The message pinged through on my email this morning. It was from Blind Date Man (BDM). He had seen his sister over the weekend and she had been giving him a hard time for not ‘growing up’ and settling down.
Since I first encountered BDM, we have met up several times. We e-mail and text each other on a regular basis and make each other laugh. However, there has been no romantic interaction.
BDM has spoken to his sister about me on a number of occasions. And her response is that he clearly has a ‘thing’ about me (that I cannot reciprocate, which is a point of frustration for me, because he’s such a nice guy) and should therefore not continue to see me – as it is holding him back.
And so, in his infinite wisdom, BDM decided to tell me and ask what I thought about the subject!
I think the word that best describes how I felt when I read his e-mail is: “awkward”! Of course, it’s hugely flattering to know that someone ‘fancies’ you or has feelings for you. If the person is just an acquaintance, or someone you only see with a group of people, it doesn’t matter so much. But when this person is your friend. Someone you mail and text on a regular basis and see on a one to one basis, it changes the whole thing!
There is a sense of responsibility for the other person’s feelings – but it’s all confused and tied up with not wanting to be patronising.
Goodness knows I have had more than one occasion when I had feelings for someone who wasn’t remotely interested in me. On one of those occasions, I fear I was less than subtle. The man concerned was, on reflection, either lacking the maturity to cope with it (that’s the kind option), or just a shit (the more likely option)… He made me fully aware that he knew how I felt and then made clear, publically, that I was the last woman on the planet he would ever want to touch with a six foot pole. Mortifying? Heartbreaking? Oh, yes – it was one big lesson in humility!
I have no doubt that this has a lot to do with my confused feelings. But of course there is a big difference here. I would never publically humiliate anyone and the fact that I don’t want to be romantically involved with him saddens me too. He is hilariously funny, kind, good company and has accepted that I am not interested with good grace. And not many people cope well with being turned down. I honestly don’t think I’d have coped as well in his situation.
So what to do? Big sister says I’m holding him back. But there are other issues here. He has a few domestic matters to resolve. (I won’t go into them. He is not involved with anyone else – but to even try and explain would sound too comical!). And he is about to start a new job and possibly move house. For the time being, he has enough on his plate. But when these things have settled down, will I be a hindrance?
Would a prospective new girlfriend be threatened by our relationship? Are our messages to each other too personal – would a girlfriend find them unacceptable? To be honest, if I was the ‘other’ woman, I would probably find them threatening. But then, if he found someone he was serious about, he would, I am sure, be too busy texting her to be bothered to text me. The relationship between us would therefore evolve into something else.
But whether he is truly ‘in love’, or whether the frustration of not being able to have something he wants makes me seem more appealing than I probably am, is something he is unclear about himself. Either way, there is an ‘unrequited’ feeling here that is never easy to move on from.
Why is this feeling so bad? Why do we hang on for so long to the ‘idea’ of a person we’ve never had the chance to know intimately? I’m sure it’s partly our ego being damaged – but even worse than that, we are denied the intimacy that makes the person ‘real’. We can never get annoyed with them for leaving their dirty clothes on the floor, farting, burping or any number of other irritating habits.
Ultimately, if the only way he can ‘move on’ is to not communicate with me any more, I have no choice but to respect his feelings. I just hope it doesn’t come to that.