I left off with my story telling you I had met a guy named Mike, who I started dating just before leaving for Florida to help my son, and his family, move. When I returned home, Romeo had dialed up the charm a notch…or two.
I thought I’d share with you what John wrote about that time, with a little commentary from me.
Here is an excerpt from his book, Romeo’s Dilemma:
By August I had started to back pedal on my backpedaling. Yeah I know that sounds complicated, but now and then, guys are complicated too.
Initially I told Betty I didn’t want us to be so serious – but I didn’t want to break it off either. So we were still dating, just not exclusively.
It didn’t help that, because I asked a mutual friend to introduce us, I felt an obligation – not only to Betty, but also to the friend, to give this thing a try. As opposed to bailing out when things felt too “relationshippy” – which, over the years, had become my style.
So, even though I didn’t think of her as ‘the one’, and we were no longer exclusive, I made an effort to find common ground with her. Some of that ground turned out to be a 10K race we ran together. She liked to run, as did I – plus it was something where you didn’t have to be charming and engaging, you just had to be able to run.
I was also in that race.
When I told John I was running the 10k in Santa Cruz, you should have seen the look on his face. Picture deer in headlights. That’s when he said, he was also running in it, but with Betty.
Part of the reason I had time to run around at the coast was Loretta was out-of-town. She flew off to Florida to spend a couple of weeks with her kids. And I found myself not all that thrilled about her absence. There was one more development that left me less than thrilled.
She had met another guy online.
Which is totally fair, right? I mean, here I was giving advice to women to have some fun with the dating sites, so I couldn’t really fault one for listening to me.
Loretta told me the guy she met, Mike, was a pilot. A handsome, tall, charming, fit, well to do pilot – who had been texting her nonstop since she left town.
To make matters worse, when she arrived back home her front gate was adorned with flowers, candy, perfume, a mix CD, concert tickets – and a love letter.
Wait, it wasn’t even just a love letter; it was this little handmade passport with personal notes, in which he described all the romantic destinations he was going to fly her off to.
Great… and I’d taken her out for mediocre Mexican food.
I was so surprised and thrilled when I returned home to find these welcome gifts from Mike. John, on the other hand, was suspicious.
Okay, well I still had the girl at the coast and, while that situation wasn’t perfect, it was still a situation, you know?
I think the best thing Betty and I had were the weekend mornings where we’d get up and walk to the coffee shop. Once there I’d drink my coffee and read my paper – and she’d drink her coffee and read her paper.
Together but separate – kind of like what my ex-wife and I used to do back in the day.
Really, he’s talking about his ex-wife and a new girlfriend and comparing them?
Sounds like he is more into this girl than he’s letting on.
And yeah, I know, if the best thing we had, happened fully clothed, then it couldn’t have been all that great, right? But for a minute there I had someone – yes, the wrong someone – but someone, nonetheless.
And having a ‘someone’ just on the weekends, who lives far away, can have interesting consequences.
You find yourself thinking about all the ways in which you don’t fit. And it’s important that you recognize that lack of ‘fit’, because, if you don’t you might not act on it. If you don’t act on it, you might end up getting used to a situation that’s not right for you. And if that happens, then you are – in some way – invested in something you shouldn’t be.
And that’s a recipe for disaster.