As hard as I try to stay busy, I still get lonely. I was on Tinder and from time to time would match with someone. I rarely message first because I don’t want to get stuck in another relationship where I’m doing all of the initiating. During the first few weeks in Whistler, I didn’t have much luck with men.
I matched with Keven shortly after I arrived in Whistler. He was engaging in his messages and his pictures made him out to be quite a character. He looked like a free spirit who enjoyed festivals and he had a nice smile. He was 30 years old and had black curly hair that was just past his shoulders. He was originally from Portugal but grew up in Toronto.
He was living in a bus in Squamish and one night he said he’d love to come over and tell me about his stories and bus life. I figured why not? so I let him come over. It was late at night and I told him if he wasn’t who he said he was, I wouldn’t let him in the condo complex. It was a glass door, so I could verify.
Keven was standing outside the glass door in a black hoodie (with the hood up) and black jeans, which made him look mysterious. He appeared to be who he said he was, so I allowed him inside. He hugged me, and we sat down to talk.
Keven told me that when he was 20 years old, he moved to Mexico, near Playa Del Carmen. He went with his brother who was six years older than him. They bought an old van and converted it into a home. To make money over the next year, they played music on a jug to American tourists and made a lot of money. In an attempt to get him back to Canada, his parents paid for him to go to Cuba with them. He decided he liked having running water again, so he moved north.
Keven bought a small school bus in Oregon and converted it so he could live inside. When marijuana was illegal, he worked in the fields in northern California, picking it. He made $20,000 in six to eight weeks, working 12 hour days. He lived off of the money for the rest of the year. He said, “Now that it’s legal, you can only make about half of that.”
Growing up without a lot of money, Keven’s parents always told him not to pay rent. He took that literally and lived in the bus for seven years. Three years ago, he moved to Squamish and actually rented a house with some friends for two of those years, but had recently moved back into his bus. Keven described the bus as having an outdoor shower, a wood stove, and a full kitchen. He had everything he needed. For work, he did housing construction with his brother.
Keven was interesting but not as interesting as he was trying to be. After just over an hour of talking, Keven kissed me and we briefly made out. I didn’t enjoy it because there wasn’t chemistry and I wasn’t that attracted to him. I sort of pulled away at one point and when he left, he hugged me and kissed my cheek. I didn’t mean to, but I flinched and pulled away when he went in for the kiss. He left saying, “I’ll call you. You can come see my bus.” I sort of wanted to see his bus, so I said sure.
A couple of days later, he unmatched with me on Tinder. It was fine because I didn’t really like him anyway. But it still hurt. There’s a feeling of rejection when someone just unmatches and disappears forever. It hurt my feelings. Keven made me realize that I can’t just casually make out with a guy. I tried, but I can’t be attracted physically if I’m not interested in the whole package.
Andrew and I matched about two weeks after I arrived in Whistler. He was 34, very tall (6’6”), muscular, and had shoulder-length blonde wavy hair. Andrew was a firefighter and a paramedic. He grew up in Ontario but has lived on and off in Whistler since 2003.
When Andrew first messaged me, I was at the Cornucopia that was going on at the conference center. The large conference room had a lot of booths with vendors sampling their wines. There were also some appetizers. When I arrived, I noticed groups of friends dressed for a nice night out as they tried different wines and beers. I felt awkward being there alone and drank my samples way too fast. I felt a little less alone when Andrew messaged me.
Afterward, I went to a bar and continued to message him. He said he had a long workday and had work early the next morning, so couldn’t meet me that night. But, he could hang out the next evening. We continued to message, getting to know each other.
This trend would continue over and over with Andrew. He’d message saying he just got home from work at 7:00 pm and needed to work out and get dinner, and he’d see how he felt later. Then later would come, and he’d be too tired to meet me for a drink. He’d always mentioned he “could come over,” though. After the Keven incident, I did not want someone coming over again.
I was feeling rejected one night when we were supposed to meet up, but he bailed yet again. I had done my hair and makeup, so I went out drinking alone. He messaged me saying he wasn’t trying to reject me, but he was just tired. I never understood why he didn’t just ask me to dinner, instead of always saying he’d see how he felt after dinner. I realized he just wanted to come over and hook up, and I wasn’t going to do that. So, I kept insisting he meet me in public. Andrew told me he’d take me for a walk on his next day off, which was in a couple of days.
The day came and Andrew said he was on-call, so he couldn’t go for a walk. He did offer to come over, however, as long as he was close to his car because he “might need to run out at a moment’s notice.” I declined his offer and felt very frustrated. He left for Hawaii for two weeks shortly after, and wouldn’t return until I was supposed to leave. I ended up staying in Whistler for longer than I originally planned, but I didn’t bother telling Andrew I’d still be around when he got back. I was tired of the games and it was pretty clear that he was only interested in one thing.
I matched with Adam in September when I first went to Whistler, and I met him twice after his band was finished playing some shows. We had continued to message every now and then. When I got back to Whistler on November 1st, he was in Florida with his parents for a few weeks. In mid-November, he returned, and we matched again, but this time on Bumble. For the next few days, we texted, and he’d often be flirtatious.
After a few days, I was impatient and asked him when he was going to ask me out. He responded a day later, saying he wasn’t into “dating” because he had a few bad relationships. He assured me that he adored our talks, though. I was very disappointed. All I wanted was to meet up with him. I guess asking, “when are you going to ask me out?” was too much. Perhaps if I had just said he could come over, that would have worked.
A few days later, we messaged again for a bit as friends. A week after that, I was walking through the village and saw a sign that mentioned his band was playing that night. I went inside and sat at the bar and ordered a beer. It was crowded, especially with the groupies at the stage dancing. I was surprised when he saw me right away, and as he kept singing, he pointed at me. I waved and smiled.
Shortly after, he had a break and came right over and gave me a hug. We chatted for a bit and then he continued the performance. They stopped playing shortly before the bar closed and were cleaning up their equipment. I waited around so I could say goodbye. He saw me waiting and walked over and said, “I have to go home and get some sleep.” I was irritated because I wasn’t expecting to hang out with him. I was saying goodbye, a goodbye that I knew would likely be for good. We hugged and I haven’t spoken with him since.
I started to feel very depressed. I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough for these men. I wasn’t good enough to be taken out for dinner. I wasn’t good enough to be romanced. I wasn’t good enough to date. None of them wanted to put in any effort. The dating scene is awful, no matter where I go. I was starting to believe that I’d be single forever. For the first time, it crossed my mind that I just might never meet someone that I actually like.
On one of the nights, I watched Destination Wedding, a dark romantic comedy. It made me sad that I didn’t have a partner. But these men all made me feel worse than feeling lonely. Maybe being lonely is better than being broken-hearted.
I often hear that expectations are the death of a relationship. While I think that can be true if you have unrealistic expectations, I also think it’s bullshit. I know that I have high expectations of myself, my friends, and my family, especially the person I’m involved with romantically. I tried really hard the last year to be carefree and throw expectations out the window.
Holding people to standards and not letting them be themselves, or holding them to expectations that society has placed, is bad. But we should have some expectations. I expect a partner to be honest, be kind, and generally be a good human being. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Trying to “let go of all expectations” was allowing me to accept poor behavior from Keven and Andrew. It made me feel like that’s how the world is, and I’m the weird one for expecting more.
I was recently talking with a guy about our dating woes on Tinder, and I mentioned my experiences. His response was, “Wow, Don’t scare those poor fellas. Actually wanting attention. What’s next, conversation over dinner?” It made me feel better knowing there are men out there who put in work and don’t think it’s unreasonable to have basic expectations.
After experiencing all of this over a month, I decided I was done with men. At least temporarily. I was tired of them, making me feel horrible about myself. I was tired of crying myself to sleep. I decided that being alone wasn’t all that bad.
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