After my earlier brief post, I wasn’t going to post again today but once I came across the daily prompt being the word ‘label’, it reminded me of a time that I think changed me a lot, and something that I don’t openly talk a lot about that I thought would be a good chance to put into words.
I came out an almost five year relationship at the beginning of 204 after a misunderstand of what went on at a work night out – long story short, my ex was convinced that I’d cheated on him. I didn’t. Leading on from that was my first experience of being properly single. I had been with my ex since I was 16 and being almost 21 by this time I had never really been one for going out to clubs and wildly drinking while “on the pull”. Oh, how that quickly changed.
I had my fun for the first half of the year, enjoying all this new attention I was getting as I started going out more. It filled me with confidence. In high school I was relentlessly bullied for my looks, and the only real attention that I’d had was from my ex. Seeing people openly say they found me attractive and actually wanting to talk to me and dance with me and kiss me was exhilirating to say the least. It was completely new for me, and it made me feel so much more happier in my own skin. I was fully enjoying my life.
In October 2014, I met someone online. I had been using Tinder for a while on and off talking to people but something just clicked with this person. We quickly exchanged numbers and Snapchat and began sending ~pictures~ and messaging. It wasn’t something that I’d previously felt comfortable enough to do but there was something abotu this guy that just made me feel so at ease. I trusted him completely, and as time went on I found myself eager to speak to him more and more. After around 3 weeks we eventually met for the first time, in his car on a rainy night as he drove through from another city to meet me. It was exactly as I’d pictured it. He was lovely, so sweet and so good looking. I couldn’t believe my luck. Here was this perfect person, someone who gave off the impression that he really liked me too and wanted to continue seeing me. I was so excited.
A few weeks after that, we met up again. We stayed over at a hotel and drank cider and watched cheesy movies and just simply enjoyed each others company. Things only grew from there. We never went a day without talking, eventually never went more than a week or two without seeing each other. When we first started seeing each other, we were only casually sleeping together. I was fine with that. I could deal with that – it was clear to me what this was. However, as time went on, things developed. We started making plans to do things that wasn’t just sex. We’d go to the cinema, go bowling, go to the zoo, spend time with each other without the sex. One time, I was feeling extremely low and he drove the 80 mile round trip just to keep me company. I had fell deeply for this guy and it was driving me insane.
All I wanted was for him to want me the way I wanted him. I was crazy about him, I wanted him to be with me. I couldn’t understand how we could do all these things together, how we could go on all these dates and how he could kiss me and text me all day every single day and yet still insist to me: “we’re just friends, I don’t want to put a label on us.”
It was unhealthy. I know that now. The anxiety of it all, the constant wondering if he secretly liked me the way I liked him, if he yearned for me the way I did him. If he treated me in regards to seeing other people the way I stopped seeing everyone for him. I eventually told him how I felt and that was the beginning of the end. He told me he didn’t feel the same, and eventually we slowly drifted apart.
I think looking back, this probably had a much bigger impact on my mental health than I would have paid attention to at the time. The anxiety of it all wore me down, and there were days that I was feeling extremely low because I felt like I was giving my all to this one person who was giving me the most confusing signals. My rose tinted glasses had a huge impact on this. I spent a year desperate for this person to love me the way I loved them, and wasted a year dreaming of what wasn’t meant to be.
It didn’t ruin me for the long run though. Not long after this, I realised that the one person that I needed wasn’t him. Ross worked with me for the same length of time that I’d been ‘seeing’ this other guy, and had been openly honest with me about his feelings for me – and it started a whoe fire in my that I realised I’d been hiding. I tentively went into this new territory and started seeing him a few months later. I quickly learned from my mistakes though and bit the bullet with Ross, I wasn’t going to have a repeat heartache again. After 3 weeks of dating I asked him to be my boyfriend and we haven’t looked back since.
I guess that I’ve learned from this is to never shy away about talking to someone about how you feel about them. As scary as it might be, you don’t want to emd up in the position I put myself in, desperately clutching to something that isn’t clear to you because the other person wants to have the best of both worlds even if that isn’t what’s best for you.
Ending on a positive, I decided to make the feature photo for this post this photograph of Ross strolling in a gorgeous green garden because if I didn’t go through that year, I wouldn’t get to walk through life with this one.
Label – a daily prompt.