Friday, 25 October 2013

Auntie Seraphic and Trying to be Sensible

Dear Auntie Seraphic,

Your blog has become part of my daily fare--it sure helps a lot with the singles blues! Also, I've ordered your "Ceremony of Innocence" and eagerly await it's arrival!

I've written to you before, and received words of wisdom--which encourages me to ask again, in hopes of the same.

Last summer I met a Awfully Nice Catholic Man [online]. Now, I have very strong reservations against such sites...but my circumstances are such that I very rarely have the opportunity to meet young men.

After about a month of experiencing the craziness of the online "scene", this young man wrote to me. I corresponded with him in a desultory fashion, and then, suddenly, I realized that I liked him! He was intelligent, and funny, and manly, and sweet, and it seemed to me that we spoke the same language--I got his jokes, and he got mine, and it was nice. Also, he was very clear. He said that he liked my profile, that he wanted to keep corresponding, that he'd like to ask me out, if only he didn't live [MANY] miles away.

When this correspondence started, he was on vacation, preparatory to beginning [a new job]. All in all, we had (sort of) known each other for about six weeks, and had been writing pretty regularly, and it was sort of getting to the point where we would have needed to talk about arranging to meet in person, if we were going to keep being so interested in each other. Then one day, after a short lag in correspondence, he wrote a rather dejected-sounding note to the effect that he was very sorry and sad, but that he wanted to ask to put our correspondence on hold. He had started [work] some weeks previously, and he said that work-load was steadily increasing to the point that he simply couldn't give the time and attention to growing our friendship that he would like to until X; that it wouldn't be respectful or fair to me; and that he hoped I could understand and forgive him.

Well, I believed (and do believe) him, of course. I understand from women who have tried to date [men in his profession] that it is simply horrific, the way they have to work....they basically turn into zombies. So, though I felt terrible, I wrote at once, telling him that I quite understood, that there was nothing for me to forgive, and that I very much appreciated him being decisive and honest. I also said that if he wrote in X time I'd of course be happy to hear from him, and to pick up our correspondence, unless I should happen to be dating someone else, of course. I said that so he'd be sure to understand that I wasn't going to be spending [all that time] waiting and mooning over him when he wasn't there.

Then I felt AWFUL. I felt like I'd just told him I didn't care how he felt, and that I'd be perfectly happy to go off and date somebody else, while there was nothing he could do about it. So I wrote again and asked if he would call me, which he did. Well, all I really had to tell him was that I wanted him to know that I was sad, too, and that just because I understood didn't mean it was easy. He was very kind, and said sure, he understood, and all that. And then he sounded kind of worried, and said there were to be no promises. "Of course not!" I said, because really, it would be very silly for either of us to make any kind of commitment based on a six-week correspondence; it was perfectly clear to me that he had no right to ask me to wait for him, and I have no right to expect him to write back in a year and want to date me.

So that was that. We talked for five minutes, and said good-bye, very calmly and sensibly.

And oh, how sensible I determined to be! I wasn't going to think about him! I wasn't going to wait for him, at all! I was going to be very determinedly happy, and make the absolute most of the single life! Anyhow, I [kept busy, with new interests.} I also re-committed to frequent Adoration.....

But, O Seraphic, it is SO HARD to persevere in these good intentions!! I find myself dreaming even during Adoration about how soon he might write back, and what he might say, and then what I might say.... Also, this little clock is ticking in my head saying "X days down, Y hundred and sixty-five to go....etc." Even though I decided to stay on the dating website in order to help me consider myself free and single (which I am, obviously, even though I like this guy!) I find that I'm not interested in the men who write to me, and keep unfairly comparing them to him.....

The rational part of me is saying, "People forget. X is a long time. There are NO PROMISES!!! I need to be okay with it if I never hear from him again! I also need to be okay with it if we end up being friends someday, but not dating! He is under NO OBLIGATION to me, nor I to him. In X time, no matter what happens to my heart, there's no reason why I shouldn't have [achieved some great goals.]

My mother says, very briskly, "Forget him! He's not interested!"--but I am pretty sure that she is just saying that because she doesn't want me to get hurt. The thing is, I don't believe that it's TRUE; and I find I cannot believe untrue things simply as a maneuver to not get hurt.... I don't have crushes very often, and I'm always doubtful about whether a man likes me--but not this time. Deep down, I feel absolutely sure that this guy is good, and honest, and truly interested. I couldn't doubt this if I tried, and actually, I did try. But the thing is, he seems like a kind and honorable man, and I am certain that if he just weren't interested, he would have said so, gently and kindly. I cannot believe that he would create an impression that would encourage a woman to hope when he was really trying to let her down easy. I think some men might, but I don't think he would.

Meanwhile, my brother, whose advice in these matters I greatly respect, tells me that it would be fine for me to send this guy an occasional postcard or fun little note, to encourage him during what must be a very difficult time for him. "If it really was mutual, and you really want it to go somewhere, it's okay to show a little ankle!" says my brother. "Don't be scared about seeming needy and being rejected. It's not needy if you only write every couple of months; it's encouraging. He'll be really happy that you thought of him--I would, if I were him." (Up to this point I have not contacted him in any way whatsoever since our last talk). Am I being rigid by holding off? Am I going too in my adherence to the "No call, no response" rule? I mean, after all, he was very clear about liking me!

I see my brother's point, but I also feel like it's important to take this man at his word. He said he liked me. He knows how to contact me. Shouldn't I be able to leave it at that? As much as I truly do want to write him little notes and things, I think I want even more to be validated in that gut-feeling of mine that he really cared, that he cared enough to remember me, and to contact me again when he felt free to do so--without needing hints and reminders from me. Unless and until he asks me to date him, I feel that it is not my business to cheer him up. Also, maybe I'm a little more reluctant because he felt like he needed to SAY "no promises". It makes me worry, just a little bit, that he might have thought it was needy of me to want to talk on the phone (even though I don't really regret it, because it really helped me to get over the initial disappointment.)

Any advice, Seraphic, for getting through this time without going crazy--and for not going crazy if, after all of that he doesn't ever contact me again? And DO you think it's okay to send the occasional postcard, and maybe a Christmas card?

Many thanks!
Trying to Be Sensible

Dear Trying to Be Sensible,

First, I have to say that this situation sucks, and I think you may be in the psychological position of a woman who actually dated a great guy...for six weeks before he dumped her, saying "I'm too busy for a relationship." They say you get to grieve a month for every year of a relationship, so you get six whole days from the day you accept that it is over.

My opinion is with your mother on this one, and I don't know where your brother is getting this "show a little ankle" stuff. That option got torpedoed when you called up [Mr Wonderful] and told him how sad you were to lose him. I think it is over--and it WAS a thing: even if you never met in person, it WAS a thing--because of three things he did: 1. he asked you to stop writing to him, 2. he asked that he hoped you could understand and forgive him & 3. he made that panicky "no promises" remark.

You are in an agonized purgatorial state at the moment, full of day-dreaming about what could be, but fear might never be, and although it will hurt horribly to accept that it is over, you will at least be able to move on. I speak as someone who has gone through several break-ups and crushes that went on for years before I got the message. I know it will hurt, and I know the hurt will end.

I suspect you're hanging on to that "his [current duty at work] is so awful--he'll want me back in his life when it's over" thought. But the thing is, unless my memory is mistaken, [someone now in my family] was [in similar circumstances] for most of the first year she was dating [someone else in my family]. She lived five hours away from him, seven by bus. And they made it work. So although I know that [such work] is tough, I don't buy that it is in itself a relationship killer.

Personally I think he is a dummy for not wanting to keep in touch with a great Catholic girl--a weekly email wouldn't kill him. On the other hand, maybe he is already dating a fellow [worker]. You have no way of knowing. The thing is, you deserve the kind of guy who MAKES time for you, in whatever way he can, because he would go crazy if he didn't. Guys who are sent to the THEATRE OF WAR write to their sweethearts that only reading their messages and writing back to them keeps them sane. You also deserve the kind of guy who wants to meet you in person and spend some time with you and MAKES IT ALL HAPPEN. You DON'T deserve a guy who tells you that corresponding with you is an intolerable burden.

We all have vague ideas in our mind of who Prince Charming is. Maybe he's a fantastic writer of emails, or has a great sense of humour, or is astonishingly bright, hardworking and ambitious. Maybe he looks like a Croatian male supermodel. But there is no guy like the guy a girl thinks is fun, bright, hardworking AND wants her in his life. There's no substitute for the feeling that a guy would quit a job or pass up Christmas with his family or do basically anything to be with you.

And this is not likely to happen with a guy you know only through the internet. [I have friends] who met through the internet, and agreed that they should meet as soon as possible. They lived in the same town, so they met up and discovered that they really liked each other in person. In contrast, my friend E met a guy she flirted with happily over email and discovered she was NOT attracted to him in person. And in my case, I never took my husband's internet flirtation--which was very sporadic--seriously. I thought he was clever and funny and not the male model I deserved. It wasn't until we actually met in person that I allowed myself to think seriously that we could get involved.

I didn't daydream. And the problem with the internet is that it encourages daydreams, and those daydreams become a trap, a drug and ultimately a prison. But I encourage you to indulge in one last, final daydream: the break-up daydream. Go through a ritual in which you say "Good-bye" to your daydream version of him; maybe even write a never-to-be-sent pen-and-ink letter and then burn it and let the wind carry the ashes away. And then tell your mother and whoever else that you have mentally broken up with him. And then call up a girlfriend or two or (best) three, and ask them to drag you out for a "post break-up girls night."

So, in the cold light of reflection, don't send that Christmas card. You never really met, after all, and you owe him exactly nothing. Don't give him any more of your imagination or time. And for what it's worth, he was a coward to blame his decision to end it on his work.

Please feel free to share this email with your mother and/or your friends, if you like. Tough talk is better shared.

Grace and peace,

To everyone wondering how I can just stuff my reader's hopes about Mr Wonderful in the trash can, it's because Mr Wonderful, despite his ham-fisted attempt to "let her down easy" by blaming work and saying "on hold" instead of "no more", said "Please forgive me" and ESPECIALLY (in a panic so palpable my honest reader heard it and mentioned it to me) "No promises".

Your fellow reader, being a generous soul, told him that "there was nothing to forgive." But I think Mr Wonderful knew better. In my experience, men hate apologizing and only do so when they are darned sure they have something to apologize for. In this case it was pulling a plug on a fun and flirty online friendship he initiated. Like so many guys on the internet, he enjoyed the sexy intellectual thrills of corresponding with a witty lady when he was in no position to meet her in person. And this, dear poppets, is yet another reason why I can't stand dating sites.

Incidentally, Eavesdroppers should know that I don't doubt this guy really did feel regretful and misses the kick he got out of getting emails from a pretty girl--unless he's already involved with another pretty girl. Oh, Eavesdroppers, Eavesdroppers! What a tangled web you weave. Well, maybe not you. I am sure you are very open and up front and clear about your intentions and prudent in your correspondence, etc.


HappyToBeHere said...

I really feel for Trying To Be Sensible. And I really think you hit the nail on the head, Auntie.

Daydreaming could use a post all of its (dangerous) lonesome. For example, I would be curious about why you didn't daydream about B.A. Where you blessed at birth to be missing the daydreaming gene? Did it simply never occur to you to daydream about that particular man? Had you developed and implemented strategies against daydreaming as a result of hard-learned experience? (The latter reason would probably be the most helpful, as you could then share those strategies.)

Francesca said...

Daydreaming is such a bad habit. From my own personal experience I can attest to the fact that online dating is a waste of time. I spent months writing to one guy -- we were *perfect* for each other. All the usual traits I like: smart, funny, witty, a great writer, better musician, and simply charming (and, although it doesn't matter, but a nice plus, wealthy). And oh-so handsome - big white smile, dark almond eyes with a sparkle in them. Then we met in person (and, in case it was first date jitters, I gave him three extra dates). Oh, it couldn't have been any worse. His words on paper captivated me, but when he spoke, he just talked and talked and talked. I don't think he even asked me about what I liked during any of the dates. He was so rude, too, to the waitstaff.

I shutter at how many times I read his letters, how many hours wasted thinking about our date, our marriage, our life together (day dreaming is addicting!). You can't just go by a photograph (and I'm not photogenic, so my profile probably gets by-passed) and ticked boxes of favorite things. I really think there is something special about meeting someone in person. And that unexpected element of chemistry. Marvellous!

From this lesson, I am now trying to suppress my day dreams. It's so difficult, but looking back it was such a waste of time...

Sarah said...

Yeah, unfortunately, I definitely think he was just not that interested. I mean, my friends and I go through times of being *incredibly* busy. I recently moved and between moving and my job, I felt I was constantly rushing from one thing to the next, and I don't recall ending any friendships over it. I even squeezed (and it really was squeezed) in time to go to coffee with a guy.

A good friend of mine recently started his first job as a lawyer, and is quite busy and we don't speak much except for a bit on the weekend anymore.

None of this busy-ness keeps any of us from continuing contact and at least remaining friends. So, I always think it's a cop-out when someone totally cuts off communication based on how busy they are. I assume they won't be total recluses; I assume they will probably at least still be checking facebook, right? And writing emails to long-time friends or their mothers? So, if he were really interested, why shouldn't he find fifteen minutes out of a whole, entire week to compose an email?

Being rejected by men sucks. Being rejected by men with lame, transparent excuses is just insulting.

Pearlmusic said...

I don't like online dating either. Actually, I never tried a dating website, but accepting Facebook invitations from men I barely knew was just about the same stuff.

The saddest part of it is that in such cases we often feel sorry for being assertive and try to fix it. The reader said: "if he wrote in X time I'd of course be happy to hear from him, and to pick up our correspondence, unless I should happen to be dating someone else, of course". That's fine. And I would have left it this way knowing everything I know now, but of course, when it came to the same thing in the past I was right there to call again and apologize for saying such thing, silly me!

Why save the guy from feeling sorry about something he should actually feel sorry about? Why not let him make this little (probably not too painful) penance for something he obviously feels he did wrong? Especially while the girl in this case still suffers more from the situation than he does.

Seraphic said...

@HappyToBeHere. Good heavens! I was the day-dreaming QUEEN! But in B.A.'s case, I was just not going to do that. Besides, I just did not think--based on his photographs--that he was My Type. I did't rule him out, though, because life had taught me not to reject some guy I had never actually met based on something as random as a photograph. And there was the fact that he lived across the ocean and was a Mad Rad Trad (well, went to the EF all the time), so really it was not that hard to be sensible.

Nulli Secundus said...

Popping out of lurk mode twice in two days although this isn't strictly defending my sister so far away.
@Seraphic: [ ] not required to protect ta belle-soeur et moi. :)

@ Seraphic's wonderful friends: Re dating sites: I agree they are online daydream machines. However TBS & I met on one. We both recognized at once that remaining as aliases on a dating site = the game, and neither of us like the game. Messages sent to agree to meeting in person at a mutually neutral place within the week, etc. etc., as generally counseled by the mistress of this blog. Both of us had used this technique with others, and although those meetings didn't turn out, the disappointment was mixed with mutual respect, no hard feelings and no mourning. Coffee was just coffee.

Game Over.

NS said...

Come to think of it, rereading my post, it seems a bit lecture-y and perhaps harsh to Trying To Be Sensible who has been hurt. Sorry about that. Seraphic may delete as she thinks fit.

Em said...

Ugh, daydreaming. I am the czarina of daydreams! There was this article in the NYTimes a billion years ago by Wendy McClure about the social danger of Amazon wishlist lurking, and I combine that with daydreaming. It's really bad.

Having a natural inclination toward research and being quite proficient with le Google, it takes a tonne of willpower to not find out about someone everything you possibly can if you're excited about them. It's almost a form of insurance- "I'm excited about a guy, so I want to find out everything I can about him so that I can discover whether or not my excitement is displaced."

It's super dangerous, and I know it, but it comes from (I think) a lack of trust in my own judgement of men, and not wanting to end up divorced!

TRS said...

I'm going to respond to the first part of her letter... Which is is the "I'm too busy with work, to have a relationship." Oh, I get this all the stinking time. It's infuriating to me that our generation of men can't seem to come up with a work-life balance. Yet it seems to be all women talk about, magazines and so forth, dedicated to "having it all".

It makes no sense for men to put off a potentially fulfilling relationship because they've got "too muc going on right now." As I've said before in my blog, and as you've alluded in your post ... Um, the generations before us got married just days before going off to fight in a war!
If your "thing that is too big for a relationship" is smaller than WWII , stop using it as an excuse to let us women down easy.

I'd really like the eavesdropping male perspective on this. For after 20 years of dating, I'm mighty tired of hearing, "You're everything I'm looking for in a woman, but I'm too busy for a relationship right now."
Just admit that you really don't want a relationship.
Because if you did, there is no way you'd let everything your looking for go.

Trying to be Sensible said...

Ladies, I can attest to one real good cure for daydreaming, and that is to send an email to Seraphic! Or to take any other course (such as discussing him with girlfriends) that results in his motives and behavior being coolly and calmly and expertly scrutinized. It clears things up amazingly. Yes, cold water is a shock, but you feel so much better afterwards!

HappyToBeHere said...

Trying to be Sensible, you are awesome :) Love that comment.

Magdalena said...

Congratulations, Trying to be Sensible! :D I mean for feeling better after the bucket of cold water.

Oh, these daydreams! I have wasted several years in my early twenties with daydreaming. Really wasted a LOT of time. And I told nobody about it, so nobody could tell me to stay rooted in reality! Such a helpful phrase!

Urszula said...

Very good advice, and good luck to "Trying to be sensible"! Being rooted in reality is one of the hardest things ever.

I used to be proficient at daydreaming and still catch myself doing it, but I've found a few tricks that helped.

One is constantly repeating "He's not interested in me" (and any lame excuse he gives you as to why is unimportant - that's really the gist of the matter).

Two is not replaying scenes in your mind. This goes for past scenes ("But he was so nice when he picked up oranges for me when I was sick!") as well as future ones ("I'm sure when I bump into him in this amazing outfit, he will fall head over heels and want to date me"). You have no idea how the future will play out, the only thing you can be sure of is that it will not be what you imagined.

The third - and personally most helpful - is putting all the thoughts and attention you wish to lavish on him (the poor, hard-working man) on someone who actually deserves it. Your grandma, an aunt who had surgery, your lonely old piano teacher you haven't emailed in forever, your hard-working brother with three kids, even a pet!
These are real people you have real relationships with and directing your energy towards them can really help them - and you. It's real and tangible in a way internet -or daydream -relationships are not.

Just my 2 cents on what has helped me personally.

Seraphic said...

**Comment erased because it linked to a downloadable**

Leah said...

I love your advice here, Seraphic! (it made me think of the movie 'He's Just Not That Into You.' :) )

Four years ago, I could have written almost this exact same letter. I was also in a 'e-mail' relationship with a guy in a very, very similar situation (From the description, I suspect they were probably both in the same field, or a very similar one.) He was a little more final in breaking it off, but used the same kind of line.

Two months later, my husband started pursuing me. He worked in the EXACT same field as guy #1, and wasn't even as far along in his training, so he was looking ahead to even less free time for more years. We were also long distance, and he hates talking on the phone and had little access to the internet, but he was willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make our relationship work, and we were married less than a year later. If a guy wants to be with you, he really will move mountains to make that happen. (And if he doesn't want to be with you, that's HIS loss!)

On a different note, because I'm curious, what IS the best way to break a relationship off with someone that you just aren't interested in? (Especially if you haven't really been seeing each other that long?) Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but it seems like saying 'I just can't be in this relationship right now because of x' is a tactful way to spare the other person's feelings.

I can see where that might allow the other person to keep hoping that it will happen eventually, but 'I'm just not interested in you' seems so harsh. (And from personal experience, is a very painful thing to hear.)

tinytherese said...

What struck me as problematic, was even before he told her that he was too busy to be in a relationship with her. He told her that he'd date her if Trying to be Sensible didn't live so far away and then continued to be in contact with her.

Dating website profiles list the country and city that the person lives in, so he would've been able to tell from the start the distance for her. If she lived too far away for him, then he should have ended it with her instead of flirting with a woman that he wasn't willing to travel for. That's both leading her on and wasting her time.

I've been told that when it comes to online dating, if a man doesn't even begin to start talking about meeting in person after a month, then as has been said before, he's just not that in to you. The sooner you meet in person the better. Something is seriously wrong if you've been in contact for two months and you haven't met yet. At that point, end it with him.

Sorry about the link Seraphic. I've seen commenters post links relevent to the discussion before. I didn't know that the one I posted wasn't allowed. I found the Free Online Dating Guide insightful. It wasn't spam. It addresses how to solve common problems that people have when dating online.

Trying to be sensible said...

Leah, love your story!
I just want to say, it seems to me I'd rather hear "I'm not interested in you"--hopefully softened up a little with "Although you're a wonderful person,etc." and also "I'm terribly sorry for leading you on" (if applicable). It's hard to hear, but there is nothing better than the truth. The truth will set you free.... Also, I think it shows respect for the other person. Being less than honest in order to "spare someone's feelings" implies a judgment that they can't handle reality, which is very demeaning. So, I'm all for honesty.
Which is not to say that I haven't done my fair share of prevaricating--i.e. "I'm busy indefinitely" instead of "No thanks, I don't care to go out to coffee with you."
But no more. Because I don't believe it's in any way kind or helpful, in reality.

SundayBorn said...

Trying to be Sensible -

I've appreciated your thoughts and the ensuing discussion on daydreaming, communication, etc. I thought I'd just weigh in to share an experience I had several years ago in a somewhat similar situation to yours, when the "daydream" came to fruition. Let's just say, it's not always the rosy outcome we imagine.

I had dated this particular gentleman for about a year; he moved things along, said we should be thinking of marriage, he spoke to my parents about his intentions, and so forth. This guy was originally from a different country than I was, but had lived in my country for a number of years. Having not been home in a few years, he said he wanted to go home, speak with his family about marriage plans, and then return for a formal engagement and wedding shortly thereafter.

Well, he went home, got cold feet, and never came back. He said "his family was opposed to the plan", "he was sorry", etc.

Now, after a year of dating and contemplating marriage, of course I thought - he'll come back, he had his whole future mapped out here, we had a future together, he's just struggling with cold feet and family pressures.... In other words, the daydreams. But I moved on - he was ,after all, in a different country and not in any way a further part of my life.

But here's what I really wanted to share: there is often little satisfaction when our daydreams come to fruition. A small sense of vindication, perhaps, but it's not what we hope for. You see, a year later this gentleman got back in touch, deeply apologetic, saying he had totally lost his mind, grieved that he'd been disobedient to the things God had called him to do, including marrying me and establishing a particular career in my country; he had been weak under family pressure, regretted it, and knew that there was no other woman for him but me.

I don't think I've ever spent as much time in prayer as I did then, because I thought - of course I forgive him, and take his apology as sincere; but I don't really think God is asking me to take a chance on someone who has proved entirely untrustworthy. Long and short of it: I said I appreciated the apology but was only willing to talk if he returned to my country; and although he had every legal reason to return, his visa was permanently rejected, which I saw as God's divine mercy and protection.

Men do make mistakes and regret their actions (well, we all do!), and sometimes do wake up and want to come riding back into our lives - just as we daydream! And we can certainly be part of that journey by extending forgiveness and grace (which doesn't necessarily mean a restored relationship). But I can definitely say that someone who doesn't want to be in a relationship with us now is probably not someone we will be excited to re-commence a relationship with in the future.

I think you're entirely right, Sensible - truthful, clear communication is the best way forward!

TRS said...

I agree with trying to be sensible (directly above).... I'd rather hear some real reason the man is not interested, than some softened up excuse. Because think about it, twenty years of, "you're absolutely wonderful, but I'm too busy" leads me to believe there is nothing about myself to work on. And it tells me that the men I'm meeting are a bit weak for not being able to balance their lives.
If they would say, "you're too Catholic", or "I can't get passed your crooked teeth." or "I prefer curvier women", then I would at least know hat was up.

I'll admit, I spent much of my 20s mooning over one man, whom it thought was the ultimate. So handsome, funny, smart, sweet, Catholic even. We spent time together as friends, he even took me out as a "date" for which i still hae the amazing dress! After that I finally told him, "I've always thought we should date." He responded with "I'm not dating anyone right now." So I held tight to the "right now" part of the sentence! Waiting for him to come around. At least I didn't have any competition!
Little did I know, the competition was male! Years later he finally told me he was gay! He had passed his lover off as his roommate, even at the time he took me out on a "date". I suspected it, but he always threw me off the scent.
See? So much better to give a real reason!

Pearlmusic said...

@Urszula: your tips are great! „Love the ones who love you” is a rule I would also apply, even though our Mr Perfect may not be among them at the moment.
The saddest thing about the whole thing is that it might all look perfect in the beginning. He initiates. He pursues. He even proposes (that was the case of my female acquaintance). And then… he breaks up with you. Unfortunately, the sole fact that he shows interest directly just as we’d expect doesn’t guarantee he will continue to be interested. He might as well stop being interested. So I appreciate the remark about not replaying past scenes in your mind. Sometimes he might look interested and serious at a certain point but then just withdraw and that’s something we’ve got to face.

Meanwhile, I don’t think that being rooted in reality = being cynical and expecting the worst. We’re always at risk of getting our feelings hurt. But if we don’t hope for the best every time we fall in love, what’s left?

@Trying to be Sensible – keep going, I’ll say a little prayer for you!