Going crazy taught me a lesson | Reality check

I think it is needless to say that I have not had very much experience at actually dating a man, although I have plenty of experience in how to stuff it up before the dating has begun. As such, I have to rely on the lessons I have learned from the relationships of those around me and the advice of friends and family.

In theory, this is not bad thing. We all have to start somewhere and we all have to learn how each individual relationship will function. Most people start in their teens and have one hundred fold the experience I have by the time they reach my age. Or they have their parents relationship to observe, or their friends. Well, I don’t have the luxury of witnessing a functioning relationship- my parents divorced and I can’t remember the last time I spoke to my father, my mum’s subsequent marriage ended in divorce and all of my close friends are also single.

As for the events of last weekend, well it is best to start from the beginning. I have been talking to Jay, a 25 year old guy from Sydney, for the past two months. I admit that I wasn’t particularly interested to begin with, but I was conducting an experiment and I was bored so I pursued the conversation. I’m ninety-nine percent sure that he wasn’t interested in me for a long time and, if I’m honest, I’m still not sure that he is actually interested. Regardless, I did some ego stroking and the conversation continued. In a first for me, I suggested that we moved the discussion from the dating site to social media. He agreed and then we were Facebook friends.

For the next few weeks, it seemed to be our pattern that we would talk all weekend. It wasn’t super constant, but the conversation would last all day. Admittedly, it was always me who initiated the conversation with a ‘Hey, how was your week/day?’ He didn’t give an awful lot back and it took him a little while to return the polite questions that I asked. After watching a number of Youtube videos on the topic, I decided that he was ‘bread crumbing’ me by giving me just enough to keep me on the line while not actually investing. But that is a story for another day.

However, things changed last weekend. He went out for drinks with friends on Friday night and started messaging me when he got home. In his tipsy state, he accidentally video messaged me and with all the class I could muster, I told him that I wouldn’t have answered the call because I didn’t have a bra on at the time (while conveniently forgetting to mention that I was concurrently midnight snaking on a pie). There was a flirty (him)/embarrassed (me) exchange over the topic before he went to sleep. I didn’t hear from him until Sunday. Sure, he was probably busy but it was a change in our pattern.

So, once again I recognised that all too familiar pattern of leaving that all of the influential men in my life had followed. He was clearly out of my league in the looks department and had an awesome job that would bring in the ladies. He had to have an abundance of women waiting for him, so why would he be worrying with me? The insecurities came flooding back and I went a bit crazy. It didn’t help that I knew for a fact that he was being very active on the dating website and I still feel it is very reasonable to assume that he is talking to more than just myself.

After consulting with a friend and a sleepless night of wondering why I was so repugnant to men, I decided to give him a ‘get out of jail free’ card. I resolved that I was going to tell him that I liked him (or I at least I think) and ask if he thought that ‘this is going anywhere’? And so I did. And it sounded so much more dramatic than I intended it to be. And I freaked him out, which actually surprised me. I thought that he was going to say no, one hundred percent. But he didn’t. He said that we didn’t know each other well enough to make life changing decisions (a fair response to my dramatic question) but we came to the conclusion that we would try to meet in real life.

I was so convinced that he was pulling away, like every other man who had been in my life. That has always been the pattern. And by doing so, they had told me and reinforced to me that I was not good enough for their love. So you can bet that I was taken aback when he didn’t run away as I had expected. I don’t know if this will go anywhere, but at least I learned that men don’t always run away. Yet.

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