As she walked away, she looked back at him and saw how sad he was. She had just rejected him, and it was through no fault of his. It was, ironically, that he was almost too good a catch. She felt that she wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment, and he wasn’t the type you’d play around with; he was for the long-haul. She felt he deserved better; she felt she deserved different, at least for now.
“You know,” she told me once, “I like to look at relationships in terms of life-cycle stage, and not in terms of age. Like what we learn in marketing.”
I looked at her, not quite knowing what she meant.
She continued, “like how some people get married late, and have children late. And so they may be 40, but are in the stage of their life where they’re considered ‘first-time parents’, while others may be 20, and in the same stage of their life: ‘first-time parents’, too. You know what I mean?”
I hadn’t quite grasped the concept at that time, but I nodded to encourage her to speak further.
Looking at me, she said, “I’m at this stage of my life where I just want to… ‘play’.” She looked away, embarrassed.
But I understood. At least I thought I did.
She added, “he’s like, one for the future. And that future’s not now. Not for me anyway.”