Tonight’s post isn’t going to be my usual sardonic style. It is going to be a more subdued, sad post, because sad is how I feel. Tonight I broke the heart of a perfectly wonderful man, and I feel terrible.
It was our second time out, and on both dates, John not only made dinner reservations but also presented me with a bouquet of fresh flowers. I cannot remember the last time someone brought me flowers. My ex-fiance would occasionally have them delivered to my office for Valentine’s Day or my birthday, but he never hand carried flowers to deliver in person for no other reason than to let me know that I was cherished.
John dressed well and opened my door for me consistently. He told me that I was stunningly beautiful and wonderfully intelligent. Both nights after dinner, he had an activity planned for us. Tonight we went to a painting-and-wine venue, and he had the forethought to bring a cooler in his trunk, stocked with drinks for us to enjoy while we painted. He did everything right. He was a sweet, kind, thoughtful, considerate gentleman, but we had no personality chemistry.
Conversation was stilted at dinner on both dates. We had difficulty finding topics to discuss, and when I would ask him a question about himself, I found myself bored or disinterested by his answers. John was also a bit socially awkward. When he got excited about something, he would pump his fists in the air and yell loudly enough for other diners to look over at our booth, remaining oblivious to the impact of his outburst. He also tried to speak in broken Spanish to any waiter or waitress who appeared foreign (our Korean waitress looked offended). He was incredibly well-intentioned, but I felt uncomfortable being with John. In fact, if I’m honest, I was embarrassed to be with him, which sounds awful, but it’s the truth. John treated me like a queen, and I appreciated that more than he probably realizes – it was so refreshing to be treated with dignity and care! – but I cannot marry a man whose behavior regularly makes me want to crawl under the table in embarrassment.
So at the end of the evening when John asked me if I would like to go out on a third date, I told him that I thought he was a wonderful man but that I did not feel like we had romantic chemistry. He was shocked and crushed. He told me in a heartbroken voice, “I really thought I was going to get a third date.” When his face fell, it made my heart ache to see such a sweet man in so much emotional pain, especially since I knew it was caused by me. I tried to encourage him, telling him all of the things I appreciated about him and how much he had to offer the right girl, but it was clear that he had already invested a lot of his heart in the relationship, even just two dates in, which is probably part of why I felt so adored.
Although John may have some things to learn in regards to emotional intelligence, many other men could learn a lot from John about the power of truly investing in a relationship and loving their partner well.