It’s been a little while but I’m back again. Actually several months, but who’s counting. I’m certainly not. I was utterly thrown into emergency-stop mode by a horrendous illness that confined me to my mum’s house for a substantial period of recuperation.
It surprised me how long it took to get used to life outside my gorgeous bedroom, the sheer exhaustion of returning to work and reconnecting with the world in the truest sense.
At least I now truly understand the meaning of slowing down and reconnecting with yourself. A lot of time unable to do anything but lie in bed is a great opportunity to do a little introspective philosophical audit. I can confidently and happily announce that I have rediscovered my equilibrium – and Phoenix has definitely got her groove back!
Unfortunately in the course of my wipeout I unintentionally hurt someone. We moan about men being bastards, but do we acknowledge when we damage them? Holding up my hands and admitting guilt (albeit on grounds of diminished capacity) I have an apology to make. Which I have done. But it feels apt to share my lesson learned with others.
Internet dating is huge. But is there a clearly defined etiquette? What should one do in all situations? Or specifically – how on earth do you apologise to a guy with whom you have a perhaps- burgeoning relationship crashing to a standstill with no explanation or even any contact?
Through online dating I ‘met’ a nice guy (*inserts warning about appearances online*). He lived outside London and we seemed to click. Our emails became very frequent and long, full of opinions and jokes and fun stuff. We talked a lot about politics, one of my favourite subjects. He even read my articles on LoveScene (a huge thing for me given how much my ex didn’t like me writing). He was moving to London and we agreed to meet up.
But then I got sick. I let him know, and we exchanged a few more emails, but I didn’t want to go on about how poorly I was and be seen as a whiny whinger and I genuinely wasn’t up to meeting with him. So I ended up not replying to his last email. Which has made him think I was just messing him around.
Having emerged from my hazy, (prescription) drug-induced bubble I realised that I missed our conversations, his ideas and experiences, and the way he seemed to actually GET me. Plus the man gave great prose – a rarity, but also a turn-on for me. So I emailed him, as I thought I should try, though I wasn’t honestly expecting a reply (it had been several months). But I got a reply – and the distinct feeling that I had really hurt him. Understandably, he doesn’t want anything to do with me. He thinks I was playing games, or perhaps he suspects I was involved with someone else and he was my back-up. Neither was the case.
I guess I could just shrug it off and say whatever, guys do it to girls all the time, bla bla excuse, etc, onto the next. But it really doesn’t work like that. You can’t just instantly know one another, it takes time. The dating experiences I had before were at best physical attraction (and I do mean at best), whereas he and I had established a rapport and he seemed genuinely intelligent and, well, genuine.
This was a non-sexual relationship and so I know it wasn’t about orgasms or lust making me think a bit differently. This man seemed to have something special about him.
This episode has prompted the following questions:
1. Is it okay to get emotionally connected to a person you’ve never met? Following this, does online ‘dumping’ (for lack of a better expression) constitute a split?
2. Is it better to be open about how ill you are, or are you at risk of looking like a high-maintenance, needy and demanding girl?
3. How soon is too soon to share secrets with a guy? When does it go from dating to relationship – and how long before novelty wears off and you become each other’s emotional punch bags?
4. How long is too long for replying to communications? I’m going to ponder the above for a while, and hopefully the answers will come to me. Any thoughts and opinions welcome.
I’m sure there must be a moral in all this aboutseizing opportunities, but I’m more bothered by the fact that he took the time and effort to engage with me, and I essentially threw it back in his face. Really not my style. I feel a bit guilty.
But it shows that there are some decent guys out there – a very welcome surprise. And I’m relieved to have rediscovered my zen.