Dating and relationships – energizing or draining?

Part 3 – Colombian Girl

Arriving in Bogota, Colombia

During our phone discussions, we agreed to meet in a different city, although I was a bit confused, and if I had known better would have met her in San Andros. We met in Bogotá, her old stomping grounds apparently. It was larger than Cali, and considered Colombia’s international trade city. As Sofia is a student, I had to pay for her round trip to Bogotá, which cost me about 400.00. My flight was about 1300.00 not including food and other expenses along the way. I arrived in Bogotá at the beginning of Spring Break on Saturday evening. We were BBM’ing each other once I left the plane, but this airport was considerably larger, and we were having trouble locating each other. Sofia started to show impatience with my inability to find her, and stated via BBM:”I am getting angry!”. I responded that if anyone should know their way around this airport between us, it is more likely her. Finally after about 20 minutes of this, we located each other and caught the shuttle to the Holiday Inn. It was located in a nice area, and was a nice looking hotel. I had it booked for a week through Expedia.

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A difficult first evening!

The first night started off with an awkward tone. Sofia asked me how I could have allowed the physical activity to happen between us. She implied that it was more my fault as I am a more mature Christian then her, and now she has sinned because of me. I used Roman’s to explain grace. Sofia stated that my theology was different and had never heard it spoken this way before. Despite my best efforts I could not effectively make her believe that God had grace for us. This was a difficult evening for us. I showed some exasperation with this conversation, and this upset her. Later that evening, I apologized to her for this display of impatience, and she responded, “You should be sorry, you acted like a little child” (I dropped the bible on the bed and sighed –  this was my child like behaviour). We slept in the same room after I made amends, but did nothing sexual together. The next day we had breakfast together on a 2nd floor  marble patio with palm tree leaves waving near us. The service was great and included in my hotel package.

Fine Dining … fireworks!!! More Red Flags!

After some sight-seeing, we went for dinner at a restaurant she picked. It was about 5 floors high with a vacant center so that one could see the bottom floor while eating on the top floor. Very rustic setting, and stylish. Mixed grill was the specialty, and we didn’t go cheap. The bill came to over 200.00 Canadian. The waitress dropped off a couple of souvenir post cards. Sofia stated that she would take one, and I could have the other. I noticed that hers had a different design, and so I asked to look at it. It was definitely more my preference as a souvenir! I stated that I was going to ask the waitress for the same one as her as I really liked it. Sofia then stated that I was acting like a “copy cat”. I responded, “no, I just like that one better”. She stated that I am a copycat, and pathetic. I said, “Are you serious? These are just postcards, and I prefer one more than the other.”  Sofia then stated that I’m acting like a boy. I then dropped both post-cards on the floor. Sofia then stated “I want a real man, not a boy! Are you a man or a boy!!” She then proceeded to lecture me at the table about this and asked if maybe I wanted to pursue other Latin girls instead of her. She stated that this would be fine. She then gave me an ultimatum. Luckily the music it was loud, but I still thought the waitress could tell things were not going well for us. She was yelling in English, and everyone was speaking Spanish, so they couldn’t understand most of it at least. I was thinking, ‘Here I am in downtown Bogotá, Colombia. I am told not to trust the taxi’s, and I have a week left in this foreign land. She is hugely over-reacting. Be cool.’ Then she keep yelling at me. She says, “Be real… quite pretending…showing the authenticity! ” She starts listing ways in which she sees me being  cheap during my time with her…”Why didn’t you buy me a new swim suit instead of only thinking of yourself! You paid for my plane ticket but didn’t even give me enough for a taxi until I had to ask you… u took the first coffee that was poured… you are always thinking about yourself!” She went on much longer then this. I was very surprised by this at first, and then I started to explain my actions but she would have none of this. I finally said that I have been a bachelor for a few years, and thus I am not used to spending time with a romantic partner everyday. I like to do things and put my partner first, but I have to think about it, because it is not a habit for me yet. She responded that I should do this automatically as she is always thinking of me first. I became defensive and stated that I have noticed things about her too. She stated, “Really!? then tell me what I do. I am trying to help you with your relationships by being honest with you! Be honest with me!!”. I decided to that I would say something but quickly regretted it. I gave examples to demonstrate why some of my friends wondered if someone like her might be using me. She literally blew a gasket when I confessed this. She was very defensive, and gave examples of why this was not even close to being true. Finally after all this tension, I stated that would like to continue “knowing her” for the rest of the week as this is what I came to Colombia for in the first place. She seemed to calm down at this point. We started to joke around a bit more, and then I paid the bill. We asked for more drinks, and even thought about dancing.  We found a cab and returned to the hotel. We slept in the same bed and did not touch each other until a I reached out and pulled her into me. She seemed to enjoy this and pressed against me. We stayed close like this for 5 minutes without talking before separating and going to sleep.

Seeing the famous online church live! Sofia’s Insecurity.

Everyday we planned to do a day trip after breakfast on the hotel patio. We even attended the church she followed on the internet: “Avivamiento”. It was huge. If we would have sat near the back, we would have been out of range and had to have watched the service on a TV. It was like a giant warehouse with separated areas, and people seated in every area. I told the usher we were first timers, and she brought us right to the front of the balcony where we could see the stage directly. It was very meaningful to Sofia, and I was able to participate in worship as I understood some of the Spanish, and the music seemed so familiar like my own church. It was kind of sobering for her I think. When we returned to the hotel. the woman at the front desk who probably recognized me from all the times I had come down to ask a favour (dvd or a wire for my laptop to watch a movie with Sofia). smiled and gave me a welcoming look. When we got upstairs, Sofia stated that she saw the BBM number I had written on a piece of paper, and stated, “I’m not stupid Keith. I saw how that girl was looking at you when we returned. I also saw that BBM number. You and her are planning to get together sometime?!” The BBM number was for a Christian buddy from my church back home as it would cost too much to text or call. He gave this to me via email, as I needed his advice on how to respond to all of Sofia’s accusations. I didn’t tell her this latter part. I actually thought about what it might be like to go touring around with this front desk girl at this point, as she seemed quite charming, friendly, and sincerely helpful, not to mention quite pretty. Sofia was wearing me down with all these challenges and complaints, and I was starting to wonder about her sincerity.

Everything is unraveling… let me out of here!

It seemed like everyday, we would have a great afternoon, but then every evening she would start to criticize me, or feign self-pity by stating that if  I buy something for her, I will claim she is using me. Although I paid for some medical shots she needed for her work, and every cab ride and meal, she seemed to be trying to plant a guilt trip on me all the time. I was starting to wonder if I could ever please her. On the fourth day, we had just finished coming down the mountain on the gondola, and were looking for a taxi. At this point we were hot and tired and had spent 45 minutes in a lineup for the gondola. She suddenly blurted out that she needs to go home. I didn’t argue with her about it, but was curious. She stated that she needed to attend an appointment that her mom had arranged for her or it would cost her mom (apparently she had forgotten about it until a phone with her mom earlier in the week).  We went back to the hotel. I called the airline company for her and arranged for an earlier departure (that night at 10pm).  She seemed so happy with me that I did this for her with no opposition to it. I considered staying, but I had concerns of being here on my own and all the paranoia she had planted in me about the locals and how they were looking for guys like me. So I made similar arrangements for myself to leave that night at 11pm. We ate dinner together in the hotel restaurant. She was in a very good mood. I felt confused and unsure how to feel. I found out I would get no refund on my remaining 4 nights. Sofia was surprised by this and went to argue with the hotel representative, but had no better luck then me. When I paid the final bill, I asked if she knew the name of the young male waiter who had been so helpful in going the extra mile for me on so many mornings. She pointed him out watching a soccer match on TV. I went to him and gave him what they considered a very generous tip for making my stay more pleasant. He showed great appreciation for this gesture. In the shuttle on the way to the airport, Sofia seemed down. She stated, “Keith, you are very generous with everyone but me! I was hoping to get a gift for my daughter while I was here, but now it seems too late.” I inferred that because of our early departure there is no time for this. However I said, “you might be able to get her a souvenir at the airport”. Sofia seemed to be pouting. I realized then that she was trying to get me to give her some cash. I had already given her more than she needed for her taxi once she reached Cali. I was planning to use my remaining money to buy local coffee beans for my friends at the Bogotá airport. I told her I was limited but gave about the equivalent of 15 dollars Canadian with Colombian currency. She seemed quite disappointed with this offering. I was thinking as I did this, ‘How pathetic, she is trying to manipulate me for money right to the very end’.  I hugged when she got out at her stop. and told her I would be in touch and I hoped she had a good trip. Part of me, while somewhat disappointed, was relieved to be leaving her.

Summarizing my thoughts and feelings about what happened.

I thought a lot about what her game was on the way home. I wasn’t sure, but I thought her motives might be genuine. She did compare my efforts with her ex from N.Y., and it seemed that he was more generous than I (getting a corner suite instead of a regular hotel room, etc).  I think maybe she liked being treated like a princess, and was hoping I would match up to this while also respecting her faith. Her ex had no real faith, and this was a big negative to her. I realized that she was quite well taken care of by people in general. Her daughter went to school near maternal grandma, and also stayed with her while Sofia was studying to finish her degree dermatology. He mom had even arranged a nice town house by Cali standards for her and her sister to share rent free. She had a massage business she did on the side (mostly female clients). She had been well taken care of financially, and her dad (not with her mom) seemed to favour her over her sister, and likely spoiled her. I come into her life and she assumes I will have the same financial resources she experienced in her marriage to the NY guy. I spend 6500.00 on flights, hotels, taxi’s and meals, etc. during these two visits (not counting all the long distance skyping we did ).  I believe she suffered from having a very high sense of entitlement, giving very little consideration to my point of view. I do believe she was sincerely interested in pursuing a real relationship with Jesus, but all these personal, and cultural experiences played a significant role in how all this played out for her.  As for me, when I got home, she was BBM’ing me about 14 hrs.’ later (after she had slept) and I spent two hours going through customs and getting my bags dumped out. She thought I didn’t want to ever talk with her again. She had watched this preacher again online, and had a revelation of how poorly she had been treating me. She apologized several times. I stated that we need to think about this more. I also suggested that the next trip, if there was one, would be her flying here. I stated that we need to be sharing in the same daily devo’s to get to understand each other better until this time or decision was made. I sent her my devo’s via email every day for the next month.  However, I found out that another old flame for N. America had re-connected with her around the same time as our trip. She wondered if he was the one, and did not want me “to have any illusions about our relationship”. That was the last straw. She kept talking but I place the phone on my car seat and drove away as she chattered on justifying how this happened. I BBM’d her to “keep in touch”. She sent me one stating that she wanted to keep me as a friend as she desired my spiritual wisdom in her life. I didn’t respond. Chapter closed.  It was quite clear to me. I had taken a risk and an adventure, and it didn’t work out…unlike in Hollywood.  I felt drained emotionally.

Sofi A

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