After a successful string of early dates, we established a pattern where he would meet me in my local park, we’d sip coffee and talk about all the dogs that walked by. I was too afraid his response to my text asking, “How’s London? Those same extended periods of silence and I later found out David was holding on but thought he had done something to upset me. Without any kind of clarification, without the talk, it never went anywhere. In the end David moved away, to London, forcing what we almost had to come to a rapid conclusion. Over time I felt something more was developing between us but I didn’t know if David felt the same way. I didn’t know it at the time but we were in this absurd situation where neither of us knew how strongly the other felt. There was no lift off and there was no crash into a raging fire pit of dating doom. I cried in the shower at night in the days after he left. He would playfully tickle the back of my neck and I’d wonder what that meant. I was desperately sad to see him go, but I cried mostly for the torment I felt for wondering what our stratosphere might have been like. I couldn’t shake the nervousness growing in the pit of my stomach. If you’ve ever dated you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I start looking for the lessons whenever something romantically significant ends in my life. I need to them to get better at assembling more early relationship rockets onto launchpads. It’s the phase where you bridge the gap from casual dating and into the very early beginnings of a relationship.
We had assembled the tiny beginnings a relationship in the form of a rocketship that needed to be launched. No amount of rehearsing or practice seemed to work. While you’re trying to decide if you even like him and if this might be any kind of fit for you. By never reaching out, all I was doing was being mean and confusing us both. I told myself a lack of messages meant David wasn’t interested anymore. Having had very little practice at giving the talk, I rehearsed in my head how I might start it.. If you message first, you give him all the power and you’ll never really know where you stand. It works in the first few weeks while you’re fishing around to see if there’s something there. There’s no point overthinking things because crying in the shower at night doesn’t solve anything. He’d suggest dates, but plans would magically fall through. and I had gone on maybe three dates, but we were still exchanging the occasional text months after the last time we saw each other. Instead, we were engaged in this bizarre textual limbo. It’d be one thing if we were occasionally hanging out (or even becoming fuck buddies), but that never happened.