A couple weeks ago I had a second date with a handsome
investment banker. We were taking it slow - or rather, he was taking it slow
and I was going along with it. Not having sex with each other didn’t detract
from our engaging conversations, lots of laughter, and some sweet goodnight kissing.
We always left each other with smiles and mutual "had-fun-can’t-wait-to-see-you-again's," then POOF! He disappeared. 

Disappeared as in not returning my "just checking in" text, nor my easy breezy voicemail a week later, or finally my inquiring email saying, “Ok,
I’m thinking you’re not into it but you can prove me wrong with the "I've been busy" business, or any other excuse you might come up with – really. But please at least tell me what you're thinking
so I’m not left with a head full of questions.” 

No response.

So what am I left with? A head full of questions. 

The first question I always ask is “What did I do wrong?”
Then I run through the saga script in my mind (directors cut) looking for clues. I re-read all our text messages stored in my phone because GOD KNOWS a poorly placed smiley face icon can make or break a relationship these days, JEEZ! Then I tried to remember what I said on his voicemail, and how he might have taken it, and I thought about our emails, and the fact I started
crying at our table at Starbucks – Oh, yeah I left that part out didn't I? 

Okay, I wasn't balling or anything, but we had shared a touching moment about dead friends and I got a little teary, showed him my sensitive side, and for a millisecond - just the one - I was perhaps the tiniest bit vulnerable.

I know, I know, we aren't supposed to be human on dates, but I figured we're both adult thirty something's so no big deal right? Or was it?

Who knows? Maybe guys who aren't in touch with their emotions can't get jiggy wit dat, but I cry at the drop of a hat.
Boyfriends have always made fun of me for it, but they’ve all found it was endearing nonetheless. I cry at operas, I cry at movies, I cry at Star Trek Voyager for Christ sake - leave me alone or I might boo hoo all over you.

Anyway, he didn’t seem to mind my teary tenderness, in fact
he told me it was sweet, and then he held my hand and we laughed.
Afterward we kissed goodnight on the street corner - sharing googly eyes with each
other - and that was the last I heard from him.

What the fuck?

Naturally I want to blame myself. I
mean, how can I not with thousands of readers writing in with dating critiques of all my weekly wrong doing? Aside from mindfully mandating my minute by minute minutia, all I can say (and that was a mouthful) is that it’s inevitable one might think one's not playing the
game right when left with questions. 

I can beat myself up about, but after scrupulous scrutiny, I can’t really say I did anything wrong. Continued conjecture causes quandary which can’t be conquered cuz the creep callously couldn't call. So all my C.S.I. bullshit is for naught - and so are my tongue twisters so I'll stop now.

Many may muse it to be my fault due to the ingenious insights they'll come up
with - my favorite being those of a regular heckler who calls me “the serial dater
with fetal alcohol syndrome eyes” (love that one by the way) but the truth is,
no one can take a few lines of text from an article and reason why my romance was ruined because they weren't on my dates. And unless my silent partner will engage in inside trading by investing his two cents in the comments box below, we would all be trying to make sense out
of the limited information provided.

The fact is, that in the beginning stages of dating there
are an infinite number of factors for a relationship working or not working. Sometimes you can Sherlock Holmes your way to answers, but more
often than not you're merely left dumbstruck.

So I ask you: when left pondering possible play-by-plays, how do YOU provide plausibility?

(Photo: Lori Seliger)

Bradford and Dex Based in New York City, Bradford Noble has been an international celebrity,
fashion, and advertising photographer for 15 years. His first novel called, "Dating Bradford - A Memoir" is soon to be published. Still curious? Dive into his world!