I learned an extremely valuable lesson from the last man I dated. Something I will carry with me always as a single woman, and I am sure it will save a lot of men from heartache.
I met “Mark” we will call him, two months ago. I used the infamous Tinder dating app in meeting him. He seemed like a nice guy so I agreed to go out for dinner one night.
Right from the start, Mark spoiled me, treating me to a $100 steak dinner on just the first date. He met me there with flowers. I thought it was so chivalrous and sweet.
I knew right there on the first date — my feelings weren’t that strong, but I was hoping they would grow. Praying at one point even! He treated me like a queen. I knew I wasn’t that attracted to him looks-wise or personality-wise, but I felt I should give him a shot.
Why? Because he treated me SO. GOOD. He wined and dined me, bought me gifts, adored me, listened to me when I was upset, was emotionally supportive, was sweet to my little girl, complimented me, and even helped me a little financially at times. Good god, he made it hard to leave. Especially during Christmas time when I was struggling as a single mum with no child support. How a man treats you is super important.
So I waited.
And I kept dating him. And I kept dating him. And I spent more time with him. And I focused on the things I did like.
My attempts to get this heart beating were failing. So I tried a new approach.
I let him around my daughter thinking maybe watching him be a great male role model would help me fall in love with him? For a while, this did seem to work. I was so appreciative of how he treated her. It was admirable, truly, and soon we were enjoying pizza and movie nights and doing all sorts of things together. He would come to her sporting practice with me, and it was sweet. It really was. For a few weeks, I felt amazing. It was magical sharing my sweet little girl with a man. Having someone there to laugh at the silly things she says with me, was a delight. I loved being able to share my favourite person with someone, I really did. I hope to have that again someday, and with someone I can actually have feelings for.
So where did it all go wrong and when? Well, I would say from the start.
I should have told Mark I wasn’t interested after that FIRST date. I knew how I felt. I was only lying to myself thinking I could feel more than I did. I wasn’t interested romantically. But I thought I could grow feelings. I told my family I had met a great guy who treated me and my daughter amazingly, but that my feelings weren’t that strong? I didn’t know what to do! I knew how rare it was to find a gentleman who doesn’t play games and treats you well, so I thought I should wait, wait to grow feelings.
They told me that sometimes you can grow to love a friend as more than a friend. So I continued to date Mark, but all the time I felt tormented, because deep in my heart, I knew something was missing. Dammit – I just didn’t love him. I had to face the truth of my feelings, or lack thereof.
God, things would have been so much easier if I had loved him back. He would have done anything for me. ANY-thing. I would mention not having this or that and lo and behold, he would buy it. It would show up. He delivered flowers to my work and showered me with affection. He did everything a man should do for the woman he loves. Everything. What girl wouldn’t like that?