THE DATING PROJECT #18. DEAR JOHN
Commitment phobic. The question is raised; is it really us, not them?
Is this the start of something wonderful for Lou Lou? She’s had her fourth date with Man #10 and he’s still hanging in there.
She doesn’t know quite what to make of all this but it could just herald the end of her current lively dating period while she works out whether this one is worthy of her undivided attention – at least for a while.
Meanwhile, Eloise has pulled the plug on her over-eager suitor. We pondered on how best to do this – did she have to wait to do it in person?
Was it fair to write a Dear John email?
In the end she went for the latter, so she could write a kind and thoughtful letter and let him down gently. We’d be interested in hearing your thoughts about breaking up to learn how our readers handle this difficult issue. If this has happened to you, was it via a phone-call, a Dear Joan letter or heaven forbid, a text! Love to hear how your male dates have conveyed the bad news and how you reacted. Funny or tragic stories most welcome.
First, Lou Lou ponders over whether this is a budding romance:
As I begin to collect my thoughts for my next post, Whitney Houston decides to make a guest appearance into the busy space that is my brain. She is belting out an amazing and heartfelt rendition of “How will I know if he really loves me” — this is from her pre-crack days so there are no pitch issues here.
Why is Whitney here? Well, I have gone on four dates in total with Man #10 and unlike Whitney I get a distinct vibe he likes me. Yay! The trouble is, I’m not sure I do. And I’m feeling like a dumb ass. Surely I should know if I like a guy or not. I mean, come on! I know I like white anchovies, orange-scented perfume and oils, cake mixture, moody lady rock, Paris, Berlin, manners and thank you cards. And I know I dislike excessive signage, women applying makeup on public transport, fake fingernails, rhinestones, sweet corn, thin moustaches and Mark Rothko.
So why don’t I know about Man #10? And if I don’t know why the hell am I kissing him, playing with his hair… And wait for it… Sleeping with him!
I know, I know but… A gabble of girlfriends convinced me over wine that this was the final criteria in knowing. It was positioned to me that one way or another post-shag I would know. I was desperate for a definitive answer. Afterwards, however I was more confused than a virgin skimming through the Beginner’s Guide to Karma Sutra.
Here are a couple of observations feeding the doubt:
1. I feel an innate sense of responsibility towards a man that feels more for me than I do for him. Florence Nightingale over here wants to protect him from a lifetime of pain should I eventually decide that this is not for me.
2. I’ve always gone out with people I know so usually the only thing to still get to know is their body and how to turn them on. It’s overwhelming to do the two things at the same time.
3. Finally I’m not sure if this is an elaborate ruse conceived by my complex, yet cowardly brain to sabotage any potential beginnings of a budding romance. Is all of this doubt not only a means to outwit commitment but a well-formed habit of mine?
Oh nooooooo… *Light bulb moment*!
Am I just about to crack the Da Vinci code here? Is all this not knowing simply a means to get out of doing something that terrifies me more than a bikini wax? (I think the concept of a complete stranger applying hot wax to a region 95% of the population has never seen is absolutely petrifying). Am I terrified of being in a relationship?
But is all of this fair to Man #10? He’s not interested in the Da Vinci code — he’s interested in the Da Vagina and the woman that comes with it.
When I still don’t know, should I go on Date No.5 with Man #10?
FYI: Man #10 comes with initiative, witty banter, quirks, manners, intelligence, a hot body, and the ability to be consistently awesome in bed.
Rob says: Careful not to get fear and instinct confused Lou Lou—it can be challenging to get an accurate read of your feelings when your body is flooded with adrenaline. Maybe give your doubts some downtime while you get to know Man #10 at a pace that feels right for you both. And don’t worry too much about who likes who more as it’s totally normal for feelings of affection to fluctuate as you’re getting to know one another. So when you catch yourself thinking ‘Florence’ thoughts, step back and consider that Man #10 may be willing and able to take responsibility for the emotional risks involved in wooing a Lou Lou.
Bettina says: Don’t know whether you are still thinking of meeting other people but I do feel you should give Man #10 your undivided attention for a while to see what happens. And maybe you can move on from dating to just hanging out together, doing the supermarket shopping, sharing normal weekend stuff. That’s the only sure way you will get to know him well enough to begin to work out if he could possibly light your fire.
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