Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dating disappointment: revision 2

One of the parts of being what I suppose is overly analytical is that I really want to know enough about my life to be able to tell a coherent narrative. It bugs me when I don't know what happened, especially if it was semi-important. Although I've moved on with my life (I've been on a few dates with someone where there's clear mutual interest, and where it's in many ways a better match than this guy. I can't say anything, but for now there's nothing better than sitting next to someone and gradually leaning towards and then on each other. Very high school, but very nice.), the gap in my knowledge about my own life still kind-of bugs me.

On a lark, I decided to look at the facebook newsfeed of the girl that the passive-aggressive guy is now dating. Seeing the newsfeeds next to each other is evocative, especially now that I have changed their names to Hans Hansen and Helga Helgadottir. I'm leaving in mostly relationship-relevant stuff, and not including the innumerable games and "which X are you like" quizzes that they took together. That profusion of quizzes is bizarre, though.

December 21:
2:59pm: Helga commented on her own photo.
I'm pursuing my dream of becoming a spinster with cats....HA! (they ARE cute though aren't they???? Admit it!!!!)

December 22:
11:34am: Helga and Hans Hansen are now friends.
7:48pm: Helga received a new movie compatibility match.
Hans Hansen took the test and scored 57 (Casual buddies) with Helga.

3:34pm: Hans is kinda psyched for tonight.

December 24
12:33am: Hans is about as excited as possible for Xmas Eve...and for reasons having nothing to do with Xmas.
9:38am: Helga sent a new message to Hans. Click here to see Hans's message. [these are the ones about how cute the other is.]
9:51am: Helga is excited about tonight!
9:56am: Helga received a new message. Click here to see Hans's message
10:00am: Helga sent a new message to Hans. Click here to see Hans's message

December 25
11:11am: Hans is just waking up after a great night.
8:47pm: Hans is kinda giddy.

December 26
8:24am: Helga is floating...
12:56pm: Helga is ecstatic...
12:56pm: Helga is listed as in a relationship.
1:31pm: Helga is listed as single.
2:08pm: Helga is thinking too much as usual....
2:39pm: Hans is counting the minutes till this evenin'.

December 27
8:24am. Helga is hoping a week and a half goes by fast...
10:59am: Helga sent a new message to Hans. Click here to see Hans's message
1:07pm: Helga is listed as in a relationship.
2:43pm: Helga is head over heels....

December 28
11:25am: Hans is listed as in a relationship.
8:42am: Hans is worn out...
10:59am: Hans received a new message. Click here to see Helga's message
6:23pm: Hans en route to Airport and then City. And still worn out.

December 31
9:01am: Helga is missing her love slave...ha ha!
9:03am: Helga sent a new greeting card to Hans. Click here to see Hans's greeting card
11:13am Helga is looking forward to being off work tomorrow!
12:21pm Helga is thinking about hot tubs..etc.
2:09pm Helga is restless.

January 2
8:33am: Helga is back to work...whoo hoo!
3:38pm: Helga is missing her beau....awww..

January 3
11:41am: Helga threw a Kiss at Hans Hansen!
1:35pm: Helga recruited Hans Hansen to the cause [whatever].
3:17pm: Helga Poked Hans Hansen with the song..."Just Like Heaven" by The Cure
4:16pm: Helga is hungry!
4:18pm: Helga is listed as single.
4:18pm: Helga is listed as in a relationship.
6:51pm: Helga is listed as in a relationship with Hans Hansen.
7:03pm: Helga is happy!

6:51pm: Hans is listed as in a relationship with Helga Helgadottir.

7:22am: Helga is ecstatic!
2:31pm Hans is back in City. Huzzah!

1:03pm: Helga is totally giddy...

I looked back at an email from "Hans" for one more piece of data. This email is the one after his break-up email:

And thanks for being so understanding, I know it is
kind of shitty that something that doesn't have
anything to do with you could have an effect. And to
be honest, I never really thought I was one of those
people who would let that happen. But...I guess I just
need some more time to sort myself out.

My guess of what happened:

  • Hans and Helga knew each other before I met Hans, and they did not date for some reason: maybe Helga was dating someone else; maybe Hans didn't realize Helga liked him; it doesn't matter.
  • The barrier to dating lifted and H&H started to see more of each other while I was traveling, possibly with the explicit potential for dating; possibly not. Possibly they were platonic; possibly the sexual tension overcame their best intentions; possibly they never intended to be platonic.
  • At some point, Hans realized his relationship with Helga had great potential and he had no doubts on that, but he didn't know what to tell me; or he wasn't totally sure, and didn't want to lose me if Helga wasn't a sure bet. Either way, he put off the break-up and in the meantime became distant and avoided me, "lost" his phone, "remembered" a late night grad school meeting, got sick (psychosomatic?).
  • When I pressed him, he gave the "it's not you, it's me; that's so cliche, but I really mean it" line, which I suspect he meant in the best possible way: it's possible for something or someone to be so fantastic and appealing that you wish you liked them, but you just don't. Or you like them and care about them and find them attractive and wish you felt connected with them, but you just don't. I've felt like that quite a bit about past dates (including him), and also jazz and dogs.
  • If I can take literally the external circumstances that he mentions in the second email, he attributed his ambivalence largely to whatever happened with Helga. I am fairly sure that it has nothing to do with her; we may have even been on the same page in being extremely fond of each other in myriad ways and really enjoying whatever closeness and intimacy there was, but just feeling like something was lacking. One thing that bugged me when I was seeing him was that our first meeting was not crystalized in my mind and did not seem particularly special. I had an open mind that terrific things could develop, and he made me very happy, but compared with the spark and connection that I felt with other people (sometimes during my relationship with Hans) and the first meetings that are forever etched in my mind, it felt weak.
  • He truly felt bad about it, and could not face me when I asked to talk in person or on the phone because he couldn't guard his words as well that way.
  • He did not want to hurt me, but he also wanted to keep the girl. So he made it look on facebook like they had just met, and only then started to write about her in his newsfeed. Her newsfeed is very active so I can't see anything prior to around this time, so it's hard to tell whether she was writing about him before. After a couple of days of her trying to make their relationship "facebook-official", he agreed, but held off on including her name for another week.

He may or may not have cheated on me, but whatever happened I don't think he took it lightly, and the profusion of apparent lies came from feeling guilty. I think that I'm actually genuinely happy for both of them. The facebook status is so public and yet can give such a close look at how someone is feeling: she seemed to feel lonely beforehand, and clearly they're having fantastic sleepless nights together (the advice of GET MARRIED NOW notwithstanding). Her love slave remark is priceless for sure.

I still have no desire ever to speak with him again.


Dorabella said...

Whoa, that is a LOT of status updates. I'm as much of a facebook addict as the next person (probably more so, given that it came out when I was a freshman in college), but I totally don't get the need to broadcast every single feeling in real time, especially the lovey-dovey crap.

Anonymous said...

I agree mostly with the above, but I still don't quite understand some of it. Care to elaborate?