My neighbour invited me out before Christmas. It might have even been October or November but I was busy and not really interested. After his first instigation, he followed it up with things like, “You have a great smile” and I can’t even remember what else he said to me but I would just say, “Thank you” and leave it at that. Then he found me on Facebook. He said he was surprised he found me without knowing my last name but it was the first profile that popped up. I never did approve his friend request but he was there when things ended with Gordon so I agreed to go to one of the pubs in our neighbourhood for wings and beer.
It was an easy date. The conversation flowed freely and it was fun and light-hearted. I liked that he is friends with his ex who also lives in the area. He goes over regularly to her place to pick up their dog for walks and lets himself in with a hidden key, with her permission. He spends time regularly with his daughter and son and had just spent $800 buying his daughter knew glasses earlier than his 2 year medical plan allowed because her prescription had changed so drastically over a 4-month period. He said he paid his ex more spousal than she had asked for because he didn’t think it was enough and they had no legal intervention. He just seemed to do what was right. His older daughter went to school with my daughter for 4 years although my daughter was in the English program and his was in the French program so they only knew of each other. My younger daughter is at the same school as his younger son. We have a couple of friends in common. We walk our dogs at the same park.
The commonality was also a negative for me. I didn’t like that he knew where I lived. I never did allow him to come to my house to pick me up, drop me off or come in. I kind of regretted that he knew my typical morning routine and that I had to drive by his place almost every day.
We went out for dinner and lunches maybe 4 more times after our first date. I went to his place a couple of times and we watched movies. We also met at the park to walk our dogs.
What I noticed the first date was that he had a bit of an edge. I couldn’t label it initially. He described himself as “opinionated” but to me it was more negative than just having a strong opinion. Then it crept into conversations more as he let his guard down. He seemed to have a beef with a lot of people including family, friends and coworkers. He made a comment that only one of his wife’s friends still talked to him. It made me wonder what he did to make his wife’s friends dislike him so much. He swore he was never unfaithful. He also told me that the husband of one of our mutual friends would turn away if he saw him. Another red flag when men don’t seem to like him either.
I am close friends with the local mechanic. I know him and his wife personally and I trust him professionally to service my vehicle. So when my new neighbour/date told me to have nothing to do with the guy because he would rip me off I knew his view was jaded and I told him my experience. I have referred lots of people to his auto body and I have never heard any negative complaint. I even know the other mechanic that works for him and am friends with his mother. They are so knowledgeable, love vehicles, have a strong faith in God so I am confident in their advice as being for me and not for them.
My neighbour/date knew the servers and bar tenders in the pub and they knew him by name. I wondered how much of a drinker he was although when we were together he didn’t have more than 2 beers. One night we split a bottle of wine. When we went for sushi he ordered tea for us so he didn’t always need to drink. He did drunk text me a couple of times.
One day when we were walking our dogs together my dog stopped in front of him. He commented about how annoying that was to him. When my dog did it again he grabbed me by the shoulders and moved me over to where he was walking, switching sides with me saying that if my dog was going to do that he could do it to me and not him. I nudged him back jokingly, trying to lighten his mood, telling him he almost put me in the snow bank. He then assured me that if he wanted me to be in the snow bank that I would be in the snowbank. I shut down immediately and I would say our relationship never recovered after that.
I met him one last time for dog walking. Not only did he knee my dog when he stopped in front of him but when a stranger’s dog ran over to play with our dogs and in the course of the dog’s excitement knocked into my neighbour, he kicked the dog angrily. I was completely shocked. That was it right then and there. I walked away on a different path than him back to my car. He caught up to me in the open area leading to the parking lot but we said nothing to each other. When I got into my car he said, “I thought I was taking you to lunch.” I told him I had things to do.
He texted a couple of hours later saying, “Sorry about today. I was frustrated. I’m cursed when it comes to other dogs. I almost got knocked over several times.” I didn’t respond. He texted me later telling me to have a good night.
Two days later he showed up at the dog park at 8:00 a.m. during my typical dog walking routine, right after I drop my daughter off at school. I felt a pit in my stomach. He never came to the park at that time. I did not want to see him or talk to him. I was far away and wondered if he even saw me. I noticed his dog first and then saw his orange jacket but he was a distance away. I do think my dog went over to see his dog but I kept walking and pretended I didn’t notice. When I got to my car his truck wasn’t parked there so I was relieved thinking he may not have even saw me.
An hour and half later he texted, “Enjoy your walk?” I felt sick to my stomach. He then said, “Sorry I didn’t stick around to say hello. Not feeling well.” That made two of us. I wasn’t going to respond but then I was almost afraid not to say anything. The problem with us living in the same neighbourhood is that we are bound to run into each other, especially if he was going to be intentional about it. 5 1/2 hours after he texted all I said was that I hoped he was feeling better. He engaged some more saying that he ended up spending the day with his daughter but I did not respond further and I haven’t heard anything from him since. That was 3 days ago and we are just coming off a long weekend. I am going back to my dog walking routine tomorrow and I am just hoping he realizes I am not interested in even being friends so that he stays far away from me.