Encounter #67.1: Mountain Man

App: Tinder

Name: Daniel*

Date Location: Littleton Freehouse Taproom & Eatery – New Hampshire

Location Review:  4.0 Stars – For the area, this place is really cool. Decent beer selection and the snacks we had were good. Would want to check it out again in non-COVID times

Date Duration: 2 hours

What Happened:

During COVID, my friend and I would travel to random places in New England for the weekend for changes in scenery. One weekend we found ourselves up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Curious to see what kind of people live up there, we fired up ye olde Tinder.

I quickly matched with a mountain man who sent us decent beer and restaurant recommendations. Also asked for photos of me in a swimsuit right off the bat…that was the first red flag. Please note this was after he said there are no cute girls in the mountains. I mean if that’s your strategy to get one, I can see how it hasn’t worked out.

While we were out at the bar my friend and I figured, “Fuck it. Let’s invite him.” Our boy Daniel pulled through and we made our way to the table. I want to note by we I mean me, my friend, and this random dude. My friend was about to watch me actively on a date.

Daniel was cool. Very well travelled and into all things outdoors. Really, this guy was going to do a 10-mile hike the next morning in the snow. Overall, it was a decent time. He did not pay for my $8 beer though which put me off slightly.

When my friend and I left the bar we had nice things to say about Daniel and it was nice to hear that I am not as weird on dates as I sometimes think. We joked about how funny it would be if Daniel and I got married and I became a mountain lady.

Well that dream quickly got squashed when he basically asked me to blow him in a car later that night. I declined.

Hallmark Movie: UPDATE

HERE WE GO AGAIN BITCHES. Get the wine, put on Folklore, and let’s cry.

RECAP:

Rich and I met while I was back home, had a crazy connection, and were together ever since.

UPDATE:

Like everyone else, Rich and I had our own struggles and COVID didn’t make things easier but there wasn’t anything in particular I felt we couldn’t handle. Up until a certain point, the only real issues I had were that after being together (and exclusive) for 5 months he still wouldn’t call me his girlfriend and I couldn’t see him all that much. The tipping point happened one random Thursday night when I found some shit. Because of how small our hometown is, I don’t want to get into too many specifics. Let’s just leave it at I found something which depending on who you ask, may or may not be a big deal. That said, I was devastated.

I screenshotted what I found and texted him in the middle of the night because #rage. I was up for hours just waiting for him to wake up and respond. For something that would disprove all the thoughts I had and make it stop.

7 hours later I got a response and it didn’t make me feel any better. He basically just said it happened when he was bored, there were times he wasn’t sure we were supposed to be together, even though it may seem like a big deal it wasn’t, and nothing happened.

I proceeded to lose my damn mind. Even if he didn’t see it as a big deal, I did. Also, if he had doubts WHY DIDN’T HE SAY ANYTHING?

I had a flight that same day so I couldn’t talk to him plus, I probably would have either said some really terrible things or, just laid in a ball and cried. Either way, not a cute look.

We didn’t talk at all while I was away but as soon as I landed I met with him. As angry and hurt as I was, I was hoping there was some way we could move past it. 95% of me thought it was going to end right then and there but that 5% was holding on so fucking hard.

The conversation went in phases. The first was that we were broken up. By not reaching out over the weekend I had fucked up in his eyes. He had heavy things outside of our relationship going on and he felt I should have put that aside and reached out. I wanted to. I won’t lie, I had the text typed out but I kept deleting it because I really thought I would make things worse. Not saying anything did more damage and I’ll own that mistake. I fucked up.

Phase 2 we were back together. We were curled up together just crying and saying how we’d work to forgive each other. I made a comment that I wanted to be with him but I needed a label at some point. I didn’t want to put in girlfriend level work to fix us and be there for him through all this to not have the title. He didn’t want to do that.

That led us to Phase 3: Together But Not Talking. I needed time to process everything and I felt like he needed time too. There was so much going on that I felt extremely overwhelmed and overstimulated so I needed to be fully alone and sort some shit out. Plus with all his stuff going on, I thought it would give him some time to focus on himself and get back on track. We agreed on three weeks of no contact.

We really sucked at that and the three weeks became one. Rich reached out to me more than I did him but, I always responded. As the week went on, I was no closer to figuring anything out. I wanted him in my life. I did. But there was other stuff that wasn’t quite working in our relationship and I didn’t know if he would want to work on it or even how to fix it.

We made plans to meet up and it followed a similar pattern to Break Up, Part 1. I walked in and asked if he wanted me in his life and he said yes. Tbh I didn’t expect that at all. I really thought he was going to pull it.

Then he asked where I was at. More or less I said,

“I want you in my life but at the same time I don’t know if you have the time I need you to give me when you have all this other stuff going on.”

Like last time, at first we were broken up and then came the part when we were together and trying to fix things. It boiled down to the fact that we loved very differently, had different views on what it meant to be in a relationship, and to get where we wanted it would require time and effort Rich just didn’t have. So he pulled the plug.

Then came Part 3: Actually Breaking Up. This didn’t go very well. Really just a lot of sobbing. 10/10: would not recommend. He kept saying how I deserved better. That there was someone out there who would care for me the same way I cared for him. That pissed me off. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that and I’ll never understand it. If I deserve better then step up and be better. That just says to me you knew you weren’t pulling your weight and didn’t care to change anything. Meanwhile, I had been reading all these articles and books, going to therapy, doing all these things to be a better partner and you just decided to tap out along the way and coast. Such bullshit.

I know ending it was the right thing. It wasn’t going in a healthy direction but holy fuck, it hurts like hell. Everyone says after a break up, “You don’t understand. What we had was different” and in this case I think it was true to a certain extent. It may not have made sense to everyone but it made sense to us. Our connection felt like we knew each other forever and it is so hard to describe what it felt like when we were together. #WitchTok

But break ups always suck. The hardest part isn’t even grieving the end of the relationship. It’s grieving the person you met at the beginning and all the possibilities that came with them.

Like a crazy person, I went through every text message we ever sent. Start to finish. That guy I was with at the end is not the same person who would ask me to hang out so he could hold my hand, who drove to my house in the middle of the day just to see my haircut, who laughed with me on the floor until 2am, who wanted me to feel important like no other shit bag I went out with ever had. That’s the person I miss the most and can’t let go of.

Friends keep asking me how I’m doing and tbh I feel crushed, humiliated, and so fucking stupid. Break ups feel like that moment in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes from black and white to a world full of color. You can’t see it when you’re in it but, once you get some distance everything is so fucking clear. I really thought this was it for me and there were so many times he showed me it wasn’t but, I kept clinging on to that version of him I fell for for dear life.

And I hate feeling this way. I hate that this is what I talk to my friends about. I hate feeling annoying. I hate that I can’t be happy for anyone right now because truthfully, I am so fucking jealous. While everyone else is taking the next steps I’m sitting here trying to piece myself back together in my childhood bedroom.

So what’s next? I don’t know, maybe we’ll get back together after time apart. Maybe we won’t. Maybe the country will break into civil war and I’ll become a handmaid. A lot of things could happen but right now the focus is taking care of myself. Whatever the flying fuck that looks like.