You meet this girl, and you ask her out on a date. Sitting across the table from her with an ice cream cone in hand, you notice that there’s something slightly different about her. She never pulls out her cellphone or seems bored. You don’t have to try as hard to impress her as you have girls in the past. She laughs at your jokes. She seems to get you.
As you continue to date, you confide in each other. She notices your little quirks and likes them, even the ones you normally try to hide. She learns about the trials you’ve gone through, your secrets, and your flaws, and she doesn’t judge. She sees something special in you. She trusts and confides in you as well. You build a connection of friendship and romance at the same time. This feels different, easy and natural.
You begin to spend the majority of your free time together.
She hasn’t tried to define the relationship yet. She doesn’t care about becoming “Facebook official.” Social media isn’t a large part of her life.
You have a terrible day at work. When you go out that night, she listens to you vent for two hours. When you’re tired of venting, she gives you a back massage.
Lately, your dreams and aspirations feel more attainable than ever. Having someone who sees how awesome you are there cheering you on has given you a boost of confidence. You’re more motivated to grow. You realize that you’re capable of great things.
Suddenly, you’re in this place where you have an amazing girl by your side, the type you always hoped to find “someday.” You weren’t planning on finding her right now, though. You don’t know what to do with her.
You’re beginning to take her for granted.
Sometimes, though a lot less than you used to, you get on Tinder when you’re bored. One day, you match with a hot girl. She starts Snapchatting you. You want to take her out, but you feel guilty for this desire.
The next time you hang out with your almost-girlfriend, the vibe feels different. In the beginning of your relationship, she was confident and carefree. Now, you detect an insecurity in her, boiling beneath the surface. She tries to hide it. But when you meet each other’s eyes, you can tell: she knows you’re pulling away. When you take her home, you kiss each other goodnight as if nothing has changed. It will be the last time you kiss her.
Over the next few days, she doesn’t text you again. She’s waiting for you to text her first. But you don’t, and she knows it’s over without any goodbye. You can’t face her and tell her you’re not ready for someone like her. You reason that you don’t need to; you never defined the relationship; she’s better off. She knows what happened.
You have your freedom back, and you enjoy it immediately. You ask the hot Snapchat girl on a date.
Three months pass, and the dating game has lost its charm again. The confidence that your last almost-girlfriend helped you find has slowly diminished. Feeling especially lonely, you shoot her a text, casual in tone. You receive no reply. She moved on.
And you finally realize that it will be hard to find someone like her again. But maybe next time, you’ll be ready.