Ahhh….break ups. The inevitable ending of a union between two people who crossed paths for reasons we sometimes cannot explain. Break ups can sometimes come with a sigh or relief or a feeling that weighs like a ton of bricks when the conversation finally takes place. But have you ever been in a “gray zone” with someone and “break up” before you start dating? (LOL!) I know right?! Sounds like a “Charlotte from Sex and The City” moment. But the truth is, that gray zone is quite familiar with many men. Sometimes we meet someone and we become so enthralled with a guy’s presence, aura, and energy that we begin to date him in our minds before reality sets in. In fact, these moments can make us wise in some ways. I know it did for me before I met the love of my life. In fact, rejection is what we sometimes need before we can have the breakthrough that’s necessary to pick better partners. For me, it all started with the words…It’s not you…it’s me.
Mario was the kind of guy that is an urban legend in the LGBTQ community. He was completely swagged out. He had the charm, demeanor, masculinity, and presence like no one I’d met. I just moved to Dallas so there was no way I was looking for something serious. But Mario’s companionship offered me something safe, convenient, and protection in an interesting way. He was the kind of guy you’d call if you had a flat tire or needed a heavy piece of furniture moved. He’s handy, smart, and witty. He’d definitely make a good boyfriend. But let me take you back to the very beginning. I believe giving a full history and this will set the tone for what I am about to tell you. When Mario and I first met, it was via Adam4Adam. I KNOW. I KNOW…it was tired, the site was tired. But what can I say, I only spent about 15% out of my efforts total efforts using social media meeting men. Wendy Williams says not to invest any more time than that and I knew that advice had to be golden, right? After spending about three weeks getting to know each other by phone, we agreed to meet up for dinner and drinks—sushi of course. I was impressed with his selection. As always, I was the first to arrive in case as I wanted to catch a glimmer of his walk toward me. When he walked in, he certainly didn’t disappoint. My knees started to wobble. I knew that I had to sip my Belvedere because I had to calm what was bubbling on the inside. He sits down, we embrace, and we start to converse. It was one amazing topic after the next as we gazed into each other’s eyes. It was as if by chance the moment ended, we’d relegate to a deep depression. He tells me of the conversation he overhears with the women sitting next to us as they noticed our body language. One of the women was interested him until her friend pointed out, “I think they’re a couple.”…LMAO! It was the confirmation I needed in order to continue getting to know this man. He was indeed a keeper.
When you deal with a Leo, you either to go big or go home. Unfortunately Mario was in a dark place around his birthday. Someone broke into his apartment and stole some pretty elaborate items. I felt bad for him. Although we’d been hanging out for months, he never invited me to his place. But from the location of the community he told me he lived in, it didn’t seem as if he lived a safe neighborhood. But because I cared deeply for him, I wanted to make his upcoming birthday was memorable—magical. As he walked in the door, I had the assortment of gifts all arranged all in posh style. There was Coach bags, a bag from Fossil, a bag from Neiman’s, a bag from Macy’s. He was so excited to take a picture of every detail and post it on social media. I felt like I did what any person would do for something they care about—make them forget about their troubles even for a moment. I took him to Perry’s Steakhouse and treated him to a dinner for a king. It was indeed an evening he didn’t forget. Then, he disappeared. Did I come on too strong with the birthday thing? Nah! Was I trying to buy his affection? Of course not! But there was certainly something I did to push him away in that moment and if being myself allowed him to push me away, then maybe a reconsideration was something to consider. But two days before my birthday, Mario reconnected with me. We laugh and almost pick back up where we left off. “Are you coming by for my birthday?”, I asked. “Of course!”, he replied. So as soon as I returned from Atlanta, he told me was on his way over. I was ready for a decent surprise. When he arrived, we embrace and he tells me to close my eyes. So, I retreat to my bedroom while he preps for this amazing surprise. When I return to the kitchen, lo and behold, he has my gift. It was a brownie with one candle. That was it. That was my surprise. I’ll admit, it fell flat. It was the one time I was in control of my facial expressions. I didn’t want to disappoint him. He disappeared again. And this time, I was no longer interested in him, what happened, nor ever interested in seeing him again. EVER!
Almost six months later, I’m at a restaurant and guess who approaches me at the bar. I know right. I had already written this guy off and the last thing I wanted to answer to him is “how I’m doing”. But this time, I had to get out of him what I thought I needed to know. So, I indulged. After we left the restaurant, we went by my apartment to smoke and talk. It was our thing. “So why didn’t we ever hit it off Mario? What was it about me that kept pushing you away when I told you I was open to dating?”, I asked. As he pondered my question, careful to give a crafted, thoughtful response, he replied,”To be honest, I don’t think I can come in and contribute anything to your life. You are very successful, a bad ass, and can do anything you can put your mind to. I think that is amazing and you deserve to have everything you want in life. You really do. But I think you should be with someone on your own level.” BAM! There it was. But in my moment, I couldn’t see levels—I just saw him. “Someone on my own level? What does that mean? You know how many guys I’ve dated who people thought and I thought were on my level and they turned out to be assholes?! They were just ignorant bozos with sizable bank accounts and that doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t believe you’re saying this.”, I said. Mario quickly replied and interjected, “But it’s the truth though! And you know it is the truth. Remember when we were standing in line at the club and the doorman was kinda being snooty with you. What did you say? I could buy this bitch and fire everyone in here. Did you not say that?” I’ll admit, that shit was funny and I did have a few drinks that night. I also thought it was funny he remembered that when I wasn’t talking to the doorman. I was actually talking to him. But lesson learned. After a few more minutes of conversation, Mario explained that it wasn’t me that was the problem, it was him. He knew that he could not be with someone who was more dynamic and outspoken than he was willing to handle. And that’s OK. It took me a moment to realize it, but when I did, I knew that sacrificing who I was and even apologizing for who I am is an insult to my identity. If a person isn’t willing to go to bat for you when you are bringing your full self to the relationship (whether dating or otherwise), YOU DO NOT NEED THEM! Sometimes when we meet people, it’s OK if you do not gel in other ways when there is strong chemistry. After all, the chemistry is there to let us know that it is OK to feel alive, to feel sexual, to feel needed. But after that feeling is over, logic sets in. And with that logic brings a realization that if we are ever presented with the “it’s not you…it’s me” rhetoric, that’s all the conformation we need to know that who they are will never measure up to WHO YOU ARE!
Go forth and conquer!