Raúl’s Briefly Back … and a Dating Victory
This week, I had dinner with Raúl. [Rather than force you to read the ridiculously long emo posts that were Raúl: Part 1 and Raúl: Part 2, I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version: Met this guy on Plenty of Fish. Ended up liking him. First guy in whom I was interested after my ex. Loaned him $20 and my favorite book. I acted a little like a crazy girl, he acted shady and played games with me and the friendship ended, with me out my book and $20.]
This week, I had dinner with Raúl. How did that happen, you ask? You’ll remember that I hadn’t heard from Raúl in about a month, after he sent no response to the e-mail I sent him saying that I wished things were different and really liked him, but if he couldn’t stop playing games with me, I would have to end the friendship/relationship/whatever the hell you call it. Well, I was bored one day and wrote him an e-mail, subject line:
I basically asked him (again) for my book back. At this point he was holding it hostage. My e-mail was a humorous last attempt to get my book back – I wanted the book back on principle alone. I felt like I needed my book and my $20 to be whole again. I’m a masochist and just refused to give up (I have a serious problem with just letting things go). And, I was bored and feeling in a random mood.
Strangely enough, Raúl replied to my e-mail and started to work out a time to give me my book back.
After about a week and a half of scheduling and rescheduling meet ups, and e-mailing back and forth almost daily about politics, books, etc. (just like old times), Raúl and I met for dinner. I suggested a drink, Raúl suggested dinner: his treat. I let Raúl choose the place, and he ended up choosing O’Charley’s. Hmm. Interesting choice.
Almost immediately when I arrived, Raúl gave me my book back. Success. I put it in my purse happily. In case anyone is wondering, it’s The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. If you haven’t read it, go buy it now. Love this book.
We had some pretty good conversation. Raúl made me laugh just as much as I remembered, that bastard. At one point, Raúl started to tell me about women he’s been casually dating. His stories were interesting, but the whole conversation made me feel very much in the “friend zone.” Which was cool, as I had been feeling a little uncertain of what this “dinner” meant – it was his treat, so did he consider it a date? Or was this just his way of paying me back my $20? The stories were a little reassuring because they told me that this was a friendly dinner (as friendly as two people who had just a month ago decided to never talk again could be, actually).
Raúl told me a story of this girl that he met at a bar. He really liked her, and enjoyed texting with her. But then, the day before their first official date, she sent him a text along the lines of, “Can’t wait to hang out with you tomorrow!” And then, he was done. She was too eager. Maybe desperate? Whatever the word was, Raúl was over it. He explained to me that he didn’t like it when girls made him a priority. He wasn’t good enough to be on someone else’s priority list (umm, self-esteem issues?) and it turned him off when girls treated him well.
And, that explains everything. I mean, I knew this already. I knew that I had been far too nice to Raúl (umm, and maybe every other guy I’ve dated). The problem is, in the beginning, he seemed to like it. And in the end, when I was too nice to him for my own good, he became the reason “Why Men Love Bitches” is on my summer reading list.
I told Raúl that he clearly has some issues. We laughed about how he didn’t have to tell me he didn’t like nice girls – I was a case in point! I think my crazy girl behavior had less to do with us no longer dating than the fact that at the end of the day, I was just too nice to Raúl. Gave him too much attention, made him a priority, um, basically treated him the way I wanted to be treated. I blame my parents for teaching me that crap. You should treat people you are dating way worse that you want to be treated. And then they will like you more. Lesson learned from Raúl, and from a million other guys out there. Not sure I can do it though.
Raúl paid for dinner, but did not give me my $20 back. I got my book, I can take dinner as payment. I feel victorious. None of this matters in the grand scheme of things, but I felt like I’d achieved some sort of dating justice: I’d got my shit back.
I’m curious if I’ll ever see Raúl again. He said several times that he should come visit me, or that we should get together soon. I’ve heard from him via text, when he gave me a recap of his date, who it turned out he actually liked (for now). Interestingly, he said that she was a lot like me and that it was scary. When I asked how, his return text said, “Very pretty. Smart, intimidating to talk to cause I can tell she’s smarter than I am.”
I’m going to pretend that text didn’t make me feel a little good. Lest I forget one of my lessons from before:
Don’t forget this quote by Maya Angelou: “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
Raúl told me that he doesn’t think that this girl likes him as much as he likes her (ah, the irony). I replied with, “Sure you have nothing to worry about. Just think, she’ll text you tomorrow that she really enjoyed the date and wants to do it again, and you’ll be over her in no time.” He laughed. It’s funny because it’s true.
So, here’s the question I have for you: Is Raúl’s feelings about nice girls indicative of the way all men secretly (or not so secretly) feel? Do girls really need to tone down their niceness to land a man? And I’m starting to wonder if this works the other way around … is it possible that the main reason I even liked Raúl so much before was because he didn’t like me very much, and treated me poorly? Would love to hear your thoughts.