Smooth Operator

Chip had impeccable timing. He seemed to swoop in at just that moment when I realized I could  no longer stay in a relationship with Alan, a selfish, self-centered, know-it-all. Chip and I met just as I was about to pull the trigger on ending the pain and suffering induced by Alan. He said all of the right things. And, reminded me of what it felt like to be appreciated by someone else.

As luck would have it, Chip was at a happy hour the night after I officially broke it off with Alan. And, again, he said all of the right things. He flattered me with compliments and told me how glad he was that I was no longer with someone who didn’t appreciate me. He told me that he really liked me and that, regardless of anything that might happen romantically, our friendship would be the top priority. I explained that I’d just ended a relationship and wasn’t interested in launching into another one. He then shared that he wasn’t ready for a relationship either. His divorce would be final soon and he needed to make sure he didn’t jump into anything, having just seen his third marriage fail. And, he said, no matter what happened now, our friendship would be the priority. Yeah, right.

Friendship ++

We started spending time together, as friends and then some. We shared a passion and a connection that was both intense and fun. Periodically, Chip acknowledged that he knew he wasn’t what I was looking for but that he was just enjoying the time we were together and, of course, our lasting friendship was the priority. We had breaks in spending time together due to his travel schedule and my various plans. But, we were relatively consistent in staying in touch. Until one day. Then two days. Then three days, and four, and finally five days passed by. No word from Chip.

Friendship Fractured

I had last heard from him early Friday morning when he texted to say he had been in a car accident the night before but he was okay. I knew he had colleagues in from out of town and wasn’t shocked to not hear from him during the weekend. But, when it was suddenly Wednesday without a peep on his end, I reached out to find out if everything was alright. I was worried that the car accident was worse than he had originally thought. Otherwise, I couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t have heard from him. I sent him a text asking him if everything was okay with his back. His response:

Back is ok… Couple of things I need to talk to you about. Can you call me later today?

I called Chip right away. I wasn’t going to wait until later. I thought something had happened. And, I wanted to make sure he was alright. Turns out, he was basically dumping me. He had reconnected with someone from his past and he wanted to pursue a relationship with her.

QUESTIONS:

  1. WAIT a minute – didn’t he say he wasn’t ready for a relationship and didn’t want to jump into anything with anyone?
  2. If our friendship was so important, why didn’t he keep me in the loop regarding his having a connection with someone else? I would have been fine with it had he been honest about me.
  3. Wait – did I just get dumped when Chip and I were supposed to be friends first? If friendship was truly the priority, then I thought we’d eventually transition to a platonic relationship. Why didn’t he just transition us?

Shortly thereafter, Chip sent me an email and apologized for hurting me. What he didn’t realize is that he didn’t hurt me by dumping me, but that he hurt me by diminishing our friendship. That’s the part that bothered me. That’s the part that he seemed to be missing. I replied and said,

We should talk so I can share how I feel and then we’ll put it all past us. In a nutshell, it just didn’t seem like you treated me like a friend first. It didn’t sit well since you clearly emphasized the importance of our longterm friendship from the start. That’s what hurt.

Eight days passed without a word from him. Then, out of the blue, he texted and said he wanted to get back to whatever is right. I told him that we needed to talk to get back on track and he never called. He called that night. I called him back. Then he dropped the ball.

Apology Requested

I am now working on a project that requires me to see Chip once a month and work with him to a degree in between meetings. I am having a hard time not confronting him. It looks like we’ll be working on this project for a while so I’m going to keep seeing him, faking it, when all I really want to do is give him a piece of my mind. And, all in all, what I really need is for him to acknowledge that he mishandled things with me…and an apology.

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