Thursday, 3 September 2009

The all revealing smile?

I appear to be eliciting a type of behaviour which is very unusual for me. When it comes to dating and men I either like somebody or I don’t. And it takes me a couple of conversations, one date maybe and I know. I don’t mean I know if some is ‘the one’ (please, I hate that term, wish people wouldn’t use it so liberally. Apologies for my own liberal use of it). I just mean I know if I’m interested or not, I know if I want them to ask for my number, if I want to see them again…that sort of thing.

I always envied those girls who could go out for dinner with a guy, indeed multiple men (not all at the same table you must understand) without really knowing how they felt about him, or maybe even caring! I wished I could be more like that, because I thought that maybe if I could then I would be opening myself up to more opportunities and experiences.

I was fascinated by and yet somewhat dismissive of the dating habits of friends who went on date after date with various men, moving from one to the next without much emotional recoil. I have a friend who has had more dates than I have had hot dinners recently. Yet I could never practise this dating behaviour, just wasn’t me. As a friend once said to me, referring to someone who dates in this way “…you are the polar opposite to her when it comes to dating…”.

I was stuck with the absolution of liking someone - or not. And more often than not it was the latter. I saw no point in pursuing something when I knew already what some people seemingly hang around three months to find out. This was by no means a ‘rule’ or a conscience decision. It was – and is – purely and simply my gut reaction to someone; either I like you or I don’t, and I know which it is after only a few hours.

I also felt there was no point wasting my time, not to mention some poor other bugger’s time, having a meal or whatever when I know this is going nowhere, all be it that others told me I had not yet ‘given it a chance’ . And I was never comfortable with being ‘taken out’, i.e. paid for when I know that realistically you’re going to get nothing back on your investment (that’s how men look at it right?! I hope so anyway).

Yet strangely I appear to be dating a guy and all I find myself able to say about him is “I don’t know”. When people ask I seem to be able to produce nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders and a smile. I have laughed at myself and I am somewhat concerned that people are taking this to be a giggly, girly, ‘I’m all dreamy about him’ laugh – it is not! My absolution has disappeared and I am all of a sudden experiencing a very alien uncertainty. And it is that which makes me laugh; my inability to work out a very basic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for my own benefit.

Not that I mind. I like him enough to have gone on a second date and to be considering a third. He has not set my world on fire but I enjoy his company, he is funny and I have enjoyed a few cuddles. To be clear ‘cuddle’ is not code for anything else, I very literally mean a cuddle. I would like another cuddle, I am not however sure if want a cuddle from him or if any cuddle would in fact do?

I won’t say I haven’t thought about him since date number two but I have not been waiting to hear from him, I was curious to see if I would (I did, just in case you’re wondering) but curiosity was about as far as it went. I am pretty sure that if I don’t hear from him again I won’t be too fussed. I don’t even think my ego would take too much of a knock as a result of the rejection (it has just occurred to me that that is probably not a good sign). I was talking to a friend about him and she said, “surely ’I don’t know’ is better than ‘no’?” my response was “is it?!” I’m not used to feeling so dispassionate about something that is potentially so personal. And I feel a small pang of guilt because I am worried I might be leading him on but I tell myself that at this stage all’s fair etc and his intentions are as yet unknown so I ought not to worry myself too much.

I appear to be more interested in how he has made me behave then I am in him. Do I think I am now a changed woman? No, not at all. I don’t know why or how I am suddenly able to do what I could never do before. And I’m not sure if the credit (or blame?) lies with him or with me. It would be nice to have some sort of clarity just for my own sake. But for the moment I am looking forward to experiencing what emotional detachment might have to offer... expect me to get bored! That I am not already bucks every past trend. And therein lies my point…I am back to “I don’t know”!

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