It was the summer of 1997. (I remember the year because that was the summer of the Garth Brooks concert in Central Park. That was wicked cool) I lived in Colorado at the time but on a whim decided to spend the summer painting with my dad in Massachusetts. The night before I was to leave to the east coast I met a girl at a party named Tracey.
Tracey was nice. We got along. She liked me and I liked her. We agreed to do the distance dating thing and correspond over the summer.
We talked on the phone often. We wrote letters. We exchanged pictures. It had been a long time since I had a girlfriend so I was looking forward to having someone to spend time with when I returned home.
Then came the game changing moment for me.
I was a much more serious runner back then. I ran 40-60 miles per week almost all year round. That was my thing. I was very committed! Tracey wasn't very athletic and didn't like to work out very much. She did, however, know how important it was to me. Oh day she said something that she didn't realize at the time completely told me this wasn't the girl for me.
We were talking on the phone one night. I mentioned to her that I was going to start running a lot more when I got back. It was going to be the fall and there were some cross country races that I wanted to do. I suggested that she could ride my bike with me while I run.
Her reaction was almost comical now. Her reaction stunned me. I couldn't believe that she could be so violently opposed to that. It's not that she didn't like riding bikes. It was that she didn't think she could do it. She said, "I can't ride a bike 5 miles in 35 minutes. NO WAY!"
I ended it as soon as I got back to Colorado.
Why did this bother me so much? Well, it's not the fact that I didn't want a girlfriend that wasn't fit like me. That's not the point. It's not that I didn't want a girlfriend that;s not as intense as me. That's not it either. It's not even the fact that I didn't want a girlfriend that didn't like bikes. None of that means anything. I couldn't of cared less if she said, "I just don't like bikes".
If was the fact that she gave up with out trying. It was her attitude. "I can't do that." That doesn't work for me.
I see it all the time and it drives me crazy. I don't think that I can do everything but gosh darn it I'm going to try if you challenge me. I don't give up without an effort and I don't want to be with someone that does.
It's been almost 22 years since I had my first kiss. I have had a wide variety of loves and losses. I have had almost every type of relationships that there is. At the end of the day though I have lost each and every one of them for some reason. Yep, I am oh-for.
I don't pretend to be an expert on dating; I certainly am not. I am not going to offer advice; I don't feel it's my place. I am not going to criticize; throwing rocks from my glass house is not such a good idea.
I will say this though: I want to be with someone that when presented with a challenge will look at it and without much thought say "I can do that".