Chapter 35: The Stage-Five-Clinger

It’s been a minute (or lots of minutes), but I’m back at it!

Welcome back to Confessions of a Singleholic, ladies and gentlemen. Today I have a fun little story for you about my favorite type of person. A guy I’ve never even met getting clingy and needy. This story is brought to you by Tinder or Bumble, I can’t even remember. I’ve decided to call the guy I met Austin. 

Austin and I matched shortly before Christmas, and we began talking pretty quickly after we matched. At first, everything seemed to be going pretty well. Honestly, I’ve been trying to be better lately about not making a snap-judgement about which way to swipe. Austin is one of the guys who got a swipe because I took more than 3 seconds to look for any prominent red or green flags (I’m judgey, I know). I decided he deserved a chance. This is to say that he isn’t exactly what I would think of when talking about the type of guy I want to meet. But, I needed material, and because I love y’all so much I’ve found myself swiping right on people specifically because I thought they could give me a good story. 

In any case, Austin and I started talking and then, as it usually happens, he asked for my number. As usual, I gave him my fake one. (Side note, I recently skipped right to giving a guy I matched with my real number – fingers crossed that doesn’t come back to bite me in the ass later). 

This all happened on Christmas, mind you, but it was a chill holiday for us – like I’m sure it was for many of you. So, it wasn’t a big deal for me to exchange numbers and send a text or two throughout the day. But he immediately started with something that I HATE. He’d occasionally say, “Oh, I hope I’m not keeping you from your family on the holiday.” Meanwhile, he’s also bombarding me with questions.

To be fair, I used to do this with guys. I’d say, “Oh, I hope I’m not bothering you,” but you know when I did that? When I was extremely insecure, had little confidence, and placed 90% of my self-worth in how the guy I was interested in at the time was treating me. So this was an automatic orange-ish flag for me. I’ve spent the past year working on that. I’m not about to bring it back into my life (and future relationships) in a different way. 

But, we kept talking and overall, things were okay. He started asking me when we could go out pretty quickly. I get wanting to make plans and not just be pen-pals (and I’m all for that). But at the same time, it was over the holidays. I’d already said I’d be in North Carolina for an indeterminate amount of time. It was not like he needed to put a rush order on scheduling a date with me. However, that’s exactly what he was trying to do. When I’d say that I wasn’t sure when I’d be back, but would let him know, he’d listen for about three and a half hours before trying AGAIN. 

Photo by Plato Terentev on

He also continued up with the, “Hope I’m not intruding on your time,” thing and, honestly, at that point he kind of was. I was trying to enjoy time with my family. Really, I’m just not someone that’s super attached to their phone anyway, so it was a bit annoying. I have notifications turned off for pretty much every single app so that I’m not constantly on my phone. Also, we were doing lots of outdoorsy things – snowtubing, sledding, etc. – and I had my phone in the pocket of snow pants that made me look like a marshmallow and I was not really about to dig it out with my gloves every five minutes. He also knew we were outside, so not necessary to be trying to get my constant attention and then act like he didn’t want it.

Also, through our conversation I wasn’t getting the idea that he’s overly ambitious – which is totally fine! – but not what I’m looking for in a partner. I have a lot of big plans and dreams, so I definitely need someone who supports and understands that. We really didn’t seem to have a lot in common. So my responses were slowly having more and more time in between them. 

The real kicker, though, was after less than a week of talking he suddenly hits me with, “Part of me feels like I may be losing your interest?” 

I’m sorry, huh? I love when people are upfront. I think it’s commendable to ask instead of hinting or being passive aggressive. But at the same time, I’d told him repeatedly that I was with my family. I also hadn’t even met him yet so I didn’t even know if I was truly ‘interested’ in him anyway.

At this, I told him that I’m not someone attached to my phone. It’s more important to me to be ‘in the moment’ than it is to be a great texter. Pretty much the only people I text back right away are my parents. At this, he got overly apologetic. This put me in a weird spot because then I felt guilty. I was basically consoling him for asking a question. But, I don’t feel like I should have to explain myself over something so silly. Especially after only a few days of talking. Been there, done that.

After that, he apologized and told me how embarrassed he was like three times. It would have just been so much more attractive if he’d just been like, “Okay, great, thanks for explaining.” Then moved on. Over the next couple of days of awkward conversation I felt like I had to be a better texter, but it felt very forced.

The funny thing is that this whole time he kept being like, “I’m just really excited to meet you” every time he tried to make plans several days before I was even planning on being back in Boston. Or when he was “so embarrassed” for asking me if I was losing his interest. I find this hilarious, because after we exchanged Happy New Year’s, I never heard from him again. He was so into me, apparently, and then it just took two days of me not answering his texts immediately and he suddenly lost all interest. I wasn’t sure if we’d have stuff in common, but I was willing to give it a try (and not just for material, I promise). So it was just very weird.

In any case, that was the last time I heard from Austin. I guess he isn’t quite a stage-five-clinger, but pretty much any guy that acts needier than I can sometimes be basically gets placed into that category immediately. Then again, he’s a Scorpio. I think you all know how I feel about romantic entanglements with water signs at this point (hint, not very good) so I guess that explains it. 

So The Stage-Five-Clinger was a bust, but at least he got me back in the writing – and dating – game.

See you next week!

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