This morning, I saw a memory on my social media feed from ten years ago.
It’s a selfie with me and a boy, Zach, sitting on the floor of a bookstore. We are both grinning from ear to ear and I remember feeling so incredibly happy… even though Zach was the most emotionally unavailable man I’ve ever tried to pursue.
I met Zach during my first semester of college when my friends and I would have lunch at a local restaurant.
Side note: Here are our relationship deal breakers. Post continues below.
This particular day happened to be my nineteenth birthday, and our server was incredibly cute. I couldn’t stop staring at him and I whispered to my friends that I thought he was attractive.
When I left the restaurant, I was surprised when the cute server ran up to me, handed me a bag without a word, and ran back inside. I found out later that my friend had told him it was my birthday. Inside of the bag was a chocolate chip cookie along with his number and name, which was Zach.
I was completely infatuated with Zach. He was unlike anyone I had ever met or dated before. He was a nomad, well-traveled, older than me, and emotionally unavailable.
After a couple of dates, Zach began to disclose details of his past and I learned why he seemed so closed off.
He had been engaged to the love of his life when she cheated on him and eventually left him for another man.
Since then he hadn’t allowed himself to be in another relationship and he was closed off to the idea of one because he was terrified of getting hurt again. That should have been a huge warning sign, but I didn’t care because being around him was so intoxicating.
For the next six months, Zach would appear at my apartment when he felt like it and we would spend multiple days together.
Then, he would be gone again and wouldn’t answer my calls or texts. Patiently I would wait and eventually he would appear again.
It was exhausting and stressful but I still didn’t care. I wanted to show him that I was different and that I wouldn’t hurt him the way that his ex did.
Convinced that eventually, he would come to his senses, I continued to show him how great of a partner I could be.
One night a group of us went out dancing, Zach included.
I was incredibly excited for him to meet all of my friends and he was absolutely charming with them. All of us had a blast, and I thought that finally we were going to take our relationship to the next level.