Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Empty Relationships, Kinda Like Empty Calories

Yesterday I wrote about a conversation I had with a friend about my ideal man (and not a single one of you mentioned the picture of a robot I used to go with the post – it was a joke people, my ideal man = robot, sheesh). One of the many other things we talked about was my recent date with Mr. Midwest. It was our 3rd date.  And it was fine.

Perfectly fine.

We get along well.  He seems to be a good .  I have no reason not to be swooning over him.  But I’m not. Swooning.  I feel nothing.

Yet I’m dating him. I don’t know for how much longer.  Especially since this is so clearly destined to turn into another one of my empty .

I’m not sure how it happened but somehow I’ve mastered the 2-6 month empty relationship.  The, we like each other and enjoy hanging out and having but neither of us sees a future, empty relationship. The ones where you’re both always polite and careful with each other’s , you don’t exchange birthday/xmas gifts and you make sure not to get too close. The relationships that leave you feeling a little lonely, sometimes.

I seemed to have squeezed a whole bunch of those in in the last 5 years.  Not because I wanted to. Most of the time I was thinking, maybe I’ll grow to really care for him. I thought that if I just went through the motions, my heart would follow.

But I’ve been down this road enough times to know. It shouldn’t take that many dates to decide if I care about a person. Or could care. If I’ve already spent more than 10 hours with a guy and I’m still not feeling anything for him, then I probably need to accept the fact that I never will. Spending another 10-40 hours with him, just to see if something eventually sparks is only going to lead to somewhere down the line.

Which leads me back to the beginning of this post. I probably shouldn’t see Mr. Midwest anymore. It’s probably not a productive use of my time or his.  Probably.

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21 to “Empty Relationships, Kinda Like Empty Calories”

  1. jackie says:

    the key to dating (and kinda everything) is how quickly you can recognize a mistake and fix it. constant course correction has allowed sailors to circumnavigate the globe for ten thousand years. the sooner you realize you’re headed in the wrong direction, the sooner you can get back on course.


  2. Sandyvs says:

    THAT right there is the main reason why I’ve never gone on a second date if I feel no chemistry there, even though the guys I’ve dated are all very intelligent, talented and gentlemen. I just know it’s not going to be there. On the other hand, the ones that I have felt something in the very beginning and dated longer have never been a waste of time at all.
    Btw, I DID note your robot and thought it was the perfect picture to put up with that post, and thanks a LOT for making me want some Krispy Kremes now! I would post more, but I have to go to the grocery store…….

    • Simone Grant says:

      I love Krispy Kreme. And I love the company of men. Even though I know that the company of men I don’t care about isn’t healthy for me. Like donuts. :-)

  3. My problem is I LOVE carbs

  4. Ms. Bitch says:

    I agree with Sandyvs. Except I think that if I don’t feel a spark (for lack of a better word) on the third date, you’re just wasting your time from this point on.

  5. Terry says:

    We didn’t comment about the robot because it was asexual.

    Empty calories and donuts- but you like donuts.

    I don’t know anything about love growing. I don’t know what chemistry is- and there are times I don’t believe in it – except that it happened to me. If you were to ask me a year ago I would have said “chemistry is a cruel trick of the limbic system.” But damn- I like what this limbic system did to me.

  6. anny says:

    kinda personal response here…no need to post unless u want to…. i’ve mentioned before it seems like our lives parallel each others – my “M” came back and broke my heart – again – for the millionth time around the same time yours did…… but while contemplating/awaiting his most recent return (and departure), i had started dating a guy similar to what you described as mr. midwest…great conversation, mutual interests, similar values, fun date, etc…but no “chemistry”….there is “hormonal activity” but that’s different from “chemistry.” i’ve kept telling myself – “S” was not the right guy even though there was unbelievable “chemistry and butterflies” (interesting, he and i were the only ones who could see the “magic” in us as a couple) – so, why not try something different – why not give “mr. nice guy” a chance because maybe my “formula” has been wrong?? (e.g. previous guys I “loved” and had that magic/chemistry with – ended up marrying the next gal they dated after me!)…. so, fast forward – it’s been almost year with Mr. Nice Guy – and the sex is ok, the conversation and companionship are pretty fulfilling….but there is a hesitation on my part – maybe that “empty” feeling you describe. Is great companionship enough to hang a lifetime on? For some people, the answer is yes – it’s a choice they made and are OK with. I think I’m still young enough (45) to want – and seek – the “package”…..but, over time, it get’s harder to let go of what is “comfortable” (albeit a little “empty somtimes”). If you know what it feels like to be with someone who “takes your breath away” – do you wait for that, or do you settle for 80%…. ??? (My “M” was not a healthy person – yet despite knowing that and knowing the pain that sometimes came up in our relationship – i felt I’d rather feel pain sometimes, than nothing at all)…..but I’m still with Mr. Nice Guy… he is “safe”.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I hope you don’t mind my sharing your kinda personal response. It’s just that I related to it so closely. The other reason that I’ve had so many empty relationships (other than that I was hoping that I’d start to feel something) is that I thought that those safe and comfortable relationships were potentially better than me than getting treated poorly by someone I cared deeply for.

      I don’t have any answers. But I do think I’d like more.

  7. Kelly says:

    I’m with Jack. We second-guess our instincts sometimes. But maybe changing your pattern (and cutting it off rather than letting it fade away over time) might help bring in different types of people that are more complimentary to who you are..?
    There are no right answers. The main thing is that it’s your life and you likely already know what’s best to do here.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Yes. I likely know what’s best. I think. Mr. Midwest is out of town on business right now (because, of course, he’s a work-a-holic – ALL the men I get along with are workaholics). We have plans to see each other the day he gets back. I think that will probably be our last date. Unless something changes.

  8. Lara says:

    I agree with Jack’s comment, too. *I always agree with Jack. I love Jack.) :)

    I was just thinking today about empty relationships, and I think I’ve concluded that I know I expose everything in a relationship. I want to expose everything. If I’m not feeling the zing/chemistry/feeling with a man that makes me want to do that, I’m just not that interested in pursuing a relationship with him. Sure, he may be someone with whom to dine or see movies, but I can do that alone reading a book with a more interesting dialogue. And yes – I agree we either know or we don’t after a few hours together.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Your point about wanting to expose everything is an interesting one. I NEVER want to expose everything. It’s very hard for me to do that. And so, in a sense, these empty relationships are easy for me. They don’t challenge me, don’t force me to expose myself.

      I’d rather grow. Learn to share more easily. But it’s got to be with the right guy.

  9. Susan says:

    I just broke it off an empty relationship today. Third one in a year and a half and I need a break from dating – whew! The sooner it gets broken off, the better.

    I think chemistry can be created depending on personality. I’ve had great relationships where I haven’t been over the moon (physically) at first, but their personality was so awesome they won me over. Don’t be too quick to dismiss these diamonds in the rough!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m trying to give it as much time as is sensible. There is no lack of physical attraction. Just feeling.

      And yes, I agree, the sooner it gets broken off, the better.

  10. pups4me says:

    I know exactly how you feel SG and anny…at exactly this same point in time.
    I even used the word “safe” last week to describe a guy I’ve been on 5 dates with but haven’t yet developed romantic feelings for. He’s nice and treats me well and has so many great qualities…but I just don’t feel the butterflies.
    I usually cut it off after a date or two if I don’t feel chemistry, but like so many of us, I haven’t had the best of luck with the guys that I have instant chemistry with. So I went out with this very nice guy a few more times, hoping something would develop on my part, but it hasn’t. I’ve been thinking about this a lot the past few days and now that I see this post, I know what I need to do because it’s best if I end it now. It’s best for me and only I can be the judge of that.
    Thanks for the timely post SG.

  11. Hey, I personally believe in the first look love. I know many real stories from my friends’ lives and from my own life that you gotta feel something inside when you meet your person. We meet some people for empty relationships, correct, some for hot love and some to create a family. You should accept that all matches have a right for existence. I think we shouldn’t set a goal when dating with someone, just try to feel what kind of relationships we have and do we really need it.
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