One perfect summer night in June, I stood on the rooftop of an exclusive hotel in West Hollywood at a swanky event. At first, I made it a priority to scan the crowd for anyone who could spark my interest but no one appealed to me. So, I decided to participate in the conversation with my former colleagues, who by chance signed up for the event too.
At that moment, for the first time during that whole night, my mind was clear. It was perfect.
Until I looked across the rooftop and found myself staring into the eyes of a handsome face that seemed vaguely familiar. In a crowd of about a hundred, we stood there gazing at each other. Then, he smiled at me. We continued to look at each other but I became nervous and broke eye contact by briefly looked down at the floor. When I looked up, I saw his back; he was literally running away.
I acted quickly. The women I was speaking with earlier also knew him. One of them called after him but he never turned around again. He was gone and it was all over; over before it started.
Two years earlier, I was interning at an internationally renowned company during my first summer break in grad school. One of the many highlights of the program was the guest speaker series. The man who smiled at me two years later was one of our speakers. Although we never interacted and I barely remember what he said to us, I remembered him.
Almost a week later, my friends successfully convinced me to join Tinder again; the app that people of all ages use to date or, hook up. Almost as soon as I activated my new account, he appeared. I clicked the like button without hesitation. Within 10 minutes I received a notification that he had done the same and we were matched up. I was ecstatic! Sadly, my joy was short lived. He never said anything. By the time I had the courage to say hello, he was off Tinder and gone again.
Looking for the lesson in this, I would catch myself wondering I had smiled back immediately, would things be different? Honestly, I am not used to being approached in person. Men find me “intimidating” (whatever that means) or gaze at me in ways that make me feel uncomfortable. He seemed different and I was caught off guard.
Fortunately, there are plenty of men in the world and I’m sure not all of them run away from women. Maybe he was not Mr. Right. Maybe the timing was wrong. Either way, I trust fate and am sure that I will have my happy ending, with or without him.