In my unsuccessful attempts at dating, there has only been one time when I thought I’d be able to remain friendly with an ex. He and I met on Grindr so the bar was already set pretty low in my book on the probability of this relationship lasting. We parted ways a couple of times (who hasn’t?) but the last time we ended things, it felt different. I think we both realized we might just be better as friends…so we tried to be friends!
He started dating someone else. I kept sleeping with Brooklyn boys. He and I would grab coffee. It was great! Then, he went missing in action and I found out via Instagram that he and his new boyfriend had relocated back to his hometown.
I met another guy, this time on Scruff, and I just knew things would be different. Greg (not his real name) was older! He was in the military! He was from Michigan! He was financially independent! HE WAS AN ADULT! On the weekends, we would go to brunch and then drive over to Home Depot. We’d go grocery shopping and he’d cook things in a pan. He’d fall asleep while I gave him foot massages with the TV on in the background. We were “intimate” in the living room, in the bedroom and even up on the roof.
I repeat: I just knew things would be different. What I didn’t realize is that they would be different in the worst way. For all of the amazing moments I just listed out, none of them were strong enough reasons for this man to want an exclusive partnership with me.
One winter night, I was taking shelter at my best friend’s apartment. There was a blizzard beating down on New York City so we made the wise decision to drink our faces off. This was naturally the perfect time for me to call Greg and demand he define what we were. I ended up in tears so you can imagine how that conversation went.
It took me a couple of months to feel comfortable with him being out of my life. Just when I felt that I had gotten him out of my system, the universe decided to be extra witchy bitchy. As I’m walking to the train after a grueling day in the office, I literally run into Greg on the street.
Damn, did he look good.
We chatted briefly on the corner before we said how good it was to see one another. That night, we struck up a conversation and for an abbreviated period of time, we reconnected. Things quickly fizzled yet again and then today happened. I’m at work trying not to scream externally when he texts me. Twice. Back to back.
Do I delete the message? Do I text back? How long should I wait? Do I even wait at all? How many people do I crowdsource before ignoring all of their advice? Wait…why do I still have him saved in my phone under his first and last name? Why didn’t I at least update it to say something super negative about his sexual capabilities? These questions ran through my mind faster than Gail Devers at the 1996 Summer Olympics during the 100M dash. This was, as you can imagine, problematic for me.
I won’t say I loved Greg but he definitely impacted me more than most of the other men I’ve been with. Is that why my heart skipped a beat when I glanced down and saw a message from him? Is that why our encounter on the street left a stupid smile on my face? I’m not sure. That’s a shit answer but it’s the truth.
The last time we said goodbye, I told myself to turn the page and start a new chapter. I repeated this to myself to drill it into my subconscious. I even put a little handwritten note on my mood board that read “Be okay with letting things go” as a reminder. I watched clips of Iyanla: Fix My Life and vowed never to be so weak in a situation.
Well, ya’ll, I failed. I text him back. I’m human, okay?