The first Ben I ever met was in middle school. He had slick hair, bad skin, and ate ravioli in the most disgusting way my 12-year-old brain could comprehend. I should have known that this poor prepubescent would set the tone for my entire dating career.
Later on, in my adult years, I was struggling through a breakup. A dj at a party I attended complimented me on my shoes, and we became friends. His name was Ben. I admired his blue eyes, fashion sense, and love of all things cheese ball 80s. A year later, we hooked up. Our pillow talk that night consisted of us making plans more than a month in the future. All of a sudden, we were falling into that happy infatuation phase, seemingly uncomplicated by the fact that we lived 4 hours from each other, or that he lived with his parents, making frequent trips and boning very difficult.
Three months and countless hours of travel time later, he visited my city, for the weekend, told me he needed some space, and ignored me for the next 4 days. It was over just as quickly as it began. Angry texts and sobbing phone calls (mostly on my end) questioned, “why?” What had I done to warrant this sudden drop off?
My friends, family, and therapist claimed “he's just not that into you” and suggested time and alcohol would heal all wounds. Okay I lied about that. I suggested the alcohol.
At 3 am one night, while finishing my second bottle of wine, I saw a kid on OKC whom I thought I recognized from my favorite bar. A few messages in, we established that he wasn't the guy I was thinking of, but Chardonnay and general boredom led me to ask him out. We met at a beer garden two days later, he was cuter than in his pictures. He walked over to me and shook my hand.
“Hi, I'm Ben.”
My superpower is saying dumb things at inappropriate times. I mentioned I had a shitbag ex-boyfriend named Ben. He shrugged, and gave me this goofy grin that would soon become my favorite sight in the world.
Our relationship began much like the previous one. Boozy brunches, late night concerts, lying around all day, interrupting Netflix marathons with pizza and sex. He introduced me to his friends. He started calling me his girlfriend. I was convinced this was a good one. Here we were, on the same page. We would talk about music and crack jokes for HOURS.
Then one night at a bar, celebrating one of his friend's birthdays, he told me point-blank that he wanted to try to go home with an ex, that I should go home alone, we would see a movie the next day. I cried.
Weeks went by, not so much as a text from him. Again, I questioned “why?” How can so many months of “I miss you” turn into complete betrayal, followed by radio silence?
It's been two months since I've seen him. He never called. I sometimes see his friends out and about, they just stare at me. Who knows what actually happened.
I got back on tinder, partly because I think I'm ready to date again, partly because I have hit emotional rock bottom and am a serious masochist.
The first match to come up was a really attractive guy with an even cuter dog. I swiped right without thinking.