Disoriented after being chased and dumped by a "poly-friendly" guy...
Hello, everyone! This is my first posting that isn't an introduction. To preface, I am in an open relationship with my partner of almost nine years. Our relationship wasn't open for the entire duration and we weren't always "officially" together, but seeing as I am a relationship anarchist, I consider it all the same because we treated each other the same. It's interesting - He wishes he were invited on more crazy sexual adventures like the ones that individuals and couples extend to me, but I wish I had more sustainable, lasting connections like he does. Anyway...
Something happened a few months ago and it is still bothering the hell out of me. Someone contacted me on Fetlife who my friend wanted to hook me up with a while ago. We had a lot of strange things in common and I thought he was really attractive. He possessed all of the traits of the guys I normally crush on. I've been burned before and I am FAR from socially inept, so I know better than to come on too strong or move things too quickly. He told me he was poly-friendly and had been in a polyamorous relationship before. He initiated 70% of our contact. Our first date was great... Except for the sex and he wasn't a great kisser. (Before you blame me, I have been told by MANY people without any provocation on my part that I am an excellent kisser, usually one of the best that others have encountered. I've also been told that I'm great in bed.) However, I'm the kind of person where the sex is good so long as I like the person. Since this was someone my friend knew quite well, down went the boundaries and I "played" with him and had sex with him.
I just really, really want to firmly establish that I wasn't being overwhelming or clingy. That is SO not my swag.
Afterwards, he continued to initiate our contact via text and would ask me what I was doing, supposedly to make plans. Our mutual friend had moved so she was visiting from far away. Demonstrative of his eagerness, he actually wanted to hang out the very first day she came home, before she even had spent any time with her daughter. Instead, he asked to hang out another day later in the week.
The casual texting continued. One night, we were gonna hang out but our friend had to cancel. My friend's psychedelic punk band was playing at this new bar so I invited him. It really wasn't meant to be anything too personal. The night wound up being great - that bar is now one of my favorites and the bar owners love me... Except he never texted back. Same thing happened when I told him when my friend was leaving.
I shot him some sporadic texts, as the day we were all supposed to chill was coming up and he wanted to know when our friend was leaving. He didn't contact either of us until we both hit him up on the actual day we made plans for. I had been extremely depressed (as was my friend) for various reasons and I had just found out that day that one of my best friends might have become terminally ill. I'm a really, really nice person but because of my romantic disappointments, dating and stuff makes me very anxious. We both had to drink to get ourselves up to snuff to socialize.
The whole time... He ignored me. He didn't ask how I was. He hardly included me in anything. I had to forcibly interject myself into every conversation. It upset me so much, that I had to go to the bathroom because I was starting to tear up, mostly because this was the LAST thing that I needed, given all of my problems. While I was in the bathroom, he told my friend that he thought I had a "crush" on him and that if he were to get a monogamous girlfriend, he would have to leave me.
Ummm... WHAT?! This was literally the second time we had ever hung out. My mind was TOTALLY not going there. Yeah, I had a crush on him... He was a cool guy. We played together and fucked. What was wrong with it? My crush seemed very reciprocated up until that night. I SWEAR it wasn't in my head. Upon the insistence of my friend - who was also really mad at him ("I'm gonna spare you the gory details, but she doesn't ever want to see you again.") - he sent me a letter basically saying that he wasn't ready for polyamory. Me being the sweetheart I am, I told him, "Oh, it's ok. I should have been more understanding." He messaged me about a month later saying, "Oh, how sweet of you! I appreciate your offering to help me out with polyamory." (I was/am going to start an advice column because of the tremendous volume of questions I get.) Thus, in response, I basically told him that he was very rude to me and to not contact me ever again unless it was to apologize, not that it would really make a difference.
I'm still traumatized. Actually, I'm crying now as I write this.
I'm really afraid of pursuing people now and I question my judgment. Many of my crushes have been unrequited so I've become hypervigilant about making sure that it's a two-way street and I never appear needy. People often tell me I'm attractive. (Usually, I get told I look like Kate Winslet but recently, I've been getting Kat Dennings more than anything.) There are plenty of other monsters in the loch. People are always asking me out, but it isn't often that it's someone I'm attracted to. I'm not one of those people who wants what I can't have, either.
Can anyone please help me make sense of this situation? Why would someone project the image of utmost comfort and enthusiasm, only to suddenly withdraw it? He was the one making plans for future hangouts, such as referencing movies "we" had to watch together or stuff he'd like for "us" to do. I didn't do any of this fast-forwarding. I have a feeling I'm more socially and sexually experienced than him, but he's still dated a ton of girls and stuff so that doesn't explain anything. This was also MONTHS ago and it's not that I miss him - It's more that the situation really freaked me out on many levels. I like to just let relationships be what they are. I get uncomfortable when monogamous people try to compartmentalize our connection in accordance with cultural scripts. He said he didn't want to ruin my "expectations" but I never really had any aside from the ones that he set forth.
Any insights? You have no idea how much it would mean to me because this instance, along with some other mishaps, have formed a horrendous complex that is negatively impacting other areas of my life and self image.
If you read all of that, thank you. I'm sorry it's so long. I REALLY need help with this, though.