The Darkness Of Getting Dumped By Someone You’re Not Even Dating

Flannel had dumped Valentino.

Once upon a time, I was healing from an earth-shattering heartbreak brought about by a gorgeous f*ckgirl we’ll call Roxy. Roxy wasn’t just a f*ckgirl—she was a f*ckgirl extraordinaire. We had recklessly dove into a passionate relationship that lasted less than a year and had broken up because I had grown weary of her f*ckgirl ways. I was sick of partying all the time. I was sick of her lying to me about all the pills she incessantly popped into her pouty little lips. I was sick of the dizzying emotional rollercoaster.

And even though I had been the one to cut the chord, I was gutted. What can I say? It was the best sex I’d ever had in my entire life.

So, I did what all heartbroken lesbians do: I got on Tinder and swiped the pain away. Most of the girls I matched with were typical New York f*ckgirls, aka heavily tattooed nightlife dykes that radiated a dangerous sexiness and girls with coy pickup lines and mischievous twinkles gleaming in their boozed out eyes. As much as I lusted after these swaggy creatures, I was done with their kind. I decided to stretch my limbs outside of my comfort zone and go after a different type of girl this time around—a girl who, perhaps, wouldn’t flirt with 23-year-old baby dykes right in front me.

Finally, I matched with Dylan*, a thirty-five-year-old entertainment executive, who, in her profile picture, bore an authentic smile that oozed with the kind of stability I deeply craved. She was the opposite of my usual type. She was peppered in very subtle tattoos that could easily be covered by the onset of a classy blazer. She had a clear, direct gaze and a real job. Plus, she picked out a chic restaurant for us to have our first date in lieu of a dive bar.

Who cares that I wasn’t exactly attracted to her? I had no base from which to judge her looks either. I hadn’t even met her in person yet.

For our first date, I wore a beautiful black DVF wrap dress that fell just below my knees, lace stockings, and black Mary Jane Miu Miu pumps bought on consignment at one of those amazing second-hand shops on the Upper East Side. I brushed out my beach waves and dulled them down with a flat-iron. I looked like a grownup. I felt like a grownup. I sat at the bar twenty minutes early and slugged back my favorite personality drink: champagne.

Ever so suddenly, I felt a delicate tap on my shoulder. “Are you Zara?” a husky voice breathed into my ear.

“Yes.”

It was her. I took one look at her in all her preppy button-down and pressed-pants glory and was suddenly overcome with an impenetrable craving to be devoured by a f*ckgirl in leather. It’s not that she was hideous, but she had no sex appeal. I don’t need many things, but, babe. I need sex appeal. I envisioned my swaggy ex-girlfriend sauntering into the bar in ripped jeans, infuriating me and turning me on once as she eye-f*cked every girl in the room. I took a deep breath.

Old habits die hard, but look where your addiction to f*ckgirls has gotten you, Zara? The sensible side of myself lectured me.

Yeah, I know where f*ckgirls have gotten you. The irresponsible side of myself seductively whispered into my ear. The best lesbian sex in the world. 

Stop messing shit up for her. This girl is nice. Stable. This is what Zara needs. She’s not getting any younger! Sensible Zara shouted at irresponsible Zara, protectively wrapping her sturdy arm around me. Don’t listen to her. 

Irresponsible Zara didn’t say anything. She just lit up a cigarette and grinned.

*

After a few bar drinks, Dylan and I sat down for dinner. I decided to listen to the sensible side of myself (the alcohol swishing through my system helped soften my visceral lack of attraction to her). I felt my shoulders relax. I channeled my nervous, horny energy into getting to know Dylan as a person. As it turned out, she was actually pretty fabulous. She checked off all the proverbial boxes: she loved her job, didn’t talk shit about her family or her ex (the ultimate red flags), she didn’t have roommates, and she loved “Seinfeld.” Plus, get this: she wasn’t a drunk! She sipped her wine slowly, not frantically, like most of the women I know in New York (myself included). She also picked up the check (purr).

She walked me fifteen blocks home, and we never stopped talking. There was no game-playing. It was a dynamic, interesting conversation. I decided I would definitely kiss her. We ended up locking lips in front of the 92nd street laundromat right in front of the college boys folding their laundry.

I wish I could wax poetic about the kiss, but it was wildly underwhelming. It wasn’t a repulsive I’m-gagging-on-my-spit kind of kiss, but it also wasn’t the I-feel-like-I’m-having-an-orgasm-because-your-lips-are-so-pillowy-and-electryifing kind of kiss either. It was a basic kiss. It was basic like a pair of khaki pants at a prep school in New England. It was basic like a Juicy Couture sweatsuit tucked into Ugg boots. Basic like a french manicure with a square tip.

*

“How was your date?” My roommate Courtney asked, curling her long legs beneath her.

“It was a bleak kiss, but she’s awesome. She’s really together. She’s kind,” I said, pouring myself an extra large glass of wine.

“Then give her a shot.”

“You’re right. I’m going to give it a go. Immediate sexual chemistry has only left me screwed over.”

That night, I crawled into bed wearing clean pajamas and felt really smug and pleased with myself. Responsible Zara had won. Finally!

Dylan texted me first thing the following morning. At first, I thought it was a *little* thirsty for my taste, but I quickly reminded myself that I was simply used to apathetic assholes prone to ghosting. By noon she had arranged mid-week drinks in the West Village.

*

My roommate drank Diet Coke and watched me get ready for my mid-week date with Dylan. “I like her, but she’s not really my type. I think she likes me a little too much, if I’m honest. She keeps, like, texting me. I mean if she can stay cool, I’m down to give it a go. She is nice. I’m going to really try to catch feelings for her. I know she has feelings for me, and it would be healthy for me to go for an available person for once. The kind of person that won’t hurt me because they can’t keep it in their pants. She’s a safe choice, and I need safety. I’m 28,” I rambled as slipped into a silver strapless cocktail dress. I squeezed some lip gloss onto my lips and looked in the mirror. I felt like hot shit.

*

The next thing I know we are sitting at a cocktail table at Buvette. I order a Prosecco. She ordered one too. See? I knew she was super into me. 

Her outfit is particularly boring this evening. She’s wearing a goddamn flannel shirt and brown boots (gag!), but it’s the personality that counts, right? Who cares if her boots are brown? 

“So, uh, Zara,” Dylan says, her eyes cast downward.

Aww, she likes me so much she can’t even make eye contact with me! “Yes?” I ask in my most flirtatious voice, batting my lashes like I’m starring in a 1950s romcom.

She takes a dramatic, pregnant pause. Oh no, I hope she isn’t one of those crazy dykes that’s going to like tell me she loves me or something. “I, uh, don’t think I can do this.” WHAT. “I just—it’s too much.” Suddenly, Dylan burst into tears. Thick, saltwater tears that slowly slid down her cheeks. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

“It’s OK,” I said, slowly trying to process the scene. Suddenly, I felt very small and very pathetic. I realized how wildly over-dressed I was. Who the hell wears a cocktail dress to a cool downtown restaurant? I looked around. Everyone was in jeans and flat motorcycle boots. I felt like an aging movie star who missed the mark constantly.

“I’m not over my ex. When you kissed me the other night…” She kissed me! I didn’t kiss her! “I couldn’t stop thinking about my ex.” Suddenly, I was filled with a very real, very primal, ape-like rage. What the hell? I didn’t even like you! I was forcing myself to like you because I thought you would be the type that would be blindly OBSESSED with me and never hurt me! I looked at her again. She was wearing flannel. I was wearing Valentino. Flannel had dumped Valentino.

“Let’s be friends,” she said warmly, touching my hand. How was this happening? How was I getting broken up with by someone I had gone one date with? And why—dear God, why—did I feel like crying?

*

I would love to tell you that I politely strutted out of the restaurant and moved on with my life, but that would be a lie. Let’s get real: I’m a classic lesbian. Instead of removing myself from the situation, I asked her about her ex. She hysterically wept. I counseled her on her broken relationship. By the end of dinner, I had put together a plan for Dylan to get her ex back. The next day, I checked in with her. In fact, she ended up proposing to her ex exactly two months after that fateful night. I take full credit.

I learned something very interesting about life that night: anytime I take myself too seriously, anytime I get cocky and feel like the hottest shit on the planet, the beautiful universe has a wonderful way of knocking me back into reality. It has a way of humbling me when I get too big for platform boots. And now, whenever I meet a girl who isn’t my “type,” I don’t stress over whether I like her. Because, for all I know, she doesn’t like me either.