Dating: We find what we expect to find. That includes what we expect in ourselves.

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actual title “pleasant Buddhist monk”

“You’re a borderline compulsive liar.”

The words I heard last night whilst texting with the person I have been thinking of for months. The first words I thought of when I woke up this morning.

Somewhat out of the blue, the guy I dated over the summer – the one I thought I was in love with, texted me last night, willing to engage in more than the pleasantries we had awkwardly exchanged over the past few months. Somehow (doesn’t this always happen?), we got on the subject of singlehood. And loneliness. I mentioned that married couples could be lonely and bored too.

His response: “You’re married now, eh?”

“Yes! 15 days!” I responded, and I followed-up with a pic of my unadorned left hand indicating I was, in fact, not married.

What I got from his subsequent texts: this, among other similar behavior, makes me somewhat of a liar. It’s not intentional lying – and I’m not trying to hurt anyone, but I am exhausting. He has to decipher everything I say, figuring out if it’s a trick or a joke. Ultimately, he said I operate with “too much sarcasm/opposite/dry humor.”

I was floored. The texts were so jarring I felt like I was talking with a completely different human being. An all-out angry one. This was not the charming, kind person I had met in May. This was not the guy who brought me flowers and a Bluetooth, because he was concerned about me driving without one. What IN THE HECK happened?

I have an index card with an affirmation/inspirational quote on my wall. In my faded handwriting, it reads: “We find what we expect to find, and we receive what we ask for.”

There really is no ultimate answer as to “why” he and I expected what we expected from the other, but we did have expectations, and because of them, we conjured up two completely different people from the ones we actually are. Perhaps because of his past and nature, he expected that I would let him down. That I would act erratically. He reacted accordingly, viewing my texts through those filtered glasses. I did the same – putting on my he-is-charming glasses, assuming I did something wrong when he said things contrary to his always-charming nature. And I assumed or even expected that I wasn’t enough.

I don’t believe I am a compulsive liar, and I’m not sure there is anything I can say or do that will change his mind. I don’t think he is a bad person – he’s an individual, like the rest of us, doing the best with what he has. But I am too, and what I do with the knowledge of how I expect I am (wrong, good, bad, doing my best) and how I treat myself from here on out, is up to me.

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3 responses

  1. Oh God and on it goes. You cannot be responsible for his male? lack of intuition. I do find though that there is much room for crossed wires/misunderstanding in bot texts and emails. Words you (and here I mean me) say in your head with a particular emphasis, on re reading, can be interpreted differently.

    I mourn the actual conversation where things can be cleared up instantly and the smile in your voice translates to his ear.

    lucky escape?

  2. I miss those conversations too!!! Great way to look at it – ESCAPE! How’s the blog coming?!

  3. Awesome attitude and amazing view of life/people Jen.

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