Maybe it’s not really surprising that as soon as I woke up on Friday, things seemed OK again. I went to work as normal, and everyone was in what could be described as a good mood again. It was Friday, Melanie was in one of her playful moods, people were laughing and chattering all over the place. The day passed by in a matter of seconds. I achieved the week’s target in my workload, which made it all seem so much better. At the end of the day a few of us walked back to the train station together, which was really nice. I felt like a friend to these people for the first time. I got to know them and I became known. They all pretty much know that I’m gay and I don’t drink now; according to all the signs, I’ve been accepted for who I am.

Over the weekend things also improved at home. I decided to brave the shared kitchen on Saturday afternoon, where I learned my flatmates were planning to spend the evening indoors playing board games and listening to pop music. I was invited, of course. Did I want to stay in with them?

I had only planned to spend the evening in my room eating chocolate and ice cream, anyway. I dragged myself down to Simon’s room for the evening, where the three of us laughed and screamed and bonded over a game of Trivial Pursuit. It was great fun; none of us wanted the night to end.

On Sunday morning I had my first ‘date’ in months, with someone I had met from the dating website that everyone is raving about, Guardian Soulmates. I decided to sign up last week as I was, I suppose, tired of putting off the inevitable. In my program of recovery I need ‘top line’ behaviours as well as bottom lines, and dating was always meant to be one of them. Healthy, innocent, fun dating. I met an Israeli man called Moshe in East London and we walked around the Sunday markets for a few hours. It was a really nice way to spend the morning. East London is a completely different place to the London I know. It’s rough, raw and really trendy. We sat down for coffee in the afternoon and it felt like we were really hitting it off.

I knew I really liked Moshe as soon as I met him. It was hard to tell if he liked me so much. He talked a lot, and he seemed interested in the things I had to say. When the day was over we happily agreed to keep in touch. I was strongly attracted to him by this point, and I have to confess I was very tempted to jump on him. I knew it would be wrong to do something so outrageous, so I went home without even kissing him. He made no move to touch or kiss me all day. As the hours went on I couldn’t help wondering what the lack of tactility could mean. Did he really like me? Was I attractive to him in any way? Did I put him off in real life?

Such questions cannot be answered until I see him again. If I see him again. I’d definitely like to see him again – I haven’t met anyone so normal from the internet in years. He has a lot going for him, not least the fact that he’s available and he lives nearby. The nearest I’ve come to romance in the last few years has been with a handful of men who live hundreds or thousands of miles away. Much as I have enjoyed all of my romances, I think I need to start being more realistic now.

If only dating weren’t so bloody terrifying. I must have been over why it terrifies me so many times before, I won’t go into the explanation again. Needless to say, I’m in that position once again where I don’t know what someone important thinks of me. And I have to let it go. All the wondering, waiting and wishing is too damaging. I’m too old for that now.


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