When we’re younger, we learn the difference between whats right or whats wrong based on two things – praise and punishment. I’m learning this with Ted, a sharp “no!” or a tap on the nose to discourage puppy behaviour and lots of cooing, cuddles and “well done Teddy!” when he does something good.
We’re treated in this same way as children and when we’re older the praise and punishment routine sticks and moving forward in life can affect our behaviour in relationships. When your fingers have been burned, you stop wanting to play near the fire for fear of it happening again. This happened to me (not so) recently in the murky depths of which we like to call the “dating pool”.
The last proper date I had was back in February (gasp, horror, terror – I KNOW) – for a single gal about town this is a long time. On this date, I had my fingers burned/I got chucked off the horses back – pick a metaphor and run with it as you will. Whichever you pick, it was a bad experience and without going all Dawsons Creek on you, I’ve only just gathered up the remnants of my self confidence that were lying all over a bar somewhere in Walsall and I’ve tentatively been looking at saddling up, putting a foot in the stirrup and jumping back onto that horse and actually start dating again.
What made my last date so horrific was that it was a really, really, really good date.
(welcome to my world)
One of the best dates I’ve had in my whole 25 years worth of existance all ended rather abruptly with him “supposedly” boarding a plane to Canada like a Chandler/Janice/Friends situation. Now you’re probably sitting there thinking “this girl is mental! He obviously didn’t enjoy the date, she created this amazing fantasy in her head, move on woman!” – and believe me. I wish I was mental, I wish I had created this amazing date in my head, that would have made the whole situation less confusing. But he agreed with me on the “amazing first date” theory. Around this first date had been a good month or so of 2 phone calls a day, texting constantly, those whispers of sweet nothings and him serenading me via Facetime with Paolo Nutini songs on his guitar. HOOK LINE SINKER.
And then. Well…
…then he moved to Canada. Or he didn’t, I’m not quite sure whether he ever did, as communication ceased to exist (despite him proposing that we spent Valentines day and the subsequent weekend together and some general post date chit chat… all of this never materialised as he “died” on the plane to Canada/got eaten by a bear *fingers crossed*)
This whole experience to me was like the tap on the nose of a dog. I wimpered away from the scene of the crime with my tail between my legs, licking my wounds and cowering in the corner everytime the word “date” was so much as mentioned. I’ve peeked my head up apprehensively, taken a sniff at a potential suitor and then decided against it in favour of the comfort blanket of my own company or the company of female companions, purely to try and avoid the risk of another tap on the nose or being tossed outside in the rain.
…This road only leads to one destination, and thats an island of cynicalness and fear. That’s right, I, Charl of Ginger Girl Says is scared (gasp) – scared and shaking in my stylish yet affordable brogues to start dating again and open myself back up again to that rejected and bewildered feeling that comes hand in hand with dating.
I think I need some guaranteed “good dates” to break me in gently – anybody?