I started writing this post about something else – I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say, but I started writing and after about 8 lines I realised that I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. So I’ve deleted all the waffle and will get straight to it:
I thought I had finally met somebody. Someone who I could see myself entering into a long term relationship with. Someone I was really attracted to, and thought I might for the first time actually fall in love. If you haven’t read the rest of my blog, you won’t know that this is a huge deal for me. Possibly the most momentous thing ever to have happened as far as my love life is concerned, and my attitude towards love and relationships in general. I have been (happily) single my whole life, with all the emotional barriers and defensive walls that go with it.
I really fancied this guy I kept seeing at a gay bar that I frequent – usually on a Monday night. At first I wanted to do the usual – jump into bed for a meaningless, no-strings one night stand. Then I realised that I’m actually bored of all that, so I took control of my urges, and over a period of a few weeks I got chatting to him & his little circle of friends who all meet there on Monday’s for what they affectionately call ‘Monday Club’. He seemed to like me & it was all started to go swimmingly. I also discovered he was the same age as me, which is also hugely significant, as I’m usually only attracted to guys 10+ years my senior (with whom I generally have nothing in common outside of the bedroom… which is another reason I have always been single) To find myself attracted to someone my own age… wow! Brilliant! At his request, we swapped numbers and arranged to meet for a drink – just the two of us, which we did and was great. We got on really well & talked a lot about all sorts of stuff. Still we didn’t jump into bed – didn’t even kiss. I felt very old-fashioned, but it was nice. We sent texts to each other, met again with his circle of friends at Monday Club. Taking it all slowly, calmly – something completely alien to me. I was proud of myself & I was enjoying the kindling of this really lovely, refreshing relationship.
Then it all went wrong. I still don’t really understand why or what happened.
Having dropped my impenetrable emotional barrier for him, I suddenly found myself in the position that I have spent my whole adult life avoiding at all costs – I got hurt.
It all went wrong in the pub on Monday (it’s Friday now as I write this). To explain, I wasn’t actually going to go on Monday as I was busy in another part of London and it was getting late, but on my way home decided to divert to the pub to go and see (let’s call him John) – John… I turned up & at first everything was fine. Then he just went… weird.
He kept saying cryptic things and I just could not understand what he was actually trying to say. It was like he was having some kind of internal struggle, where he wanted to say something but couldn’t. It could honestly have been taken two entirely different ways – I didn’t know if this was him wanting to take things to the next level but was shy and felt awkward saying it, or if he was actually trying to push me away. It was that ambiguous. He just kept saying: ‘I’m not very good at this…’ He never did explain ‘what’ he wasn’t very good at.
I asked several times what he meant and that I didn’t understand, but got nowhere. In the end he said ‘I really think I should go, I’ve got to go’, we had a really nice hug (the first and only one of it’s kind between us), then he just turned and walked out without looking back. Very odd. I figured I had somehow upset him but for the life of me couldn’t work out what I’d done. I was baffled.
On my way home I felt pretty upset – I didn’t understand what had just happened at all so I decided to send him a text & try and get to the bottom of it. Below is the full conversation, which ended on Wednesday – when my emotional self-preservation instinct kicked in and took over before I got really hurt, and I ended it.
Here’s how it finished – starting from my journey home on Monday night, finishing with my final text to him on Wednesday:
Me: John I’m confused – what just happened? I think I just upset you but I don’t understand 😦
Me: You know I fancy you rotten right? I made a special trip to (Monday Club) this evening just to see you. I can’t work out if you’re trying to push me away or pull me closer though – I’m finding it all very confusing.
John: Aw. It was extra nice that you turned up 😉
John: You didn’t upset me of course
Me: I’m glad I didn’t upset you, but I still don’t really understand what just happened or what you were trying to say
John: I have issues
Me: Ok but you gotta help me understand – I don’t really know where I stand with you – if you want me to back off I’ll back off.
Me: Are you worried about getting too close & getting hurt again? (NB. I knew about this from a previous conversation with him) Or am I just completely barking up the wrong tree here & you’re not actually interested?
John: Right. You are great. I find you attractive. That makes it worse. I will talk to you about this x
Me: Makes what worse? Worse how? When did it become a bad thing to be attracted to someone? That’s good isn’t it? What do you want me to do?
John: Nothing wrong with that. It makes me sad though 😦
Me: Why does it make you sad? Do you suffer from depression? Bipolar?
John: No I am neither bipolar nor suffer from depression. We can talk about this another night 😉
I didn’t reply. I figured I’d wait for him to get in touch over the next couple of days so we could have that chat & he could explain.
Tuesday passed and I didn’t hear anything, so I sent him a text in the evening:
Me: Let me know when (or indeed if?) you’re up for that chat
John: Thanks. Right now I am still hung over! 😉
Wednesday passed, still no word so I sent another text:
Me: I’m around for a drink tomorrow evening if you want. I think I’ll give (Monday Club) a miss on Monday though.
John: I am already out tomorrow. I also am thinking of not going on Monday.
That was, to me, when the penny dropped. He’d gone icy cold & would not engage in conversation or want to arrange a time to meet up. Fine that he wasn’t around, but not fine he didn’t offer an alternative. I felt bruised and upset & now I was also becoming incredibly frustrated, so I took about an hour (yes, an hour) wording my final text to him:
Me: Ok, so I will take the lack of offer of an alternative date for a drink at face value – that you are not interested. At least now I know. I won’t pretend I’m not really upset – you’ve tied me up in knots. I lowered my impenetrable barrier for you & will now pay the price. Not your fault, or problem, but mine… and right there, is the reason I have always remained single. So now I will leave you alone, retreat & lick my wounds. I’ll still go to (the pub), but I hope you understand if I don’t come & join you if you’re there too. Take care of yourself John x
There was a pause of about an hour and he replied:
And that, was that.
So, that was my brief and rather painful foray into the world of relationships. I’ve survived it, but it hurt me. I’m still upset, disappointed, let down & pissed off, but I think I behaved pretty well – didn’t go an a rampage, throw drinks over anyone, start stalking him, call him names or do anything inappropriate. I calmly walked away and removed myself from a situation that was causing me pain.
Did I throw in the towel too early? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m certainly really disappointed & upset it didn’t work out, but I think I did the only thing I could to keep my integrity and sanity intact. If things had become this complicated before we’d even kissed, then it didn’t bode well for the future.
I should have just had a one night stand with him. I just don’t think I’m cut out for this relationship thing… I tried.