I've been thinking that all I ever seem to post nowadays are movie haikus and gig photos, so here's a more personal tale just for a change.
So I met this girl online (let's call her V) on a dating website fairly recently. She found me actually, I was intrigued and sent her a message... we exchanged email addresses and so began a seven week courtship of emails, instant messages, then later, texts and a proper chat. Always tinted with sarcasm, often flirty, our banter was fun and seemed to be leading somewhere. We arranged to meet - a weekend at V's was on the cards. Fast forward to last Saturday; armed with a bunch of flowers I made the journey to her city, 90 mins north of London. It was a comedy of errors as I arrived at the bus stop and she wasn't there... then arrived at her place to discover she'd gone to the bus stop! We met on a bridge and she was exactly as I'd imagined - bright (she's just got her MA degree), funny, a thick Eastern European accent and incredibly beautiful with the most gorgeous blue eyes you've ever seen. We had a drink in the nearest pub, then strolled along the river and through the park as it was a lovely sunny afternoon, talking all the way. Everything was fine, or so I thought... then we got back to the bridge and V told me that she didn't want me to stay and she didn't think it was working out. That kinda knocked the stuffing out of me! Call me a typical bloke but I thought we'd been getting on okay. I asked her if I was different to what she'd expected but she said no, she couldn't really put her finger on what it was... so I'm still a bit baffled. I guess what hurt most though was that she didn't want to hang out as mates, regardless of whether there was a spark or not, and to me that felt like a rejection of our whole friendship. In her defence V had friends moving into her flat that afternoon so she was feeling stressed about that (plus it could have been awkward if they stayed over that night too) and she had a pile of work looming on Sunday afternoon, but even so, she knew all of this before I came... Oh well, I guess you never really know a person until you meet them in the flesh. V warned me to approach our date with zero expectations and in retrospect I was unwise not to heed her advice... more fool me.
So what have I learnt from this experience? Well, getting rejected sucks, but I knew that already. Seriously though, we should never have arranged to meet up for a whole weekend. V actually said that she normally only meets for a coffee on a first date and that sounds a lot more sensible, so quite why she agreed to our plans I don't know, but I suppose I was coming quite a distance. That's another thing - long distance. Always a tough one that. It was never going to work... well, it would taken one hell of an effort. Meeting up maybe one out of every three weekends is no way to begin a new relationship, what was I thinking? Local girls in future then... or maybe London, hey, it's only an hour away. Anyway... it's times like these when you're at your lowest that you appreciate your true friends and thankfully I had two in the shape of Dolores and Mike in London who came to my rescue on Saturday night and made sure I had a smile on my face before I made my way back home to Brighton.
As a postscript to all this V said she'd keep in touch. I emailed her on Monday but said I'd understand if she didn't want to reply. There's been no response.
No regrets though.
[ Updated 2nd October: I received an email from V today apologising for what happened. There were other factors at play on that Saturday which I'm now aware of and I can understand why she'd been so distracted... I just wish she'd said something at the time. Anyway, I'm glad we're back in touch and she's not as cold-hearted as I perhaps made her out to be. ]