Two paths

I’m not sure what to write this morning. I want to write, stream the jumbled thoughts raging in my head into a clear and ordered page.

My head is a mess though. I’m entirely blaming hormones: PMS is a bitch.

I started writing a version of this post a few days ago:

The two front runners, Second and Wild Card are neck and neck. And I feel awful.

I try to justify myself regularly:

– They’re probably doing it to me too

– I haven’t met them yet

– One will disappear at some point anyway, if not both.

Yet, things are intensifying with both of them.

I had an hour long video chat with Wild Card on Monday. I spent the first part of the conversation in fits of giggles as he made me laugh. But I also saw the look in his eyes as he watched me laugh and smile.

The rest of the conversation was somewhat more serious.

He asked me what I want in life.

I told him that I have a good life. I explained that I am only missing love.

He told me that he could be that person, maybe.

He also said, he doesn’t understand why I don’t believe him when he says how much he likes me. He reminded me that he reached out first. That he has introduced me to his family via video chat. He wants to meet to see where this could go.

Do I believe him? He makes a good point from time to time, but words are just air.

But then, there’s the way he looks at me sometimes. The way his face shifts when he catches me smiling. His daily messages and frequent video calls. And he did introduce me to his family, rather surprisingly.

When I once questioned him, perhaps showing more vulnerability than I planned, he was visibly frustrated. (It was kind of hot, actually.) To him, we are on a journey of getting to know one another and therefore, this is serious. It doesn’t mean the same in the UK, but I think I am beginning to understand his way of thinking though.

And then there’s Second. A very different character, much more guarded in saying how he feels. Daily chats for weeks now and a promise of a date when he returns from his work at sea.

Tonight, we spoke in more depth. And whilst he did not open up completely, or as much as me, he said a few things which were not only sweet but increased my security.

So what’s the problem? I am.

I think too much, always have. The problem is, I have now invested a lot of time and energy into these men. If video chats were physical dates then I would be on date 9 or 10 now with Wild Card – probably more. In real life, face to face, I would be thinking about exclusivity by now. We probably would have had sex.

I just have to keep reminding myself that video chats are not dates.

Wild Card asked me to look something up about his culture as he was finding it difficult to explain. I did, and as a bonus found a great blog written by an American woman who had married a man from this country.

I also found advice and warnings about marriage scams. (I’m not planning on marrying the man just yet, don’t worry. )

Confused, wary, scared… I decided that I needed to pull back my growing interest and feelings with Wild Card. Stop my thoughts from projecting too much into the future. Enjoy it for what it was – online friendship and flirting.

Easy to think, hard to execute.

Last night’s video chat was difficult. He knew something was wrong immediately and although I smiled and spoke and just tried to be normal (but internally guarded), he apparently could see right through me. He kept asking why I was sad, had he upset me…. Eventually, after trying repeatedly to tell him I was OK, just tired, I ended the chat and said I would call him back.

I pottered around the house, doing odd jobs, my head in turmoil. What the hell was I doing? How could I claw this back? How could I go back to mildly interested conversation and excitement of speaking to someone new?

When the video chat started again he immediately asked what was wrong, so I told him that I had researched his culture, like he had asked but that I had found the warnings too.

What followed was a very difficult conversation.

Remember that this is face to face. That I can see his facial expressions and gestures. I can see his feelings as well as hear them in the tone of his voice.

He was shocked, surprised. He spoke at length about there being good men and bad men in every country. He spoke in frustration as at times he could not find the words to explain.

At one point, he asked if I wanted to speak to his brother who has better English than him. I watched/heard him as he walked me to his brother’s room, the anger and frustration as he explained what we were discussing. Whilst there were odd words in English, you don’t need to know the language to know what someone is saying sometimes.

I explained to his brother who was equally shocked. From time to time, he would turn to Wild Card and talk, amazement, frustration and even amusement on his face. He talked of his own situation with his wife (Swedish) and that neither of them knew about this/discussed it. He told me that if Wild Card and I liked each other, we should take our time and see.

Wild Card told me later that his sister in law had visited over 15 times before they had married. Not quite the depiction of marriage scams that I had read. He also said that she was visiting again at the beginning of December and that I should talk to her.

He asked if I wanted to stop as I was unhappy. We could say goodbye, be friends whatever. He told me to think about it.

He was offended that I thought he was a ‘bad man.’ His emphatic explanation of who he is, was borne of frustration and hurt. That was evidently clear.

We parted with laughter. He was trying to make me make beat box noises whilst he sang over me. He told me to think about everything and we would talk today. I know that I have hurt him.

It’s weird. My mind is still in two places right now. Over text or even phone, everything that was said could still be part of an elaborate scam. Maybe I hoped that if he knew I was ‘on to him’ he would just disappear anyway. How disingenuous am I?

But you can’t fake hurt. And he was. I had disrespected him and his family I guess. There are bad men out there. But there are also good. How wrong is it that I have allowed myself to jump to conclusions, based upon race and culture? Stereotypes?

I think the way forward lies between both trains of thought.

At best, I have shown my wariness and hesitancy. Not a bad thing in either situation.

At worst, I have seriously offended a good man and his family, a man who up to now has been nothing but kindness.

One of the biggest problems I think, is that I can’t understand how a man that attractive, funny, caring, educated could be interested in me. An easy route for prejudice to creep in.

So I’m going to walk between the two paths and see where this road takes me. Take my time. Enjoy the view. Not worry about the destination.