Dear Dream Girl: A guest post

2/07/2013 The Romantic 13 Comments

Dear Girl of my Dreams:      
I’ve betrayed the way I felt about you already in the way I addressed this letter to you, which I know you’ll never read.  Try as I might, I’m still trying (quite unsuccessfully) to get over you.  It almost physically hurts to see with you that other guy.  I’m going to try to explain why I feel the way I do about you and what this experience I’ve had so briefly with you has taught me.

I used to think that heartbreak was a word that was trite and overused. I still think that it might be a bit strong in my case.  Still, my first foray into the world of heartache and heartbreak has taught me not to scoff at the people who, in my former opinion, waste their time and energy on matters that are trivial and silly.  I owe you for helping me to understand them better.

It’s not that I haven’t liked girls very strongly in the past.  I’ve had girlfriends and I adored them at the time.  I’ve been dumped before, and it hurt.  But this feeling that I’ve had since not even being dumped, simply not having you choose me, hurts more than anything I’ve felt before.  I’m heartbroken, pain me and shame me as it might to admit it.  

What did I do wrong?

It can’t have been that I took too long to notice you.  I was smitten the first time I saw you.  You didn’t have to wait a long time for me to ask you out, either.  I get that it might have been surprising and a little odd for me to ask you out when we’d only ever been introduced, without even the benefit of a real conversation.  But when the opportunity arose, I couldn’t think of anyone else that I would be interested in asking out.  I didn’t even come close to wanting to ask someone else out.  Worried about messing things up before they even got started, I worked on how I would ask you out over and over again.  Thankfully, you made it not awkward.  That first date was great.  You were fun and smart and engaging and you looked amazing.  

It wasn’t long before I asked you out for a second date.   When I asked again and we finally went out the birds were singing the sun was shining.  You surprised me by how easy you were to be with, how fast you were able to pick up a game you’d never played before, how open minded you were, what a good sport you were.  

I referred to you as Dream Girl because in almost every way, you fit the profile of the woman I have always imagined myself with--the illusory woman of my dreams.  The more I found out about you, the more I thought that you were everything I’d always wanted.  You were perfect in my eyes.  You are intelligent, ambitious, spiritual, funny, kind, modest, have it all.  I was crazy about you, even after only two dates. But I didn't want to get ahead of myself, so I refrained from trying to hold your hand, put my arm around you, or do anything else physical. I was really walking on eggshells.

Thus I don't think that it was because of something that went wrong in the previously mentioned events that you chose someone else.  So when I saw you cozied up to this new guy on the couch the day I came over to see you, it crushed me.  I didn’t understand what I had done wrong, or when this even started.  The surprise was as intense as the disappointment.  What made it worse was that this was just two days after our most recent date.

Months later, I’m still getting over you, and you’re still with him.  You still pop into my head at random times and for random reasons.  The moment I wake up in the morning a thought about you will pop into my head, and when I get a text message, deep down I’m hoping against hope that it’s from you. I catch myself hoping and fantasizing that by some turn of events, things will still work out.  Never mind the fact that I know that nothing will ever happen and that thinking about you coming around is folly; try as I might, I can’t shake your grip on me. We ran into each other on the street last weekend, and just being that close to you again threw me off for days. So, while we’re on the subject, I thought I’d tell you what I’ve learned from this whole rather painful experience.

I was recently sitting in a restaurant and a couple I saw there made a very strong impression on me.  I sympathized with the man, because he’s like me: while he may not be the best looking or be incredibly musically gifted, tall, dark, fashionable or speak with an accent (or whatever else is on you girls' laundry lists of qualities), he is still genuine and is still a good guy.  His significant other obviously saw this quality in him.  She listened to him, took interest in him, and showed him more affection than I’ve ever felt from a girl.  She was a lot like you--she was beautiful.  She could have been with someone much better looking than him.  But she appeared to recognize that someone who was that genuinely crazy about her was worth a chance.  And she couldn’t have looked happier.

I realized that that’s the kind of woman I deserve.  Not because I’m anything special or have done anything to be more deserving of any other guy; but because everyone deserves that kind of mutual respect and affection, myself included.  Too many times, like this, I’ve showed more care than I’ve received.  When we were talking on that second date, it occurred to me that it was more like an interview than a real conversation, because I kept asking about you, trying to find out more about you, expressing my interest in you, but you never showed the same interest in me--what I do, what I think, who I am.  Now I am realizing that regardless of my current feelings for you, and without implying that you are any less amazing than you are,I realize that I deserve and owe it to myself to wait for someone who treats (or will treat) me better.  Hopefully, this experience will at least help me treat other girls that may be in my future the way I hope they will treat me.

My experience with you has again raised the question of what it takes for good guys to actually have a decent dating experience.  I do everything I can to be everything that I’m expected to be--I work hard in school so that one day I can be a good provider for my family; I do my home teaching, serve in my calling, and strive to strengthen my spirituality; despite the numerous frustrations, I have not given up on dating but rather heeded the Prophet’s call to continue to date; when on a date, I am always respectful of my date, and I always try to make sure she feels important and interesting and worthwhile. I strive to take care of myself, look presentable, be kind and serve others, and be cultured and well-read and interesting and fun.  And despite all of this, all I have to show for two and a half years of dating many different girls is disappointment and hurt.  What more are all you girls looking for?

I hope that you find happiness with this new guy of yours.  I hope that he treats you as well as I would have, that he admires you as much as I would have, that he supports you and wants to help you realize all of your dreams as I would have.  

Best wishes,

Your erstwhile admirer

I know this is a bit lengthy, but it struck a chord with me tonight. And as for my answer as to what all us girls are looking for, it's you. We're looking for you. 

-the Romantic 

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Anonymous said...

This is sweet and adorable, but I can say that I, personally, am not looking to be adored and told how amazing/beautiful/funny/spiritual/intelligent/admirable I am (though all of those things are obviously true). I am looking for someone who is willing to be a partner in a relationship, not just tick off all the boxes. There has to be a give and take. If all you, kind sir, do is give (as it sounds like you did in this short-lived relationship), it won't get you very far- and you'll end up taking nothing home with you but a broken heart.

If, on a date, you find yourself doing all the talking, asking all the questions, but see that she is doing little of that herself, cut and run before it's too late (i.e. before you're too emotionally invested to make an easy exit). She's too uninterested/interested in herself to make you a good partner. While she might not be interested enough to make any kind of investment in your relationship, someone else surely will be. Don't waste your time with people who make you question your value the way you do in this letter. Keep your head up and move forward with hope :)

(and lest everyone think I'm a self-obsessed jerk, I was kidding in my comment about how awesome I am)

Anonymous said...

Where am I? I am the average-looking girl you never noticed in class. I'm the un-flamboyant character in your ward. I'm the shy-until-you-know-me person in your FHE group. But I AM intelligent. I am witty and fun. And while I don't want to be put on a pedestal (is there even one around here for the average types?), it's hard for me to be passed over for the "dream girls", knowing that I am a good person with a good heart who also "deserves" to be treated well. I am the roommate who makes fun and pleasant conversation with you while your beautiful/amazing date beautifies/amazifies herself. :) I'm not bitter about the things I don't have. I'm confident in my attributes and abilities. But sometimes...oh, sometimes, it's just hard not to wonder where the good guys are for me. I guess you were asking what more we are looking for. Honestly, it sounds like you've got it. Except in my case, I'm gonna need someone who can recognize my spirit and know that given a chance, I AM that amazing/beautiful/fun/intelligent/spiritual girl. Easier said than done in the land of Total Package Girls. ;)

Best wishes,
Plain Jane

--not saying I don't workout or try or anything. I enjoy being active. I just don't have amazing hair and my face isn't supermodel material and I can't spend loads on a super-trendy , ever-needing-updating wardrobe. Not that my clothes are frumpy either! I dress sensibly and my clothes are more classic styles that endure time. You know, so I can wear them longer than one season. Maybe I just need to be more high maintenancey? ;)

Anonymous said...

Good grief. What is it with all of these self-proclaimed "nice guys" that makes them think that any girl who isn't immediately in love with them is some sort of blind, stupid, villain?

I don't know the LW's particular circumstances, but here's what I can hypothesize: she doesn't like you! She's not attracted to you; there's no chemistry; whatever. Move on, and don't paint her to be some horrible woman who doesn't treat you the way you "deserve" to be treated.

Erstwhile Admirer said...

@Anonymous(es): You all have good points. You're right, it's a pretty whiney letter, and it does have a lot of self-pity. And it was a little overboard on painting myself as a great guy (that's a stretch even on a good day, I have to admit). Just FYI, I wrote it a long time ago as a way to try to deal with those feelings. Fortunately, I'm over it now.

My intent when submitting it wasn't to castigate girls in general, although I can see it as having that effect (if it made you feel that way, I apologize). It was just to express the frustrations on the other end of the dating 'street'.

However, you're off-base if you read the letter and thought I painted 'Dream Girl' as a villain for not returning my feelings. And you're out of line to respond the way you did. It's easy to attack someone or someone's feelings anonymously.

I hoped that girls who read the letter wouldn't feel bad or guilty about the times they haven't felt the same way about a guy who really liked them; I just hope that if/when you are in that situation, please handle it well.


"Erstwhile Admirer"

Alexandra said...

How did your "dream girl" *not* handle it well? You went on two dates; you weren't in a relationship when she chose someone else. She doesn't owe you anything.

Anonymous said...

Dear erstwhile admirer guy:

You are the worst. Why would any girl want to date a guy who obsesses over them? It sounds like you're one major mental break away from murdering this "dream girl" of yours. ("But we went on TWO dates! and I found her in couch with another man the next day!") When you say things like "But she appeared to recognize that someone who was that genuinely crazy about her was worth a chance" that's kind of scary because...most of us do not want to be with a genuinely crazy person (unless they're extremely wealthy, but then we'll call you "eccentric" instead of "crazy"). It's probably not worth giving you a chance if you're genuinely crazy, because the risks probably outweigh the rewards here.

To be clear: I would rather be single than be with a guy who is "genuinely crazy about me".

Also, it's super troubling that you meet an attractive girl, ask her out based solely on her looks, and then obsess over her, then say you're a nice guy. Sounds like you're a creepy guy to me.

-not crazy enough to date you

Anonymous said...

Ouch...we anonymous girls can be mean! I thought it was a lovely letter. I don't think he painted Dream Girl in a villainous light at all...he just wondered what he could've/should've done (move more quickly? Etc.). We girls experience the same thing. Guy asks us out, we have a great time, are elated to get asked out a second time, get giddy about every text or glance, have a great time on the second date and seem to share chemistry, and then...nothing. The next time we see him, he's practically engaged to another girl and we're left to wonder what happened (did we not seem interested enough? Should WE have asked him over? Put our hand out there to hold? Made him cookies after the first date? ??). He doesn't owe us anything, no, but there are still confused feelings when there was a perceived connection and then there's a sudden end.

EA, I think Romantic's right. We're looking for you. You are careful, cautious, and understand that both parties in a relationship deserve to be admired and treated well. That makes for a healthy partnership. The hard part is what you described. But we're here. And at least for me, it gives me hope that you (or guys like you) are out there searching too. Don't give up. And don't get discouraged by responses here. You know your heart and there's a girl who's gonna love that heart of yours the way you deserve. ;). Thanks for sharing your view from the other side of the street. I kinda hope you find me standing on the corner (five cool points if you name that tune!),

Anonymous said...

I love that it was intelligent, ambitious, spiritual, kind, modest, and THEN beautiful. Let's be honest, there has to be at least a little attraction there, but it doesn't have to come before any of those other fantastic qualities. I love that you do all those good things (church related, career related, and things to be well-rounded, cultured, and fun). Keep it up. It only takes one if it's the right one.

To the uncrazy girl(s): no offense, but have you never been crazy about someone? Creeper stalking and voyeuristic admiring counts here. Have you never secretly hoped the ward hottie got your number and is going to text you? I find it hard to believe you can't relate. Have you never gushed about a date to your roommates and daydreamed that guy right into your ten-years-in-the-making wedding plans? Just saying.

Anonymous said...

And this is the very reason that dating is so hard. Ignore the naysayers Erstwhile Admirer. I think you are awesome for sharing this! I do not find you creepy, crazy, mental or on the verge of murdering her. I see a vulnerable person trying their best to put themselves out there in hopes that someone will feel the same. Some of us jump in and put much more of us out there, and that is why it is so painful. I see so much of myself in you. Doesn't always happen the way we want it does it? In fact more often than not, it happens exactly the way we don't want it to happen. I am with the Romantic on this one. I am definitely looking for you. Keep on doing what you are doing, because you will find her, and you will be treated as you deserve, and she will be truly lucky to have someone who cares for her as much as you do and will. She will know she is standing on holy ground, as you are with her, and you will see each other as you really are, children of God with infinite worth and potential. I think we forget that it really is holy ground when someone lets us into our hearts like that, not just in relationships, but friendships. Not saying one should get married after a second date, but we really have to be more kind and understanding of one another. We are different and that is great! But don't beat him down just because he is not someone you would be attracted to. Agree to disagree...move on. Dating can be and is ruthless. Please don't feel or think that all girls out there feel like those in the comments. Girls that appreciate people like you are out there! Again, hat off to you friend, and happy dating, and hopes to you that she comes soon!

Anonymous said...

What do I want? HA HA! Do I even know what I want? I will tell you something. It changes. All. The. Time. I can't even explain it. I was thinking about this post all night but mostly what you asked and what my answer to you would be. And I was shocked when I really started to answer it myself. I want to be seen as strong and ambitious and independent. But I want to be with a protector, someone who will let me stay home with our children, and someone I could not bear to live without. Hmm, those last three things undo the first three things. Girls! My goodness, we are a confusing bunch. I can't even figure myself out, so I can only wish you the best of luck and divine intervention. For that is the only way I see it happening for me! Ha ha

Marigold said...

Dear man who authored this very open letter,

First, let me answer your question.

I want someone who sees life as a quest, an adventure. Someone with whom I can relax and laugh my not-for-the-public laugh around and who I can talk with for hours. One who will dance with me, will give me space when I need it, and will express his feelings when he's feeling them.

In other words, it really is differnt for everyone, although we all want love and understanding. I can't remember where I got it, but this quote has helped me relax and trust the Lord a little more in the dating part of my life.

"The wrong one is the right one to lead you to the best one."

Best of luck! Life really is beautiful! =)

Jessica said...

I wrote the first anonymous comment, and I'm stepping out just because I don't want to be lumped with the overly harsh naysayers, nor do I wish to be grouped with the sycophants. There are some things I like about your letter, and some that I didn't. But I already said everything I have to say on that.

Anyways, the real reason I'm commenting again is to share an excellent article I found this morning. It seemed applicable (as well as witty).

Haley Dennis said...

Dear Erstwhile Admirer,

My roommate said something the other night that was actually pretty profound, she said, "If something doesn't go the way it was planned, it went the way it was supposed to." This girl was just another lesson that you needed to learn until you finally reach your real "dream girl". Us girls are all different, but that's what makes life fun right? Good luck! Don't give up!