably the most physically striking woman that I had dated up until that point. She had just turned 30 earlier that year but was very easily mistaken for and early 20-something.  She was about 5’3” with long blonde hair, green eyes and a heavenly smile.  If I could paint a picture of the perfect woman for me, physically, I would paint her picture.  I admit I was smitten from the very beginning, and because of that, I maybe acted just a little too excited and tried a little too hard.  I’m not the over-zealous type but you know how it goes – when you’re interested you’re interested and it’s very difficult for me to ‘play it cool’ when I actually feel some chemistry for a change.

DanielRuyter - NX500 - NX 16-50mm F2-2.8 S - 09.05.15-7

The Date Plan

Tarah and I met for tea one weekday after work.  I know it sounds fairytale-ish but we sat outside and talked for a few hours and yet, it only felt like a few minutes.  Queue the twinkly star sounds! Gag.  To me, the chemistry was as plain as day.  We both were sad to see the time tick away so quickly so we promptly madeplans for a second date.  As I was pulling out of the parking lot after our date I received a text from her.  It simply said ‘Yay!’  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  I was riding high; feeling great.  The next few days I was floating on clouds.  You know that feeling.  I had butterflies.  All.the.time.  I thought my luck had finally come around for me.  That is until…

The Date Aftermath

We went on that second date.  Tarah said she was starting to not feel well early in the day but she thought it was just allergies.  I picked her up at her house and we went out for a nice dinner and then to one of my favorite dives for tea and cupcakes afterward.  For me, the second date was a perpetuation of the first.  The chemistry was there during our conversations and I could simply not take my eyes off her.

Had I found the one?

During our second date conversations talk of exes came up.  Ex-talk can be dangerous but it can also be very insightful.  Tarah mentioned that her most recent ex was an alcoholic.  She left him but then got back together only to leave him again.  The last straw for her, she said, was when he struck her daughter.  I was flabbergasted!  On one hand I was appreciative of her willingness to give him another chance.  On the other hand, well, he hit her daughter!  I’d likely be in jail had I been in her shoes.

I mean, clearly she was right – it wasn’t me, it WAS her, but still…

Tarah genuinely wasn’t feeling well so I ended up taking her home a bit early that night.  We emailed back and forth a few times after the date and talked about a third date.  Then, one day I sent her the draft to the first chapter of this book.  You know, the one about being truly available?  Yeah, that’s the one.  Not very long after that I received the following email from her:

Hi Daniel,

Great job with your memiors. You are definitely born to be a writer 🙂 Remember how we talked about how crucial timing is when you meet someone new? I can’t help but feel that I have an overload of things going on in my life right now. It’s really putting a damper on wanting to go further with you. I want you to know it’s not you. Every thing about you is amazing!! You are attracive inside an out. There’s something wrong with me.

Sent from my iPhone

I was totally taken aback by this email.  For me, it was a complete 180-degree turn from my last experience with her.  I can’t believe I was the victim of the “It’s not you, it’s me” excuse, either!  I mean, clearly she was right – it wasn’t me, it WAS her, but still…  I would have much rather she been honest with me.  We are adults; I can handle the truth.  But, instead she chose to lie to me and while I appreciate the thought, it was still an insult to my intelligence to suggest she was doing me a favor by bowing out gracefully.

Lessons of the Day

1)    When someone says “It’s not you, it’s me” 99% of the time it’s you.  They’re just to chicken to be honest.

2)    Be honest with your dates.  Not brutally honest or crass, but be honest.  The end of a relationship (however long or short) is just like any other loss in your life.  Closure is important.

3)    There’s more to someone than their physical appearance.  Attraction and that ever-elusive ‘chemistry’ are very important.  Try not to get hung up on the outside only to overlook the inside.

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