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Actually getting back out there. And then running away again.

on March 26, 2013

So I went on a date.  With a man I found on the internet.  Not entirely put off by narrowly avoiding being killed and dismembered in Huddersfield, when someone liked my profile, I had a look at theirs.  And then dithered for a while.  And then sent him a message.  He replied.  We seemed to have a lot in common.  He seemed nice.  We agreed to meet up.

First dates.  Terrifying.  Particularly as I’ve never done dating.  Everyone I’ve been out with (and there have only been three – one when I was 15 who lasted for 3 months, and then one when I was 17 who lasted 2 days, and then the man who became Ex-Husband) started as a friend and so by the time I went out with them I actually knew them.

So we arranged to meet in Manchester.  We had lunch.  We talked, about Buddhism and politics and all sorts interesting things.  He seemed nice.  There were some of those awkward pauses where you desperately try to think of something to say.  And there were a few occasions where I made a joke and he just didn’t get it.  But mostly, it was going well

And then we went to see possibly the worst film I have ever seen.  To The Wonder – on at the Cornerhouse, so I thought it would be quirky and interesting.  And it was about faith and romance – good for a first date between an former Buddhist and a not-really-Christian, you would have thought?

I never imagined it was possible for a film to be boring and confusing and depressing all at once.  Women lying round in fields.  Couples arguing and then making up and then splitting up again.  Ben Affleck apparently paid by the word.  And a random priest who had a crisis of faith which didn’t appear to be related to what little other plot there was.  I felt like my brain had been trampled by a herd of cows and, after the film, agreed to see him again, then ran away.

I didn’t really know whether I wanted to see him again.  How could I? I have nothing to measure the date against except the experience of being in a ten-year marriage, a relationship I was happy with until it was inexplicably pulled from under me.  If I felt a bit weird about something with Ex-Husband, I could talk to him about it.  I am just guessing that you don’t spend your first date with someone explaining that you feel a bit weird about dating because your Ex-Husband suddenly abandoned you, leaving you with two tiny children, and started a relationship almost immediately with one of your closest friends.  I know how I feel when I fancy someone who I have been with for ten years.  I remember how I felt when I fancied people before I started seeing Ex-Husband.  I’m not sure how I should expect to feel about someone now, me, here, post-marriage, with two small and complicating children.  So he didn’t always get my jokes and we didn’t have an instant connection – is that a reason to write someone off after a first date?  My previous relationships have developed from friendships – how long do you date someone for before you can know whether it could develop further?

The second date was a chance to see how I felt about him without the first date nerves.  We had a good time.  He was still nice, and interesting, but it felt strange and awkward.  I told him I’d had a good time but I wasn’t sure the spark was there and I wasn’t sure I was ready to date.  We agreed to stay friends on Facebook, which didn’t exist last time I was going out with someone.  I felt relieved.  I felt sad.  I felt full of doubt.  I’m not sure how any date would compete with the memory of being with a man I loved and trusted until the moment he left.  I wonder if I did the right thing.  I wonder if I should have given it more of a chance.  I wonder why I thought this was ever a good idea.

On the plus side, I didn’t get murdered.

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2 responses to “Actually getting back out there. And then running away again.

  1. happenstance says:

    Stumbled upon this, great post!

  2. Myn says:

    Definitely on a scale of weirdo in huddersfield to 10 this has to be at least a 6 or 7. He was nice. He didn’t think you were on a power trip. And best of all, even if dating is full of baggage, you’ve got a new friend, and how can that be a bad thing?

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