I am no expert on relationships by any means, but there are certain indicators that I have come to recognise in certain men- generally in the ones that I fall hook, line and sinker for- which have a tendency to make me feel more than a little nervous, and not in a good way.
One such sign, that I have come to understand should have me instantly running a mile or 10, is a little something I like to refer to as: The Disclaimer.
The Disclaimer, I have realised, is a little something that men (and possibly women too, let’s not be sexist here, but as I don’t date women, I cant really comment from that perspective) like to throw out there, as early as possible in any budding relationship, which they will inevitably attempt to rely on at a later date to absolve them of any responsibility or blame, or to simply enable them to continue on, feeling righteous and justified and – guilt free.
When I started dating The Crush he pointed out very early on that he is very driven career-wise and at the moment we started seeing each other, things were just a little crazy for him. He then followed this with “so, we may not be able to spend much time together for the next few months, but things should settle down around mid-May”. At that time, I was feeling a little cagey about the prospect of getting involved with someone, because I had really only just started feeling happy and comfortable with my single status, but I liked him, so it seemed like the perfect arrangement- taking things slow.
What I wasn’t expecting was the constant making and breaking of plans, usually broken by him, at the last minute. I wasn’t expecting my acquiescence to the arrangement to mean that I would occupy the position of last item of priority on his list at all times, or that our plans to catch up should be constantly thwarted by things such as: his buddies deciding at the last minute to go diving early in the morning, or The Crush booking a sports therapy massage for the very moment he was supposed to be rocking up on my doorstep.
I wasn’t expecting that him being “busy” meant that I would always be the last person he would lock into his schedule, and the first person he would bump off whenever something else came up.
After having our plans for this weekend obliterated once again, because he has made a last minute decision to fly interstate to look at land to buy, the alarm bells were well and truly clanging. So, with butterflies in my tummy I did something entirely out of character for me: I asked the hard question.
“Do you see this going anywhere?”
To which he responded:
“Well, I don’t see it not going anywhere…”
“…BUT I did say that I was going to be busy for the remainder of the year. You see, when I met you I wasn’t looking for a relationship, at least, nothing serious. I knew I wouldn’t be able to dedicate the time to you, and I don’t like to over-promise and under-deliver”.
Admittedly, after he had relayed his explanation I was speechless.
First of all, the deal, very clearly was that he would be “available” as of mid-May.
Second of all, he failed to mention his intentions to move interstate at some point in the near-to-mid future.
Third of all, if he didn’t want to get involved with me, then why did HE ask ME out in the first place?
Did I tell him any of this?
Of course not, because when the pressure is on, my brain turns to mush. I simply agreed that he was right. No it’s not his fault. Yes, that’s perfectly reasonable in the circumstances. Yes he had told me, and yes I am wanting more now than I did before.
But isn’t that supposed to happen? Isn’t that how relationships develop at all? Starting out slow and then wanting more as you develop feelings for each other?
And so, in light of his claims that he does have feelings for me, I now face [another] rather difficult decision.
Do I wait (potentially for another year at the end of which he may up and move interstate anyway), or do I walk away now?
I am undecided. I realise that for those reading this the decision may not seem so difficult, probably glaringly obvious, I have not painted him in the best light here. But the fact is:
I like him.
But my confidence has been shaken. I’m not running away yet, but I am doing a kind of dance on the spot, ready to sprint at the first sign of danger.
I know I told myself in the beginning that I would not get worked up over this, that I would approach this whole thing logically and not emotionally, but I also know that it’s very rare that I meet someone who I like instantly and as much as I like this man. Not since Mr X have I entertained daydreams of a future with someone. But where do you draw the line on fighting for a chance at love and a real relationship with someone, or realising that it’s just all wrong and never going to happen? How long do you need to wait?