It’s been about two months since I first met him. He was standing alone, nursing a beer at my favourite cocktail bar. I was a bottle of wine and some delicious gin cocktails down and feeling cheeky. The night ended with some exceptionally teenage snogging in an underground club (literally underground, it’s in the cellars of the old town), cups of tea on my sofa, and talking until 4 in the morning.
When we see each other it’s hiking trips, boat trips, meals, drinks, laughter (lots of that one), weird conversations, deep conversations, not so deep conversations, challenge, sarcasm, fun.
When we see each other, it’s great. Here’s a guy that I not only find stupidly hot, but makes me laugh and makes me think.
But… (there’s always a but, isn’t there)
As I explained in my last quick and dirty post there is a problem. As a naturally verbose person, I like to see that trait in others. As with all women, contact gives me reassurance. It tells me that the other person is thinking about me. It tells me that the other person still likes me. It tells me that I don’t have to worry.
So when Swissie (for yes, he is Swiss) goes AWOL for 4 days, I let the crazy out. I stress, I worry, I question myself, I resign myself to a single life forever. Until, that is, he gets back in touch. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I am, in the words of Please Don’t Eat With Your Mouth Open Jo, being dangled.
I don’t know. (Get used to this phrase, it’s likely to be a recurring theme)
Anyway, long and short of it, I finally came to the decision that Swissie and I needed “The Talk” (TM). You know the talk I mean. The “Where is this going? What are we doing?” talk. The “I need commitment” or the “I don’t want commitment” talk. That talk. (Guys claim they don’t know what The Talk is. Fact is, women always make the guy have The Talk, they just don’t let them know about it.)
I had attempted The Talk a couple of weeks ago. Problem was, it was a Friday night and Swissie and I decided that having lots of wine and cocktails was much more fun. Therefore the deep and meaningful talk we ended up having, draped over the bar in which we first met, was a little slurry and, ultimately, forgotten by the next morning.
Last night was different. Last night, we were to have The Talk.
3 glasses of wine in (note: Swiss glasses of wine, not the half bottle glasses you get in the UK) and I was no closer to broaching the subject. We were having fun, The Talk was going to ruin that, wasn’t it? I sent a plaintive text to Monsieur de la Pérouse at 8.30.
Not going well (in the fact it’s the wrong time/place and too loud) I don’t know whether we’ll have the chat tonight.
And yet, an hour later:
OK – so we talked. He gets it. Neither of us knows the solution.
Swissie and I had The Talk. I told how I felt when he went off and didn’t get in touch. How I questioned everything. That I wasn’t sure how he felt about me or what he wanted. That when he just disappeared it made me feel awful. (I may have looked completely pathetic at this point. Believe me, I felt it. Emotions, and talking about them, is not a strong point.)
The conversation went back and forth but it boils down to the following:
- He doesn’t know what he wants
- I don’t know what I want
- He feels like he’s having some sort of mid-life crisis at the moment and so is concentrating (“very selfishly, I know”) on now and not thinking about the future.
- When he met me, he wasn’t looking for anything. He still doesn’t think he is. (“do you want children?”, “not now, no”, “ever?”, “maybe, but not for a few years”)
- He can see how upset his behaviour makes me and understands (or rather, he probably doesn’t, but says that he does) that it makes me feel uncertain but that I shouldn’t feel that way (“but I do”, “but you shouldn’t”, “but I do”, “but you shouldn’t” – this went on for quite a while)
- When he goes away, it’s not that he’s not thinking about me (which is how I feel when he doesn’t get in touch) but that he doesn’t think about anything or anyone outside of what he’s doing (“and yes, I know, I’m being incredibly self-centered”)
At the end of a sad, long, involved, honest, thoughtful conversation it came down to two options.
- We continue as we are and I have to deal with his predication for disappearing and being slightly unreliable – which is making me unhappy
- We call it a day – which would make me unhappy
“Frankly,” I mused, looking at him, “neither of those options appeal to me.”
“So what do we do?”
“I don’t know. Find a third way?”
Wine glasses drained and rain temporarily stopped, we walked home together. We chattered over tea. We half watched American Pie. We had more tea. It was suddenly midnight.
“It’s time you seduced me” I said.
And so he did.
There is just something about the way he looks at me sometimes. He gazes at me, a half smile on his face, his hand stroking my hair, he looks at me as if I’m the most incredible person he’s ever seen (or, if I was to be cynical, I’d say that he was thinking to himself how incredibly stupid I am).
And so there we are. An impasse. As I was rightly told last night before I went out:
I’d say that whatever happens, you won’t be happy with it.
And so, now what?
I don’t know.
I know that if I had to give him up, I’d be unhappy. I know that the majority of what he is makes me happy. I know that he’s never going to be the perfect guy. I know I can’t change that. Should I hold out for someone who’s perfect in every way? Does that guy exist?
I know that we have a lot of fun together. I know that I enjoy his company (despite his odd turns of phrase). I know that, right now, he’s what I want.
I also know I’m not stupid. I know that this is likely to end in my heartbreak. But isn’t it enough that I’m having fun, for now? Isn’t it enough that we just take it as it comes? Is it?
There is no third way.
We’re trying to find one.