Playing with Fire

Posted on January 15, 2013

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Scary, right?

This story is from Jane, a 33-year-old baker in NYC, as told to Raz: 

Over the summer, I met Andrew on Match.com. On our first date, he was nice, but a little fidgety. Our dinner table had a flower and a candle on it, and he made a habit of nervously sticking the flower into the candle’s flame—which made me nervous.

But, all in all, we had a decent conversation, and he even walked me to my apartment building afterward (without pushing to come up). So I agreed to a second date.

This time, he stepped it up a little bit. We went to dinner and a jazz show, and I was thinking things were going OK.

But after that date, I met Kyle. And I knew instantly that I liked Kyle a whole lot more than I liked Andrew. Still, when Andrew asked me to a Mets game, I said yes. One thing about me: I cannot say no to a baseball game. Besides, it wasn’t like I was serious or exclusive with either guy.

Andrew and I sat right next to the dugout. The game was awesome; the company was only decent.

When he texted me afterward to ask if I wanted to play tennis with him the next Sunday, I tried to politely decline, telling him I didn’t see our relationship going anywhere. But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He texted me 5 times in a row after that begging me to tell him why I didn’t want to go out again.

I was overwhelmed, and frankly, I didn’t know what else to say. Wasn’t I doing the right thing here? I ignored his messages and took a nap.

When I woke up, the last message he’d sent just said, “Are you home?”

Later that day, I left to go grocery shopping, and sitting outside my apartment door was a Mets cup, a bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear. There was no question in my mind about who it was from. How did he get into my building?! And how did he know my apartment number?!

When I got back from the store, I saw an email from Andrew:

“Did you get the bear and flowers?” it said. “I’m sitting on my couch right now eating Ben and Jerry’s and watching ‘Real Housewives,’ because I’m so upset you don’t like me.” After more rambling about how depressed he was, he added: “I’ve never felt this strongly about anyone before.”

OK, now I was officially freaked out. And I decided to tell him so. I wrote Andrew back, explaining that the fact that he’d been right outside my apartment door without my knowledge was not OK. In fact, it was creepy. It was time for him to move on. “Besides,” I said. “The reason I want to end things has nothing to do with you. It’s about what’s going on with me right now.”

Either he somehow interpreted that last sentence as a compliment or he was just straight up delusional, because his email response to me simply asked, “So when can we see each other again?”

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Posted in: Your Stories