A few months ago, I came across an article which had me saying “YES. This.” It’s called “Against Chill”.
I am decidedly un-chill. I am passionate and intense and feel deep and fall hard.
But I can cultivate chill. I talk the big brave talk about my dating rules, which 95% of the time I’m really good at following. Like I mentioned last week, I’m rather proudly blasé about not hearing from the Accountant or Mr. Fetlife. Hell, I even totally missed that Mr. Checklist and I hadn’t texted for three days.
Yup. I’m a badass chill cool cat.
For those of you who know me really well, I’m sure this will come as no surprise: I have a hard time dealing with less than stellar communication when I like someone a lot. While some of it for sure has to do with the pain of Tony, and other men I’ve liked who just evaporate, it’s deeper than that.
What I perceive as abandonment comes with an intense emotional response. My therapist would say it has to do with my father, and she’s probably right. I know it’s not rational, and it’s hard to not let it be a “gut feeling” that guides me.
Intellectually I don’t get ahead of myself and think that someone like Lewis (or, let’s be honest, Lewis) is a perfect boyfriend for me. I’m not picking out china patterns for our wedding (which is a dumb statement since I don’t want formal china ever again, but just work with me here). I 100% know there are many things I need to learn about him, and he me. If he started getting all “I want you to be my girlfriend” on the third date, it would be a big red flag.
But there is something about a lack of communication that screams REJECTION to me.
Here’s an example:
I was away this weekend and so was in sporadic communication. One day, Lewis sent me some really funny meme’s in response to a conversation we were having. Here’s one:
There were a few others that made me laugh. I shared them with girlfriends. I felt good.
Then Sunday afternoon I suggested if he wanted he could come over that night after Liam was asleep for some couch fun. Then a couple of hours later I sent him a link to an article I thought he’d like to read. Five hours after that, I received a text from him: “interesting article”. That was it. I responded and then, nothing.
I figured he could have been out on a date and didn’t want to lie, so he just ignored the invitation. I’m super aware that moving to exclusive too quickly is not what I want to do again – even if it feels like what I want in the moment.
So I wasn’t crazily fussed he didn’t respond, but it did bother me. I figure he could have at least said “hey thanks for the offer but it won’t work; looking forward to Tuesday!” But nope, I heard nothing at all.
The next morning I still didn’t have a text from him. I went onto Plenty of Fish and there he was, online. This hurt me, if I’m being honest. I figured if he had time to be on an online dating site, he had time to text me. And then the tailspin began. I started to doubt all of the things I thought were true before. I became convinced he doesn’t like me as I thought. That he’s starting to evaporate. He’s dating others who he likes more, etc etc.
Thank goodness I have friends I can share this with. They all said the same thing – it means nothing. Don’t get ahead of myself. I’m online too and not really pursuing others. so why do I assume he is? There are a myriad of reasons he may not have texted me. Perhaps he doesn’t want to appear to eager. On and on. I do know these things to be true, but I can’t get away from silence = rejection.
One of my friends, known to these parts as Madame, sent me this:
She’s right, of course. But being the Virgo analyser I am, I would argue that the lack of communication would be one of the 13 scenarios I’m right about. I even got worried that the one guy I did respond to on POF (another guy who I dated once who has reached out again; post forthcoming) was a good friend of Lewis’s and they were testing me.
My friends’ collective advice was: reach out later in the day as I would with anyone else I was making plans with. Do it 24 hours in advance of our date, and not sooner. Keep it light. Don’t mention any lack of texting. Cool my tits (there was an accompanying meme with that statement). Remember being single goes both ways.
My tits cooled, I tried to keep busy throughout the day, to moderate success. One thing I did is worthy of a new post.
It’s fascinating to me how visceral the reaction is for me, and what it triggers: an overwhelming desire to contact Tony or the Comedian, neither of which I’ve done. I’m able to resist the impulsive behavior. But I cannot avoid that emotional response. I’m working on it and I’m very thankful for the friends who are helping me through it.