On the night of our first date, Brandon, my new older man, had asked to be in an exclusive, long-term relationship. Since I was only 20 years old, I was not sure how to take it all in. There was a big 26-year age difference between Brandon and I and, as anyone else would conclude, I was still a little young to be thinking of marriage. Not that Brandon ever pushed the idea. In fact, he himself once mentioned that marriage was a death trap, to which I laughed. A younger Lena would’ve given Brandon a glare for the comment, but as I got older, I came to realize that marriage was not really everything it was hyped up to be. Sure, having someone and being solely with one other person was sweet and what many of us today strive to find, but then again, both Brandon and I were speaking from wounded hearts—mine from a non-committed ex-boyfriend and Brandon from a failed marriage and other failed relationships.
So, it was no wonder that Brandon’s talk about seeing himself getting married to me threw me off a little, and to be honest, scared me one step back. It’s not that I wouldn’t be thinking the same thing at some point in our May-December relationship, but to have mentioned it on our very first date was a little early, and I had the feeling that Brandon liked to go through everything at full-throttle speed. I had openly expressed my feelings to Brandon two nights after he noticed my distance. I was comfortable enough to tell him exactly what I was feeling, but there was somehow a miscommunication on his part and he thought I wanted to end what we had. After apologizing and explaining what impelled him to say what he did that night of our date, I found myself once again softening up to him.
Brandon wasn’t looking to settle down anytime soon, but he did want to let me know that there was potential between us and if I couldn’t commit to it, he would understand. And with that, he suggested that we should just go back to being friends. By that point, I was so confused with my feelings that I agreed, not knowing what “just friends” really meant to Brandon. After settling in for a long night on the phone with Brandon, I figured we patched everything up and I thought we would remain the same, with the daily text messages and calls. I was wrong.
It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed things were not the same for me and Brandon. For the entire morning, I had gone about my day without a single word from Brandon. I figured he was just busy with work, so I didn’t think too much of it—until the end of the work day came and I still hadn’t heard from him. I kept thinking to myself that I shouldn’t expect him to treat me like a girlfriend, because clearly we agreed to just be friends. But if his feelings for me were as strong as he confessed that night on our first date, why was he able to go through a whole day without hearing from me? At that point, I was even more confused, so I decided to take matters into my own hands…