Have you ever been exhausted from dating? I have! At first it felt great- to have so many dates lined up with men that seemed decent, were often cute, and successful too! And even better, they wanted to go out with me! Ah, naivety, it never goes away does it?
What ended up happening during this time in my life was much more bleak than the excitement I just exhibited (surprise, surprise). One lying man-child, two pretentious professionals, a normal guy, and a drug addict. Let’s start with the lying man-child who barely put effort into our dates. On the second date, we met at a sports bar, he showed up as if it was Super Casual Friday wearing track pants a purple T-shirt! Ugh. Then the professionals. We never made it to a second date. The first, a doctor, talked about himself the entire night and barely made eye contact with me. Then when he walked me to my truck, he tried to kiss me! He was extremely pissed when I didn’t let him. Then there was the lawyer, who also happened to be in love with himself but was considerate enough to ask questions about me, occasionally. He abruptly stood up while we were having coffee and cited that he had to get up early the next morning for work. Right. I didn’t feel bad, he was an atheist, I always question their motives. I feel like they are not so much non-believers as they are individuals who are angry at God for something and retaliate by denying his existence. Then there was the normal guy. We still talk, meet for coffee, and go for hikes together. We have become friends and have great conversations about all sorts of things like Native American spirituality and nature. Now for the drug addict, here’s where the story gets interesting.
I am a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. One of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs is “Silver Springs.” The opening line goes like this:
You could be my Silver Springs, blue-green colors flashing, I would be your only dream, your shining autumn, ocean crashing.
I saw a biography on the band and learned that Stevie Nicks titled and wrote the song “Silver Springs” because once when they were touring, she saw road sign for a town called Silver Springs and thought it sounded like it could be a nice place. I loved this. The entire concept made the lyrics so much more dimensional. You could be my Silver Springs. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
So I of course didn’t know he was a drug addict when I agreed to go on a date with him. When we met for the first time, I couldn’t help but notice that he was very thin, and thought that he kinda looked a little bit like a junkie. Afraid I might be right, I made a mental note to never see him again after the date was over. However, things don’t always go as planned, do they? I tried to remain emotionally distant, it was easy at first but then the unexpected happened: the date went really well. He showed me around the charming town he lived in on the Connecticut Shoreline. We went to a nice restaurant, he ordered for me, and made sure to take care of my vegetarian needs- even opting to get some vegetarian appetizers. Then we went to the restaurant where he worked. He brought out a piece of tiramisu and two forks. I thought the gesture was very sweet. We spent the rest of the night chatting. He brought me back to my truck and gave me a very respectful goodbye kiss.
One thing I failed to mention was the fact that leading up to the date 90% of what he talked about was sex. I told him to lose my number before he wasted any more of my time and that I was looking for a relationship. Apparently he took this as a challenge, because even though I stopped talking to him for about a week, he kept trying to contact me. He rebounded back my way like a stray basketball. His persistence gave me hope that his interest might be genuine.
So I went, and we had another perfect date, at a cute restaurant on the river in downtown Mystic. It was a gorgeous day, beautiful weather. Yet before the date, I was still questioning whether or not I should bother. Everything I knew about him from what he’d told me (and from checking out his Facebook profile) made it apparent that he might be a “ladies man.” On top of that, he was a bartender, a convenient position for that type of guy. And although he was 14 years older than me, he said he typically dates girls much younger than myself. I knew that the chance of this working out in a beneficial way was more of a long shot than anything, but maybe just maybe, he could be my Silver Springs?
In the past, I dated guys younger than me, guys my own age, and even guys ten or eleven years older than me, so age wasn’t a deciding factor for whether or not I should go out with him. Up until that point every date and relationship I’d participated in turned out the same: badly. So I wasn’t about to let age be the determining factor here. If anything his incessant talk about sex should’ve derailed the whole thing entirely. But I know some happily married couples whose relationships started off on a less than innocent pretenses.
On our first date his behavior pretty much proved that he wasn’t just after sex right? Wrong. After that date he went back to normal and all he talked about again was sex. Of course, I wasn’t not going to give in- I barely knew the guy. He eventually said that we “obviously wanted different things,” and stopped talking to me. Okay, fine with me. But then he showed up in my life less than a week later and wanted to take me out again. When I arrived at his place, he handed me the keys to his car and asked if I would drive. Something was wrong with his registration, he said. I thought that was odd. It was also strange that he wore sunglasses the entire date- sure we were outside at a restaurant on the river, but still. I asked him to take them off and he said he couldn’t because he had sensitive eyes. Whatever. Of course I didn’t realize what was going on at the time, and it wasn’t until way after the fact that I had actual reason to believe he was using.
The date went well regardless. I liked spending time with him, he made me laugh. The charade played on. We had a great afternoon, and spent the whole day together. We met up with some of his friends, had a few drinks and even cuddled. Until he finally lost his cool and told me to leave. I was confused. Was he not just telling me how much he liked me? Was he not just talking about relationships and wanting a girlfriend? Was he not just moments earlier describing the traits of his ideal wife? Wow. I guess it didn’t matter. What mattered was the fact that after two whole dates and a little more than two weeks of getting to know me, I wasn’t putting out and he had some sort of sex schedule to adhere to. When questioned by me about his fickleness, and why if he supposedly liked me so much he was being so nasty to me by abruptly telling me to leave. He responded cooly, “Anyone can be replaced.”
My mouth nearly dropped open. Anyone could be replaced? The faces of friends and family ran through my head, juxtaposed with his statement as a viable option. “I disagree.” I said as I walked away from him.
It didn’t take him long to get over me, the next day he hooked up with a 45 year old married mother of three who he met at his bar, and within a week, his Facebook profile picture was replaced with a new photo of him flanked with a blond on one side and a brunette on the other, how precious. Just the motivation I needed to Facebook unfriend him!
Do you know how the song “Silver Springs” ends? Well I’m pretty sure he dumps her for someone (or many someones) else. She is of course heartbroken and tries to talk herself out of ever being in love with him in the first place, then she tries to tell herself that his love for her was never real. She can’t help but torture and compare herself to his new lover:
And did you say she was pretty? And did she say that she loves you? Baby I don’t want to know.
I was hurt- being so quickly replaced by a married woman, two nineteen year old college students, and God knows whom else, but that’s just the chance you take every time you dare to hope that maybe, just maybe, someone could be your Silver Springs. The truth is he could never be anyone’s Silver Springs.
On the same weekend he told me that he never wanted to see me again because I made him sick, I was coincidentally consoling my cousin who’d just been dumped. It was nighttime. We sat on the deck of the place she was house-sitting drinking red wine and smoking Lucky Strikes, neither of which I do regularly. She sobbed as I stared off into the Sound. I listened quietly as I watched the reflection of stars occasionally flicker on the water’s surface; the night was so still. She told me his story, an Iraq Vet addicted to pain killers. An injury that would leave him unable to work for the rest of his life. She couldn’t understand why he didn’t love her when he’d had such a hard time finding anyone to love him. “He couldn’t love you,” I responded. “He can’t love you because he doesn’t love himself.”
I know I could’ve loved you but you would not let me….