It’s funny, how when you look back on things you realize things you never realized before. Looking back at the 10 months I spent with Ray, I’m noticing things I just didn’t make a big deal out of back then.
When Ray and I started dating, we met off of tinder. We matched, and I want to say I messaged him first. After a couple of days of talking, he had mentioned he wanted to take me out for drinks. When I told him I was about an hour away, he was still down for meeting up, and he drove up to see me a few days later.
The first date? Great. It was slightly awkward at first, but we clicked, and he was nice. Took care of the meal, and left a generous tip (I always look at that sort of thing). By the end of the date, we shared a kiss in the parking lot, and he had told me that he wanted to make this work, and we agreed to keep seeing each other.
It was a great start!
The second date he drove up to see me a week later, and we spent an entire day together! Walked around, ate, and grabbed a couple of drinks before he had to drive back. There was even some making out in an empty parking lot, he kept telling me how he wished we were closer to each other.
It was the first time that I felt a relationship in the works, and something real happening.
The third date happened when I was visiting a friend down in Pittsburgh for a few days. One of those nights Ray drove up to pick me up, and took me back to his place. We played Mario Party and drank whiskey and coke. It was the first night we were able to just hang out somewhere and relax. I spent the night. And everything was just great.
For awhile, things were great, and we were moving at this slow pace because of the distance, but I had still felt us moving forward. Somewhere along the line, things changed. Or they stopped moving forward.
We didn’t communicate with one another.
Sure, I told him all the time that I missed him, but half the time he wouldn’t say it back. We saw each other about once a month, but we never talked on the phone or video chatted. All of our conversations started running stale, and even my attempts at getting him to be more open failed. I started a 20 questions thing and he got bored with it after awhile and took too long to respond.
This was the first red flag I started noticing with him. Because sure, he was driving up to see me every month, picking me up, and driving me back to his place. Then a few days later, drive me home and drive back. Sure, he did that, which said he cared about me. But he wasn’t starting to fall in love with me, or attached with me. Because we just didn’t talk about things that were important.
In the 10 months we were together, we never once talked about our previous relationships. I don’t know how many girlfriends he had, how serious he’d ever been with an ex – nothing. And maybe he didn’t have much to talk about, but he definitely wasn’t a virgin when we got together, so I guarantee he had quite a few relationships.
But he also never asked me about my history either. Why I was on tinder, anything. And the further we progressed in our relationship, the more these things started to feel like something we needed to discuss. But we didn’t.
Things stopped moving forward after summer ended and he started up his classes. For starters, he had less free time. He now had work and school. It was also getting colder out. But it had been good all the way to Halloween weekend. We did the costume thing and he took me to a party. Then he had a house party where we all dressed up and we got really high – the whole weekend was a blast. And… things started going downhill after it was over.
Little things started happening. Like ordering a taco pizza when he knows I’m weird with veggies. It sucks, but you should know me by now after 6 months.
He just stopped saying cute things as often, like how much he missed me or wanted to see me.
And in the 10 months we were together? Never once sexted me or asked for a picture. Which is fine, I thought it was just a respectful thing. But… we never talked about sex. We had it, but we didn’t discuss anything about it. And how can you really move forward in a relationship if you can’t talk about everything? We never had issues in the bedroom, but I always found it a little weird that he never tried to get even a little flirty through text with me. After all, we only saw each other one weekend out of a month. Second red flag.
Eventually, I started hanging out with C more often. It was a friendship thing at first, but I knew he had a thing for me even before he said he did. Just the way he acted around me and how he talked to me. And the one day I mentioned a beer I wanted to try or said was good, and he bought it. When I came over to hang out, he gave me one.
Ray was never jealous of me hanging out with guys. And I mean it’s cool that he was okay with it, I wouldn’t want to be with someone controlling my life, but it is a little odd he never asked me about the guys I was with. And when I said I was hanging out at C’s all the time playing Mario Kart, he never said anything about it, just asked if I was winning.
Again, communication is everything in a relationship, and we just had none of it. Sadly. And the further we got in the relationship, the more I realized that this was an actual issue to be dealt with.
More so, I realized that C was someone I was actually opening up with about all of my issues. When my period was a month late, I didn’t tell Ray. I told C. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him, other than I didn’t think it mattered. But… shouldn’t I want to tell my boyfriend all of the things that are bothering me? Why would I tell C over Ray?
C bought me flowers and a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. Ray… he got me nothing. Just bought some chocolate when we hung out a few weeks later. I had spent Valentine’s Day with C. And I knew then things in my relationship were falling apart. And maybe that’s why I started hooking up with C. Because C was showing me all of these things that I needed, and wanted, and just wasn’t getting with Ray. C was understanding. And didn’t push me to do anything I didn’t want to do.
Ray never pushed me to do anything either, but he didn’t try much. He wasn’t very emotional, or attached. And when he asked me to talk, he ended things on the same note of how I was feeling – there was just something missing and we had both been so focused on making the best out of the weekends, that we just didn’t talk about the important things.
He also didn’t want to work through those issues. He told me that he had already mentioned how busy this summer would be for him, and he had a trip to Tennessee he was making in May. The only free time he really had, he’d be spending it on that trip. Which he never asked me about to go either. It’s fine about him going on the trip, but he didn’t even say anything like, “I wish I could take you with me, but…” he just never mentioned about me coming with. On either one of his trips. Red flag there. But he had told me that he wasn’t attached to me. And I had nothing to say really after that.
Because he just didn’t want to give it a chance anymore. Or see it as worth it trying to fix. And partially, that’s on me, I completely agree on that. But, it just wasn’t meant to be, and it made me realize that just because something seems picture perfect, doesn’t mean it is. Ray was amazing on paper – on track to be a pharmacist (he’ll be making good money someday), no track record, cute – white parents. According to my mother, these are great things to look for. But, Ray wasn’t perfect. And you can’t force love to happen. We lacked something, and I miss talking to him, but I realize now that it just wasn’t who I was meant to end up with.
My relationship with C is completely different from Ray. C and I talk – about everything. There are no secrets. He’s my complete opposite in every way, but they do say opposites attract. He’s bold, I’m reserved. We complement each other well. I bring out the best in him, he brings out the wild in me. He’s always there, and I trust him. And above it all, when he says he loves me I can tell he really means it. He’s patient with me. C treats me really well. Never lets me pay for anything if he can help it – even when I try to fight him on it. And now that I’m officially his girl, he makes sure to walk me home every night, and I even have a key to his apartment now. Which is crazy.
I was with Ray for 10 months, but it feels like I’ve been with C even longer. Because we’ve progressed much faster, and we spend so much more time together. Seeing someone once a month can be workable, and long distance relationships can last – but both parties have to work hard to make it worth it. And for some people, distance just doesn’t work well. I’m not good with distance to begin with. The more I get to know someone, the more I want to spend all of my time with them. And I like being able to walk to C’s whenever I want to. And seeing him almost every day.
I’ve really taken a step back lately to analyze my past relationship. Everything in life is trial and error, and sometimes good things aren’t meant to last. It’s a sad reality. But that’s because sometimes even better things are in your future. And I’m feeling that maybe this is what’s happening with C. And I’m ready to jump into this 100%. Let the past go. I don’t regret being with Ray. I really did have good times with him. But I think better times are ahead with C. Or so I’m hoping.
After all, who really knows what’s in the future for anyone?