Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An unpleasant milestone

I recently reached an important milestone in any girl's life: I had to make my first breakup phone call.
Technically it wasn't really a break up. I'd only been out with the guy once and although we had had no trouble making conversation over a long dinner it just didn't feel right for me.I'd realised when I met him that he was older than me but managed to convince myself prior to the date that the age difference was only a couple of years. When I found out that the gap was significantly larger than I had previously thought it sealed the deal for me.

He was nice and funny, talked about bands I'd never heard of and we had similar taste when it came to movies and TV. Still, it didn't feel right. I'm not naive. I wasn't expecting a perfect date like in the movies and I don't buy into the whole idea of feeling 'the spark'. But it still didn't feel the way I thought it was 'supposed' to feel. I wasn't comfortable. When he stepped forward I stepped back. When he told me about yet another friend who was getting married I stuffed more food into my mouth so I didn't have to respond. I felt like we were at completely different points in our lives and we were. He has graduated from uni and is now pursuing different strands of his chosen career. I'm still in uni and have no idea where I want to be next week, let alone in a year. He's had previous long-term girlfriends. I've been out with only one other guy and we never progressed beyond holding hands.

The friend who introduced the older guy to me said she thought we'd really hit it off and we did. He was easy to talk to and we had a good time. But that wasn't enough to convince me. When my mother said that the fact we had never been lost for words was a good sign I didn't entirely agree. Easy chatting is definitely a positive but it's not exactly the clincher. I can talk for hours on end with pretty much all my friends. It doesn't mean I want to date my friends.

So when he asked me on a second date the next week, I felt cornered and said yes too quickly. For months I'd been whingeing that so many of my friends had partners but no one was asking me out. Having any guy actually show an interest in me, let alone one I was pretty sure I didn't like in 'that way', absolutely terrified me. I worked myself into such a state that I felt physically sick.

After a long talk with a friend of mine I made the decision I'd been considering for a while. The night before the date I debated how best to break the news that I didn't want to go out with him again in a romantic capacity. After considering and then dismissing the idea of going along to the date and telling him in person I decided to call him the night before instead. I didn't like the idea of meeting him under false pretences. The phone call lasted only one minute and consisted of me explaining the situation and him responding to each phrase with 'ok'. We said our goodbyes and I hung up feeling surprised and more than a little cruel.

Around ten minutes later I received a long text from him thanking me for having the decency to call rather than text and telling me that he meant it when he said that if I ever changed my mind I should give him a call.

Of all the moments that made up our brief acquaintance, it was his final text message that impressed me the most. In a few sentences he showed me more kindness and respect than I felt I deserved and went further towards making me like him than the hours we'd spent talking. I stand by my decision. I'm not ready for a grown-up relationship with a real adult. I still feel very much like a kid and I don't need someone to treat me like a princess. Right now I need to learn who I am and what I like in a guy, whether I'm dating him or just hanging out. I need to meet new and different people; go on dates and maybe even ask someone else out instead of waiting for them to make the first move. And who knows? Maybe I will take up his offer some day. When I'm good and ready.

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