How friendships crumble.

between date six and date seven.

This was our last real date. A lot of time had passed since we last saw each other. I had been out of town for a while and when I wasn’t she didn’t feel like meeting.
And a lot of things had been said: We wrote each other many times a day. She told me things I never expected anybody to tell me. Things that could get her into a lot of trouble. But they were safe with me and they always will be. I told her that I was a virgin, as if that wasn’t obvious already. She was very nice and understanding about it. At one point she basically offered to take my virginity, which offended me a bit. Because I never really complained about it, I never needed her pity, I don’t just want to get it over with. It has never been a huge deal for me and quite frankly now that I am slowly gaining some experience, I still value things like friendship so much more than sex. I’m often surprised how so much hate and conflicts have been sparked because of sex. Actually no. I don’t think sex has ever been the issue, but the completely unrealistic idea of love that surrounds it. Like a great white circling a baby seal.
So I told her that I’d only like to have sex with her because she wanted to have sex with me. Not to take my virginity. I think she didn’t expect that, but it was fine. It was also roughly around this time that she told me this:

[…]
You know. I think you should really go on another date with ... that one girl.
I don’t think I’m interested in you that way.
And it would feel rude to keep that to myself. In all honesty, I’m not sure, but I feel like in order to figure it out things would have to escalate, but it would be unfair to you if that would only make me realise I don’t like you that way.
[…]

To this day I will never know what exactly she meant by “that way”. Love? Sex? Friendship? I mean, I guess it must have been more than friendship. But what the fuck do I know. Also no idea what she meant with “things would have to escalate”. Sex? Vacation? Something about her kid? Was she still hiding something from me? Idk. However, things sure did escalate a lot with us and I guess she eventually figured it out. At the time I didn’t take this as serious as I probably should have. Because after all - she’s not sure! Let’s escalate! Whoohoo!
It was five days later that time she called me toxic and manipulative over not immediately reaching out after I had unmatched her on OkCupid. I had no idea. But I guess that must have really hurt her. Yet she would end up doing the very same thing to me.
Anyways. Those words “toxic” and “manipulative” hurt a lot. They fundamentally questioned my self-image, even though I’m still not sure how much she was right about it. I need to ask some people about this. Get some different perspectives on this question. To this day I sometimes ask myself: “Wait. Are you being toxic and manipulative again?”
And then she changed to a different topic. Just like that. Here was a woman infinitely more experienced in relationships and sex and all those things and yet all she could do was get really mad about the things I did or said. And then just ignore her feelings and pretend like nothing ever happened. She’s almost as shit as I am when it comes to talking about emotions.
So. She probably wasn’t into me. And that’s ok. So I tried to move on. I went on other dates and while we would sometimes talk about it, I wouldn’t keep her in the loop all the time. And why would I? She was now a friend and nothing but a friend. I had some feelings for her and I told her that. At some point I even told her that I’d probably not be interested in hooking up with her because while the night would obviously be fantastic, the next two weeks of not having her would just be a nightmare. I wish my brain wouldn’t do this. If only I had no feeling for her this could have become the greatest friendship+ of my entire life. I think the the sad truth is that when it comes to sex and relationships you don’t start out with a perfectly functioning friendship+. At least not if you’re already socially awkward and would rather always stand on public transport than sit too close to strangers.
But I kept her up to date from time to time. It’s not exactly like I went on a lot of dates at this point anyways. But I was starting to get more serious with one person and when I told her, she reacted like this:

[…]
You lied to me to make yourself look better and keep telling me about your dates.
[…]
I lost interest after the okcupid thing. Part of me thought aye no wait give the guy another chance when we started meeting up so I mean I did.
But sorry.
It’s not happening.
[…]

While obviously sad about this. I tried to accept it. I tried not to look at her as more than a friend anymore and things were mostly going fine. But I was starting to notice something. A sort of disconnect: She kept telling me that she's not interested but would then still approach me physically and romantically. I believe they call this a “Double bind”: A dilemma in communication in which an individual receives two conflicting messages, with one negating the other. And this would become extremely apparent in

date seven.

This one was again, very different. I had been back in town for quite a while when she spontaneously asked me if I wanted to get some sushi. I was very surprised by this, because. Well. I thought she wasn’t interested in me anymore:

[…]
SHE: Hey do you want to meet?
[…]
ME: I though you were the one who didn’t want to see me again?
SHE: I do want to see you again?
[…]

I declined. But offered to meet the next evening. And this is where I made the huge error of not asking what this was going to be: A date or just two friends meeting. Instead I just assumed this was not going to be a date. I accidentally came 20 minutes late, to find her outside the sushi place we had had our second date many months ago. She wasn’t happy about it. Too many things had been said between us, so I was very reserved and careful at first, but eventually we loosened up and after two cups of warm sake and a bottle of wine the spirit of our second date was back. We talked, we laughed, she was fun, she was so different than she had been on WhatsApp. More calm and nice.
It was already getting late, so we drunkly made our way to catch her train. On the subway to the train we sat next to each other, when she suddenly placed her right leg on my left leg and just looked at me. I guess she was drunk and I guess she was trying to somehow make this date end differently than all the others. I was confused by it. Suddenly the ballon of “just friends” exploded and everything was different. I remember considering to place my hand on her thigh, but I still wasn’t having it. So. As I always do, I awkwardly tried to play it off by trying to stack my other leg on top of hers. It was very weird and clearly confused the fuck out of her. God, retelling this really makes me seem like such a weirdo:)
At the train station she conveniently missed her train, so we had to wait another hour, which we spent buying more booze, getting yet another fucking lighter for her - fuckin’ smokers - and getting some snacks. She still owed me some money so she bought me more wine and made me drink the entire fucking bottle. I’m so glad I can take it, even though I usually don’t drink a lot of alcohol. We had the sudden idea to very spontaneously take the next train to Paris and spend a few days there. I would have actually 100% done it. These are exactly the kinds of dumb decisions I need in my life right now. Also. I was drunk. We almost bought the tickets. In the end she only stopped because she didn’t have anybody to look after her child.
Her train was early. I had at this point already learned one thing about trains and dating: Friends sit across, couples sit next to each other. So I sat down across from her. I was wasted and laid my head on the table between us, she started fumbling with her smartphone so I tried to make her stop by randomly pressing my fingers onto the screen. She immediately took my fingers between her teeth and just kept typing with both hands. I proceeded to do the exact same thing with my other hand and suddenly both my hands were partly stuck inside her mouth. She was biting me while my fingers started playing with her tongue. It was at this point that the old man next to us got up with a sigh and found himself a differnet seat. I was too drunk to comment on how dumb all of this was. I don’t think I said anything. I didn’t arouse me as much as it was just absolutely weird and hilarious. But also fascinating, just a thing I had never done before. Later she bit me in my wrist and I did the same to her. She asked me to pet her again. I declined.
Again I stayed on the train for a few stops util I had to leave. As if to finally finish this she gave me a big kiss on the right cheek and said goodbye. I remember standing up and realising how drunk I was. I remember how I wanted to give her a massive hug. How I wanted to kiss her goodbye. Instead I stumbled out of the train like a drunk idiot with a smile on my face, as I heard her giggle about my clumsiness behind me. My last thought was: I will never see you again. And in a way I was probably right.

today.

Fuck. I just started reading some of the old chat logs I still have and god, we did have a lot of fun writing! I miss that. It actually made me laugh, which is weird because I’m writing this in a packed cafe. I don’t think anybody noticed though. But this is the feeling I’d like to remember. Joy instead of pain.

Since all of this had happened I’ve started to become a lot more conscious about my mental health and I realised how often I purposefully make myself sad:

  • Why put on a sad song when you already feel like shit? It really doesn’t help. It’s actually about the worst thing you could do.
  • Why do I keep thinking that I need some alone time, only to then sit alone on the couch feeling sorry for myself? Instead I could be spending time with my friends.
  • Why rewatch a beautiful but tragic movie, only to make myself cry at the end. Why not watch a new movie instead! How about a comedy?
  • Why allow my thoughts to go to dark places when I’m alone in my bed and can’t fall asleep? Instead I could meditate, listen to ASMR, talk to a friend, get some ice cream. Do whatever helps to distract me. Makes me feel better. I just need to do it. I just need to not give up.

A huge part of being sad and depressed is allowing yourself to feel those emotions too much. I know that I can do sth. against this most of the time. I only need to be aware enough to notice when negativity takes over and act accordingly. Training myself to apply this kind of mental first aid has been extremely difficult, but it has been working surprisingly well. Well, shit. I never wanted this blog to turn into a digital self help book. I guess it’s already too late for that. Sorry.


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