For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been one to handle disappointment well. I think most people would agree that I’m a pretty easygoing person and I don’t ask for much; however, if someone tells me they’re going to do something and doesn’t follow through or lets me down in any way, the pain runs deep.
Being man of your word and being reliable are everything to me.
My first recollection of the pain of disappointment happened back in high school, when my crush cancelled a trip to Six Flags because it was snowing outside. These days, you couldn’t pay me to go Six Flags in Chicago’s sub-arctic winter temperatures, but at the time, this was not only a huge letdown—it hurt me to my core.
This memory was triggered on my most recent trip to Chicago; now a grown woman, I’m still not any better at handling disappointment.
On a previous trip, back in July, while I was visiting my family in Chicago, I decided to take a peek on Tinder. I was only in town for three days and didn’t have time to meet anyone in person, but since I write dating columns, I was curious to see what the app was about; and at the time, I hadn’t wanted to use Tinder where I live in Los Angeles, because my calendar was already pretty full back at home. So, as one of my matches joked, I was basically a tease, but I did keep in touch with some of the guys I was talking to that weekend.
One guy in particular, let’s call him Jake, was disappointed that we weren’t able to meet in person that weekend, so he offered to buy me a plane ticket to Chicago so we would get to spend some time together. I wasn’t sure at first–it seemed a little weird to fly halfway across the country for a Tinder date. However, since I was able to stay with my parents, I decided I was up for the adventure and planned the trip so I would be in town to party with my niece on her seventh birthday.
While we were looking at flights, I asked Jake to get me a ticket to fly into Midway Airport, which is just minutes away from my parents’ house on the Southwest side of Chicago, explaining that my mom doesn’t like to drive on the freeway. However, like a true gent, Jake told me that he wanted to be the one to pick me up and ended up buying me a ticket to O’Hare Airport, which is north of the city.
The day of my flight, as I was boarding the plane in Los Angeles, Jake texted me telling me he wouldn’t be able to pick me up but was kind enough to give me the login and password to his Uber account to use when I landed in Chicago. I felt a wave of disappointment rush over me, like a little girl whose parents forgot to pick her up at school (although I had parents who were ALWAYS there to pick me up). I understand that things come up, and I do appreciate Jake taking care of the Uber, but this just did not sound like the guy I had been talking to for the past two months—the guy who couldn’t wait to breathe the same air as me.
In case I sound like a total diva, I do want to mention that had the plan been for me to Uber from the beginning, I wouldn’t have minded. Or had he bought me a ticket to Midway, where my parents would have picked me up, I wouldn’t have minded that either. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have minded the change of plans if I had even met him before, but there had been such a build-up to this moment; so for him to tell me he would pick me up and then not follow through, not only made a poor first impression, it made my heart sink.
As I would find out the next evening, after he kept me waiting for our dinner date longer than I care to admit, Jake suffered from extreme anxiety (and uncontrollable sweating) and was stalling because he was petrified to meet me in person. He also had a leg injury that he was extremely self-conscious about. So instead of judging him as thoughtless and inconsiderate, I actually felt compassion for the guy and tried to make the most of the night, even though I knew immediately that he wasn’t the one for me.
What Jake didn’t know is that I’m not the kind of girl who would have liked him any less because he had a bad leg. I’d honestly rather date a guy with no legs who showed up to get me at the airport on time. Then I could brag to all my girlfriends, “My date was so sweet. He didn’t even have legs, but he came to the airport to pick me up—holding roses!”
As I arrived at O’Hare, feeling let down, not knowing my way around and not knowing whether Uber even comes to the airport, I couldn’t help but think of my long-term ex-boyfriend and how every time he picked me up at the airport, he went above and beyond. He didn’t drive around in circles and have me jump in the car like most people do. Always a class act and never one to disappoint, my ex would actually park his car and stand at the bottom of the escalator at LAX—that’s as close as TSA would allow him to get! And, yes, he was always holding roses.
There’s a lot to be said about having someone you know you can count on, someone who will never let you down.
My heart hadn’t felt the pitter-patter of uncertainty since last April, when I had invited the guy I was seeing (who lived in another state) to Myrtle Beach to meet my family. He and I had gone over dates and flight times, so I assumed he had gotten his plane ticket. However, a couple days before the trip, he called, stressed out, telling me that tickets were now over a thousand dollars. Although I was shocked he hadn’t bought his ticket a month earlier when it was more reasonably priced, I told him I was disappointed but understood if the tickets were too expensive. We hung up with him sounding like he wasn’t going to come, which would have been completely embarrassing for me, seeing as I hadn’t introduced anyone to my family in years. To my surprise, he quickly called back saying, “I must love you because I just bought a $1200 ticket to Myrtle Beach.” And I loved him for coming through for me.
But the reality is, I don’t ever want that sinking feeling or my heart racing, wondering, “Will he or won’t he?” I want the kind of guy who I know will be standing at the bottom of the airport escalator with roses.
So guys, it may be snowing outside, your legs might not work, and the plane tickets might cost thousands of dollars, but take it from me, you don’t want to let your girl down♥