The comfort zone. The holy trinity.


On Sunday, when I was in a bit (err, a lot) of a torpor, I was lucky to have a friend around to watch/lend support. I told him that I have cried more in the last 9 or so months than I ever have in my life before. He said: “that means you are out of your comfort zone”.

Marathon training, I don’t cry per se, but I certainly face a lot of discomfort, fear, pain, and doubt. I have to deal with it, rather than give up. I have to learn from it. There is no choice, unless, of course, I do the unfathomable and quit.

[Training Log, week 11: Monday – drills; Tuesday- rest and massage; Wednesday (pending) 4 km time trial.]

The main point of this post. I need to debrief. Along with all the running, a lot happened on the weekend.

I am ready to discuss it now.

I have been doing the internet dating “thing”. It is moderately successful, insofar as I have had dates. Mostly, with nice people. Mostly. A generally positive experience.

A few weeks ago, I had a first date with a fellow who rocked my world, knocked my socks off. Not quite sure why. It may have had something to do with his height (6 foot 3, thanks very much), his dress sense, the fact that he smelled delicious and was ruggedly handsome. He was smart, caring, in touch with his feelings, and smiled knowingly when I said stuff.

I had a lovely time. He seemed to, also. I couldn’t resist – I went in for the pash at the end. It seemed to be received well. I also wanted to give him something to remember me by, as he was heading off to East Timor for the next 2 weeks.

For a few hours after the date, I was on cloud nine. Mais oui. After, though, the anxiety set in. What if he forgets about me? What if he thinks better of it? What if he falls in love with somebody overseas? The mind was going into overdrive.

After a day or two of mooning about, I got over it, and, gradually, he fell from my mind. I put on my cynical hat and said, in my head, “oh no, he’s not going to call me”. I went on other dates, with other people. One person, I went on a few dates with.

Last Monday, he texted me, and said he wanted to catch up. I was thrilled. No. End. We planned to meet on the Friday. He had not called by the Thursday to confirm and “firm up”, so I called him. Instinct told me that he was perhaps vacillating.

We went out on Friday. He saw me, and kissed me right on the junction of cheek and lips (confusing). We had dinner. We had drinks. Hands were held. There was kissing. Talking. Just sitting there in contented (? intoxicated) silence. There was, again, a goodbye pash. He took me home and said “I’m not coming in”. I replied “I haven’t invited you in”. So, at 1am, the night was ended. Another date was mooted (by him) for Thursday.

I was determined to just bask in the afterglow of it, without getting too excited about how things would move forward. I had made that mistake before.

I sent him a text Sat afternoon, telling him that I had a lovely time and was looking forward to seeing him again.

A few hours later I got a convoluted text message from him saying (not verbatim but close) “yes, the evening flowed very nicely on a visceral (his words) level, but I feel the pace is too fast I need some thinking time as I want to be striding purposefully along with you rather than a few steps behind….”

A great big cup of “WTF???” was hence made.

I could go on a big “he said, I said” tirade but in the end I got an email essentially saying you are an amazing woman but I’m just not that into you, and I was just going along with the affectionate stuff rather than actually being up for it. Also there was a bit about him being 9 years older than me and very serious about settling down, hence he was keen not to waste time.

I could go on and analyse all of it….but, when it comes down to brass bolts,

I was rejected by a boy I liked, and it fucking hurts.

I wear my heart on my sleeve where it is liable to getting slapped about. So I run away screaming and howling like a wounded animal.

Through my tears, and mooning, and generally being a sad-sack, my little “sensible” was asking me “Why? Why are you so upset? It’s only been two dates…” Best not to deny or trivialise a feeling, but to explore why you are feeling that feeling (and there is thousands of bucks worth of therapy right there, people).

Because I thought I connected with this guy.

And….and….it was the holy trinity of attractions – physical, intellectual, emotional. He got me good, to quote Duffy.

I have wanted this holy trinity for so, so long. I have only just become conscious of this absolute need. I dare to want what I have never had. And when I think I might have it, I want to hold on to it. Desperately.

Aha! So this is why I feel that the rug is being pulled from underneath me, that my wine has been tipped out, that the light has been taken out of the day, when the fella just ain’t that into me. Even when I don’t particularly know them that well. It’s the opportunity I felt I lost, and it was all my fault.

And this is why I am no good at playing it cool…..not that I particularly believe in games. However, I think I could do with learning to sit back and allowing space for nice surprises to happen, rather than just trying to go get ’em. I must balance passion and spontaneity with sitting back and reading the signs a bit. In retrospect, I could have read them with this guy.

And I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that, hey, I can work it. I have a lot going for me. The most important thing is that I am quietly confident and at peace with that. Whether somebody else appreciates that is another thing entirely, and bears no relation to my actual awesomeness.

And if they don’t, then, at the end of the day, I don’t want them. I might think I want them, but I don’t. And I must live by that. There are lots of people who moon over others who don’t like them. It is no way to live life. As much as it hurts, I must take myself, my heart, and my sleeve, and quietly walk away. NEXT!

The whole attraction thing is a funny one. Those initial “butterflies” that might signal that you are smitten with somebody, are very, very similar to the butterflies we get when we are anxious. And we are usually anxious for a reason. Hence, the butterflies must be taken with a pinch of salt. What we may find attractive initially may turn out to be completely wrong. What may initially seem unremarkable may turn into something brilliant. The question is, how long do you wait to find out? Usually there is some inkling, though.

I hope to find that holy trinity. I have time. I actually feel a bit sorry that this gorgeous fellow feels like his time is running out, that he has to quickly settle down with the right person (which is what he actually said) rather than spend a bit of time getting to know somebody, that he could not even spare the time for a third date. To give him his due, though, he was concerned for my feelings, didn’t want to lead me down the garden path. Fair go to him.

So I am going to dust myself off and chalk it up to experience. I have met a couple of people who have “got me good”, even in the short time I have been out and about. I should again, and hopefully the feeling will be mutual.

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