Have you ever kept someone in your life, listed on your cell phone, written in your little black book so to speak, that you have no intention of ever getting serious with? They aren’t really a friend, they aren’t a love interest, they are nothing, but you keep them around because, well, when you have nothing better to do they are something to do. They are your own personal boredom buster. I’m not even talking a friends with benefits thing here. I’m talking simply someone you contact when there is no one else available to contact. You do it because you are alone, you are bored, you don’t want to be alone and you’d rather be bored with someone else nearby, anyone else, than be bored by yourself.
Personally, I don’t operate this way, but I know there are others who do. It’s especially humorous, when I discover that someone has placed me on their own personal Boredom Buster register. This happened to me a couple of nights ago when someone I met nearly a year ago on one of those sleazy free dating sites contacted me out of the blue through a text message. Now, this was someone who initially contacted me. They always contact me. I never initiate contact ever. We corresponded a bit but since he never asked me out, we never met. I’m not much into digital dating so I moved on and dismissed him as a real contender for Date of the Year Award.
He would text me (he never called) every so often. Sometimes I responded, most of the time I did not. He still kept contacting me. One night many months ago, we agreed to meet. He was never a serious interest and I happened to be out with the girls at a trendy little pub in a trendier little community. He contacted me wanted to know if I wanted to get together for drinks. I told him I was already out, if he wanted to come by I’d be there for another hour or so.
He showed up in a t-shirt and a baseball cap.
He didn’t look at all like his pictures.
I was even less impressed than before and it didn’t help that I found out he’s separated, not divorced and “due to finances” not getting divorced any time soon.
Wrong answer! Thank you for playin’!
I finished up my drink and went home.
He never called and then a month later he texts me, again on a Friday night to see what I’m up to.
I didn’t respond.
Seriously, girls, do not get into the last minute habit here with a guy. You’ll have no life.
He texted me a month later same deal, no response from me and then he went silent.
A couple of nights ago he texted me out of the blue and this coversation transpired:
He: Now that my ribs are healed, I’d sure love to get together again with you.
Mind you, last time I saw this dude was over the holidays, maybe as late as February. I mean really? Who shows up at a trendy pub with the intent of meeting a hot chick in a baseball cap and a t-shirt? Not someone who is serious about impressing said hot chick that’s for sure. My thought was, “Wow! Wonder what he looks like when he’s just hanging out at home?” It wasn’t a good visual.
Back to the bizarre conversation at hand…
Me: What happened with your ribs? (Duh! Like I really cared, but I suspected it had the makings of a great blog post!)
He: (I deleted this message but it said something like…”I didnt’ tell you what happened? OMG! I thought I did.” Then he made some nondescript statement about really wanting to date me but about being “shy” of all things.
Me: Yeah. You’ve kept in such close contact I’m absolutely certain you are into me…NOT! 😉
He: Wow…you’re tough…well I would like to take you out for drinks…dinner…both…when are you free?
Me: Seriously? Thought you were playing me. I moved on.
I never actually considered this guy for a minute. At one point, I told him directly that since he was not moving in the direction of finalizing his divorce, I was uninterested in getting to know him in any other capacity than purely platonic friends without benefits. What I didn’t tell him was I’m not really even interested in getting to know him as friends.
He: Ok…I really am sorry I did not contact you more. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you. You were the 1st interesting conversation I had in months (yeah, that’s what they all say and then they don’t call…if I only had a dollar…LOL!)
Me: Well, thank you. I enjoyed meeting you too, but in the down time someone captured my interest and imagination and I just feel I can’t give anyone else a fair hearing while he’s a contender. It might not go anywhere and that’s okay, but until I know that for certain, no one is stacking up.
Now who would pursue someone after that? Yet, he comes back for more…
He: Fair enough and for love’s sake I hope things work out for you. You deserve to be happy. (Darn straight I do…and so does he…but he’s not getting anything with that level of effort. And, wait…what’s he talking about? I’m already happy. LOL! ) I will check in at a later date. 🙂
I did not respond to this. I mean what could I say? I probably shouldn’t have engaged in the conversation with him to begin with. It is clear I am simply a boredom buster for him. He’s not legally available and is merely looking for a distraction. I am not willing to be that distraction. I’ve been very clear with him that I am not interested in a friends with benefits situation nor am I into dating someone who is emotionally or legally unavailable. I met him for drinks once after meager correspondence of no substance for six months, when I was already out with my girlfriends. It was nice, not great and I didn’t even shake his hand upon leaving.
Sometimes I don’t understand human behavior. Isn’t it better to be alone with your own thoughts than to continue to put yourself in social situations that end up unhappily? I mean, it just seems like he’s intentionally setting himself up for failure. I guess some people just can’t stand being alone with themselves and anything, anyone will do to help stave off the lonliness, pain, emptiness, disappointment and boredom. Or…am I simply missing the point here?
Now, while I’m making this little anecdotal record out to be humorous, and while it does have it’s humorous elements, the real emotion I feel at the end of the telling is sadness. Not for myself, necessarily. I am pretty content with myself and I can handle tons of time in solitude and silence. In fact, solitary confinement would never be a punishment for me it would be a relief. But for him and the many, many people like him who seem trapped, alone, lost and unable to really take control of their lives for themselves (and I do know how taking control is frightening and difficult) I feel very, very sad.
In the end, it all just seems he’s living a life of quiet self imposed desperation.