Desperation (What would you do?)

I readily admit I am desperate. I am desperate for male attention and male affection. I haven't had a boyfriend in two years, why wouldn't I be desperate? I am a human. I need human contact. And I don't mind admitting that I am desperate for it. We all are at certain times. We have needs. I don't care who knows it.

So there.

Today was a day I was desperate. I went to the gynecologist today. Going to the gynecologist is never a fun experience. When I lay on that uncomfortable table getting my insides poked and prodded, I thought, "No. This cannot be the only 'action' I get today. No."  no no no no no

On top of that, I had plans tonight to go to a comedy show.

By myself.

Yeah, as if that isn't depressing. The only thing funny about that is the irony of how not funny it is.

Luckily, I had made tentative plans to meet Number Ten afterwards. I'll call him Ten for short. Ten because he is the tenth person on my Tinder/Bumble Spreadsheet of Dates, which means he is one of the first people I went out with after my last relationship ended. It also means that we have been seeing each other for over a year. I was looking forward to seeing him as it had been a month since the last time and also, I needed his male attention.

We are in a Not Relationship. It is casual. There is trust, respect, and honesty between us. But it is going nowhere. However, we still enjoy each other's company when our schedules allow. There is actually a chapter about Ten in my book.

After the comedy show, I headed his way. I walked there. It was about a thirty minute walk. It was raining, but I needed the exercise. Because of what happened when I got there, if this had been a scene in a movie, it definitely would have been raining, so the weather was perfect.

I didn't even have an umbrella. Again, perfect.

In his last message, Ten made it seem like everything was confirmed for me to stop by after 9:30. I messaged him to let him know I was on my way. I messaged him my logistical updates. He didn't respond to my messages. I called him when I got closer. No answer. Ten is usually responsive so I just assumed that he was in the shower or something because I could see that he hadn't even seen my messages.

I got to his place and messaged a last time, telling him I was there and would wait five minutes before heading home to "cry myself to sleep." (that was a joke)

I didn't have to wait long. He showed up a minute later.

With a cute, blonde girl.

Clearly, he was not expecting me, though he had definitely made it seem like he had invited me to come over. I tried to read the situation and his face.

Was he arriving at the same time as a cute neighbor? Or were they together? Was he on a date?

 I couldn't tell.

The very friendly blonde introduced herself to me. I was friendly back. Ten fiddled with her umbrella, trying to close it. I assume he was trying to buy some time in order to gather his thoughts and figure out how to handle the situation, because, yes, it turned out, he was definitely on a date.

If I had been able to tell right away, I would have probably called him out by saying something funny and clever like "Oh, I didn't realize you wanted a threesome tonight."

But I couldn't tell... yet.

Ten then went to open the door to his building, and as he did so, this person who I have been intimate with for over a year, who I trust, looked me right in the eyes and said, "Are you here to see Josh?"


Eyes wide in disbelief, I looked him right back in the eyes and said, "No."

It might have been better to say, "No, I am here to see you... as we had discussed earlier." Or, even better, I could have said, “Who’s Josh?”

But what would have been the point of that? To make him more uncomfortable in an already uncomfortable situation? To make this poor, friendly, blonde girl feel awkward or stupid? No, there would have been no point. Also, it happened so fast I couldn't think straight as to how to even respond and to do so with grace.

He then proceeded into his building, with the girl, and shut the door.

And there I was. Stunned. Outside, in the rain.

With no umbrella.

He closed the door on me like I not only didn't matter to him, but like I didn't matter at all.


I was equally stunned and equally unfazed. I think the fact that I was unfazed was worse.

What would you have done in Ten's position? How would you have handled that?

I for one know what I would have done. I would have checked my freaking phone in order to not put myself or anyone else in that situation. Clearly, on his end there was a miscommunication. Obviously, he was not expecting me to be there. Did he handle it well? No, he certainly did not. Was his intention to be cruel though? No, it wasn't; he made a series of mistakes.

What would you have done if you were me? Would you have gotten angry? Would you have texted him a bunch of expletives? Would you judge his character? What if your interest in him has nothing to do with his character? How would you react then?

I didn't get angry. What would I get from being angry? Nothing, except anger.

Anger is the worst.

Responding with anger would also mean that I have the luxury of being in a position to burn bridges. Sadly, at 43 and single, I am not in that position.

Personally, I prefer to leave the door open for people to recognize when they have done something wrong and to allow them to say they are sorry. Getting a sincere apology from someone makes me feel a whole lot better than writing a bunch of hateful messages.

Of course, I told Ten how he made me feel (and that he should have checked his phone and just told me not to come!!!!).

Ten gave me a sincere apology. He recognized that the miscommunication was completely his fault and he acknowledged that he should have checked his messages. Of course he was sorry for how he handled it.

So now what would you do? Would you accept the apology but tell him you never want to see him again? If I never see him again how does that benefit me? Desperate me? With needs?

When you are desperate, can you hold Not Boyfriends to the same standards as you would a Boyfriend? You need them for one reason and if they can fulfill that one need, who is the one being punished by cutting them off?

So what would you do?

I accepted Ten's apology. I might have even laughed the next morning about how horrible he must have felt in that moment of utter awkwardness. For now, I need Ten and I have enough emotional maturity to know he did not do any of that on purpose. It takes way less energy to be understanding and forgiving than it does to be angry.

I do hope that our Not Relationship will continue (without further incident!!) until one of us finds an actual Relationship.

The end of the story is that right after I got home, Number 39 actually messaged me out of the blue. He came over thirty minutes later.

I did end up getting more action than from just my gynecologist, after all.

So there.

(Update: you won't believe the Karma that happened next)

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  1. I think you made the right decision with Ten. What happened was awkward and unfortunate, but if you and Ten are happy with your Not Relationship the worst of it was just poor communication, and that can be addressed.

    But if you think being angry is burning bridges, have you thought about whether feeling bad about going to the show on your own might be as well? If there's something you want to do, and nobody to do it with, feeling bad about doing it alone may burn your bridge to an enjoyable activity. (Or maybe you'll do it and feel bad, but that also sounds like an outcome that could be improved.) You have enough going for you that the inside of your head can be company enough sometimes, especially when the alternative is giving up on something you want to do.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! That is so exciting to even receive a comment! You are my first.

      Oh, I do activities alone all the time and I don't mind that. It was just the fact that it was a comedy show that depressed me.

      Also, I don't think being angry is burning bridges, reacting with anger and deciding to write someone off for making a mistake is what I mean is burning a bridge.

  2. I pictured the whole scene in my head as I read it! The rain, Ten's surprised look as he saw you by the door, the lovely blond girl, imaginary Josh, 39's hairy chest 😍, even you on the gynecologist's unconfortable table. I felt I was reading a Carry Bradshaw's column!!!! Keep on the good writing!

    1. Oh my goodness!! Thank you so much!! You just made my day!

  3. Killer work...found this site in a roundabout way 😜

  4. I love a short story where I don't know where its going, and this one was a complete surprise. Your writing is brilliant. Especially how you describe your emotions. How you composed yourself at that moment on his porch is impressive. Keep the stories coming, please.

    1. Thank you so much! I think you give me too much credit as to "being composed." I was so stunned and confused I didn't know what to think. :)

  5. Amazing writing...sounds fictional but many single can relate ....I just will never be Ten(clueless and clumsy plaboy... chivalry is dead there) or the booty caller 39 lol

    1. Thank you so much on the compliment on my writing and good for you for seemingly being an actual gentleman Olivier! xo

  6. Anonymous, you sound very angry and bitter, probably because you are not having your own sexual needs met. I am surprised that rather than identify with and show empathy for my own desperation you chose to take out your anger on me, a complete stranger. Trust me, maybe women can have sex more easily than men if we want to but not necessarily with the partners that we want. I am rejected CONSTANTLY. It is frustrating and confusing and yes, you are correct, very lonely. You are incorrect in your statement that I got mad, if you read this post more carefully and the next three parts of the story, you would have seen that I actually in no moment got mad. The whole point of this is empathy. You are welcome to read my work and welcome to comment on it but I would appreciate you doing so without using such insulting language. My parents read my blog too and it isn't really fun for them or for me or for probably anyone to read your curse words and insults. I am actually not a whore. I am a human with feelings. I think you owe me an apology.

  7. i would have never treated you like that all I would have done is had a small conversation with you and said now is not a good time still on a date and I would call you later,not be a jackass and pretend you weren't there to see me. And like you said all of this could have been avoided by checking your flipping phone!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Daniel! That would have been the right way to handle it!!

  8. "Responding with anger would also mean that I have the luxury of being in a position to burn bridges. Sadly, at 43 and single, I am not in that position." I don't doubt that you know yourself better than I do, but I am sure, just as I'm 39 years old and had been single for practically my whole life until 38, that you can burn a bridge like that and whatsmore, you might ought to. I think more than characterizing who he IS, maybe it's what he did in that moment (leaving you to sort of fend for yourself in the hallway and then, on to the rainy night) that speaks volumes. I think anyone who is a caring person would have made the situation work out in a different way. It doesn't strike me as careless, but shallow. And I guess, you can burn a bridge that turns out to be utterly shallow at any point in your life.

    1. The point of that whole Not Relationship was it didn't matter WHO he is, just HOW he was, in certain ways, if you know what I mean.

  9. I have never been so desperate for male attention that I would let myself be treated like that.

    Ten would be GONE. Ten would become..ZERO.

    1. I am so glad that you have never felt so desperate and I hope you never ever do. :)


  10. "We are in a Not Relationship. It is casual. There is trust, respect, and honesty between us. "

    Apparently, you were the only person in this not relationship that felt this way.

    "What would you have done in Ten's position? How would you have handled that?"

    Only a few scenarios here. Either he forgot about your plans, didn't think she was gonna go home with him that night, or simply didn't give a f. "I" wouldn't be in his position, to begin with. People treat you with as much disrespect as you allow them to. That's why most things were settled in a duel back in the day - thresholds were very low. Those were the days...
    If you use(d) this guy for sex only and it was *that" good, then by all means, let him treat you however he wants to, as long as you're getting what you need and not compromising yourself in the process. That's not how I've read this piece, however. You still want to have that good sex and be treated as a person, but alas... You write about intimacy with this person, but how can you have it with someone that treats you this way? Unless you mean strictly sexual intimacy, but even then, I assume, you'd still have to like him as a person, at least a little bit.

    1. vic ad, "how can you have it with someone who treats you this way?" This was the first time he ever did that, obviously! "But even then, I assume..." Don't assume anything. If I didn't make it clear, my NOT Relationship with him was for one thing only. That is why it is called a NOT Relationship.

    2. "Don't assume anything. "

      Written word itself makes a reader assume things, since he/she can't be in your head. I wrote a different response at first, but some things are better off left unsaid. I'm gracefully bowing out of any future comments. Good luck on your journey.

  11. Ms Jennifer Lourie,
    Your writing is brilliant. Every word in its proper place. Telling a story as it rolls off your tongue and onto the page. Thank you for providing a special type of insight and for leaving the door open.

    1. Thank you so much Unknown for your kind words! I really appreciate them and am so glad you like my story telling!

  12. Can't say I've been in a similar situation. I don't know if I would call it "desperate" because I don't know you, and for that same reason I wouldn't want others to consider me desperate if I had been in that situation, but I digress…
    On one big aspect I agree with you: we are all human and we all need connection and human contact. Touch is a powerful contact, and I'm not being blasé about it.

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