As promised after our first meeting at the pub that night, Wayne did call me and we planned a date. We set up a time and place and decided on sushi and a movie. Don’t even ask me what movie we went to see, I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. However, what I do clearly remember is I definitely was no where near being ready to jump into dating, let alone a relationship. Now looking back, in hindsight, I had issues and needed time. Last thing I should’ve did was date, anyone. I should’ve believed when people said it takes time after divorce and dating complicates matters. I definitely wasn’t over my ex husband (of 20 years) by a long shot. Even though I swore I was. Hmmmm… let’s call my ex husband, Damian. Yes, Damian. It’s a very ‘Harlequin Romance‘ kinda name don’t ya think? It’s my story, I can assign whatever name I choose. Anyways, if you asked me at the time I’d say ‘hell ya I’m over him!’ But hell no I wasn’t! I admit it. Apparently for every 5 years you are with someone, it takes approximately 1 year to ‘get over‘ them. So I was with Damian for 20 years… well, that’s 5 LONG fricking years of waiting to get over him! I ain’t got time for that!
Of course I wasn’t over my ex husband. Hell, I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely over him.
So, almost a year after separating from my husband and having gone on numerous online dating meet and greets, I naively jump in and start dating Wayne. Immediately I’m comparing every little thing Wayne does to that of my ex husband. I mean everything. The way he speaks to the server (very telling you know?) the way he eats his food, how many drinks he consumed in such a short time frame (don’t think I didn’t notice), the way he puts way too much sushi in his mouth at once. (Hello!)
All of these teenie tiny signs combined equals one great, big Red Flag.
My girlfriends at the time would say I constantly compare, compare, compare. They’re all like, ‘You’re not being fair to Wayne. Stop comparing, everyone’s different.’ On and on. I was just simply pointing out that Damian did things a certain way. And ehm, well, Wayne doesn’t. That’s all.
I clearly remember sitting across from Wayne at the sushi restaurant and thinking, I’m not completely attracted to him in that way. I mean, he was attractive yes, but something wasn’t quite right. I remember on our first date being uncomfortable when dinner was over and the waitress brought the bill. He kinda just continued letting it sit there, between us. It got very uncomfortable. It felt like he was waiting for me to take care of it. Or maybe it was all in my mind. But no, I don’t think so. From previous posts you know I do have some issues with that. Completely out of touch with the times and rules of dating. Who pays? What’s the dating etiquette? I figure if you get asked out on a first date, the man should pay, no? Red flag #2 because ‘who pays’ later became an issue in our relationship.
An issue because guess who ended up always paying?
Wayne and I had been dating for a couple of months. Like clock work, every Friday night you could guarantee a party at his place. Now this wasn’t a problem for me initially. Remember, I had been solely a wife and mother for the past 20 years, so it almost seemed like I was making up for lost party time in a sense. I was with my ex husband since I was 18 so I missed the whole partying and going out stage. Wayne and I had so much fun. I have since realized that we had the most fun when we were drinking. It’s not like we didn’t have fun ever without alcohol, but let’s just say we had more fun with alcohol. And for me, 2 glasses of red wine is all it takes.
The alcohol was a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that when both of us were intoxicated, we let many potential spats slip by. Bad because the ones that didn’t slip by were ridiculous and typically made no sense what so ever. Obviously the communication between two intoxicated people can sometimes get construed and not make any bloody sense. We would then proceed to beat that particular subject up to no avail. That combined with my disagreeing/debating style (at the time) typically consisted of just shutting down and giving him the good ol’ silent treatment. I know how much men love that. You can imagine how well that worked out. I have to say that method was all I’d ever done in my marriage so that’s what I naturally turned to. Wayne couldn’t tolerate that at all and would insist we talk it out. He would always say that I put up walls, and I swear to God if I heard him say one more time “Oh, there’s them walls you put up!” I’m pretty certain I was gonna lose my mind.
Looking back, I
think know those walls were actually me not being completely into him. Thing is I was a confused mess, I liked him a lot, but I didn’t. I was particularily needy after being married and he wasn’t Damian. That was perfectly clear.
But some things I really liked about Wayne. He was the only guy I knew who actually wanted to dance with me, all of the time. Even when friends were around. He didn’t care. I loved that he would take my hand and lead me to the dance floor or to the middle of the living room and waltz with me. That was something I remember my parents doing plenty of times when my sister and I were growing up. They would dance and talk all night long, I loved that aspect of their marriage. I told Wayne that too. He knew how special that was to me. Those kinds of moments are so simple yet last forever in your memories.
There was always something that felt off with my feelings towards Wayne. Like when we would be out at friends homes, a pub, or anywhere around other people and alcohol, I would become uptight and nervous. I would be embarrassed at the things he would say, the unpredictability of what he might say. The way he would act after a number of beers. Almost confrontational with anyone he might be talking with. He was an up tight kind of guy, and I can be an uptight kind of girl. Not the greatest combo. But afterwards when we would go home and we were alone, it would all be okay. It became obvious that he was less uptight when he was drinking and when no one else was around. I became more attracted to that guy. That’s the guy I liked best unfortunately. He’d be completely focused on me, treating me like a princess and I would forget all about any inappropriate behavior he had displayed earlier. This became a routine in our relationship. The times we were by ourselves it was different. It was better. So eventually without even realizing what I was doing I would make excuses for us to stay in, not have friends over. Instead insisting we stay at home, alone. He rarely disagreed. Instead we started sharing some amazing Friday nights at home alone. Clearly the makings of a very bad dysfunctional relationship. He loved to cook and was a fabulous cook, I’d sip red wine while assisting him. By assisting I mean watching. You know, keeping him company in the kitchen.
We would put the music on, have drinks, dance and talk all night long. All seemed good. That part of the relationship was the good part and was so different for me. It’s what I needed at the time and what I had lacked in my marriage. It was what I kept hanging onto. That part was fun. Obviously not the components of a lasting relationship, but fun for the time being.
We were only seeing each other once a week, twice at most, and that would usually be Friday nights. Saturday nights he would play poker with the guys. Religiously. I didn’t mind at all except if for some reason or another we couldn’t see each other on the Friday night and he wouldn’t give up poker on Saturday night to spend it with me. You know what they say? He’s just not that into you! If he was, well, he surely would choose spending time with me over poker at least some of the time. Well, I hadn’t read He’s Just Not That Into You yet so I was not getting it. Plus I was so damn needy then. Couldn’t stand being single, alone, lonely, always wanting to be with someone. Coincidentally he was that someone at that time.
That was until one particular Saturday night while he was at poker and we were texting each other back and forth. I sensed something was off. He finally tells me, via text, that his on again-off again ex girlfriend he dated before me wanted to get back together. Turns out the friends house he plays poker at was the ex girlfriend’s brother. Ahhh, perfect. She wanted to give it another try. Uhh… okay? Well, that’s very unexpected. I remember being completely shocked. Not heart broken, just shocked. No one likes rejection.
He’s breaking up with me? pffft! Isn’t that ironic?