The Loser I Dated Before I Realized I Needed to Start Dating Older Guys: Part 2

My spring fling with Jared slowly started to fiz­zle out. The lust we had for one another was just that, lust. No mat­ter how hard I tried to reform him, he was still grasp­ing hard on his imma­ture side with no hope of ever grow­ing up.

School was a big issue for me and I didn’t real­ize how much of an issue it was until I saw how strong Jared was against it. The fact that he didn’t even grad­u­ate with a high school diploma was a major turnoff, not to men­tion embar­rass­ing, for a girl who was plan­ning to pur­sue her Master’s degree. I wanted some­one with the mind to make the effort for future finan­cial sta­bil­ity and Jared made com­ments more than once that he was happy I was going to school for the both of us.

Had Jared meant that he was expect­ing for me to bring the money to the table in our rela­tion­ship? I was never going to let that hap­pen. I wasn’t a gold dig­ger, but I was not going to get involved inti­mately and for the long-term with some­one who was not smart enough to under­stand the con­cept of prepar­ing for a future.

There were red flags every­where and that’s when I decided that I needed to get out. But no mat­ter how many times I said that I needed to leave, Jared’s imma­tu­rity and inno­cence made me stay; maybe, just maybe, there was still hope, I thought.

That hope was soon out the win­dow when his birth­day came around. And, of course, he needed to cel­e­brate with a bang. So, when the day came, Jared’s phone was ring­ing off the hook, along with the con­tin­u­ous chim­ing of incom­ing text mes­sages every five sec­onds. I was a lit­tle ner­vous; it was going to be the first time that I’d ever met any of Jared’s friends and I had to look the part—my hair and my makeup needed to be flaw­less. When Jared walked in, he looked over at me, smiled, slapped my ass as a form of approval, and walked out to greet his friends at the door.

I kept my dis­tance from Jared at the party, not want­ing to seem clingy. There were a cou­ple of moments where he made eye con­tact with me, but he never fully acknowl­edged my pres­ence and that was proof enough for me. I went about the rest of the party mak­ing light con­ver­sa­tion with some of the guests. A cou­ple of guys asked if I was sin­gle, and to spite Jared, I said yes.

It wasn’t until I spot­ted Jared in the back­yard sur­rounded by a group of mini-skirt-wearing trolls that I had had enough. I was going to put him to the test. If our rela­tion­ship was more than a fling, then he needed to prove it to me. I made my way over to the group and put my hand on Jared’s back. Jared turned around and smiled at me and grabbed me by my waist. I smiled as I took that as a show of affec­tion. Finally. The girls seemed to catch the hint and glared as Jared said, “Uh yea, this is Lena. She’s my friend from Cali.”

Friend. It was a slap in the face, but in the end, it was exactly what I needed. I had to wake up even­tu­ally, to see exactly what I was set­ting my sights and heart on—Jared was a lit­tle boy try­ing to play the part of a man. It’s funny because you don’t real­ize when it’s time to grow up until you see some­one that hasn’t. And Jared needed to grow up, but more impor­tantly, I needed to grow up as well.

I wasn’t liv­ing in the world of all my romance nov­els. For me, there were real con­se­quences and no one but me was going to get myself out of them, not even my dream­boat mil­lion­aire fan­tasy man. Because chances were, he didn’t even exist—or so I thought.