But instead of listening to my gut I made a rookie mistake: I doubted myself. Maybe I'm too picky? Maybe my sense of humor is weird and I should tone it down? Maybe I should stop being sarcastic so I don’t have to explain jokes he doesn’t get? Maybe he wasn’t talking money under his breath, making me slightly uncomfortable, maybe it’s all in my head? Maybe he's funny and I’m just too dumb to get it? And I even thought maybe he wasn’t a bit pushy, so maybe I should’ve said yes when he walked me home and asked if he could come in, even though I really didn’t want him too. Was I being difficult?
Out of the blue he said "But really, how long do you normally let a guy pay for everything?". Mr. nice guy was gone, an angry man took his place. I told him if money was the problem, I’d happily pay my share. He said "Money is not the problem, I have more than enough money, but I was just wondering. It’s a normal question, answering is the least you can do." I tried to calm him down and said "It's not a normal question. We’ve been on 2 dates, it’s not like we’ve been going out for months. I’m just not into it enough to continue." He huffed ‘You couldn’t figure that out sooner? I’ve invested time and money in our dates. I’m very busy, I gave you time!’ Wait...what? It sounded like I turned down a marriage proposal (after a solid decade of dating & matching Christmas sweaters and stuff) instead of calling it quits after 2 dates.
He then said "We had a great time!" But…did 'we' really? He failed to make me laugh, didn't make me feel at ease. He picked a bar I didn't feel comfortable at, which I had told him in advance. Listening is a skill. Should I feel bad for wasting his time, because did I really waste his time? Aren’t the first few dates to figure out if you're compatible? And WHY am I defending myself to a man I hardly know? The confident 30-something lawyer had turned into a frustrated boy, unable to accept he wasn’t getting what he wanted. I took a deep breath and said "You’re insulting me, that's not okay. We’ve been on 2 dates, once again sorry if I offended you in any way, but this isn’t working for me", while all I really wanted to say was something far less eloquent like 'F* you' to be honest. I thought this would be enough for him to let it go, but the lawyer-turned little boy was just getting started. "I’m not insulting you, why are you mad? We’re just talking"’ For a second I thought: what if he’s right? Am I overreacting? But then he made a mistake. He said "I’m disappointed in you!". Excuse me? He kept talking, didn't let me finish my sentences saying "You're not letting me talk! Stop interrupting me!". He insinuated I was only dating to get men (plural? Ain't nobody got time for that!) to pay for drinks. Everything I said was questioned, like I was in court. This went on for 20 minutes and I felt mortified. He subtly kept accusing me of mistreating him, twisting my words and denying it when I quoted him, like he would never say such a thing (but he just did!). I’m currently figuring out what to do with my life, traveling, babysitting, writing, studying, happy to be able to pay my rent. He's a lawyer with a fat pay check- I know this because he told me several times. I’ll be honest: it’s nice when a guy has a job so he can support himself but it’s not why I went out with him. I was interested in him, not his income. At this point in the conversation he was repeating himself and I was close to tears. I opened up to him as much as anyone would in 2 dates, I gave it a chance. And here I was, standing in my living room being insulted over the phone by a guy I barely knew and definitely didn’t like.
I realised I didn’t owe him anything. I didn’t make promises I couldn’t keep, I didn’t lead him on and didn’t pretend to be someone I’m not. The only person I owe anything is myself, I don’t need a stranger talking me down. When I realised this man made me feel like 18-year old me, I knew I made the right decision. He was still talking, asking again if I thought it was normal he paid for everything. By the way- we never had dinner, just drinks and if money was such an issue he should've invited me for a walk on the beach. I would've liked that and it's free! I was so over it and -very politely- told him that I was done with this conversation, I wished him the very best, said he really should sent me his bankdetails so I could repay my share in our great dates. *Then I hung up and cursed a little.*