Back in February, I went out for drinks with one of my girlfriends. I remember not being in the mood to go out that night, but I did anyway because I knew my friend needed company.

We decided to go to a relatively new place in town. As we were about to leave, my friend recognizes someone sitting at the restaurant. He was a good friend of hers, and he invited us to have a drink.

I had a very nice conversation with him and I thought we clicked. He asked for my number and called me the next day to invite me out to the movies.

He was a gentleman – very charming, nice and well-mannered, and definitely someone I wanted to date and get to know more.

I did not see him again until the following week because I went on a trip with my son. He called me during that week to see how our trip was going, and we made plans to see each other as soon as I got back.

And we did.

The relationship turned really intense. He wanted to see me all the time. We made all sorts of plans together – dinner, movies, coffee…

I was enjoying myself. I felt relaxed, happy and unconcerned.

I started to like him very much.

It was refreshing to finally date someone from my own culture after so many years.

He was very funny and always in a good mood, which made his company even more enjoyable.

However, I knew I had to protect my feelings and, in a way, be prepared for any outcome.

After some weeks, I started to trust my heart and let my sentimental guard down. I even allowed him to be around my son a few times.

One day, something changed.

I started to notice him anxious and nervous. A bit distant at times.

I asked if there was something wrong, and he said he was going through a very stressful time at work.

One night we were talking and he said many things that did not make sense to me. At least not at that time. Now I think that he was trying to «warn» me about what was coming.

I noticed that the following weeks, even though we were talking every day, we were not seeing each other that much, as if he was trying to avoid me.

I wanted him to trust me and let me know what was really going on and all I got was a vague explanation which I was sure was missing a lot of pieces.

I decided to step aside. I told him I didn’t want to be one more problem in his life, and it seemed to me he had a lot going on.

He insisted on meeting up to talk. We saw each other only for him to tell me he was not in the state of mind to be in a relationship because he had too much on his plate at the moment.

As I sat there looking at him, I thought about how this was coming from a guy who was telling everyone he was smitten and in a serious relationship with me.

I have to say I was and I am still a little dumbfounded.

At first, I was very worried and only hoped for the best situation for him.

Now, I don’t know what to think.

I feel used, betrayed, deceived, let down and heartbroken.

He got me all excited about our relationship and then he dumped me using a very sketchy excuse.

I was perfectly content with my mommy life at home, enjoying good times with my girlfriends, and had come to terms with the idea of not dating for a while, but he showed up to turn my world upside down.

Since the day we last met up we have talked a few times and it seems that he is still trying to solve whatever it is he is going through.

I don’t know if he wants to keep in touch because, in a way, he feels guilty about the way things panned out, or if he just wants to talk to a friend.

As much as I’d like to know how he is doing and be there for him, I’ve decided against reaching out.

I think about what happened and try to find the missing pieces of the puzzle in my mind, and, even though at times I feel a bit angry and frustrated, I can’t hold a grudge against him because he is such a nice guy.

I think about all the possible reasons for his astonishingly strange behavior, if the relationship will ever come around, or if I will be able to trust again, but most importantly I wonder… Why is this happening to me?

Perhaps we both needed to meet each other. For me, it was an opportunity to realize I should look for some of his character traits in the next person I choose to be in a relationship with in the future, and for him a chance to take a breather from his problems.

Two years ago I read a book a good friend of mine wrote. The book is in Spanish and it talks about love, of course – falling in love for the first time, re-falling in love, and how it can happen at any age.

I very much enjoyed reading this book, but among my favorite things are the recommendations made in order to be ready for a new relationship.

My friend emphasizes how women can be empowered to create their own love revolution and need to stop feeling embarrassed about being love devotees.

It makes me think about how many times I’ve said: «I am never feeling that again», «This is not happening to me again» or «Love does not exist».

I have to admit I am being insincere because, regardless of how many difficult situations I’ve encountered when it comes to relationships, and how discouraged I feel after my last ephemeral attempt to be in one, I still believe in love.

The book also has a small section about the possibility of a happy ending no matter what happens. I interpret this as the silver lining in every circumstance.

This last relationship was brief, and as much as I was trying to protect my feelings, it ended suddenly, peacefully, and in the «honeymoon» phase.

It is harder to let go of something that barely had any baggage, but the toughest thing is not knowing or understanding what really happened.

At my own pace, I need to get over this emotional hurdle.

In the process, I can’t resort to my favorite buzz phrases such as «I don’t believe in love anymore» or «I am going to become a bad girl», in an effort to sound calloused or cool in front of my girlfriends.

I have to stay positive, make an effort to not think that much, and continue learning valuable life lessons from my dating experiences.

I will let time take care of the rest.