Paranoia and insecurity

For the first time in two months, Second has not said goodnight to me. My message has sat, unanswered and unread. He’d been on WhatsApp 3 minutes before I sent it, but not talking to me.

Let me take you back a few days. Six days ago, I wrote about our first proper video chat as he has arrived back on British soil following his six weeks at sea:

I ended that post by saying with the right conditions, ‘I could fall hard for this man.’

Conditions are not looking favourable at present.

During our pretty amazing video chat last Sunday, I had mentioned that I had a busy week at work, particularly with after school events, and that on Friday I had my work’s Christmas party. He always seems quite happy when I go out: asks for photos once I’ve got ready and likes my slightly tipsy messages, including a voice message which he said was ‘sexy’. What, me??

During the chat on Sunday and whilst taking about the party, he said that I ‘might find a hot young male teacher there’. Shocked and surprised, and remembering I am on video chat I said ‘really?! Is that what you want me to do?’

He stuttered and went red at this point, quietly said ‘I wasn’t serious’ and quickly changed the subject. Apart from that, the video call was amazing.

Monday was a big day for him. Following some legal issues, he was going to find out whether he had actually bought his house or not.

By the evening, he had his keys. This week then, he has been busy trying to buy and move furniture. I know this, I know how stressful this is.

We’ve still messaged every day and I actually spoke with him on the phone on Wednesday. All good. Sure, the chat has felt a little different and not as long but there is a good reason for that, isn’t there? There were a few jokes about the ‘hot young teacher ‘ from both of us, but I tried not to contemplate what this might mean. We had a really sexy chat on Thursday night, taking about our future date. Again, all good but earlier in the evening I was aware that he wasn’t just talking to me from the delay in replies although he was online.

Friday morning… Nothing. I messaged him in the day, hoping he was OK and that his house shopping was going well: that night he would have his daughters over for the first time in his new home. He was busy getting last bits ready. No request for pictures that night, though I recognised that he had more important things on his mind.

As the night went on there were some messages sent, some of which he initiated. I sent him some pictures of myself but he didn’t acknowledge. He sent me some pictures of his home.

Then he asked me how I was getting on with the ‘young male teacher’. So, baring in mind that I’d had a few drinks by now and that I often wear my insecurities round my neck like a cape, I started to worry.

Why does he keep mentioning that?

Is he joking?

Is he insecure himself and trying to work out if he’s the only one?

Is he trying to hint that he has met someone else or wants to and I need to move on?

I told him there was no make teacher and he said, ‘Awww’. What the??

I told him that if I had, the teacher would have been pretty fed up as I had messaged him all night.

‘Maybe he will be nice like me and understand that you need to.’ What?

The conversation ended pretty soon after that as he was going to bed.

So, with a drink person’s truth, I told him that he was really confusing me but wished him goodnight. He didn’t respond again that night.

But he did the next morning.

I woke to a ‘good morning’ and an inquiry about my night. He then asked what I was confused about.

Having already read back the proceeding night’s messages, I decided to avoid the latter question. I asked him about how his girls had enjoyed the first night in his home.

Before long though, he asked about my confusion again. Oh hell. There was no avoiding it a second time.

I said that the meeting another man confused me because I wasn’t sure what he meant by it. I said that I understood he may be talking to other women but that I wasnt going to encourage that.

He told me that I needed to learn that he had a wicked sense of humour. I replied,

‘so you were joking then? It’s hard to tell over text.’

He told me that he was not telling me to move on, but that if I was to meet a nice guy then that’s fair enough. It was all ‘fair game’.

My head was spinning here, and it wasn’t just the hangover. Anyone who dates online acknowledges that the other person will have more than one on the go. Isn’t that the point at first? And deep down, if he met someone else, I would be happy for him in as much as I would be gutted for me. But I’m not going to openly encourage other people!

So… He tells me he finds me attractive, sexy, funny, lovely, special and that he wants to meet.. We’ve talked repeatedly each day for two months, even down to him questioning how quiet I’ve been if I don’t text first in the morning…. But it’s OK Ustome, feel free to date other people, just in case. Who does that? Sure, accept that it may be happening, but to openly encourage that?

My insecurity was sky high at this point.

‘But you still want to meet? Or am I just someone online until you meet a nice woman?’

In hindsight, I see how incendiary that was. I just needed to know.

He said ‘of course’ he wanted to meet and that ‘I was being paranoid’

I said I wasn’t and that I was just confused. I said that I understood now. I then questioned the distance and said I was still fine with it and was he?

I probably asked for this next response:

Did I ask for that?

The conversation ended ok. There were messages on and off throughout the day, initiated by both of us. I sent him a picture of myself in a Father Christmas and he responded in a typical, positive way. Maybe it was just me being insecure and paranoid.

At around ten pm, having not heard from him in a couple of hours (which was unusual) I asked him if he’d had a good day with his girls.

He replied that he had and that he was watching a film with them. When I said that I wouldn’t interrupt then, he said ‘no, it’s okay, how was your day’.

A few more messages exchanged and he sent me a picture of himself with a glass of wine as we had both admitted we were having one. I responded as I should.

Then nothing again.

Like the crazy, insecure woman I have become, I periodically went on WhatsApp and saw he’d been online a few times since but hadnt messaged me.

He was last on at 11.11. I messaged goodnight at 11.15. Nothing. It’s the first time in weeks that he hasn’t said goodnight.

After half an hour of WhatsApp watching, I knew he wasn’t going to respond and was probably in bed.

My anxiety was through the roof.

Yes I know, maybe he’d had a busy day, had a couple of glasses of wine in front of the fire and had gone to bed.

Maybe he has someone else.

Maybe he was checking his phone as much as me.

Either way, it stung.

I read the following post last night from one of my favourite dating bloggers :

It hit home for me too. Having spoken about the impact of getting his first home and how this has made him reflect on his divorce, I suspect that he hasn’t been emotionally available this week which is why I’ve sensed some changes.

Fact is, without the ‘get a young male teacher’ debacle, I would have just put the changes down to the stressful week he has had.

I don’t know how to proceed now. Back off and give him space? Won’t that just give him the invitation to move on?

Carry on being myself and hope that he won’t find me clingy?

What hurts, I think, was that there was no hint that he was taking to two people when he was at sea. The amount of time we were occupied in texting meant that it was impossible. Ironically, things have changed since he got home which would suggest that if he does have someone new, it’s a new thing. That’s what stings. He is still deleted off Bumble, because I checked. Doesn’t mean he is not on something else.

All I can do is wait and see. Maybe he’s not emotionally available. Maybe he is the right person but wrong time. Maybe I’ve scared him off. Or I am paranoid.

I know I’m being a hypocrite.


I’ve slept on this post.

We will see today. He could message me this morning. He has his kids until tonight I think, and there was talk of another video chat/phonecall.

I don’t know how to respond, what to do.

My self esteem is so low that I’m expecting him to leave. I always have.

Up until this week, things have been great. I don’t know what I can do anymore. I suppose it’s over to him.