By Scott Hyatt
I think I made a mistake. It happens to every New Yorker, but this mistake has been bothering me for months.
We meet new people every day and if you’re an outgoing person like me, New York City can seem like Halloween every day of the week. There is always a new costume to undress or a personality to confront.
Late last year, I met a girl at a local bar who was different than every other girl I had dated in the past. She wasn’t like most New York City girls who measure a man’s value by his wallet or height. She seemed genuinely interested in the person I knew I was. She wasn’t needy and was always kind. Here’s an example: she would light a candle for me in the bathroom before I showered because she knew my eyes were sensitive in the morning. Who does that for a person?
When we met, I was a poor struggling writer in search of the next big payoff story, so I didn’t have much to offer but a few cheap drinks at Dive 75 and maybe a burger down the street. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a boring guy, which I hope you can tell from my stories. I try to live life like it may end tomorrow because we never know where life will take us. I took that sense of adventure out every night and followed it up with conversation that most artists expect.
We met right before the holidays when most New Yorkers (who are from other places) head back home to remember where we came from. These types of seasonal relationships are usually doomed from the start. They ride high during the emotional New Years festivities that force us to reflect, but end before the Super Bowl.
This relationship didn’t end quickly. It lasted months.
New York City has so much to offer that it can ignite a sense of boredom from our daily routines. And that’s not always healthy. Life is not a movie. We can’t wake up and live the adventures of Leonardo Dicaprio in exotic locations. Despite that reality, this relationship was never boring.
In the winter, we walked in Central Park and took pictures of each other in the snow. We stayed in on Sunday nights and watched 1980s movies, like ET. We drank beer at a bar during the day when it got cold. We once even filled plastic cups with cheap wine and took a stroll around New York City without a destination. It was fun breaking the law, even though it was probably not even a misdemeanor by New York standards.
So where was my mistake?
I don’t think I ever told her how I felt about her and at some point, every woman needs to hear that we see a future with her. I should have known that, but I didn’t acknowledge it. I’m not making excuses why I didn’t say it, but I do place partial blame on my upbringing. My parents divorced at an early age and it hardened my view of relationships. That tough exterior became even harder after I adapted to the tough city life.
My day of reckoning came in May. We were walking home from work together, which we frequently did when she started telling me that she wanted to have kids. She told me I was a great guy, but she wanted to get married. We had dated for 5 months at this point, so I knew what I felt about her, but I wasn’t sure we should be discussing kids this early into it. The questions and conversations got deeper and before I even realized it, she was telling me we needed to go our separate ways. It came so unexpectedly that I didn’t see it coming. I don’t think I asked any questions or probed for the reason. I accepted it as she said it.
I’ve shared this conversation with girlfriends and they all say that she wanted to hear that I saw a future with her. I think that’s understandable, but here’s my advice for women thinking about poaching this conversation with their man.
You need to wait until he is emotionally attached to you. If he’s not emotionally available, that day may never come and you might waste time. But if he is emotionally available, you need to wait until he is emotionally attached to you. It takes time for this to happen. How much time – well it depends on how quickly you are both able to bond, but true emotional involvement won’t happen in 5-months.
It’s kind of like car sales. You rent the sexy convertible that turns eyes and makes you feel good for a weekend getaway, but you buy the car you get emotionally attached to.
I wonder if that conversation would have ended differently if she had raised the topic today. I’m sure it would have ended differently.
Timing truly is everything.