Settling – the follow up

I’m not good at having “the chat”. It freaks me out a little. It means that I have to be open with my emotions – something I’ve always struggled with. But I knew that I had to do it. I knew that I needed to be open and honest and fair. To both of us.

“I wanted to talk to you about this and what’s happening and what you see happening” I faltered. (Strong start)

He looked at me. I looked down.

“It’s just, when I go away, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Going away. I want to be completely selfish and not think about anyone but what I want to do. I don’t want to have to think about someone back here. I don’t want someone waiting for me.”

I’m not used to having “the chat” with someone so mature, understanding and rational. I’m not used to the lack of histrionics or confusion or general sense of uninterest that I got from ex boyfriends. (I’m guessing this is his Swiss-ness).

He knew from our first date that I was leaving. He has his own baggage to deal with. He understands my need to escape. He wishes he could do the same.

And since “the chat” what’s happened? We’ve seen each other more and more. And I’m realising how kind and considerate he is. I’m realising how silly he is and how he makes me laugh. I’m realising how affectionate he is. I’m realising that he makes me happy. I’m realising that I want my friends to meet him.

And so that, I suppose is that. Is he my boyfriend? Yes, I suppose he is. What will happen when I leave? I have no idea. What will happen when I come back? I have no idea.

Am I settling? I have no idea.

Am I enjoying myself? Yes.


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“You’re settling”, he said (reminding me of this post from Jo, with good reason)

“You’re settling because he’s there and because there’s no reason not to settle.”

“You’re settling because you’re leaving (Read about it here! Sponsor me here!) and you know he likes you so it’s just easier for you to keep seeing him.”

Is he right? Am I settling? Am I stringing this guy along because I can. Because he’s there and because he doesn’t seem to mind.

“He’s an adult”, she said.

“Whose fault is it if he allows himself to get into these situations?”

“If he hasn’t clarified what you want, then he only has himself to blame.”

Is she right? Should he have taken the lead and put a name on this whatever-it-is? Or is that something I, also an adult, should do?

It started out so simply (as it always does). We “met” through some dating site, we talked on Whatsapp, we exchanged information, pictures (not that type! Dirty!) ideas on the world, anecdotes about our day. We fell out of touch.

And then I got bored. As I searched through my archived chats looking for someone to talk to, I came across him. I looked at the photos again.

“Did you ever fix your cupboard?” I asked.

On our first date, I was high on drugs. A week into a sinus infection and I had finally decided that a trip to the doctors was in order. I couldn’t talk properly, couldn’t hear out of one ear, and had that dazed look of someone who’s not quite sure where they are, sort of knows that they’re supposed to be there, but doesn’t know what they have to do. We kissed.

Our second date was at a place I’d never been to, in an area of the city I’d never explored. Our third date was a Sunday. We ate pizza at home and watched old Bond films. Our fourth date involved a bottle of wine and then a desire to do nothing. So we went and did nothing together. Our fifth date wasn’t really a date. It was late on Sunday, I’d just come back from a wedding, I was tired. He was coming back from work and popped in to say hi. He left on Monday morning after driving me to work. Our sixth date is tonight.

And I’m unsure. I can’t hide that I’m unsure. I’ve been unsure the whole way through. What am I unsure about though? I’m not sure about that either.

Do I like him? Do I just like the attention? Am I just using him? Could I imagine introducing him to my friends? Would I be embarrassed to be seen out with him? Should I break it off now before he gets more involved? Should I just let it peter out while I’m away? Am I just so thrilled that I’ve met someone kind, who likes me, and wants to spend time with me, that I’m letting it drift along? Is it my own insecurities (of which there are many, dear reader) that I’m projecting onto him?

I have so many questions and so few answers.

I do, however, know one thing (well a couple of things, actually).

1. Although I’ve wanted a relationship for a while, now is not the time for one. Now is about having a little time for myself outside of the stresses of work and routine. Now is about figuring out who I am. Now is about being a little selfish.

2. Tonight I have to be the adult and find out what it is he’s looking for. And I have to be clear on what I am looking for. If he wants to continue what we have with no expectations, fine. If he’s too invested and it’s not what he wants, also fine. But we need to have an answer.

And I have to be happy with the outcome. It’s too easy for me to settle. It’s what I’ve been doing in my job for the last 3 years. It’s what I did before I moved to Switzerland. And yes, it’s what I did with N. I settled.

Now is not the time to revisit old mistakes. Now is the time for new beginnings.

And possibilities.

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