Many years ago, when I was in college, I briefly dated Peter. He was charming and gorgeous with dark brown wavy hair and crystal blue eyes.

I had met him through his best friend, John. John and I had met at a Depeche Mode concert. John was adorable and a Depeche Mode mega-fan, like me. We instantly hit it off at the concert and spent the rest of the evening together. We became fast friends and spent a lot of time together in the weeks after the concert.

I knew John was interested in me but somewhere, at some time, I had put him in the friend zone. It’s possible I ‘friend zoned’ him when he introduced me to Peter. Regardless, John was upset that he was in the friend zone and even more upset that Peter was interested in me.

Peter and I went out a few times. He even came to visit me at my mom’s house, where I was recuperating after a tonsillectomy. My mom lived 2 hours away in a tiny touristy mountain town. I was charmed.

I really liked him.

One evening soon after that, he called and told me he had something to discuss with me. He proceeded to tell me that he was also interested in another girl we went to school with. I don’t recall her name but I knew who she was and she was beautiful, sweet, bubbly, and smart. He obviously had great taste in women.

He said he was having an excruciating time deciding which one of us to “pick” and pursue a relationship with.

I bristled at the news. I didn’t know how I felt about this.

He also wanted to know if I was interested in pursuing a relationship with him. If not, it would be an easy decision for him.

Most of me wanted to tell him to fuck off and make the decision for him, but part of me wanted to hang tight and see who he ultimately chose. Would I win the contest? That was my ego speaking. Part of me thought he was an egotistical asshole for informing me; another part of me appreciated his honesty.

My 20 year old self nearly imploded.

I dramatically retreated emotionally from him after that. No surprise there. How and why would I continue investing myself in someone who wasn’t convinced he wanted to be with me?

Ultimately, he chose the other woman. By that point, I didn’t care. I had already moved on. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I was.

This sort of indecision happens all the time while dating. The difference is no one broadcasts it now. I can’t say how I would react now if this situation were repeated. It seems hurtful to be this honest. Decide on your own and then act accordingly without subjecting others to your head games.

Has this happened to anyone else? If so, how did you react? If it hasn’t, how do you think you would react?

“Policy of Truth” by Depeche Mode