A friend had been telling me for a while that a colleague of hers, mid-40s, who’d gotten divorced five years ago, would be “perfect” for me.
I’d divorced a year before, and turned 40 soon after. I said I was interested in meeting him.
Soon after, my friend managed to get me seated next to him at her company’s dinner celebrating her promotion.
Conversation flowed easily between this man and me. He asked for my number and texted me the next week to suggest meeting for lunch.
For the next six weeks, he’d text me almost daily, inquiring how I was. I felt that he cared about me. I saw possibilities for a relationship in the not far-off future.
We attended a play together, had several week-day lunches, went to a movie on a rainy Sunday.
But no physical contact occurred, other than his holding my hand in the movie.
I wondered if he was just not into me, or there was some other reason.
But my friend said he’d had two intense relationships in the years after his divorce, so he didn’t have a problem with sex.
It had to mean he just wasn’t attracted to me. I was shattered.
I knew I couldn’t go on just occasionally holding hands. So, I decided to put him to a test.
The next time he dropped me at my place, I insisted he come in so I could show him something, and then proceeded inside to unzip my dress.
It worked… badly. He grabbed me into a full-on sexual position, to which I willingly responded.
Then he satisfied himself, quietly adjusted his clothing, and left.
He never called again. I hated myself for creating the situation, knowing there was nothing I could say or do since I’d certainly consented.
I’ve since seen him only once, by accident. He tried to avoid me, but I caught up to him and asked, “How could you, when you must’ve known I had serious feelings?”
His answer: “You must’ve known I didn’t.”
Six months later, I still need help trying to process this: Was I just “fair game” since my feelings were obvious?
How do I get past feeling used, when I’m the one who initiated the sex?
The emotional truths in this story emerge from the details that you wrote: Your friend had inadvertently built up your hopes and expectations with the exaggerated idea of a “perfect” match with someone you hadn’t yet met.
It sparked the fantasy in your mind that his texts were signs of an immediate attachment to you, rather than a polite inquiry.
You got together with him only a handful of times in six weeks. His reach for your hand was likely inspired by the movie’s content, since it happened only once.
Yet, you’re correct, that he must’ve known your feelings.
Still, he decided to abruptly sever those feelings when you offered yourself to him.
You’d surprised him, perhaps, but it provided him the opportunity for decency, when he could’ve gently explained that he liked you as a friend.
Instead, he behaved with the indifference of an enemy.
Counselling will help you process this event - the timing of a friend’s matchmaking when you were alone, and his daily contact with no real interest behind it.
To my reading, he seems to encourage admirers only for self-gratification.
Move on. Look for sincerity, not manipulated contact.
FEEDBACK Regarding the person experiencing night-time noise in her townhouse complex, interfering with her sleep (January 11):
Reader – “The most important step for the person experiencing noise in a condo (strata) townhouse complex is to contact the (strata) council and ask that a bylaw letter be sent.
“All condo (strata) townhouses are corporations and have nuisance bylaws and sometimes noise bylaws.
“I recommend (I’m a property manager) trying to have a discussion with the neighbour first (there may also be need for an interpreter).”
Ellie – The letter-writer didn’t mention “condo strata” ownership, but referred to having downsized from a detached house to her “townhouse complex.”
If she has purchased part of a strata title, it means not only does she own her individual lot (for the townhouse), she also owns part of the building and common areas.
And there will be a council to turn to regarding difficulties such as excess noise.
Tip of the day:
A relationship can exist mostly in your own mind, if you let fantasy build up instead of asking direct questions. Protect yourself from painful disappointment.