In Dating, Always Ask And Never Settle

Young Couples Dining at Restaurant

So, I'm going to share a (little) secret: Up until a couple of days ago, I'd been seeing someone. Someone that I was really excited about and that I thought had potential -- which is why I kept mum on the situation, so that I could get a better handle on it.

However, now that I've made one major decision about it (as in, it's best to move on), I wanted to share the story, mainly because of what lessons I learned and never get tired of learning: (1) Never be afraid to ask the questions you need to ask and (2) Don't settle for less than what you want.

Both seemingly logical details. However, easy to forget once you start thinking with your heart...

So, like many other stories, it was a cute one: I'd met James at the end of a long work week and traded numbers. He called me later that night for a drink and just like that, we started seeing each other. Dinners, drinks, movies even a hot cocoa date, it seemed easy, organic and lots of fun. Plus, he had many of the traits that on the surface I'd been looking for: smart, well-educated, good-looking, suave and confident. And, whenever we got together, I felt special.

Sounds magical right?

Fast-forward and things are still going fine. But deep down, something was a little off although I couldn't tell you what it was. As I started to like him more and more, I'd wondered if I was getting in too deep or if I was letting my past dictate my present.

But after he'd make references to being uncertain about long-term commitment, I couldn't help but realize something was up. Did he have no intention of wanting something more? Was he playing the field? And where did I fit?

So, after consulting tons of friends, I trusted my gut and realized I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have some clarity on direction, if nothing else. So I asked him.

Admittedly, he'd said he thought we were dating and liked spending time with me. But that he also had other "friends" he'd like spending time with, too and that he planned to keep doing. That was all I needed to hear before I told him I needed my space from him.

Later, while I was bummed, I realized it was the right thing to do. Truth was, even though all the right things were happening, it was the things he wasn't saying that made me pay attention (and in this case rightfully so). So, before I continued to invest my time, I just had to know if I was in it alone.

Plus, even though I would have loved to continue to spend time with him, the fact that it seemed like he was planning to play the field as long as he could was enough for me to pull out of the game. And, to avoid any feelings of resentment, hurt or jealousy, it was best choice for me -- without compromising.

Once this settles, I'd love to talk to him again. We did have a lot of fun and I'd missed starting from scratch to get to know someone. And, despite this hiccup and the skepticism that may bubble over from time to time, I'm confident that soon enough, I'll come across the one who not only loves spending time with me, but realizes that he's quite content with only me.

And that's worth holding out for, I think.

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