A while back on Labor Day of last year, I met a man.
I was returning home from a trip to North Carolina to visit my family at our lake house. I spent the weekend chatting with my mom over endless glasses of wine, getting appropriately sunburned, and pretending anything that’s grilled is void of calories. It was just how a weekend away from the city should be – full of laughter and remembering the good times, while trying to hide that happy anticipation to return to the home you made for yourself.
After a seamless flight, I caught a $15 bus back into the city, a relatively new thing for me. I was used to taking cabs and the subway, but decided to save some money and some headache. Foolishly of me, I put on some super-tall slingbacks and a summer dress belted at the waist with a rather floppy hat – not exactly bus riding attire.
With my red carry-on in hand, I boarded the bus and started to walk down the aisle, smiling at a cute man I wanted to sit in front of. And then, instead of gracefully lowering myself into the seat while maintaining eye contact – the bus driver stomped on the gas pedal and I went flying forward, dropping the suitcase and catching myself.
The cute guy’s friend asked if I was okay and I grudgingly replied that I was, before taking that seat with far less sass. The cute guy, who I now saw had pretty blue eyes, gave me a hard time and by the time we reached Grand Central, we both realized that we lived close, so we took the train together. We exchanged cards and I didn’t anticipate hearing from him, but the next day he emailed me.
It started off innocently enough. I originally thought he had a speech impediment, but it was just because I wasn’t used to hearing a true Northern accent on a daily basis. I didn’t accept his Facebook request right away, trying to decide if I wanted to pursue another bachelor or just stick with going to bars for fun conversations and empty promises. This guy, after all, made it pretty clear that he wasn’t looking for anything. He was just getting out of a relationship, was having a hard time getting over the girl and he needed space to grow.
To live. To find himself. To be single. Hmm, that sounds awfully familiar.
This was right around the time I started the blog, where I was tasked with the same challenges of learning to love myself, learning to fly solo before letting someone take the steering wheel at times when I allowed. It seemed like a platonic match made-in-heaven: two wounded souls, working through our issues with a person of the opposite sex, without any strings, without any sex, without any complications. It wasn’t supposed to be friends-with-benefits, it was just supposed to be friends. We were both after all, ultimately, unavailable.
And so he became Mr. Unavailable.
After helping him through a grand gesture that grandly bombed, our friendship just continued to grow closer. We’d go on non-dates where we’d wonder about town, talking and giving our best psychiatric advice, mending our own broken hearts while connecting them to one another. He’d talk about his lovely ex, reminding me of how I was so similar to her, making me quite angry at times, but eventually – he proved himself right. Being smart and lovely, she stumbled across the blog and guessed his identity. We met for drinks and now we’re quite close, with more than one very interesting thing in common.
But time passed and things changed. Mr. Unavailable and I became intimate. He started sleeping over. He introduced me to his family. He started calling me “baby.” We didn’t place a label, but we knew we were both starting to become less unavailable and more attached. We were developing this chemistry that translated easily into a relationship. I mean, we already knew everything about one another and our respective dating histories, doesn’t that make sense as the recipe for a perfect partnership?
Just as things were heating up and feelings were becoming more concrete, snow started to hit the ground, and his job sent him overseas for a while. It was then, that he gave me permission to create a new identity for him – one that would illustrate him beyond Mr. Unavailable. A character that would show that we were more than that, that what we were creating was full of hope, had promise – was a definite possibility.
And so, Mr. Possibility arrived on these pages and references to Mr. Unavailable mostly ceased. Why not just make it the same character and be honest throughout the blog? Well – a little bit of mystery never hurt anyone, and I didn’t want to give the wrong idea that a Mr. Unavailable could become a Mr. Possibility, until I was certain the possibility was possible.
I’m still not sure if I can attest to that fact – there are times when he is rather impossible and severely more unavailable than I would like. Having each other’s personal love resumes of disappointment, regret, and lost love has proved quite troubling for the relationship. Talking about the past and exes is also a difficult boundary to make, after it was such an open playing field for so long. It took us a while to actually call the relationship, a relationship, because I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up the single status (though I already had in every way except by saying it here or on Facebook), and I was still trying to trust him from things that happened before we were officially, official. I didn’t want the exclusively non-exclusive relationship anymore, but did I really believe that someone so damn unavailable would turn into a true possibility for love?
Six months later, I can really only promise one thing – every person you date has the possibility to become someone you will love. And every single soul you cross paths with, is unavailable in a way you may or may not ever know. We all have the possibility of being emotionally removed, turning away from our partners, never creating a relationship worth standing on, and crumbling to pieces before you can build anything. Each guy presents that opportunity, especially the ones who are unavailable to begin with – and outright about it, to boot.
But if someone seems like they deserve a chance, like there is undeniably a possibility for romance, then check how you feel. Make sure you are confident within yourself because they may not find stability on their own as you have. Make sure you want to support the weight of someone else as they go through a hard time, knowing you may not receive the attention and the love you deserve, in return. Make sure you are happy with your life and that you don’t need someone else to bring that joy to you.
To be with Mr. Unavailable, you have to make compromises. For him to become Mr. Possibility, you have to remember not to compromise yourself. We like to take care of Mr. Unavailable, but you shouldn’t date him unless he has truly transformed into a Mr. Possibility. And if you start to do that on the way to making the impossible, possible, you also have to know when it’s time to stop, turn around, declare how much you’d like to be beautifully open and available…but you can’t. At least not until messes are tidy and hearts are ready, you may just turn into Ms. Unavailable.
Maybe, anyway. There’s always, a possibility – right?