Over…

Annoyingly, this post would be much better in context. I started and finished a post two days ago but never published it. I explained my last post and my negativity. I expressed my absolute love of Wildcard.

Yesterday however my relationship was over. Almost.

Before I get into why, I have realised something. I am, as a person;

Often overwhelmed

Always Overthinking

Frustratingly Over weight

Frequently Over planning

Resulting in being Over tired

I really wish I wasn’t.

Yesterday I had made tentative plans to meet my London friend for lunch. Due to some unforseen circumstances, it didn’t happen. So we chatted as normal. That’s when she told me that Wildcard had sent her a friend request, that morning, on Facebook.

Some context here. Wildcard wasn’t happy when I went to visit her in London. He wasn’t happy when he discovered – accidently – that she and I discuss a lot about our relationships. He doesn’t understand our friendship. He spoke to her briefly when I was in London and I have sent a screenshot of her profile during a conversation. He knows what she looks like.

Some more context. It was agreed between us (after some naive, innocent but silly actions where I really annoyed him) that if friends or family contacted us through social media we should discuss with each other before accepting. This is what he did when my mother made a friend request.

So, you can imagine how I felt. Why had he done this? Did he know who she was when he sent the request? Is he doing this to other women? Is he spying on me through her? Does he not trust her? Or me? Is it a coincidence that he does this on a day we were supposed to meet up (and looked unhappy about it)?

She offered to proceed how I wished – add him and test him to see what he would do. I refused. To set a honeytrap is showing distrust. I didn’t do it when I first met him and I’m not going to do it now.

In the end, due to my overwhelming emotions and anxiety, I contacted him and had it out with him.

He claims it was an accident and he didn’t intend to do it.

We argued over his whole social media profile, and not for the first time. Being 9 years younger than me, he uses social media in a completely different way than I do. It’s not a way to connect with friends and family but a means to an end – he wants to build his profile and make money from it. He has never hidden this. He has never hidden his profiles or pages. I know there are thousands of women on his sites and he has told me about them. He is a handsome man. And he isn’t the only one who has pages like that. Doesn’t mean I like it though. I hate it.

We’ve also discussed the fact that I am a hidden relationship. His culture doesn’t believe in dating. What we are doing is against the laws, culture and religion of his country. I know this. I know this is why I am absent from his social media – just another name amongst thousands.

But being told by someone else that his pages look like ‘a dating site’ and that I am noticeably absent was heart wrenching. So I brought it up- even though I knew why – and listened to his reasons again. I told him I was nothing. No one knew about me – we are not ‘serious’ as in not engaged so I am nothing.

I could go on and on, just as the conversation went on and on. There were two further conversations about the situation. The upshot is, he maintains he accidently sent her the friend request, that he has never hidden his plans for his social media accounts or the number of women on them. He repeatedly told me he loved me and wants to be with me. He is certain about me. I’m his only one. But he admitted, again, that he is uncertain about his future and is reluctant to have to start again at zero.

Unwillingly at first, I discussed this with my close family. They believe his reaction to my planned trip and the timing of the friend request are no accident. They feel it is likely that he was checking her out either because he doesn’t trust her (which he doesn’t) or to find a vantage point to check I was doing what I said I was. My sister even thought in checking out her page he may have accidently sent the request. My daughter agreed having done this herself. This sounds like him, to be honest. Controlling, yes. Paranoid and wary, absolutely. But then, so am I.

During the day there were two moments where I thought we were over. I didn’t think I could ever trust him again. I don’t know if I believe his story even now. My London friend certainly doesn’t. She thinks he is a player and a liar. I haven’t heard from her all day.

The other was when we were both angry. Neither of us wanted it though.

But I’m not over it. Not by a long shot. There is a heaviness in my soul now that hasn’t shifted all day. I’m tired and miserable. By the end of day yesterday, I’d had all the confirmations of his feelings I have longed for. My London friend would say that he knows how to talk me round.

He may have contacted her because he was interested in her.

He may have contacted her by accident as he prowled her account.

He may have contacted her to check up on me, in the hope she wouldn’t recognise him, as she posted pictures of our day together (something I don’t do.)

He may have contacted her to add further numbers to his social media.

At this moment it’s hard to know the truth.

My heart was ripped out yesterday. It’s easy to believe the worst when you are anxious. It’s even easier to believe the best when you’re in love with someone.

I don’t know if I will get over this. My London friend thinks he has wormed his way back and I will forgive and forget. Maybe she is right. Maybe my family are right. Either easy, what I know for certain is I won’t forget about it. This isn’t over.

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.

Social media stinks

Warning, this post involves a soap box rant. 

I have not got a twitter account. I’m not on instagram or snap chat or any other of these, frankly, pointless and trouble causing excuses for entertainment and communication tool.

I do have a Facebook account. I never go on it. And if I had enough time to waste on trying to extract the photos I once put on there and now no longer have (thanks to an old laptop – RIP) I would then cancel that too. 

I got sick of people telling me what they were eating at that moment. I got sick of the not so cryptic and far too public dramatic comments designed to elicit a multitude of “What’s up hun?” “inbox me” etc etc. 

My real hatred though has come from my job. I cannot tell you how many social media issues we deal with every day. 

Thing is, there are no controls. With social media, teenagers can create their own worlds and their own hierarchy. They can recreate themselves without fear. Hiding behind the security of their screens, in the comfort of their own homes, they can ridicule and bully in their adult free world. 

So you know your perfectly well behaved daughter? Online, she can have the confidence to be one of the ‘cool’ kids by posting what she thinks her peers will find socially entertaining. Naively, she won’t think that her comments will leave the imagined walls of her virtual chat room. They always do, eventually. 

Daily, I get to read the most sexually explicit, sexist, racist, homophobic, disablist posts often written by children 12 to 14 years of age.  Social media does not hone their communication skills or their social skills. It teaches them sly ways to ridicule and humiliate. 

Please don’t think my school is any different from any other. We are a true comprehensive with children coming to school on public buses or in top of the range Mercedes. All kids have mobile phones and Internet access. My colleagues in schools in neighbouring boroughs are having exactly the same problem:this is the digital age, after all. 

Encourage your children to socialise with their friends in person. Share with them the dangers of social media and explain how publicly humiliating the written word can be – worse than any verbal teasing as so many more people will access it than would ever hear it. 

If I had my way, social media would be banned to under 18’s. Or preferably, altogether.