Sunday, 22 June 2014

Changing states of mind

"If you like someone, you don't mind getting two texts in a row from them."
"Either do it now, or do it tomorrow."
"I think just do it now. No games. You want to see him, so just ask."
"God, I haven't seen you like this before."

My mind was in a state of flux.

It had been that way since the minute I'd woken up and brushed the button to light up my phone, ostensibly to see the time, but also to see whether there had been any deliveries overnight. And there hadn't.

Panic had set in.

"So he wanted to see you last night..."
"Yes. But it was late and too far so I suggested this afternoon and now nothing. Nothing. All day."

The feeling of all rational thought taking leave was an alien one. It was unsettling to seemingly have so much time, so much energy to devote to just one thing, one person, one bloody phone screen.

The highs and lows were disrupting the nice, level minded constant I'd put time and effort into building up. It was disconcerting. I was going nuts.

Right. What would you advise someone else in this situation?

This was the question I'd asked myself earlier on the bus, as I'd stared out of the window and envisaged a future that contained both the perfect and worst case scenarios in quick, altering succession.

I'd say you can't assume to know the motives or thoughts of someone you've known for just a week. I'd say it's hormones. I'd say what do you really know about this person? I'd say not everyone treats their phone like the messiah.

But really, I needed rational advice. I needed the real talk, the science, not the irritating "how exciting! No, but this is exciting!" exclamations of those who have been in relationships too long to remember the fear, the terror, the crippling insecurity of having feelings for someone you've known for only a week.

I needed Google.

How to stop yourself feeling completely crazy when...

When what? When you've known someone a week? When you've had a spectacularly good first date?'re on Facebook're on your period're falling in love

Google's last autocomplete threw me, and I stared at the results warily before clicking onto what I considered to be the most reputable. And then I read.
"You are under the influence of your hormones that are making you feel, all at once, euphoric, endangered, and exhausted. You are adding a dating relationship to your normal, busy routine. This can make you more anxious than normal. This process can be threatening and make you feel unsafe."
Science out of the way, I needed the reassurance from my perennially single, tell it like it is friends. I needed two gay mates and a housemate.

"Yeah, it's horrible." they agreed, "Bloody awful, liking someone. The worst."
"I know, it's so much easier when you don't care."
"Urgh, I feel for you."

Finally, I thought. People who understand.

After a while and a beer I realised that while you can't know someone else, you can know yourself. You can know how to allay your own fears - even the most startling irrational ones - or at least set them on the road to recovery.

Knowing that I'd taken the adult route, the direct route, would mean that even in the event of a Non Reply, I would feel better for trying.

I typed.

"[Full name]. Are you still free on Monday?"

It sent. It delivered. It sat there, under my last message, making my screen into a field of green.

You've known him a week. You'll get over it. Plus if he loses interest this quickly there's clearly something else going on and you do not need a problem child. Nope.

And the weird thing was, I started to feel better.

An hour passed, then two, and the strange feeling in my chest was returning to normal.

"I don't think I'll hear from him again. I think that's it", I said, as my housemate and I walked home from the park, ready for a night in.

We were mid way through unpacking a bag of shopping when my phone, discarded and in disgrace on the kitchen counter, lit up with a message.

"For you? Yes. X"

And then I fell into a state of relief.


nuttycow said...


nuttycow said...


Amelia said...

Everyone feels that nauseous feeling with 'the texting game'. It's the shittest part of getting to know someone. I miss the days when you made plans before you parted ways. And then proceeded not to talk to each other, and then you, you know, turned up for the bloody plans 2 weeks later. And then you had exciting life stuff to talk about IRL. No phones involved.

The main thing I try to remember is the idea of 'scaring someone off' is another way of saying 'they probably weren't dancing to the same hymn sheet' and in my book, that can only be a good thing so... don't be afraid of being direct about what you want, otherwise you won't get it.
Amelia x

Anonymous said...

HATE that feeling! I wish I treated my phone the same way your new date does - as frustrating as it was for you, it does seem healthier to be on that side of the fence! I'm pretty sure I am a little addicted to mine :|

Anonymous said...

p.s. YAY!! Enjoy the date!! :)

Exile on Pain Street said...

I forgot what that's like. You HATE that feeling until you haven't had it in a while and then you start to miss it.

Flo Clement said...

Literally just found your blog in the last 15 minutes and I can now foresee an afternoon of reading through all of your posts whilst trying to look busy at my work desk. x

Sean Hughes said...

Flo, I had the same feeling when I found this blog.

Jo, followed you from relationship to break up, to singledom, to promising new boy. Always great writing. And happy that you're finally getting the happiness you deserve.

leigh said...

I HATE the beginning. I've always thought that if I could wake up 3-6 months into a relationship that would suit me perfectly. Though I did quite enjoy most of the beginning with my current boyfriend, there was a huge dose of crazy in there too.

It's nice that you've met someone to feel excited about.

London-Lass said...

Glad it all worked out :)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

nuttycow - Something like that. Also scary.

Amelia - sound advice. Excellent advice, in fact. I am a firm believer in not playing games, and sticking with something for as long as you're happy with it. And I too miss the old days of dating, pre text.

Chapati - I'm trying to put the phone down a lot more. No good can come of watching a screen.

Exile - Indeed. Sometimes it's nice just to be worried about something. But mostly it's terrifying and you're lucky not to go through it any more.

Flo - I'm glad I can be of use in your procrastination :) Enjoy.

Sean - Thank you, that's nice. I'm happy for now :)

Leigh - It's strange, sometimes I hate the beginning, in other ways it's the best bit. Not this bit though. This bit was horrible.

London lass - Thank you x


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