Deeper

I’ve been here for six days now. For those of you (and I thank you now) who have read about my last two trips to see Wildcard, desperately trying not to repeat myself. So if I do, apologies.

As with last time, we have now got into a rhythm of sorts. I can’t deny though that things feel different, in a good way.

Each morning I wake and freshen up before lying in bed and reading or listening to music. I wait for him. There’s no point lying about it, that’s what I do.

He’s surprised me by coming in as early as 8 o clock which is wonderful from every angle. He kisses me good morning and then we cuddle, legs entwined, my head on his chest and hom stroking my hair or my back. We talk a little. Sometimes he falls back to sleep (he is not a morning person) sometimes we make love. Then eventually, he has to get up and go to work. He kisses me before leaving and I watch him drive away from the window.

Why am I telling you this? Is it even interesting? I tell you this because when you are in a Long Distance Relationship (LDR), morning like that are gold. I love every second. Without trying to generalise too much, I’m guessing that most couples after two years don’t get that feeling each morning. For us it is a novelty and it is special. My advice is treasure those moments, LDR or not. It is too easy for life to get in the way of precious moments like that.

Needless to say I hate him going to work but he has to. So I get up myself and get washed and dressed and have breakfast with his parents if we didn’t have it before Wildcard leaves for work. My conversations with his parents and mum in particular are going really well.

After helping to clean up, I then do some drawing or reading or listening to music. I offer to help with housework each day, and each day I’m told no. So I relax and enjoy and…honestly again, wait for him to come home for dinner.

I get that thrill as soon as he walks through the door. My eyes cannot take him in enough and all I want to do is kiss him and snuggle up to him. To me he is still the most handsome man I’ve ever met.

He then lies on the sofa and I sit by his feet, often with them in my lap or he teases me by softly kicking me when I’m reading, only to stop when I look his way. Sometimes he gains my attention by making funny noises until we are both laughing.

I remember feeling really frustrated last time. He was always watching TV or something on his phone and although I like the physical closeness I admittedly get a little bored. Plus I wanted attention. This time, I go with the flow. I’m on holiday, he’s not. This is his routine and I am now a part of it. So long as I keep myself occupied, all is good – and the more I’m occupied, the more he disrupts me with his tickling, kicking and funny noises. Life is so much easier when you just lighten up.

To my surprise and delight he has actually initiated some amazingly intimate times on this trip, when his parents are out shopping. Last time, he didn’t at all and I wondered why not as it was the perfect time. These moments are extra special and loving and intimate, perhaps because we are so relaxed. The sex is different too than before. I can only put it down to this deepening connection we have: I’ve never felt anything like it.

Deepening is the perfect word for what is happening, for me at any rate. I knew I loved him a lot and knew I was completely in love with him. But the more we are together, the deeper it is getting. It takes my breath away, makes my heart pound and my stomach lurch.

I don’t want to leave. I never want to leave, I know that, but I’m going to feel a wrench this time that I’m not sure I can cope with. He’s attached to me in the deep depths of my soul now and to be apart from him seems impossible.

Lose-lose

Earlier in the year, as I cried over yet another cancelled trip to see him (there were four in total), Wild Card told me to write off this year and not even consider coming as iw as just getting upset.

But it was really hard when, just as I went back to work in September, his borders opened. It became even harder when I started to see other couples on Facebook reuniting in his country. And getting engaged or married. Or just looking happy and smug and in love.

And then, then, Ryanair started flying there which means I could actually afford to go. £20 flight anyone?

Of course, there were a couple of sticking points to this plan.

  1. I am a teacher so can’t book time off. (Yes, I know, I get ‘all those holidays’)
  2. You need two weeks quarantine when you get back to the UK. See above.
  3. He told me not to come.

Number three was round about the time when Ryanair got up and running and I joked that I was on my way, even though I knew I couldn’t (see points 1 and 2).

He told me he missed me and wanted me there, but the thought of it really made him nervous. He talked of the quick decisions in his country that could leave me stranded there, the issues with travel and how he didn’t want me to get sick and end up locked away in a hospital, unable to see him.

Yes it hurt, and yes I thought he just didn’t want me to come (which he said he knew I would think) but I could see the logic in what he was saying. I could also see that it showed a lot of love and consideration for me too.

But, yes, it still kind of felt that he didn’t want me to come.

I told him that I understood and that I would only come when he felt it was safe for me to do so.

Of course, if nothing changed, I would only be able to go again in the summer holiday 2021 – 17 months after I was last with him.

The UK went into lockdown and I couldn’t have gone any sooner anyway.

As Christmas approached, I’ve played with the idea of going for the first weekend and asking for a day working at home at the end to complete the isolation. I never asked though.

And then, there was talk that maybe the Christmas holiday would be extended to allow for self isolation. I dared not hope. Good job too, because it isn’t going to happen.

The shiny star on the tree was when I read that our Government have now decided that from December the quarantine is reduced to five days if you pay for a private covid test and it comes back negative.

A few quick sums in my head and…I could actually go. Except..

Except he still hasn’t talked about it since. When I was a little upset in my pre-menstral state last week, he told me it wouldn’t be long. The vaccines are nearly there. Maybe February or April and I would be there.

I couldn’t help myself. This week I told him about the new changes. He asked if I would travel over Christmas and when I said maybe, he said ‘where?’. I said I didn’t know.

The news of the reduction in quarantine got a ‘good’ comment.

Tonight he asked me about my Christmas holidays again and I asked if he was planning to take some holidays himself. He didn’t know, and I asked him to save some for when I would visit.

‘When are you coming?’

I replied that I didn’t know and I was waiting for him to tell me it was OK, remember?

He said it was not up to him. I’m a grown woman and I can make my own decisions. He said it was my home too and I could come whenever I wanted. Apparently I keep talking like he doesn’t want me to come, so now he’s telling me to come when I want but it is up to me to do the research and take responsibility if it goes wrong. But I can come whenever I want, it’s my home too.

I tried to say that we should both decide but he was having none of it. And he said that he wasn’t angry.

I have looked at flights. I could go. But I would miss Christmas at home. Not sure my kids would be impressed even though they don’t see me for half of it.

If I go, and he really doesn’t think it is a good decision despite what he has said, I lose.

If I don’t go, and actually he has told me to come if I want because he wants me to come… but doesn’t want to be responsible for encouraging me if it goes wrong – I lose.

I can’t win. I think he probably still thinks it is a bad idea but he never backs down on anything he doesn’t agree with so the fact that he has makes me think he does what me to.

Would my kids understand? They would spend the whole of the following week and New Year with me. They spend most of the holidays with me usually, so it is not like I don’t see them. Lots of divorced families do it this way, not splitting it more intricately like we have done.

I would really miss them, but I would be back after a week. I haven’t seen Wild Card for 9 months. But I would hate to upset them.

But if I don’t go, and nothing changes, it will be April before I get another chance.

I just don’t know. Lose, lose, lose.

D day

Divorce discussion day. Decision day. Dreaded day. Call it what you want but I was sure that he was going to be a step closer to making a decision about a future with me following this discussion.

I’m scared.

Recently he was contacted by yet another ex girlfriend: this one is the one before me. I knew little about her until this point, only that she existed. Maybe because the other two have been in contact more, I know.more about them. He assured me they were just friends, that all his relationships have ended with conversation and not fighting. He is happy to be friends with these girls, but that is all. I’m not sure how much they realise that.

After some questioning, he told me that she had loved him – loved him a lot. When I asked about his feelings, he paused. He said that he had felt something for her when he was with her – visiting her in her city (about 3 hours from his) – but when they were apart he forgot about her and felt little. I asked why they had separated and he said there were problems that were hard to explain but that they had talked and agreed it was for the best to end the relationship.

So, maybe you can see why my nerves have been heightened.

I don’t know whether he considered marriage with her or not. I know he didn’t with the other two and he made that clear to them. With me, he is clearly thinking about it and deciding whether it is a possibility in the future. He asked when we met whether I would consider it as a possibility in the future, because that is what his culture dictates. He didn’t just want a casual relationship with me. If I had said no, I wouldn’t be with him now but it doesn’t mean that we will definitely get married either.

His culture does not have arranged marriages as such, or as we in this part of the world imagine. But they do consider the suitability of matches closely. He has been offered girls as prospects for marriage. “I have a daughter, would you like to meet her?” That type of thing.

Maybe that seems strange to us. But not too far in the past, that’s the way English couples would consider marriage – the suitability and benefits of two families aligning. My beloved Jane Austen and Charles Dickens novels say it all.

He is of a modern generation where he wants to marry for love but at the same time, I am aware that his culture dictates that he considers the suitability of a marriage more closely than we do.

Do we even consider that? From my experience, we fall in love and that naturally progresses to marriage. It’s what we all want, isn’t it? Do we ever sit and really discuss and consider our future? Our expectations and what we want? I’m not sure how many of us do. I’m not sure how many of us ask these questions of ourselves. Not when we are young, anyway. Its definitely something you do as you get older and after a failed marriage.

So when those feelings of falling in love fade, which they naturally do, we are left with the hard work part of making a marriage work. But if, fundamentally, those people are not a good match, then no amount of hard work is going to be successful. That’s what I believe. That’s what I have learned.

In today’s society, I don’t need a man. I have a good job, a home, a car. I could be single and society doesn’t expect me to remarry although they may ask the questions. So, in that case, marriages ending are more acceptable.

In his culture, I guess it is different. There is a strong emphasis on family, extended family and marriage. The family work together even when a child is married. There is mutual support. Divorce happens, but there are more rules and laws around it than here. It is not surprising then that he wanted to know more, understand more.

We had the conversation yesterday. It was difficult.

The summary is…he couldn’t understand if I was saying that my ex was not the right person for me, why did I stay with him so long and have three children? I explained that I was young, he was a good man and I didn’t want it to fail. I wanted to work on it. That there were periods of good times but they never lasted. But ultimately, it was never going to work because he wasn’t right for me. I admitted that it was mistake to stay for so long. I should have left much sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I felt like he was disappointed with me because I didn’t leave after my first child when I knew things weren’t right but then because I stayed he was disappointed with me for leaving at all. I couldn’t win. I stayed for the right reasons and I left for the right reasons. I should never have got back with him, I know that. But I got my son from it so I will never regret it.

I told him I didn’t want him to think bad of me and he said he didn’t. I tried to reference my decisions into his own – he hadn’t married the other girls because they were not right for him. I tried to stay in my marriage for my children but he wasn’t right for me so it didn’t work. He couldn’t understand why I stayed, why I had three children and why i wasn’t happy if I said he was a good man.

I told him that I never felt for my ex like I feel for him. That I know what I want and need now. Life is too short to be unhappy and the longer we were together and tried, the more unhappy we were. I talked of the atmosphere and the arguing. I told him that he was a much better match for me, he understood and inspired me.

Sadly, I have no idea if he truly feels the same way. I guess he does, but I don’t know. Am I enough? With his experiences and expectations and cultural differences, he seems to be making a decision to whether I can be that person he is looking for. With his age and experience and culture, can he (and I) be sure that I am the one? He didn’t openly confirm either way which left me feeling anxious.

If I am not, then I will just be another ex girlfriend who loves and lost him.

Understanding.

Following yesterday afternoon’s very interesting phonecall, I was in an enlightened place for a few hours. Probably stupidly, it had left me feeling closer to him and more secure. I don’t know why. It was a first for me, therefore special, but that doesn’t mean he felt the same way.

Anyway, I was enlightened. When he called me again later on, I had gone out for a walk. I wasn’t feeling enlightened any more but this was just due to corona-anxiety plus a weird ‘I want to be on my own to stew but I don’t want to be alone’ mentality. More on that little gem another time.

We had a good conversation about a few things, including the (many) differences in our countries and how this has affected us and our extended families. I enjoy conversations like this because I feel it really helps to get to know each other more. Next minute, he went quiet though and was staring into space. Then, he was asking about my divorce again.

This has happened before. He wants to know why my ex and I have separated. He can’t understand what the issues were. I questioned him and he said two things – one, I apparently change my story each time he asks and he doesn’t understand. Two, he’s worried that I am going be fed up with him in a few years and will ‘fall out of love with’ him too. (He’s really working on the honesty thing)

I tried to set him straight… I don’t change my story, it’s just that there were a lot of issues. Plus, because he keeps asking me, I feel like he’s not understood so have to explain in more depth. How could I not love my husband but be with him 13 years and have three children? I try to explain… I loved him as a person – he is a good man. I thought if I worked hard on the marriage I could make it work. There were a lot of problems from the beginning – most women would not have stuck it out as long as I did. He wasn’t right for me. And I never knew that I could feel the love I had only dreamed about, until recently. Until I met HIM (Wild Card) . I thought love was something you had to work hard for.

He was a little more settled by the end. He said it was my past so he was OK with everything – we still had time to get to know each other and work things out. I, again, told him the strength of my feelings and that what we had was very, very different to my relationship with my ex.

**********

This morning I’ve had another ‘phonecall’ (I’m never going to tire of that) and I sent him a poem that I had written for him which I had attached to one of our favourite pictures of us. He asked me to send it him again but with my name on it.❤️ This evening we have talked for hours again.

He knows me, so well. It scares me sometimes. He knew I was ‘off’ and despite how I tried to explain why, was able to articulate what was wrong with me much better than I could. He then spent half an hour making me laugh, and wouldn’t leave til he knew I was OK. This is why I love him. This is why I need him in my life. He understands me, loves me, cares for me.

And, as an absolute bonus… He is goddam hot.

Really

I watch you sleeping
and I’m transported miles and hours
and days
to when I was there.
“Come next to me,” and I am there.
If I close my eyes:
I can feel your lips,
remember the rise and fall of your chest,
the warmth of your arms and legs, wrapped around mine.
Tonight I hear your worries.
I’m worried too.
But this is the path we chose,
together
and only time will tell.
You ask me if I love you –
really.
You ask me if I miss you –
really.
And I do, really.

Readjustment to reality: Feast and Famine

After a romantic and fun filled week, then a weekend being apart but crammed with ‘I love you, I miss you’ and multiple video chats, the last two days have been really tough.

As I explained in my last post, Wild Card and his family made an 8 hour car journey on Monday as they were going on holiday.

I had a few messages throughout the day – he was driving after all – and he messaged when he arrived.

Later, we had a very brief video chat whilst he was out at a cafe with his family and then we had a couple of longer text conversations throughout the evening, including one late at night whilst we were both in bed.

I should be happy with that, shouldn’t I? But, I’m not. He preoccupied. He is in another place which means he is not free to talk. He’s with extended family so needs to respect that. So whilst my heart is still aching in the missing of him and my words have expressed that, his have not.

If anything he was in a weird mood Monday night and I have to keep reminding myself that an 8 hour drive as the sole driver will do that for you. I kept trying to end the conversation with an excuse of going to sleep but I just didn’t like the way I was feeling. He wouldn’t let me though and would ask me a question to keep me talking.

Yesterday I messaged in the morning to wish him a good day. Before his extended holiday, this was always his routine. I took over when he finished work. He replied, and we had a brief chat, but then I had a meeting. By the time I got back to my phone he had gone out. I told him I would speak to him later and I got a kiss in return.

I waited all day. I didn’t message him and he didn’t message me. He is on holiday!!!! My rational mind would tell me. How quickly he has forgotten you, my irrational mind would counter.

By 6pm I was in an anxious state. My sister told me to stop being stupid and just message him. An hour later I had a brief reply. Then nothing again. Anxiety overdrive.

Eventually, at around 9pm he messaged. He sent a picture of him sat at the table with all his family, I guess as reassurance and explanation. It was needed – the conversation was stilted and difficult. And yes, I know that was because he was sit sat with his family and was in effect disrespecting them by continuing to message me, no matter how disatisfying the conversation.

At one point, I sent the following due to a conversation I’d had with my sister where she said she wants to talk to him more:

His reaction to that made me feel a little better but I just felt dissatisfied at the end of the conversation, despite the amount of time and superficial conversation we’d had.

Four days ago I was on cloud nine. It’s not realistic that our communications would remain the same. It was my first time being with him, the first time of leaving him. It’s natural that this was going to be difficult to readjust.

And then, it’s how I feel about him. Not to mention my natural tendancy to be anxious anyway. My friend, a trained counsellor, summed it up for me. From his knowledge of me and my previous relationships, this is the first time that I have truly ‘matched’ with someone on every level. Every other relationship I have had has involved some sort of ‘settling’.

It was like a smack in the face because it was so true and I hadn’t thought of it like that before. Whilst wanting to believe that my true match was out there somewhere, I’ve been of the opinion that you find a good man, you love each other, you accept the faults and flaws and work hard to make it work. My impending divorce perhaps suggests the flaws in that plan.

I’ve met someone who makes me happy (when I’m not being an anxious freak), who challenges and inspires me, who cares for me and (usually) makes me the centre of his attention, and who I am wholly and physically attracted too. When with him, I felt the heady mix of being completely comfortable and settled as well as being excited and ‘alive’.

Is there any surprise that I am scared of losing this?

In my late night angst, I searched for some online advice and found a psychologist and relationship expert which has directed my thinking today.

Over the past few days, I’ve made it clear how I feel. He can be in no doubt of the depth of my love and how much I am missing him. But him being preoccupied is accentuating my natural tendancy to be anxious. This means that I am acting differently. I am being clingy and snippy and needy. He’s just trying to enjoy his holiday with his family. If I want him to miss me again, I need to stop creating this negative atmosphere when he messages in the only way I can.

So today I have not messaged him, as instructed by the psychologist. I’m giving him space to enjoy his holiday, not bombard him with my neediness, and therefore to miss me.

It’s so hard. It’s nearly 11am, 12MD where he is, and I haven’t heard from him.

The other advice, sound advice from what I can see, is that I need to renegage my social life: keep busy. Be happy. Be the person he fell for, not this needy, whiney, anxiety ridden nag. I need to take care of myself and be the best I can be.

And then, when he comes back to me and things go back to normal, then I can discuss how hard this week has been for me.

My dad used to say, you only know if something is truly yours if it comes back to you when you let it go.

To quell my considerable anxiety at this situation, I am trying my best to logically think of the positives of this situation if it all goes wrong.

If he doesn’t come back, if things don’t return, then he wasn’t right for me anyway. There’s no reason for this to happen unless I do something wrong. His words, remember?

My experience of travelling alone has been inspirational and life changing. I can do more than I think I can.

I’ve learnt so much about the prejudices of others but also the goodness of people: being open to that, not biased.

I’ve learnt that you cannot always accept the judgements of others, even when you trust them. Everyone has biased and flawed thinking.

Actions speak louder than words.

I’m worthy of love. Men find me attractive. I am liked. I don’t need to settle.

Whilst I’ve found love across the seas, I’m pretty sure that somewhere, probably closer to home, there will be someone else who would equally make me happy. (I didn’t like writing this one)

You’ve got to be open to love. Open to risks. Live life as it is supposed to be lived. Not just exist.

My previous relationships have caused some real hang-ups for me, more than I realised.

It’s dangerous to accept your first thoughts in a situation. Initial reactions are emotion and anxiety driven. It’s important to pause and reflect and think.

No matter how important he is to me, I have a life here. I have children, family, friends and a career. Those are some of the things he loves about me. Ignoring them over him is counterintuitive, however you think about it.

Live in this moment. I can’t always have control of the future.

I can’t make him love me or want me. But I can make him fall out of love with me by being stupid. I just need to be the best I can be. His words.

So there we have it. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Lists, lies and love

Started Saturday…

Four weeks today I could be sat on a train, passport and suitcase packed, on my way to meet Wild Card.

Exciting. Life changing. Scary.

Naturally, this sparked a fresh wave of anticipatory internal querying. Plus, a few other things have occurred to put my mind into overdrive. Again.

Firstly, I must state here and now that Wild Card has done nothing to make me feel anxious or wary. His attentions are consistent. He hasn’t asked for money. He’s not promising me the world or a future of perfect happiness. At times he is teasing and less affectionate than I crave (we can have an entire conversation of him teasing and making fun of me whilst we both laugh and I fake sulk) ; other times he is heartwarming and romantic. Sometimes he is tired and sullen. Sometimes he is too busy to talk. In a sentence: he is an every day man who continues to try to get to know me and who attempts to share his life with me over video.

What has happened this week, is that we had a conversation about Facebook. He noticed that a single man has been ❤️ my photos and I admitted this man has tried to message me. He asked me about him. I said I didn’t know the man. He asked why I was friends with him then. I couldn’t answer that. I deleted him – my suggestion.

Wild Card, however, has a number of women on his Facebook. So I felt it fair to question that too. I asked if they messaged him, he said yes but they were just friends. I think my face said it all. He said that, if we meet and we want to have a relationship then he will delete his Facebook and start again. He also said that he had introduced me to his parents and had invited me to visit, did I really think he had done this with all his female friends on Facebook? He, again, told me to research his culture online. Not something you want to do if you are a scammer, I would guess.

So….. Firstly, he has not hidden anything – he has admitted that girls message him quite openly. Secondly, he is not certain that we will make anything of this, which is fine because a marriage scammer would be wanting to make this certain, not putting insecurity – and reality of this not working – in my way.

And before you ask, I still have a number of attractive and single men on Facebook. He has not queried them or asked me to delete them, even when I said I would.

Last night he called me at six just to say that he knew I was with my family (my mother was visiting and we were having a get-together) and that he hoped I had a lovely time, he didn’t want to message me when I was busy and that he would miss me. A two minute check in. He messaged later on (we said we would talk later but I was still out) to say good night and hoped I was having a good time. Other highlights from this week included him dancing for me and the pair of us in hysterics over it.

So what has sparked this week’s head-stress?

I have told my friend (the Second champion) that I have booked my flights. She had at one point in the past said she would come with me – that, obviously, didn’t come to anything. She reacted better than I thought. She did say it was clear I was in love with him (really??!) and that I needed to be careful in case I came home broken-hearted when he didn’t want me. O… K.. .

My mum’s arrival this weekend also means that I need to tell her more about Wild Card. At Christmas I told her about him. She knows we are in contact, knows where he is from but that’s it – she said immediately that he was just after a visa.

Mum is a tricky one, because at the time of her major mental breakdown/bipolar diagnosis she was being scammed by someone online. He turned out to be from Nigeria and stole thousands from her. (He said he was American, was going to treat her like a princess and had his own business/was wealthy). None of what happened to her has happened to me with Wild Card. But I am fully aware of why she will be worried when I tell her more about him. (He is not Nigerian btw).

I’ve told my ex about my trip. I’ve told him that I am going on holiday for my up-coming 40th and that I am going with my usual travel buddy. Lies. Although, I won’t be able to afford to go on holiday for my 40th now, so that part is sort of true. I hate lying. But it’s got nothing to do with him, other than the fact that he will have our children that week. If I could have found someone to go with me, I would have gratefully accepted. No one will come so I’m going alone.

Yesterday, all this playing on my mind, I sat and wrote lists. Lists of what was concerning me about my trip and what I needed to do to ensure I was safe and confident. Lists of why I liked him. Why I thought he may like me. Lists of anything he had said and done that concerned me. Lists of things he has said and done to make me feel secure.

I felt better afterwards. Ultimately, I am in control in this situation. I don’t have to go. I can change my mind, right up to the point where I board the plane. I can stay wherever I choose. I can meet him or just have a week’s holiday in a nice hotel. I can meet him and never speak to him again. I can meet him and talk to him for years and never do anything again (Him willing, of course, but that makes the above a moot point anyway). Whilst he is still interested, it’s all up to me. If he becomes disinterested, we were not meant to be anyway.

Finished today….

I’m feeling in a much better place. My mum came to spend some 1:1 time with me yesterday. I was on edge. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to tell her everything but didn’t want her to worry or tell me negative things.. After about half an hour, I couldn’t take any more. I told her everything…

And she has completely put my mind at ease.

Whilst reminding me to exercise caution, she’s told me she trusts me. She said I am an intelligent woman in a much different place than she was. She talked about what happened to her and she said the experiences are worlds apart.

She’s told me that sometimes in life, it’s necessary to come out of your comfort zone and to take risks. Otherwise, you’ll never know what could have happened, what you might have achieved.

I just felt like a weight had lifted off my head and shoulders. I’d told her the truth which was the big thing, but she trusts my judgement and that means a lot.

I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen in the next month. Anything is a possibility. But I’m now excited about this, more than anything. It’s an adventure. I’m going to be careful, and have been doing my research on solo travel and his location, but I am excited to see him and where he lives in equal measure. Well, nearly.

Pausing the fall

Can you actually do that? I’m going to try.

As is often the way when I write on here, the minute I had posted ‘Falling’ I came off WordPress to see that I’d had a message from Second.

We had a decent text chat and he messaged me again a few hour later before bed. He told me he was out for the day the next day and would have no WiFi but promised pictures when he got home.

He stuck to his word. He sent me beautiful pictures of his destination and then a film montage of him and his family. We chatted until he was too tired to do anything but sleep.

OK, I will admit it, my heart panged a little. What’s made it worse, that despite my perceptions that things have changed, when I checked my phone he has actually been in contact every day since he went home. I didn’t think he had. And I certainly hadn’t expected him to. Sure, the conversations are much shorter, but honestly, what else do I want from him??? He has been in contact every day since flying home, to spend Christmas with his family for the first time in ten years, and since he split with his wife. I feel like an absolute selfish mare.

Naturally, because that’s just the way I am, my head went into overdrive. Thinking, analysing, processing. Add tiredness, a week of much more alcohol than normal and my period and you can imagine the result.

Luckily for me but not for her, my sister chose to call at that point. Saying that, I’m not sure how much she helped. She said she sensed that I was more into Wild Card now and that she felt sorry for Second. She said that she had thought I was really into him and that Wild Card was the distraction. 😕

We tried to pin point when things changed.

It’s when he came home, ironically. It’s from the ‘this isn’t serious, we haven’t met yet, I’m taking it slowly don’t push me’ message he gave me, when I questioned him for suggesting I find someone else. Read it here.

This time coincided with Wild Card seemingly ‘upping his game’. Or maybe I took on board what Second had said, that if ‘another nice man came along it was fair game’. Things with Wild Card have certainly intensified.

I’ve resolved myself to try to take a step back. I haven’t met them yet!!!! They’re nothing more than sexy, attentive, online penpals. I need to calm down.

Am I doing wrong? I feel like I am, still. But I have no real evidence that neither one isn’t doing the same thing.

It’s a mess. No, sexy penpals, that’s all. Pause the fall.

Sweetness

I admit it, I’ve spent most of the evening crying. I’m much calmer now.

I haven’t fully processed everything and I have some decisions to make. But I’m going to sleep on it.

Wild Card was instrumental in calming me down. Intentionally too.

He called me early evening. Despite taking the phone to a darkened room in an attempt to hide my tear stained face, he knew straight away that I was upset. Of course he asked why. Not easy to explain to someone with English as their third language.

It meant that I had to simply it, and in doing so he made an interesting observation. If your sister wants to spend Christmas with your other sister, where is the problem? Why don’t you spend Christmas with one of your sisters too? He then made a slightly disparaging comment about Christmas, but only in the sense that we make so much of it when it’s the simplicity that is important.

It is not up to me to decide who my little sister shares Christmas Day with. It still hurts – a lot – but I’ve also realised that I am a victim of my own success. I work hard to be the ‘big sister’, to be there for them when my parents cannot. I protect them from my own feelings. They both genuinely believed that I wanted to be alone. I can’t really blame her for that, can I?

I’m still hurt. I’m still lonely. But my goodness, did Wild Card pull out the stops. By the end of the call I had been laughing for half of it. He ended it by repeatedly asking if I was OK, and was I going to cry again, no? was I sure? … So sweet. ☺️ My instantaneous anxiety at the end of the call – had I been too miserable, my face looked awful etc etc – was resolved by seeing we’d been on the phone for 50 minutes. No one would spend that much time trying to cheer a girl up whom they didn’t like.

His time and attention and simplicity of thought had calmed me down sufficiently to think again. Second helped too but not as explicitly.

He dropped his kids off at 5pm and called me on the way home. As expected, his text communications over the weekend had been understandably sparse but to call as he was driving home was sweet. My voice was thick with emotion, but luckily I could pass this off as my cold reasonably well. He told me he would call again once he got home.

And he did. This time, ironically thanks to Wild Card, I was calmer and he said immediately that I sounded better. I admitted that I had been upset earlier due to a disagreement with my sister. He didn’t ask about it or talk about it. But we talked for an hour whilst he packed his bags for his early morning flight to his homeland tomorrow.

The conversation felt like we had picked up where we left off. He was humorous, occasionally flirty and reminded me that there are only three weeks til we meet. Hearing him talk about his friends and family showed a sweeter side to him. I believe he is genuinely a nice guy.

Something has shifted though. Whilst he surprised me about talking of our promised date, I am not as excited as I was. I think as I sense the emotional unavailability of him, I’ve become less emotionally available for him. There is definitely emotional baggage regarding his ex.

He mentioned again his inability to communicate as much when away. I, again, reassured him and added that I wouldn’t text as much either as I would not want to interfere with his trip. He’s told me that he will call when he can, and has said he will on Tuesday when he is driving again.

Have I moved him into friendship zone unknowingly? I do care about him and want to meet him but the intensity has shifted somewhat. I still wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t meet. I can’t even say how I’d feel if we didn’t.

The lovely Naomi (her blog is amazing!) is right. I’ve fallen for Wild Card. Ridiculously stupid and a sure fire way of getting hurt, I know. But three video chats a day, laughter and sweetness will do that to a girl.

Shopping, Cuteness and lions

I have a had a mental kind of day.

I went Christmas shopping. I hate Christmas shopping particularly when everyone else is Christmas shopping. By early lunchtime I was done.

It didn’t help that I was expecting Wild Card to call. I wanted him to call.

I drove home but, feeling overwhelmed with a range of emotions – my friend’s controlling behaviour when shopping, driving past the crematorium where Dad’s ashes lie, knowing I will be alone for part of Christmas – I pulled over in a lay-by not 5 minutes from my house.

A short walk on a narrow road through hedgerowed fields leads to beautiful views of my local countryside. There’s a beautiful little Chapel and a stunning listed mansion which has been converted into apartments. It was bright, sunny and crisp and I enjoyed the exercise.

I had tried to call Wild Card myself but he was on the phone. I tried to push my suspicious thoughts to one side and the fresh air helped. Before long though, he called and immediately apologised, saying his mother was talking to his brother.

The light was so bright that I couldn’t actually see him, so I wandered into the grounds of the Chapel where a little peaceful, contemplation garden could be found.

Sitting on a bench, surrounded by the deep green of rhododendron bushes, we chatted. I’d decided that if I was going to get to know him more I should try to initate more conversations and help him with his English along the way.

His English is fine. The majority of the time he can explain himself perfectly, even when he doesn’t quite know the right vocabulary. I asked him again about hobbies, travel, films etc. We have things in common!

At one point he retorted that this felt more like a police interview than a lesson. He makes me laugh.

I took the opportunity to ask more, personal, questions. He answered so sincerely that my heart warmed to him even more. The conversation ended, and I felt a little more secure about my plan to meet him. There was a definite spring in my step as I walked back to the car.

I visited my sister for a little while and my previous mood returned a little. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt in the way, but didn’t want to go home alone. After an hour, I decided it was time to go and I checked my phone to see that Wild Card had called me.

As soon as I got to the car I called him. We chatted for a little while and then my sister arrived at the car window, wondering why I hadn’t moved. She spoke to him briefly and at one point thanked him for making me smile as apparently my face had been sour before his call.

Initially, I thought she has spoken too quickly for him to follow but once she had disappeared he immediately questioned me, a smile on his face. I admitted she was right and agreed with my sister – he did make me smile.

He then asked why I had not been happy before and I explained with tears in my eyes about my impending lonely Christmas.

He asked about the kids and then my sisters and when he found out I wouldn’t be with them, he told me not to worry as he would be with me instead. Cute! We talked a little more then he went off to the gym.

As I had abandoned my friend in town (long story) but had the majority of her shopping in the car, I had offered to pick her up from the train station and take her home. We chatted, I dropped her off, then I went home.

It wasn’t long though before I realised that tonight was probably the best time to go food shopping. Very reluctantly, I set out again – not before texting Wild Card to tell him what I was doing. (I had heard nothing from Second all day, if you were wondering.)

Shopping was horrendous, as you would imagine from the last Saturday before Christmas in a large, major supermarket. As soon as I got home, seeing that he had replied to my text, I decided to call Wild Card again.

Yep, third video call of the day.

Before long, he had my in fits of laughter. He often does this. To the point that I can’t stop laughing and tears are running down my face. As addictive as constant laughing is, the look on his own face as he watches me is just… Beautiful.

Tomorrow he is probably visiting family. When I asked if he would miss me (a question which is regularly bandied about between us) he of course said no, with a cheeky look on his face and then laughter as I pretended to sulk. I told him that ‘I can’t make you miss me’ which then turned into a five minute exploration of that sentence as he tried to say it back to me. Naturally, we were both laughing at that too.

I asked him about the recent and regular pictures of lions which he has posted in Facebook, wondering if they had some religious significance that I had no idea about. He misheard me and thought I said ‘online’. He then proceeded to tell me that he always leaves his phone online but he isn’t on it. Whilst that wasn’t the answer to my question, it reassured me as it wasn’t so long ago that I’d changed the settings so I couldn’t see when he was online. Eventually he understood the lion reference and told me that he liked lions and that he particularly ‘liked the picture of the lion family: the mother, the father and the baby’. He is so cute.

All in all, a very heart warming day.