Leona’s Love Quest: Should Old Acquaintance be Forgot?


Happy New Year fellow questers! Yes, I’m still out here searching for the love of my life. I’m hoping the New Year might bring me some new developments. I did go on one perplexing online date in early November with a mixed race, 43 year-old high school principal. We decided to see The Best Man Holiday and then have dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.  We laughed and chatted for a long time after dinner and were kind of astounded by how much we had in common. He arrived in town by train so at the end of the night I offered him a ride to the station. Strangely enough, at that moment I could tell I was never going to hear from him again. He didn’t attempt a goodnight kiss and he didn’t say that he would call or that he even had a good time. I couldn’t pin down at what point the date went off the rails and there were plenty of opportunities for him to bail if he wanted to. I gave him a few days and then sent a few conversational texts. He would respond, but he was never prompted to send any. Around Thanksgiving he responded that he’d like to get together again “after the holidays.” Clearly a period of time I did not attempt to hold my breath. Needless to say, I haven’t heard from him since.

Speaking of perplexing situations, if you dig way back in the archives to my entry about analyzing my bad dating habits, I mentioned my affair with a man I called “Secret Lover” who ended our relationship to marry the mother of his five-year-old daughter. Unsurprisingly, their union was precarious from the start and we sporadically reunited for many wasted years until seeing him became just too painful and eventually we moved far enough apart to be tempted. Well, lo and behold, twelve years and two kids later, he actually got a divorce. We had already reconnected about a month prior when he finally succumbed to joining Facebook.  Our interactions so far had been casual: a “liked” photo or comment here and there, an ongoing rematch of Words with Friends, (at which I have no intentions of ever letting him win,) but no meaningful exchanges of any kind. He lives in Houston but I assumed he’d be in Philadelphia to spend time with his sons at Christmas, so I invited him to the Ugly Sweater party I was hosting at a downtown piano bar.  He showed up about an hour or so into the evening looking like an older, dressed-down version of the incredibly tall, handsome man I remembered. Word of advice: if you’ve never seen the man you are dating in casual clothing because he only allows you to meet him or call him at his fancy office, consider that a major red flag. I know, it seems obvious now, but give me a break. I was only 26 at the time.

At the party he was giving me all the indications that he might be looking for a little bit of “Auld Lang Syne”- lots of eye contact, frequent, brief touches to my shoulders and back, flirtatious banter with an intimate kind of familiarity. Someone dropped him off at the party directly from the airport, so at the end of the night I offered to give him a ride to where he was staying, but we had to take the train to my apartment to get my car. We went upstairs to drop off the bags I had carried from my office and to grab my keys and he needed to make a few phone calls. Then he sat next to me on the couch and said, “So, how’s this going to go? Do you want me to leave now . . . or do you want me to leave later?” and immediately my brain went on overload. It was past midnight and I had to get up early the next morning and drive to Baltimore. I had already subjected him to the general disorder of my living room and kitchen, but I could at least spare him the mountains of dirty laundry in my bedroom. Oh God, when was the last time I shaved my legs? And was this a proposition or an attempt at reconciliation? I couldn’t work out the logistics let alone the emotional consequences of a possible one night stand with a man who shattered my heart in a million pieces so many years ago. I needed to buy some time. All I could think to say was, “Will I be able to see you again before you go back to Texas? I mean, tonight’s not good for me, but I don’t want to wait another twelve years while I’ve still got working parts.” He laughed at my decision-making process and we headed down to the garage.

The drive to his destination was oddly silent and I instinctively knew, just as I knew on my date with the high school principal, that I was not going to hear from him again. When we stopped he didn’t say he’d call or it was nice to see me again, or anything. He just gave me a light peck on the lips and walked inside. Again, I waited a few days before sending few conversational texts. He’ll respond, but he’s never prompted to send any. We still connect on Facebook through casual interactions- a “liked” photo or comment here or there, but still no meaningful exchanges of any kind. You know I’m kicking his ass at Words with Friends.

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