I’m writing to apologize. I know that it was likely more than a little confusing that I acted to strangely after we’d had such smooth conversation and connection over multiple days.

So I am writing to explain. I’m a woman of deep curiosity and self-examination, and so I assure you, there was a good reason. I’m sorry I left you, until now, guessing.

Thank you for answering me honestly when I asked you what you wanted from me, and you said you’d like to date me. You had thought about it. You knew how you felt. But I did not. I don’t know if I want any labels or commitment, for the first time in my life. Because the way I’ve related to men before seems to have been an old recipe. What I want is to co-create relationships differently. I don’t want to be boxed in, which is not to minimize my genuine capacity for devotion. But I was too overwhelmed at the moment to know to say that. It’s taken me some time to process.

Thank you for offering me your availability. It is a gift, and I’m sorry if it didn’t feel as though I honored it when I could not immediately accept, or find the words to navigate the request.

I imagine that when you were vulnerable with me, and then I called off date #3, that you’d regretted your honesty. Assumed, maybe, with a hint of shame, that it was what made me turn away. But that’s not true. Thank you for your truth. Don’t close down on my account. A man who knows himself and can speak to who he is and what he questions and desires is a rare find. Keep shining.

Thank you for admiring who I am. When I heard your admiration based on my reputation, I became concerned, like maybe you were subconsciously saying, “If only I could get her…(fill in the blank).” That’s a lot of pressure. I don’t want admiration as much as equality. Stand in who you know yourself to be – the one already worthy of me.

And lastly, here’s some of my own vulnerability. You hugged me, and I could feel your heart. I liked that. You asked if you could kiss me, I said yes because of trust already established. You did so passionately, and that scared me. Because, you didn’t know this, but the last man to show that level of passion took from me without replenishing, and it took a long time for me to recover. And so even if your passion was a gift, I felt is as a potential threat, and this is no one’s fault. When you kissed me, my body and mind lit up with unresolved trauma and I couldn’t tell the difference between giving and take. I honestly drove home shaking.

I’m telling you these things because this is the dance we’re dancing, as we come to a relationship with our tender hearts, just as we are.

I know it’s hard to date a woman with a past. Thank you for all of your genuine efforts. But I’m not going to show up pretending and I don’t want you to show up overcompensating – both of us trying to make some impression. I’m telling you these things because right through the gate if there’s to be a date #3, I need to know that you can and will go to all of these honest places with me.

Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood


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