I didn’t expect the majority of my posts to be about dating. But the more I put myself out there, the more things happen to me that I feel are worth writing about. Getting back into dating has been quite a wild ride for me. As I was with my previous boyfriend (who in this blog, I’ve nicknamed “Jack Daniels;”) for over 5 years. I had some pretty bad experiences right out of the gate, and if you haven’t caught up on those, here is Part 1 and Part 2. Needless to say, I haven’t had the best dating luck. My last story was how I did everything right, and it still didn’t work out; this is a story about how I did everything, absolutely wrong.
My Anxiety and Insecurity Got The Best of Me.
While I was still with “Jack Daniels,” he definitely wasn’t the most loyal or consistent boyfriend. I am way to patient of a person about things I shouldn’t be okay with when it comes to dating. He would often disappear for weeks or months on end. Usually, this was because he works in the film industry and would work 100 hour weeks and didn’t have the energy to maintain attention or conversation. So I tried to be understanding. And honestly, he has some major depression issues, so often, when he wasn’t working, I wouldn’t hear from him for long stretches either.
As understanding as I was, I was quite often left feeling taken advantage of and unsure about our relationship. Before we actually broke up, I had spent a weekend trying to get a hold of “Jack Daniels,” with no response. Only to catch him at a bar with a girl just outright ignoring me. I bring this up because its important to note, he often was just avoiding me for long periods, usually sleeping with other women.
All of this is important because that’s how “Code Name Motor Boat” and I met. (I will explain the nickname eventually) A few years before “Jack Daniels” and I broke up, there was a time I hadn’t really heard from him in a month. And I wasn’t going to wait around to see if he was going to come back. I downloaded some dating apps and put myself out there.
That’s when “Motor Boat” and I matched. In fact, he was someone I already happened to know. I used to go to parties at his house a lot when I first moved to New Mexico. So it was pretty easy to get into a casual swing of talking.
I want to start by outright stating, he is just a fascinating human. He’s INCREDIBLY intelligent, insanely funny, witty, attractive, and into so many of the same things I was. He had a tendency for engineering and science, but was also in a Funk Band and loved film. He is so well rounded and versatile that I find him incredibly fascinating.
But just by chance, every time we tried to make plans to hang out, something would happen. And honestly, maybe it was because subconsciously I was waiting for “Jack Daniels” to come back.
Seeing as “Jack Daniels” and I didn’t break up for another few years, obviously “Motor Boat” and I didn’t actually spend time with each other. But for the next few years, every time I started to feel neglected by “Jack Daniels,” there was this voice in the back of my mind. I’d remind myself that there were people who were actually interested in me.
Thinking that way, however, built up this connection in my head with “Motor Boat,” that, in reality, had never been there. A few months after “Jack Daniels” and I broke up; when “Motor Boat” commented on one of my Instagram stories. I jumped on the opportunity. Well, we both did as he definitely outright texted me a variation of “lets Netflix and Chill.”
I had been drinking downtown with friends at my favorite bar, and he swung by and eventually ended up heading back to his place to drink more.
He was so sweet, he asked me about what I had been up to lately, commenting about things he had seen on social media that I posted. He even showed concern for how depressed I had been last year and wanted to know if I needed to talk about it.
It didn’t take very long to reach the “chill” part of Netflix and chill. And I’m not going to sugar coat it… It was bad. Not because of anything he did. But more what he didn’t do. Which wasn’t much of anything. I’m not even really sure you could call it intercourse…It was not just him, though. I liked him so much that I was unusually nervous, and I could not stop giggling. Which is obviously a turn off for anyone. And he was pretty drunk, so he was struggling to focus.
This was when I made my first big mistake. I didn’t get much sleep and have a bad habit of overthinking things when I’m hungover. “Hanxiety,” I call it. I way too QUICKLY let him know that I had a good time and was down to hang out again. Which I know came off as very desperate. He gave a very brief, “I’m down” reply. Which is promising but also vague.
I didn’t hear much from him after that. And that’s when my anxious, insecure mind kicked into overdrive. I kept wondering if it was a one-time casual thing or if there was a chance to really get to know each other. After all, I really did like him and would rather have known if I needed to move on or not. So about a week later, I reached out and asked.
You would think it would come off as a valid and mature question. It didn’t. It ended up coming off frantic and clingy.
He was confused, reminding me we had decided to hang out again. Then I repeatedly apologized for coming off so insecure, which I think was the nail in the coffin for “what could have been” at that time. He let me know he wasn’t looking for anything serious, and I told him (and myself) I was okay with that, that I wasn’t looking for anything either. When really, I was deeply disappointed.
I wondered if it was because I came on stronger than I intended. I worried that it was because “Motor Boat” didn’t enjoy our sexual encounter. I usually get pretty good feedback about physical encounters, so having someone out there who potentially thought otherwise, was embarrassing and frustrating.
At this point, I did the responsible thing by not contacting him anymore. I mean, really, if someone is interested in you, they will reach out.
It was also the catalyst for me to finally seek medication for my mental health. The level that I spun out about a guy I had hooked up with ONE TIME wasn’t healthy, and I am happy I got on medication. I’m way more grounded now.
I Continued to REALLY do Everything Wrong.
About a month and a half went by, and I was out drinking with a few friends. At this brewery that had this sign about a return policy that I thought was just absolutely hilarious. Who has a return policy at a brewery? Anyway, I took a picture and sent it ‘snap-chat’ style, to several people I thought would think it funny. Considering we had resigned to just being friendly, I also sent it to “Motor Boat.” It was something I knew he’d find funny.
He responded with, “Is that an invitation?” It hadn’t initially been, but I really liked this guy, and my friends were cool with him joining. So he met up with us, where he eventually swept me away from my friends and took me back to his place. That night to told me, “I never heard back from you; I thought there was something there,” I responded with, “Well, I felt like I came on too strong, and you wanted me to leave you alone.” We weren’t able to hook up that night because 1. we were both too drunk, and 2. I had a particular visitor that occasionally gets in the way.
However, I still initially thought it was a nice night. He didn’t judge me as I was so drunk I definitely got sick. And we fell asleep on the couch while he was clutching me close, and it was the most comfortable and safest I had felt since before my break up with “Jack Daniels.”
At the time, it felt like he was genuinely disappointed he had never heard back from me and was happy to have me there. I was excited to not have to rush off to work the next morning, hoping we could spend some sober time together.
Except for the next morning, he woke me in a hurry asking me to leave. He had some family stuff he had to do, and his sister would be there soon. He apologized profusely, promising to make it up to me. Kissing me over and over again as he did so.
Because family plans are a valid reason to need to get your day going, I left in really high spirits. Maybe I didn’t overthink it the first time, and maybe there was something there.
Over the next few weeks, I asked him to hang out several times. However, something was always coming up. And both because I am too patient about some things, and because those reasons always seemed genuine. I understood. Adults are busy, and he clearly had a tight bond with his family, which kept him incredibly unavailable.
Slowly I began to realize again that I was pushing something that wasn’t going to happen. I was chasing someone who wasn’t into me. But I kept trying. I kept thinking about how “Motor Boat” had told me he was disappointed that I disappeared the last time and thought something was there.
I asked him on an actual date night to see a friend of mines play. I even picked a weeknight in hopes he would be more available. He agreed!! We had it all planned out, I bought the tickets and everything. I had a beautiful dress, bought a bottle of Jameson for afterward, and was determined to make it a good time.
A few days before, he actually ASKED ME out to drinks. It was a relief because I wasn’t the only one initiating contact, it was mid-week, and he had had a shitty day. He vented to me all night about things going on in his life and how overwhelmed he was.
As he walked me to my car, he kissed me and confirmed our date for that weekend. I felt confident that I wasn’t some crazy girl chasing someone who was never going to be into me.
That is until the day of our date. That morning he checked in about what time we were meeting up. Later in the day, he even offered to pick me up instead of meeting me there. But literally 2 hours before we were supposed to meet, yet again. Something came up. And yet again, it sounded serious and genuine. This time it was about his mother being in the hospital, so I sincerely hope he was telling the truth.
Either way. I was devastated. I was so excited about that night. I knew that was going to be a show he would have loved. I went anyway by myself. My friend, who was in the production, had drinks with me later that night. If you read Part 2 of my negative dating experiences, this was the night everything happened with “Vanilla.” Where a guy I knew had pulled me into a bathroom and asked me to ‘get on my knees.’
Suffice to say, it was a terrible night. Two days later, I wake up to a text message from “Motor Boat,” reading quote, “I can no longer entertain your advances.”
Initially, my gut reaction was to just not react at all. I didn’t even need to open the message because I could read it all in the text preview. I immediately just deleted the whole thread and didn’t say anything. What was there to say? I was crushed. But why tell him that? I knew that the little things he had given me to indicate he also liked me didn’t compare to the signals that he wasn’t. I felt so stupid, so crushed.
You would think that would have been me doing the responsible, secure thing, right? Well, for a few weeks after that, I would then hear from him ALL THE TIME. Previously we didn’t really interact on social media at all, but he was interacting with ALL of my posts. And sending me messages commenting about them.
I would politely, but shortly respond. Confused at this point. But the breaking point was one night at 3 AM I get several text messages, the first of which that just read:
and so on…
I lost my shit. How dare “Motor Boat” tell me to leave him alone and then continue to engage in the same kind of conversation I had been earlier. Let alone the middle of the night. This is where the nickname “Code Name Motor Boat” came to life. My friends happened to be up with me that night and started calling him that. (However, he’s also known in my circle, as the “King of Mixed Signals, and eventually just F*ck Boy )
His reason the next morning was, I was sleep texting. Which, after some research, is apparently a real thing. However, it tends to be the last person you contacted, since you’re half asleep, and it had been at least a week and a half since I had engaged with him. So I still call bullshit. I was no longer giving him attention, and he didn’t know what to do.
I was livid. I did what he wanted, I had left him alone. Not just once but twice. I savagely went after all the reasons he was clearly giving me mixed signals. That he was clearly going through a rough time, however, he was still worth the effort to have a connection. And for that matter, so was I. I made sure to point out I had made an effort to get to know him and the things he had been going through, and he took advantage of it while not bothering to get to know me at all.
This Is Where His Mixed Signals Really Kick In.
I really did feel like I went too far with my final blowup. I went after “Motor Boat” on a deeply personal level, which is something I tend to do when I’m feeling hurt and pushed into a corner. I lash back with words, harshly.
A few months later (in fact, the night before New Mexico’s lockdown happened), I texted him and apologized. I think part of me had felt guilty for, in a way, going for the jugular emotionally. But also being freaked out about how much life was changing. I had a limited number of friends to turn to and felt a little lonely and insecure.
(I guess this is a good time to mention, I had a pretty big falling out with a portion of my friend group in the winter of last year. I haven’t quite known how to write about it because… there is still a lot to process about it.)
He told me he didn’t think I had anything to apologize for. That he understood where I was coming from, and that he was sorry that I felt used. He even let me know I was why he remembered he was worth the effort and sought out mental health assistance. We ended up meeting for drinks at a brewery he’s a regular at.
We toasted to the fact that we were helping a local business on the last day they could be open. When the brewery closed, he knew all of the employees, so we hung out with the staff after hours. We drank with them and vented about how freaked out we were that everything was changing and that many of us didn’t know what we were going to do while work was shut down.
My phone died, and “Motor Boat” paid for an Uber for me to get home. I drunkenly told the delightful Uber driver how much of a crush I had on him the entire ride home. She was very supportive in telling me, “I hope you hear back from him.”
After that night, I knew I needed to take a step back and assess the ENTIRE situation. He had clearly shown signals of not being interested, and the conversation the night before was clearly a closure conversation.
So I made a point to let him know that I was also interested in pursuing new friendships. I explained I had a falling out with a portion of my previous friend group and wanted to cultivate new and healthy ones.
He seemed interested, but with him, it was always hard to tell.
I’m Bad at Walking Away From People I Like. Even When It Isn’t Good For Me.
Throughout quarantine, we would both hear from each other. Which was nice because I didn’t feel like I was chasing after someone who wanted me to leave them alone.
But, being the King of Mixed Signals, that he was. There were several times it was hard to tell if he was friendly or flirting. He’d initiate contact. When the conversation would turn back around to how he was doing; He’d talk about how much he wanted cuddles or a date. I attempted to not make an assumption that he was flirting. For example, in one instance, I sent him a PDF of a “Cuddle Buddy Application” for him to send jokingly to other potential partners. He had been talking about the fact that he was putting himself out there again, I figured he’d find it funny. Instead, he filled it out and sent it back to me!
For most of quarantine, it was like this. One of us would kind of reach out, we’d have a friendly conversation, and I would try not to push it too far. And since I was keeping my expectations in check, I had found myself excited to build a friendship with “Motor Boat” instead. I’m a pretty firm believer that just because someone (me) has a crush on someone else (Motor Boat,) it does not mean they owe you anything. They are under no obligation to like you back. Especially after I had started seeing “Caper.” But if you read my blog, you know that ended after 2 months with me bein incredibly heartbroken.
My Last Big Mistake
So when my heart got broken, he was one of the people I vented to about it. Venting to male friends about dating has always been helpful by expanding my perspective. I started to tell him what was going on, and he invited me over to talk about it instead.
When I got there, he immediately kissed me. Obviously, I was taken by surprise. He had been drinking already, and I wanted comfort on top of the fact that I really do just have an intense crush on this guy. We did inevitably end up sleeping together again that night.
And I was not going to leave without showing him I was better at it then our only other encounter appeared to be. Yet again, he was just tipsy enough not to be able to focus. It was clear our bad sexual encounter the first time was definitely NOT my fault.
You would think bad sex would be enough for me to stop chasing after someone. But I like to think I’m not that shallow, and I still find this guy intriguing.
Now, this continues to be our cycle. We’re friendly. We sleep together or have a sexting conversation. Then “Motor Boat” disappears for a bit, but always comes back. I know I’m chasing after someone who isn’t interested again. Only this time, it isn’t strictly romantic. I really thought there was a friendship worth pursuing.
I Acknowledge How I Brought This On and Can Still be Frustrated at Mixed Signals.
I want to be very clear that I acknowledge the mistakes I have made here. I know that I’m pushing something that isn’t there. I keep going back to it even though I have very little to go off of. And that I shouldn’t want something with someone who doesn’t give me all the attention I deserve.
However, since this is my blog, and I know two things can be true simultaneously, I’m going to vent about his bullshit. What kind of annoying f*ck-boy behavior is that? Who continues to tell someone they aren’t interested in a relationship and then take every chance they want at getting laid? And not just taking advantage of getting laid, but only doing so on their terms? We will sleep together or have a sexting conversation when he’s in the mood, so I will assume its okay to ask for it when I’m feeling in the mood for it, but he won’t respond.
He also only ever talks about himself when we hang out. Even when I reach out because I need someone to vent to. We spend 90% of the conversation on his life. When I went over to vent about “Casper,” we mostly talked about an argument he had with his family about making pizza… for hours!! What is it with men and them not wanting you to be too into them, yet they expect you to stay within arm’s length because you also aren’t allowed to be into anyone else.
“Motor Boat” also continues to change his story too. One week I’ll reach out (on something like Messenger), and he won’t respond. He will tell me, “Oh, I was at the cabin, no wifi out there.” The next, he’s bragging about how the wifi at his cabin is better than at his house.
It feeds their ego. Men don’t want to deal with their own emotions. Or telling the truth, but having attention smooths the empty hole inside of them. He’s kind of a textbook definition of a “F*ck-Boy,” and if you don’t know what that is, here is a link.
Even The Universe Is Against Me On This One.
The universe also seems to be pushing back against me on this. The Thursday before last, we had a sexting conversation. Initiated by him, obviously. However, I was busy, so I couldn’t hang out to follow through. But I enjoyed the conversation and wanted to continue to tease him. So on Sunday, I sent him a selfie. And Monday, I sent him some EXCELLENT Thirst traps if I do say so myself. After our conversation the previous Thursday, I was floored that he didn’t respond. So I left it at that, yet again we had a sexual conversation when he felt like it, but when I felt like it, he would avoid it. Supposedly he never got any of those messages, and they all went through at once almost a week later. Which obviously freaked him out. I am so frustrated because I didn’t do anything wrong. I definitely spaced those messages out, and when I thought he wasn’t responding to them, I didn’t push it. It feels so unfair that I continue to look so terrible in this situation despite how I keep trying to do the opposite. It’s like my life is right out of an awful sitcom sometimes; I told him I hadn’t blown up his phone like a crazy person. But at that point, there is only so much explaining you can do without making it worse.
I know that the only person responsible for putting me in this awkward, desperate situation is me. The only reason I come off this way is my own inability to let go of a crush. That being said, just because I have a crush on someone doesn’t mean they owe me anything. You can have feelings or an attraction to someone and not expect them to feel the same way back. It happens all the time. The friend-zone is not a real place. That goes for all genders. It’s called being an adult.
The only thing I do wish he would do is to figure out where he stands and stick with it. It felt like we were going to start a friends with benefits relationship, and I was definitely okay with that. Being single is hard, and even more challenging in the middle of a pandemic. And I get touch starved really really quickly. But we will have an encounter or a conversation, and he disappears again. We will then get to a place where we are strictly platonic, and he will kiss me out of nowhere. I might be responsible for sticking around and keeping my hopes up. But I still feel like it was pretty easy to read into what was and is still happening.
This catches us up to now. Though, to be honest, I really do like “Motor Boat,” so I would be very open to it if something were still there. However, I can completely accept it might not go that way. I am just not okay with the wishy-washy behavior. It’s hard not to feel taken advantage of. It makes me want to remind the world of my continuous mantra, that I’ve brought up a few times in this blog.
“You’re an adult, use your words!”
Thank you for reading! Leave a comment, tell me about your experiences being led on or accidently leading on someone else. Tell me about the one that got away! If you enjoyed this piece tell your friends. Share this on social media, and follow me on instagram @adventuresofeleanor and facebook at Adventures of Eleanor.