After feeling a little confused and upset over the past few days, mulling over the recent situation with the man I went on a date with (and refusing his calls/procrastinating about texting him back) I feel expressing my thoughts on the matter might help me to get it clearer in my head.
So, from the beginning. I starting using dates sites for many reasons. The first, I suppose, was facebook (yeah, you read that right!). I know this is so wrong, but I need to admit it out loud, and maybe it will sink in to me how much I need to change my thought patterns. Every day I go on facebook, and there are pictures of happy couples, babies being born, people getting engaged. A lot of these people are my friends from school or university, the same age as me. Part of me is jealous, part of me wants that life. The second reason, is something I have been discussing in recent posts, my desperate need for affection and love. ‘If I have a boyfriend, he will love me, and give me all the affection that I need’ is the thought that passed through my head. So, I found myself on dating sites, as I don’t go out much, and don’t meet people at work as I work in a small family office. But things aren’t that easy are they?
In my head, I pictured me finding a perfect relationship. The man would be tall, dark and handsome (and in my head I was skinny, blonde and un-scarred). He would be clever, articulate, caring, affectionate, gentle and amazing in bed. In my head, I mirror these things. I imagine us as a couple, him protective but me confident. Him smoky and me alluring. Of course, I am none of these things. Even if I found the man in my dreams, the picture would not be correct. I am not blonde, I am brunette. I am not skinny, I am curvy. I am not un-scarred, my arms and legs are lined with marks ranging from deep red welts to thin, barely visible lines. I am not confident, I am socially awkward. I am not alluring, I am clumsy. Futher to this, I wanted to find a man I could show off on facebook. I wanted to find a man that people would comment to me, ‘What a catch’; I wanted people to be jealous of me for a change.
So with this in mind, I began my internet search. I trawled internet dating sites, looking for my perfect match. The first person ‘I met’ was a man called Geraint, who was tall (6’5), dark (ish) and handsome (ish). I had been chatting to him for a little while through text and facebook, and he seemed lovely. One evening I met an old school friend for a meal in Bristol, and found myself driving past the area where he had said he lived. On the spur of the moment (if I had thought about it I wouldn’t have had the guts to do it) I called him, asking him if he was home, and if he fancied a visitor. He said yes, so, 11pm at night, on my own, I met him in a dark car park, and followed him into his flat. (Yeah, when I think about it now, it’s some crazy shit right!)
Anyway, we got talking, I decided I would be completely open about myself so talked about my BPD, a few things I had been through and showed him the scars on my arms. Soon after, a few things led to another and we headed to bed. After that night, I heard from him once, telling me he was really busy and he would be in touch, but he never was. Perhaps he saw an emotionally fragile vulnerable girl who had just let her defences down, and decided to pounce, perhaps he really didn’t mean to run, who knows. It didn’t hurt me, I just saw it as another bad judgement call.
I went on a few more dates with various people, but they didn’t come to much. Too short, too ugly, too boring. I never shared any information about myself or my disorder, and I also never told them I didn’t want to see them again face to face, it was always by text afterwards, and it was always polite. I’m too much of a coward to deal with that confrontation.
I had had a break from internet dating for a few months, when I decided to go back on the site and re-start my search. Rich, the most recent date, sent me a message and we got chatting. 6’1, dark and reasonably attractive in the pictures, I agreed to meet him that night. I was pretty nervous but made myself up, and forced myself to go. He was pleasant, reasonably good looking and polite. We talking about all sorts of things, and I relaxed. That is, until he took hold of my hand whilst we were sat talking and started holding it. I made it look as though I needed to fuss with my hair and took my hand away. I know what you’re thinking. She constantly goes on about wanting and craving affection, but the second she gets it, she can’t deal with it?! It’s not as simple as that. I want attention from people I know, people who I want to love me. This affection was unknown, from someone I am not sure of, and it was too close for comfort.
We carried on chatting, and then got up and headed to the car. Leaving the pub, and walking towards the cars, he took hold of my hand again. I left it there, but tried to think of other things. I made me feel terribly uncomfortable, but didn’t want to make him feel bad, or embarrass him by taking my hand away. Is this leading him on? I don’t think I have a true concept of leading people on, as most of us Borderlines might struggle with. I have no idea of the social boundaries, so I can be overbearing or overfriendly, with innapropriate people. I have lost count of the number of times men have come on to me, and when I have been suprised, they tell me I’ve led them on, and I genuinely had no idea I was doing it. Perhaps it is the only way I know how to effectively communicate with men. (Sorry going off on a little tangent here). When I was 12 I found myself a job working in the kitchens of a local hotel. It was an all male, testosterone charged environment, and I quickly learnt that the most effective way of getting along, and communicating, was to flirt, and banter. This quickly became the only way I could effectively communicate with men, especially those I felt threatened by.
Anyway, back to this man. We arranged a second date for Thursday evening, a meal then to the cinema. Between monday and thursday, we were flirting through text, and the conversation ranged from favourite foods, favourite colours, to favourite sex positions and comments scattered with innuendo. This was probably a bad move on my part, even though I enjoyed it. It meant I now felt a pressure of expectation, which I really could have done without. Getting ready for the date on Thursday I was much more nervous. Perhaps the weight of expectation on my shoulders, perhaps the thought of maybe having to open up and little bit more about myself (and his reaction) was concerning me. On the way I forced myself to get into the mindset of ‘summer’ and just get on with it.
I arrived, and we went to the restaurant, Bella Italia. Sitting, chatting away, he was awkward and a little nervous. I noticed this on the date before, every now and again he had a nervous twitch, and he just didn’t come across as the confident, protective type I was looking for. Yes, he was tall, but he was lanky. This is a little weird, but I think I need a man taller and bigger than myself to make me feel small. I’m constantly worrying about my weight so don’t want to be bigger than my man. If I’m smaller, it makes me feel good.
Coupling this, during the meal, he kept trying to reach over the table and hold my hand. This wasn’t looking good. Leaving the restaurant, he headed to the cinema and walking along, he picked up my hand again. I said nothing, but knew in my head, but feelings towards him were starting to change. In the cinema, he kept trying to hold my hand again. I don’t know whether it was because I didn’t feel a spark, or whether it was the hand holding that made me freak out, or whether it would have happened with anyone, but now, I don’t want to see him again. In fact, when I think about him, I get nerves in my stomach. I haven’t actually text him yet but I really need to, although I don’t have any idea of what to say. Yes he’s sweet, but for someone else, and definately not someone as complicated as me.