Tuesday 8th July

12pm

That’s it. It’s time for me to let my guard down with J. I need to know where I stand – where the hell this relationship is going. Does he want a casual fuckbuddy or a serious relationship? I can’t stand the suspense any more. Fuck it, if honesty scares him off then so be it. I need to know the truth.

1pm

It took an hour, but I’ve pressed send on the message. He’s replying quite quickly today. Yes, he wants a serious relationship, not just casual. Phew! But he doesn’t want to rush into anything. He wants to take time and get to know me before committing to anything, because he always rushed before and it led to nothing but pain.

That makes sense. I guess I don’t want to rush either. Well, I know it’s best not to rush. I know it doesn’t serve anyone when you decide to fall in love after a few weeks, only to find yourself single and lonely again a month later. I did that with M and it would be so boring and pointless to have it happen again.

That said, I can’t help feeling as if I’ve already made my mind up about J, and I don’t want to wait any longer for this to become something more than just sex. I mean, we’ve been to bed together now so I’m not exactly sure what it is J is waiting for.

I was a bit surprised just now when A said that going to bed with someone doesn’t tell you anything about whether that person is right for you in a relationship. Surprised not by the idea, but surprised by the fact I’d forgotten. I should’ve learnt that lesson twelve years ago when I lost my virginity to G – as soon as we’d done the deed I thought we were boyfriends. A week later I was rudely brought back to earth when he said “what relationship?” in a text message. Clearly I’ve become so complacent in the intervening years, so confident in how much I’d grown up I forgot the basics.

I don’t know what to do. I can’t let this ruin another day and stop me from functioning properly again. I guess I need to decide whether I’m happy waiting for J to make his mind up. I’m disappointed that I had to pluck up the courage to ask today, only to get a vague answer that doesn’t mean anything. But I don’t regret asking – I think I have a right to ask.

No, three or six or twelve months isn’t a long time. Technically I know I could wait and let this develop naturally. Let’s face it, not waiting never worked for me in the past. If I look at the common denominator in all past relationships, rushing into things was the standout winner. This is supposed to be the new me in 2014 – I should be embracing a refreshing new way of doing things now.

I keep thinking about Mad Men, the series I’ve been enjoying on Netflix all year – in that, the characters seem to rush into everything, and it seems to work for them. If Mad Men is to be believed, it was the norm for people to propose marriage within weeks in the 60’s. Just because it was 50 years ago was the norm necessarily wrong? Were people really unhappy when it was more acceptable for them to make their feelings known straight away?

Jesus, I know how my feelings change and I know it’s impossible for me to say right now whether I’ll still be as keen on J in a year’s time as I am now. But why does that automatically mean I have to keep it zipped now, pretend like I’m fine with just the odd encounter, keeping our lives entirely separate until one day he wakes up and decides it’s the right time?

*****

Swimming tonight was great. I managed 45 minutes in the pool this time, which of course I’m pleased with because it’s more than I’ve ever done. Afterwards we went out for dinner and P’s friend M came along for the company. The sad fact is I’ve confided in pretty much everyone I know about J, and today M got to hear all about it too. His advice was surprisingly relevant: basically, I ought to just chill out, be my usual independent self, act normal at all times in spite of my feelings, and let things happen. He thinks I definitely need to take back some control, only seeing and chatting to J when I’m free and not making extra time for him in my schedule, because that’s giving control away.

God, it will be hard. But I have to do it. I need to break this lifelong pattern of let down and disappointment. I need to experience a real relationship. The only way I’m going to do it is by changing my thinking. I can’t change anyone else.

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