I’m not able to eat food well for two days. And I think writing it down would probably help me confront my feelings.

I went out with someone for dinner a few days ago. The person seemed perfect; she was an engineer at big tech, had an Ivy League education, made easily around a quarter of a million a year, and had a brilliant personality with a dark, humorous character. That’s all info I will provide.

Everything seemed perfect on the outside. I managed to open up, hoping she would too. And she did. This person had gone through so much suffering that I walked home in the rain all dressed up. I couldn’t eat my favorite dinner at the restaurant I took her to. It was impossible to gulp down a morsel of food beneath my throat. My heart rate was high after she opened up. I could see the pain and suffering in her eyes, everything she had gone through, and why her walls were so high up.

There is a worse quality of mine: I am constantly trying to save everyone. Out of all dates I have been on, good or bad, this one will cement itself in my heart like a stone carving. I knew that our opinions, values, and thinking were worlds apart, and there would never be any romantic connection in this life, but I couldn’t help but think about everything she had gone through.

I bet one family that walked passed me when I was drenched in the rain all dressed up thought I was some weirdo because that’s precisely how they looked at me. I was so much into my thoughts that I also overlooked that the paper bag I was carrying the leftover food in had torn after becoming wet.

I messaged her the next day, and there was nothing. I’ve been ghosted before, and it did hurt me a bit, but this one was more out of concern for a stranger who I had met the previous day for a few hours. I had dinner plans with a vendor in the evening after work, and I received a message during it. I left the dinner after reading it. There was nothing hurtful in that message, but she was upfront that my life was very different from anyone she was looking for. My time is very limited and valuable, and our values would never let us lead to anything serious. I totally agreed with her thoughts, but is it weird to say that this person truly deserves everything in the world for everything she has gone through? Like, just give her a break.

Out of everything I had ever done in life, one of my proudest moments will be that I managed to make her smile and laugh for the few hours she spent. I wanted to tell her that it’s a bit too early for her to jump on a dating app again after she went through, but I’m in no position to say that.

I’m aware that I’m overthinking about a stranger who’s had a bad few years, but that’s the thing about pain. It deserves to be felt, especially for someone who deeply feels everything.

She wanted to save me from herself, and I wanted to save her from herself. I genuinely hope she finds everything she is looking for.