Nearly Fell In Love…

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 😦

no response

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.

no response

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:

John: Sorry

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.

About RescueMyLife

I am a single man, 45 years old living in London and working in the media. My life is complex and I have decided to try and make some sense of it. I am writing this blog anonymously as I believe that only by remaining anonymous can I be honest and speak freely about my thoughts and feelings. I have no idea where this blog will take me...
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13 Responses to Nearly Fell In Love…

  1. RescueMyLife says:

    I think I’ll use the comments section of this post to log any developments on this. Much as I’d like it to ‘just be over’ so I can move on, I have a sneaking suspicion that won’t be the case.

    For example, tonight is ‘Monday Club’. Last week I absolutely was not going to go. Today I know that I’m not going to be able to help myself. Then I start questioning my reasons for going. If he is not interested, which I believe is most likely the case, then I’m just willingly causing myself further pain and upset by going.

    I think in my emotionally naive brain, that by going tonight, there might be some kind of reconciliation – all a huge misunderstanding. The other, more sensible side of my brain is screaming out to walk away. Leave it. Move on. I also know that the sensible side of my brain is absolutely right.

    So why am I still going to go tonight? Perhaps I need to subject myself to this so I can truly have closure? Perhaps I’m just a sucker for punishment. If he doesn’t go tonight – and he might not – I know I’ll be upset. What on earth am I doing? I’m acting like a lovelorn teenager…. hmmm…. let’s see if I can handle this situation a bit better than I did back when I was a teenager.

  2. Cat says:

    For what it’s worth, I think you behaved well in this situation, but I do think he is a bit of a git. I mean, waltzing away from the pub with open ended statements like, “I’m no good at this” is a bit inconsiderate of your feelings. I didn’t care for his reply texts either. It was clear you were struggling, but he didn’t seem to throw you a lifeline, even if that lifeline said “piss off”, at least you would know. Perhaps you were a bit too quick to end any prospect of something developing, but I understand that need for self-protection.

    If it were me….I’d be doing exactly the same as you are doing now. I think there might be a chance he is going on defensive rather than just not fancying you. Of course, we all fear rejection, but there is nothing wrong with showing someone you really like them. Who knows what’s going on in his mind/life… I would need to at least try to figure it out.

    • RescueMyLife says:

      Thank you Cat for sharing your thoughts on this, I really do appreciate it. Massively. I am so, so far out of my comfort zone with this situation, and I am so horribly torn about what I should do, it’s really helpful to hear what someone else thinks.

      Rightly or wrongly, I was really hoping to see him tonight – even if I didn’t speak to him, just to try and gauge the situation. But he didn’t turn up, which as I’m sure you can imagine I’m really frustrated & pretty upset about. Him not turning up tonight sends a pretty clear message that he really doesn’t want to see me and I guess I’ve just got to deal with that. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to know why & what went wrong.

      The petty side of me now wants to not turn up next Monday in the hope he does, just so he knows how it feels… but then that’s based on the assumption that he does really want to see me… I am not sure that is the case.

      I’m going to sleep on it. I managed to resist the urge to text him on my way home tonight to say ‘where the fuck were you?’ 😉
      I’ve now got to decide whether to really leave it now & try to just move on, or whether, as you say, I should not throw in the towel quite so easily and at least put up a little bit of a fight. That however, would involve me being honest with him again about my feelings, which is a courtesy he has yet to have shown me so why do I think anything will change? I think, sadly, I should probably preserve my self-respect and really walk away from this and chalk it up to experience.

      Anyway I’m sure this won’t be the last I write about this, but for now I need to retreat, miserably, to my bed. Thanks again Cat, for sharing your thoughts with me.

      • Cat says:

        I can appreciate the vulnerability from being outside your comfort zone. It’s understandable that you would want to see him in person to gauge where you should go from here. I’m not so sure that his absence is a clear indication of his indifference. Like you, I would also jump to conclusions, but that is never very helpful.

        I still think his waltzing off and sending vague reply texts is a little rude or/and a bit odd. You are being direct by opening up and he doesn’t exactly dispel your hopes. If I remember, you even gave him the chance to say that he’s not interested, but he didn’t take that bait either. Perhaps he’s playing hard to get or maybe he’s just being a bitch.

        It’s so easy to get caught up in the inner turmoil. The advice I would give (but probably couldn’t follow!) would be to calmly text a “Hi, how are you?” and build (or quash) it from there. Do you have his email addy? Maybe an email?

  3. RescueMyLife says:

    So, I went to the pub again tonight… on the off chance… he wasn’t there. I was sad. I also read your comment while I was in the pub Cat, and I decided I had to bury my pride and send him another message. I just sent it. It was long. It was honest. I’ve laid myself completely bare for a crushing blow, but I realised that one way or the other, I have to have proper closure. Judging by his history of entirely unsatisfactory replies, I have to say I’m not holding out hope for a fairytale ending, but at least I said what I needed to say.

    Here’s my message:

    So, it turns out I’m really shit at all this. I was determined not to contact you again & leave it to you if you wanted to get back in touch with me. I lasted 8 days. Turns out you’re either much better at this than me, or you really don’t care. Well, I’m going to be honest with you… I’ve mainly been totally & utterly miserable since my last text to you. I can’t stop thinking about you & the truth is I don’t want to never speak to you again – even though it’s a possibility that might be what you want, you haven’t actually come out & said it, so I’m holding on to that. I’ve been to (the pub) the last 2 nights hoping you might be there so I could give my best display of being stand-offish & ‘I don’t care’ towards you. I’ve walked away feeling really sad both times. It turns out I just wanted to see you.

    Did I do something wrong? Are you just not that into me? Please tell me. The truth. ‘I’ve got issues’ doesn’t really tell me anything & just leaves me hanging and that’s not fair. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve with you. We all have issues. I know you’ve been really hurt in the past & I am genuinely sorry for you about that – it sucks. But fuck the past – the past is done & gone. Life is too short & some things are worth fighting for. That is why I’m throwing away my pride and writing this ridiculously enormous essay to you. Because to me, you are worth fighting for. I want to be honest with you. I want you to know that you mean something to me. I don’t want to move in with you, or marry you, or own you, or interfere with your life – remember I’ve lived alone, with a cat, since 1995 – I’d be a terrible flat mate! But despite my best efforts not to, I’ve developed real feelings for you. I really like you. It makes me happy when I see you & I want to keep that. If you want me to go away, please just come out and say it and I will respect your wishes & somehow deal with it. But this not knowing what you’re thinking, or what you feel about me thing, is killing me. Please talk to me. x

    • RescueMyLife says:

      …and after an agonising 10 minutes, I got a reply (name changed):

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a message that long… including email! Of course I’d rather speak to you than have you looking over from a distance and I enjoy your company too. Who else can I share Monkey Magic and Cell Block H with! The last week has mainly been about me not smoking! On day 10 right now so it was easier not to go into the temptation zone and face a relapse. I’m sure I can be tempted out for some drinks though and not just on a Monday! Given what you have been through a heart felt text is respected – I know what it would do to me to bear my inner soul. Perhaps we recognise that in each other. Let’s find a day for a few beers and have some enjoyable company. I will open up eventually (figuratively!) it just goes against my natural desires and need to stay in control! When you have a maudlin (John) sobbing on your shoulder however, you may wish I never had! 😉 see you soon. (John) x

      So it’s official. Pride sucks. Openness and honesty rules.

      I realise this still isn’t ‘happily ever after’, but it is definitely ‘very happily for now’ 🙂

      Is it always this confusing and difficult?

  4. Cat says:

    Yes! I was cheering you on. I thought it was only me who wrote text-essays! It’s true, there’s no good hiding how we feel in this sort of situation. When we’ve had/or have issues from the past, we do tend to fear the old rejection routine… feel we’re not worthy and expect the worst. bla bla. I remember reading your blog many months ago, just before I opened my own blog, and recall the journey you had been on (I actually found your honesty inspirational). I think, being able to work with your vulnerability in this situation is testament to how far you have come. Good luck with it!

  5. RescueMyLife says:

    Oh boy do I need to write an update on this post….
    In the mean time, this is interesting reading and although not quite the same as my situation, held some horribly familiar truths….

  6. Cat says:

    Good to hear from you… have you been having romance?!

  7. sunflower says:

    I was searching for Therapists Vs. Doctors for my research and found your blog by accident. Then I got drawn to your way of telling stories. I guess I somehow felt more or less the same in between the lines. It feels bitter yet calm and relieving.
    Most of the time I just pretend everything’s just fine. Then there are moments of melt-downs when I feel the burden and allow myself to feel it and cry it out, all these unbearable lightness.
    Your blog has inspired me to find a place just to let these things out. Please do keep writing now and then. From what I’ve seen, you are a good man with very kind minds. Wish you all the best.

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