Chapter 10: The Cancer

As things were fizzling with Al, I decided to get back on dating apps – mostly Bumble and Hinge – and I matched with a few guys that honestly, were entertaining me more than anything else, so I didn’t really pursue any of them . But once Al ghosted me, I realized I needed to really put myself back out there because I didn’t want to think that all guys were jerks, and I deserved to meet some good ones. So, I decided to start actually going out on some dates. This is what led to me meeting PJ, otherwise known as The Cancer. PJ is an engineer, not from Boston originally, and had recently moved to the area, and is the epitome of the Cancer sign he was born under, hence his nickname. 

PJ and I had been chatting for awhile, first on the app, then via text, and one night, he asked me if I was free for a drink. While I had already kind of settled on that night being a Netflix and early to bed night, I decided to be spontaneous and say yes. He lived a bit outside the city, but offered to drive in, so we decided to meet at the Tavern in the Square for a drink. I quickly dressed, and got there a few minutes early where I witnessed an interesting interaction with a VERY drunk patron and one of the hosts there. After the drunk guy left, I stood and joked with the host about it while I waited. PJ showed up a bit later, and almost immediately had something rude to say about the “pretty boy” host not doing his job and talking to me instead. Clearly, he was jealous. Strike one. But, we had a drink there, talked a bit, and overall, he seemed pretty nice. I wasn’t super attracted to him, but I was trying to be better about not ruling someone out immediately just because of non-existent physical attraction, so I kept the date going. 

After a drink or two there, we decided to go to a bar in Faneuil Hall that does karaoke. We didn’t end up singing, but we met some cool people at the bar and hung out for a bit, talked a lot, and then decided to wander a bit more before ending up back at Tavern for a night cap. We said good night, and I went home.

The next day, he asked me if I liked brunch, which of course I do, so we made plans to have Sunday brunch the following day. We went to a place in Somerville called Rosebud, and while there I started to see more signs that this was not exactly going to be a love connection. We seemed to have different values and priorities, and the attraction was just not there for me, but again, he seemed pretty nice so I decided to just keep enjoying it for what it was and broach the subject when it came up. He drove me home after brunch, and I went about my day.

After that date, I kind of avoided him for a while. I didn’t think I was feeling it, but finally, after him asking to see me several times, I finally gave in. My friends convinced me that I should give someone three chances to decide how I really feel about them, and being totally honest, considering how hard it was to get the guys like Christian and Al to commit to making any plans with me, it was kind of refreshing to have someone so into spending time with me. I decided to give him one more chance.

Cancer – The Crab.
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We went to dinner at Faneuil Hall, then got ice cream, and while I was ready to go home after that he convinced me to go to this outdoor space called The Lawn on D, so we hung out there for a bit before going to a dueling piano bar across the street. It was actually really fun there, so I was happy I decided to stay out, but PJ had some serious issues with other guys there simply smiling at me or apologizing to me for being in my way. Again, the insecurities and jealousy were coming out in full force. Strike two. Besides which, I felt like at this point if he was really into me he would have tried to kiss me or something by now, but he never even touched me. I will never judge or get mad at someone for being respectful, but it was sort of weird seeing as he seemed to want to date me, but I’d never gotten any sign from him that he was attracted to me either.

After that third date, I was positive that I wasn’t feeling any kind of romantic connection with him and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time anymore. So I texted him and said that he was a great guy, but I wasn’t feeling the spark, and wished him all the best. But he wanted to be friends. I know that 9/10 times that a guy still wants to be “just friends” after being rejected he’s going to keep trying, but I thought maybe, just maybe, he would be that one out of ten. He was not.

This was around when I began referring to him as “The Cancer.” He was borderline obsessed with me. And while I consider myself a confident person, I really don’t understand it. By the last half of our third date, I was disagreeing with everything he said just to get him disinterested in me, and shutting down on him because I didn’t want him to get too attached before I had to tell him I wasn’t interested in him, but apparently to him this was just me playing hard to get because it somehow made him even more interested. He continued to ask me to hang out in settings that seemed much more like a date than two friends just hanging out. He tried to get me to come over and cuddle. A few weeks after me telling him I didn’t see a relationship coming out of this, he asked me to be his roommate – even though I’d never given him ANY kind of hints about wanting or needing a roommate (especially one who didn’t live anywhere near the public transportation I needed, and who has a dog that was way above my apartment’s weight limit) – saying he thought we’d be great roommates after three months of knowing each other… no. He did NOT seem to get that I was simply not interested, no matter how many times I tried to tell him. He was just coming on way too strong, and I felt like I couldn’t get him to back off, no matter how obvious I tried to make it without being downright mean. 

I feel like here is where I need to give a brief explanation of astrology, for anyone who isn’t familiar. I’m a Sagittarius, which is a Fire sign, my rising sign is Cancer, and my moon is Libra. So, while to the world I come across as emotional and sensitive, caring, and intuitive (which I totally am), I see myself as fair, balanced, and idealistic, but who I really am is honest, independent, adventurous, and optimistic. Cancer is a Water sign. Fire and Water do not and cannot coexist in nature. But, a lot of those traits that are due to me being a Fire sign make me very attractive to Water signs. Especially Cancers. When talking to someone who knows even more about astrology than I do, it was basically explained to me that because of my Rising sign, he thought I was more like him than I am, and then when my Sun sign traits started to come out more, they both attracted him but also made him want to stifle me in that area to equal the playing field a bit more. Which then made me mad because above all, autonomy and independence are two of the most important things to me. So once I started to pick up on him trying to make me seem more like what he was because he couldn’t have the same Fire traits as me, the more I got angry and was ready to cut him off. 

Anywho, back to the story. PJ continued to try to get me to hang out with him, even though by this point I felt like I had been extremely clear that nothing was going to happen. I wasn’t interested in being friends because I don’t like being disrespected when I say no, and I was getting very aggravated that he just didn’t seem to care what I wanted because his desperation was more important. I hate not feeling listened to and being forced to be the bad guy, so this was all really getting old and his Cancer-ness was starting to REALLY get to me. 

Finally, I guess my standoffishness finally got through to him because he stopped texting me. But this didn’t last forever. Earlier this year, he texted me yet again asking me to get drinks. I thought that maybe he’d changed, maybe he wouldn’t be so annoying. Besides, I had quit my job that was essentially taking over my life because I had no time or energy to be social, and I really needed to get out of my apartment. So I agreed. 

Sagittarius – The Archer.
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He picked me up and we went to Earl’s in the Prudential Center, and had some drinks. Yet again, his jealousy showed up when he made a face because the bartender was extra nice to me. Side note – why would a guy ever think that’s attractive? It’s not. We actually had a semi decent time. He was still single, I told him about some of my failed dates from the few months before, we laughed at my misfortune, and it wasn’t too bad. I finally told him that he was way too much of a Cancer for me to ever really get along with, and he tried to argue with me and defend himself but he actually just proved my point even more, which I thought was pretty funny. 

Then, he asked me if I’d been intimate with anyone lately, to which I responded it was absolutely none of his business, and he more or less (definitely more) tried to convince me to sleep with him that night. He kept talking about how great he is in bed (maybe this is just me, but I feel like the more you feel like you have to say you’re good in bed, the worse you actually are) and how he’d never left a woman “unsatisfied.” I tried to change the subject or at least steer it away from him bragging about himself, but again, he didn’t take the hint. I told him I wasn’t into that and didn’t care about his “skills” with other girls, but for some reason he still felt like on the way out of the restaurant, he just had to say to me that, “It would be really good if I ever changed my mind,” or something like that. Ew. 

Afterwards, I was hungry so I bought us each a slice of pizza from Eataly. It was there that he tried to bait me into a political argument for reasons unbeknownst to me. He was being very insensitive and not very open to other opinions, including mine. Both of which are serious pet peeves of mine. I also just don’t get why you’d try to start a political debate with someone at 10:00pm. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to scarf down this pizza as quickly as possible so I can get home and away from him. 

The last and final strike came on the drive home. I offered to take a Lyft but he refused, so I went ahead and let him give me a ride. He was so crude the whole ride, very obviously STILL trying to get me to invite him in so he could get in my pants. Then, at a red light, out of nowhere he reached over and tickled me. Fun fact, I HATE being tickled. It’s not like, “Oh haha don’t tickle me,” I actually start to panic and feel like I can’t breathe after awhile, and especially considering how uncomfortable he’d been making me for the past hour, I was not enjoying it in the slightest. I also just don’t like anyone thinking they can touch me without me at least sending some sort of signals that it’s okay, and I can’t think of a single time that I sent him a signal that that would ever be okay. His inability to read the room is unparalleled. 

I freaked out and told him to stop, which he did, but after that, I was officially done. I’d tried being nice, I’d even tried being kind of mean, but he was just. Not. Getting. It. When we got to my building, I barely said good night before getting out of the car and going upstairs. The next morning when he tried to text me, I blocked his number and then blocked him on all social media, too. 

While I still stand by my theory that he’s just the epitome of a Cancer, I’m not convinced that he just also lacks any social awareness. I can’t think of any other reason why he’d continue to text me trying to hang out after I’d been both upfront and passive aggressive about not being interested. Maybe some people are into that kind of borderline obsession, but not me. So, if you’re a Pisces, Taurus, Virgo, or a Scorpio in search of a sensitive soul who’ll “satisfy your needs,” I’ve got a guy for you. Me, on the other hand? I’ll be holding out for my Leo or Aries.