I met this guy 4 years ago on POF, he was Mediterranean looking and had these big brown eyes and a cute smile. I’ll call him Muay Thai Boxer or MTB for short. At the time I was also seeing another guy i’ll shorten to P. P and I had been dating on /off for 6 months but I could just tell he was dating other women. MTB and I had good banter and I found myself wanting to talk to him constantly. We organised to meet at the Aviary bar one Thursday. I’d had a glass of Chardonnay before at work to get rid of the nerves but I think it hit me a bit hard.
I remember arriving at the bar and thinking this guy was really really cute and I loved his smile. We laughed and chatted all night and I was being myself 100% doing voices. Voices!? I can’t do weird voices with any guy I like?!? We had an amazing dinner, kissed and off I went back onto the Metropolitan line. The next day P got in touch, asking me what I had got up to yesterday, I mentioned I had gone on a date with this amazing guy and that’s when things changed, or at least for a week or so.
Having heard I was dating others and the threat of MTB, he wanted to meet that night to talk about being exclusive. “I don’t want you dating anyone else” so in the confusion of the night befores occurrences I just stayed quiet, he said it again, but what did I want? I had wanted him to tell me this for ages and yet I had just met an amazing guy, but I didn’t know MTB, I hadn’t spent as much time with him as I had with P. so I said to him ok let’s do this. I was gutted to end it with MTB but the timing just wasn’t right and he didn’t deserve to be dating someone who was in it half heartedly.
… of course I made the wrong choice. The next time p and I met, I mentioned exclusivity to which he retracted, he was the commitment phobe of all commitment phobes and clearly wanted to win the game of ‘you chose me over another guy’ and so i ended it quite shortly after, fucking prick.
Throughout the 4 years MTB and I kept in touch, on Facebook, WhatsApp. When I was working in the Wharf we met for lunch at Wahaca. I remember to this day the butterflies and nerves I felt seeing him again. He mentioned he was going travelling a couple months later, I initially felt disappointed, not sure why, considering what had happened between us before, he probably didn’t even want to pursue anything and I wouldn’t have blamed him, but oddly we kept in touch. His photos in Oz and Thailand (at a Muay Thai boxing camp… hence the name) would cascade on my newsfeed, he’s looking good and he looks happy I’d think to myself and sometimes we would speak for days on end. But we never met again.
Fast Forward 2 years to May 2017
With the blog topic #NotIntoYou I messaged a selection of guy friends I had in my WhatsApp, asking what the most savage way they had told someone they weren’t interested… to which MTB replied he hadn’t ever done anything he would classify as ‘savage’, and that’s when it dawned on me what I had done all those years ago. This was a guy who was funny, intelligent, caring and kind and I had let him go for some idiot.
From the conversation we got talking again and arranged to meet up. He was a little distant a few days in the run up to the date. I got paranoid, completely oblivious to how he might have been feeling considering what had happened last time. He didn’t seem excited and so I questioned him on it. We met at Adventure bar, I was early for once and again was nervous and excited to see him. I got into the bar, ordered us 2 Aperol Spritzes and waited. He finally turned up 10 minutes late. We got chatting, and he goes: “You asked me why I’m not excited, do you blame me? With what you did last time I’m cautious, come on. I want to be on it but I have to be wary.” I was quite taken aback but he had a point. I hadn’t thought about it that way.
We moved into the tunnel area of the bar and sat at a table. As soon as we got a seat he pulled me in for a kiss. We continued chatting and he started to go on how he was so fed up of dating and it never working out. I knew how he felt, I go through the same crap, meeting guys endlessly and not finding anyone meaningful. So the evening continued as we went to find food. We were roaming the streets of Covent Garden hand in hand choosing different options. It felt like we were or had been together for a while. we stumbled across this cute place called Fumo which had cichetti (italian style tapas), we were holding hands, choosing dishes, laughing and I sensed he felt the same. “Don’t you ever look at happy couples in restaurants? Well now it’s our turn.” He’d say as he went to kiss me. I was smitten.
Over the dinner he mentioned he was going on holiday for two weeks that Sunday. It was bad timing but the date had gone so well I wanted to make the effort to keep it going till he’d come back. The next day on the Saturday I suggested going to a comedy show. – yes I was suggesting the next day and it seemed keen but I didn’t care, I wanted to see him again before he went away. Instead he was quite off standish and replied late into the afternoon. Giving him some space, I then messaged him that next Thursday. He hadn’t actually gone away. My instant thought was like right, so he hadn’t even gone and yet still wasn’t bothering to speak to me. Charming.
In a bid to show him I was into him after he showed his insecurity of previous dates not materialising, I wanted to reassure him I wasn’t going to do what I had done 4 years ago again and told him “I’m putting my cards on the table – I like you”. Because I did, and just like he had told me, I too was fed up of playing stupid games and not knowing where I stood. I liked him and wanted to progress things.
See in my opinion this is where it may have started going down hill. When attending the Get The Guy seminar that following Saturday one of the first things Steve said:
“Never ever EVER tell a guy you like him before he tells you. You put them on a pedestal and it makes it static, the guy will know you like them and stop making the effort instantly, why would they need to make the effort with you if they know they’ve won you over already?”
‘Fuck’ I remember thinking to myself.
Having been hurt so many times he had his guard up and I got it I did, but by putting up a guard only blocks yourself from truly allowing yourself to meet some one and to truly fall in love. As Friday came along I started sensing, he just isn’t feeling this like I am. I should have got the hint there and from what I had learnt: IF HES NOT IN TOUCH – HE IS NOT INTO YOU.. but truth is, I didn’t want to believe it.
From past experiences when I’ve dated a guy and we both felt it we both kept the communication going, a good morning text a good night text, but this was radio silence. He clearly didn’t actually care to ask how I was because he genuinely didn’t give a shit. When he got back we agreed a date for Friday. On Thursday at my colleagues leaving do at a rooftop in east London and after a few cocktails, I was debating whether to text him or not to double check for Friday. Was he now paying me back for what I had done 4 years ago? He was now making me chase him. He couldn’t be bothered to find a place and asked me for recommendations (erm, Google ‘cool bars’?!) this annoyed me as I had been so forward that the minimum he could have done was to make the effort to organise the location. He then suggested Dirty Martini in Covent Garden, the pokiest, loudest place ever. And how boring. Just a bar with cocktails. So of course I took over and found Drink Shop Do that did marshmallow tower building.
So last Friday we met at King’s Cross but he seemed different, he had a different vibe going on. we got to the bar, We sat down and it was a little awkward. We had had those massive conversations over the last two weeks since the second first date and I wasn’t sure what to say. After a few sips of my G&T the nerves wore off and we were ourselves. As we began to build this ‘tower’ with marshmallows and sticks I felt this electric current as our hands touched. Ugh I was so into him and the way he was acting made me want him even more.
We headed out shortly after to all bar one and had more cocktails. As the night went on and I think the tipsier I got, the more I stupidly revealed. ‘you don’t want to tell me what you feel as you’re worried what I will respond with’ he said… ultimately deep down I knew something was off between us so it was a no brainer what he meant.
Conversation following the date became more distant, I knew he was going through some stuff with work, so I kept my distance, until enough was enough. I just had to end things. I was investing myself into this so much more than he was and ultimately we weren’t on the same page.
I’m gutted as for the first time in a long time I felt like I had connected with someone on another level. I have gone from date to date feeling very meh about them so finally when I felt that spark, I was too full on. But then that is who I am. My friends always act all ‘cool cucumber’, but I just can’t, if i like them i just go a little bit crazy, because when I know, I know.
But there is only so much effort one person can put in. Yes I had made that mistake all those years ago, but I didn’t deserve to be treated like this and when the effort or feeling isn’t reciprocated, sometimes you need to know when it’s time to just throw in the towel and walk away.