Just words

For the past month I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Work is hard but much better with the new Headteacher. I feel valued and I love my new job.

After a health scare and a series of tests, I’ve been told I have IBS and have discovered I have a gluten intolerance – much better then the pancreatic cancer that Google diagnosed. This has meant that I have cut out a large part of my previous diet. I’ve lost a stone and a half so far. I can see it, I can feel it.

Online dating has been beneficial too. With my more open mind and ‘modern’ dating theory, I enjoyed talking to different men even if the chats have subsequently drifted away. I’ve been complimented and that has helped me feel good. My perceptions of myself are changing.

So, all in all, there’s been a spring in my step.

Friday, I went Christmas shopping with my friend. We went to Manchester, a city I barely know. We went to the art gallery, shopped – tried to find coffee shops with gluten free food and failed – and generally had a good time.

We went to one place particularly as my friend loved it there. It was a market hall of alternative stalls – think piercings, incense and rock band t shirts. Not my thing, but she loved it. As she was browsing, I noticed the stall opposite was selling 50s style dresses.

Before I knew it, I was trying one on. The smaller size. And it looked good! The sweetheart neckline emphasised my full bust, the tight waist band and narrow belt cinched in my newly rediscovered waist. The skirt floated over my hips and covered the parts of me that I still want to hide. I felt beautiful.

I came out the changing room, and beckoned my friend over from the other stall.

Whilst I value the honesty of my friend normally, I did not expect the reaction I received. Frowning, she said, ‘you need to wear a cardigan with that’.

When I stated that I didn’t think I did (doubt already creeping in) she replied that the dress made my shoulders look wide.

I went back into the changing room and took off the dress. As I changed, I saw the loose skin that has appeared as I have lost weight. I saw the areas of my body that still need to lose more. I was deflated.

Is this what’s going to happen when I meet Second? Or Wild Card? I will dress up and feel good, only for them to see my faults??

Later, my friend tried to back-pedal but it was too late.

Just words.

Yesterday, I was not in a good place. My insecurities had all come back, the spring in my step had gone.

Wild Card had called me earlier in the day but I had been at my sister’s. Whilst still being very much covered up, he happened to see more of my body than he had previously. The video chat was brief because I said I was going home soon and then I would call him.

Half an hour later I tried but there was no answer. Hours passed and still no response. So I tried again – this time he was already on the phone. I left it for fifteen minutes and decided to try once more. If I got no response then I knew he’d disappeared. Clearly he hadn’t liked my body. Who could blame him?

I had spiralled in to a pit of self loathing and negativity.

I called. No answer.

I then may have sent a text stating that he had disappeared since he had seen my body. Yes I know, clingy move.

I deleted it hastily, before messenger claimed he had read it. But within seconds he had replied telling me he was driving and to wait.

Anxiety ripped through me. What had I been thinking? How stupid was I to believe the things he said? No doubt his previous video chat when I couldn’t get through was to another woman.

The vile and self depreciating thoughts spiraled out of my head and into the pit of my stomach.

Eventually he called. He was out with family and the call was brief. He said we would talk later.

I finished getting ready for the charity night I was attending with family. Nothing looked right, not even the dress I was now able to wear for the first time because I have lost weight. There were bags under my eyes and my skin tone was awful. My legs looked huge and my hair wouldn’t style.

My family commented on my silence as I drove them to the party. I was contemplative, internal. I considered the power of someone’s words, however innocently and sincerely meant, to change my thought processes. I thought about how I was pining for Wild Card’s attention when I feared he had disappeared. How strong my developig feelings for him were becoming … A man I had only dated on video chat.

I felt stupid, ridiculous. So what if I’ve lost weight, I’ve got so much more to lose! I haven’t even met either man, what was possessing me to think that either could work? I was just a flirty distraction to them, that’s all. There was no way that I was there only me in their lives, this is the modern world. And what a hypocrite I am to even want that, I am talking to two men, just to ‘hedge my bets’.

Just words.

The charity party was a great success and I did start to relax a little. During the night I had brief contact from Wild Card and more regular communication from Second. I perked up a little.

When I got home and crawled in to my lonely bed, I couldn’t help but message Wild Card. I told him I hoped he’d had a good night with his family and that I was looking forward to speaking with him soon.

To my surprise, considering the hour, he messaged back. He asked if I had missed him, and I replied that I had. I was honest about fearing he had disappeared. He told me what I knew all ready – he had been busy with family. It wasn’t the right time to go into how a text stating that, would have saved me an evening of anxiety, but I will at some point.

I’ve stopped going on to the dating apps and how allowed other connections to drift away. I would willingly date either man now, yes slowly, just because I want to know them more.

But my insecurities have now peaked. I’m questioning the logic in focusing my attention on two men in which any potential dating would be problematic. I’m just not sure I have the heart to start again. I know I don’t have the heart to say goodbye either.

And yet, what have I had?

Just words.

Double trouble

I will admit it. I got myself into a right state yesterday.

By early evening I had barely heard from Wild Card. There had been one short message hours early, then nothing again.

I want to blame hormones, I really do, and in part they are to blame. I was over sensitive, emotional…

But when it got to dinner time and he had still not got into contact, I was anxious. Upset. I couldn’t eat. Still couldn’t concentrate.

I drafted a post on here, more as self therapy than anything else. I tried to look at the lessons I could learn from this. I couldn’t deal with the why, doubt still clouding my judgement. I’m normally good at reading people.

As I sat in front of the fire, music playing and feeling utterly sorry for myself, I decided to phone him myself. I would know then, once and for all. His uncharacteristic silence/sporadic texting would be explained either way and I could go cry into my pillow. (Yes, you read right 😔)

With my heart hammering in my chest, I pressed call. And waited and waited.

And just as I was beginning to lose hope, he answered.

He was clearly tired, half asleep, lights dimmed. He told me he had been travelling today for work and that he had missed me.

We had another great chat, filled with laughter and flirting. And there was no mistaking how he felt about me, I could see it in his eyes. There was a vulnerability about him at one point which was really cute.

Satisfied and sated that he had not disappeared and that there was an actual, genuine reason for his silence today, the video chat ended positively.

Within half an hour, Second had finished his shift and had messaged me.

Strangely, our text chat felt a little different also. I told you that he was guarded in his feelings usually, but since our ‘serious’ chat the other day he has been using terms of endearment and is more complimentary.

Again we laughed together, making each other laugh, and talked about what would happen when we meet. He finally asked me if I was seeing other people. I said no, which is true in a physical sense. I have still not been on any dates. I’m not talking to anyone other than him and Wild Card.

He sent me a photo of himself, taken right there and then, and I swooned. Best picture he had sent me. It was animated, happiness in his eyes, and was like our one and only video chat all those weeks ago. Wow.

What the hell am I doing? What am I going to do?

I realise that I do feel slightly different about them. Second makes me feel more secure even though a relationship with him would be more complicated than with Wild Card.

Wild Card makes me feel passionate. And there’s no doubt that I was grieving yesterday when I thought he had gone.

Double trouble. And I’m starting to feel like a double bitch. Again.

Thoughts anyone? Please be gentle with me.

Concentration

Or lack of it.

I have none today, none.

I’m trying to mark exams. I keep reading the same paragraph over and over. I’ve managed to fit a million other things into my day, many I didn’t need to do, but hardly any marking. This blog been one million and one.

I’m blaming my hormones. PCOS messes with your cycle and so I am on my period for the first time in a few months.

Last night I was withdrawn and sulky for no apparent reason. I couldn’t find a film to watch, didn’t want company but didn’t want to be alone either.

Today I have boundless energy and restlessness. Can’t focus or concentrate.

Doesn’t help that Wild Card seems to be ignoring me today. But of course he would… I’m on my own, on my period, and have just made the decision to keep pursuing this path with him. Irony dictates that he chooses this moment to ghost me. Yes he might be busy. But I’m not that lucky. This would be absolutely typical of me – I think long and hard into something, make a decision but discover the decision has already been made for me.

Second was a bit weird last night too. Maybe he could sense I was ‘off’.

Maybe I’m not coping with the reality of life today. Hopes built to high, excitement maxed out, too many interfering hormones.

I’m going to be gutted if Wild Card has gone though.

Sigh.

Think I might go to bed and feel sorry for myself. Except I won’t be able to relax. Arrggghh!

A whole new world

Armed with my latest love theory and the knowledge that you can find love online, I have yet again embarked online.

What a difference a change in attitude can have.

I reflected on my current position. I am quite happy at the moment. My life is full with my children, family and friends. I have hobbies. I have work. Sure there are problems, but… I’m OK.

So a boyfriend is not essential. I’m not desperately looking for someone to complete me: more, to compliment my life. Sure. I want to find a meaningful connection. Someone who is compatable on each of the three levels. Yet, I’ve realised that fulfilment can also be found, albeit temporarily, from encounters which are only compatable on one or two. I’ve always believed people come into our lives for a reason. So, why not?

I’m not a promiscuous person. I’ve been single for three years and have not had intimacy, apart from the one kiss/night with Lost Soul.

I’ve been brought up in a world different to the one today. Therefore, I’ve also decided to modernise my thoughts around dating and social media and sex too.

Ultimately, I am who I am. I have certain views on how I want to be seen in this world but I acknowledge now that some of those views have come from social conditioning about my sexuality.

A series of one night stands will never be on the cards. It’s just not me. But I am more open to meeting someone with a physical connection, unencumbered by fear of what this says about me. If we want to be intimate, no matter what the relationship outcome, then I can make that decision and not worry about what people may think of me.

It’s all very well saying this. I’m having to remind myself of it frequently, more so when I meet someone I actually like. I’m trying to be more open in my preferences and, as I am not in a relationship, feel that having a number of men to talk to is helping my anxiety when one doesn’t work out. I’m pretty certain this is what most people do online anyway. When one disappears for a while and potentially for good, I keep thinking about what they have brought to my life in the short time they have been in it. And then, I move on.

I’m happier. Dare I say that? I haven’t had a date yet, but having good conversations and flirting has helped my confidence and ego. There are some men who keep saying they want to meet ‘soon’. Soon never arrives in these cases. So I enjoy it for what it is, acknowledge we will probably never meet, and gradually move on. I’m not rude about it, but I’m not chasing someone who doesn’t want to meet.

The difficult part is the sexualisation of conversation. Anyone who has dated online will know that it isn’t long before the ‘dick pic’ gets sent whether you want it or not. Then there are the constant demands for saucy pictures. It’s the world we live in now. But, I’m not doing anything I’m not comfortable with or which may have future ramifications. If they don’t like/respect that, well, clearly we do not have a cultural connection. Even so, I’m trying to be open minded.

In my next posts, I will let you know how I am getting on.