Now It’s Personals 3: The Platonic Fence

What a day.

My old co-workers call me “emo”, by the way.  Because I’m an artsy musician type who’s often going on about feelings and things.


That’s what i’m going to call this series from now on. There’s LGN and now there’s NIPs.

So I went on a nice, casual date the other weekend.  A Friday after work get-together.  It was fun and went well as far as I could tell.  She was nice.  And cute.

At the end of the hang she said that she would probably IM me later that night. Good sign. I didn’t see her online so I emailed her with my number.  Said I had a good time.  Never heard from her again.

I was emboldened the other day, though, so I sent another email just in case. Something like this.

I haven’t heard back from you since we met.  Not that I’m unable to understand non-verbal communication or anything, but … I was going to a show at Blues Alley the other night and I thought, “Hey, I wonder if she would be interested.”

And I didn’t know whether or not to ask or … well you know how it goes.  Sometimes people just get busy with their lives.  Sometimes it’s more of a “Thanks for playing.  Next!” kind of thing.

So I’m just checking.

No response.   No response to IMs either.

I have no idea what happened.  I’ve received the unspoken message, though.  It’s possible that I said something that made her think I was hiding something?  Maybe she found me online and saw something she didn’t like.  A blog entry or picture?

Maybe she found the love of her life.  Maybe she’s just busy.  Who knows.   I don’t.

That’s the way it goes with personals.  It’s unpredictable.  A little random.

[Update:  Hey, she responded to my email!  And said she didn’t feel a “click”.  You know what’s weird, though?  I had a dream last night about the email and in my dream it said that I was naive.  Isn’t that interesting?  She didn’t say that, mind you.  That’s what it said in my dream.]

The Ultra Platonic Electronic Fence

Ladies, do you suffer from the frustrated awkward hints of attraction from a male friend? A confidant? An advisor?

Now, as seen on TV, you can own this simple to use device:  the Ultra Platonic Electronic Fence.

Hrm.  I was going to do something clever with that, but I don’t have the energy right now.  That concept came up when talking with a … okay, this is going to take a little explanation.  But first, I want you to know that I don’t air people’s business.  Just my own.  And just my own to the extent that it doesn’t compromise anyone else’s privacy.

If I ever write something that crosses your line, let me know.  Seriously.

Having said that, I did two things today.

  1. I put in my two weeks’ notice at work.
  2. I “broke up” with a friend.

The first one is simple enough.  Let’s discuss the latter. Because I need to and it’s almost 2am so there’s no one I can call.  Not that would actually pick up a phone.

If you know me…

…or if you’ve read old blogs you know that I have a historic cycle of being the frustrated platonic friend.  In all fairness to the women who have just not been into me in that way, I feel for you.  What an awkward situation it must be for you.

Still, how can an attraction NOT grow for someone who is pretty, smart, that you respect and have bonded with over the course of a few years.  And who isn’t off limits (married, monogamous relationship).

I’ve been in a state of turmoil for a few weeks now.  A few big talks but the fact that I’m attracted to her has been avoided or suppressed.  You know how it goes.  Yes, I was the confidant-therapist.  I got to hear all of her man troubles and choices and juggling.  In the past few weeks, I would wake up feeling humiliated and betrayed.  This is not rational, by the way, since she never made any kind of arrangement or raised expectations that I would ever be anything other than a close friend to have platonic fun with and confide in.

But that’s how it went.  I haven’t been eating.  Well, that’s not true.  I’ve been eating because I’ve gone out for Restaurant Week, like, three times this week.  I’ve eaten very well and expensively, but haven’t been eating during the day.  My stomach has been in butterfly mode.

I had dinner with my friend tonight.  Excellent dinner, by the way.  The purpose was for me to listen to what she had to say and to get her perspective.  It was educational for sure.  But it was also clear that I would never be on the dating/romance side of the Ultra Platonic Electronic Fence but have plain sight of the multiple gates in it for others.  And get a detailed tour of the outer perimeter plus field reports.  No mas, por favor.  Weaving a tangled web, indeed.  I learned some things that I wish I didn’t know.  Going through my system like a Doodoo Rusty Nail Glass Shard sandwich.

How come these conversations never go like I fantasize they will?

Unfortunately, like two natural forces colliding, the tension just isn’t sustainable.  You know.  Everything gets mixed up.  Friendship with attraction.  And when we would hang out — always a great time — the bonding lead to more attraction.  On my part, of course.  I think it made her want to be with … well.  So it goes.

I knew that I had to be done when the other day she was telling me about a guy — after a long time of my not getting news of her relationship drama because I had established a boundary — and my heart started pounding, my hands started shaking, I was shivering.  Physiologically, that’s an adrenalin fight or flight response.  That is some serious stress.

So I didn’t know what else to do.  There was no relief in sight so tonight … I asked her to remove me from her chat list, phone, address book.  Argh.  Unless necessary in an emergency.  Not forever, really.  But for the foreseeable future.  Then I gave her a ride home.

It’s like I just ripped off a limb.  As I suddenly realize what a large part of my life she is.  Was.

But I’m too old to be doing this again.  And it’s not her fault for living her life.  I figure that when I get my own house in order, these things won’t be an issue.

One More Thing

The night ended amicably, by the way.  Tragically but amicably.  I passed on a mental list of things that I had wanted to do with her — places to go, musicians to see, recreational DC things, movies.

My blog family, it has been a hell of a day.  And frankly, I’ve had enough of it.

I really shouldn’t publish this, but it’s late and my mental censor falters a little when I’m tired.

Tomorrow is a new day, kids.  A brand new day.


Add Yours
  1. Rob

    I’m glad she replied. I don’t get this pattern where people don’t want to say “Sorry, I’m not really into you.”, presumably because they don’t want to hurt you. So they say nothing, which means exactly the same thing but cones with an extra little bit of torture in the waiting. That period of “is this the silent I’m not into you, or is she busy or always just slow to respond to people?” Seriously, if you’re reading this and do that, stop. We really can’t tell. I had a friend who went silent for about a week. Naturally, I picked up the nonverbal “we’re done here”–but we weren’t. She was just busy and had a lot of new things going on in her life. We’re still great friends and I hear from her a lot now again.

    So how do you tell? You can’t. You have to just assume at some point and give up. Not cool. Cruel, honestly. Man (or woman) up and just say the words.

    The other thing that strikes me as funny/unfortunate is this “click” thing. I have to wonder how many men she’s dated that she did click with, and yet she isn’t in a current relationship with any of them. My point being the person you meet is part real, part performance, part inhibition, part how their day went. It would be great if we had a window into later. Will we click when we -really- know each other? Unless all you want is a succession of 2 week relationships, that matters a lot more.

    • garyarthuryoung


      Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

      Yeh, I’m glad she replied, too. It helps. I mean, of course it raises more questions. I mean, if I could get away with it I’d do an exit interview.

      “So at what point did you decide that there was no ‘click’ for you.”

      “What made you want to meet? And then what made you want to flee the scene?”

      To be honest with you, Rob, I didn’t have a clue. I was sitting around thinking, “That went well. I’m looking forward to the next time.”

      I know what you mean about the “click” thing. I get the “you’re not my type” thing a lot, too. Then I’ll find myself providing counsel for the fallout involved with “her type” of guy. It is what it is, but you know. I’ve had women say to me, “You’re not really my type. I like tall guys.” And then next thing you know they’re dating a guy that’s shorter than me.

      Or “I’m only attracted to white guys.” And then they’re getting intimate with an African.

      In my fantasy world, where bacon is a weight-loss inducing aphrodisiac, people would say:

      1. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t think it’ll work and here’s why. I hope that’s helpful. Good luck.

      2. I’m not attracted to you. Sorry.

      And then there’d be some way to know if that non-attraction is … really a purely physical thing or more of an established boundary thing.

      Like, if the dating game were part … I dunno. I mean, I want the best for these great women that I know or meet even if that means that I’m not in the picture. The world seems to get along okay without that kind of peacenik idealism, though.

      But … whatevs. Just thinking out loud.


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