Wrestling with the silence.
Ok, so I admit it, I’m on Tinder. I’m not the kind of guy that uses it constantly in an effort to sow his seed in as many different pastures as possible. Heck, I don’t even expect to find any sort of meaningful relationship with it. I just like the fact that it can lead you to meet people that you otherwise would never cross paths with. After all, I thrive on meeting new people and I enjoy learning from them.
Of all of the people that I’ve met in person from Tinder only a small handful have been people that I think are really worth spending the time to get to know. She definitely fitted into that category.
We met at one of my favourite local coffee shops. She had two coffees and I had a small pot of tea. We both sat awkwardly across from each other as two complete strangers usually do when they meet for the first time. It quickly became evident that she was intelligent, creative and a kind soul. We talked, and sipped and talked and opened up a little about our lives. I even made her smile and laugh a bit (something which I sense she doesn’t do often). We were both surprised as each other to find out that we live only 100m away on the same street. I mean, what are the chances.
After about an hour the conversation slowed and she began stirring her spoon in her empty cup; a sure sign of boredom. I knew it was time to cut and run while the going was good. We said our goodbyes. I let her know that I had a nice time and asked If she would be interested in meeting again. She said yes, and it sounded like she really meant it.
On the walk home I was thinking ‘this is someone I could see myself being friends with’. I’ve been actively trying to seek out new friends and move away from a particular friend group which I feel has a tendency to hold me back. As we all know, finding and making good friends as an adult is much easier said than done. I thought that living close would probably make the scenario even more likely. Naturally, the whole experience left me feeling positive.
I went home and read her medium post titled ‘I am not a perfect mother’ which she had mentioned at the café. It was incredibly well written. She was a thinker, there’s no doubt about it. I seem to come across so few that when I do meet one it gives me a glimmer of hope for humanity. I became more drawn to the idea of fostering a friendship. We’ve both had some pretty intense life experiences and see through the bullshit. She’s dealing with her own demons; I’m dealing with mine. Kindred spirits of sorts you might say.
But that’s when the silence began. Weeks went by and I heard nothing. People say that, deep down, women like to be pursued but I’m not a hunter. I’m trying to forge a friendship not engage on some sort of primal conquest. And besides, the last thing I would want is for her to feel uncomfortable.
I sent a message or two asking to hang out but still there was silence. I wasn’t pushy in any way and she definitely seemed like the kind of person who would be straight up and honest if she wasn’t interested so the whole thing was a little strange. Maybe her depression and anxiety was stopping her, maybe she was busy, maybe she wasn’t interested after all, had I said or done something wrong? The self-doubt started to creep in. It was impossible to know. I decided to send one last message.
To my surprise she responded and said she was keen to hang out. She even suggested that we go and see a theatre show. I was overjoyed. It was a show that I have been wanting to see ever since seeing Almodovar’s film ‘All About My Mother’. I was excited. I offered to organise the tickets and asked which day she would like to go. Then it crept up again, the silence. I never heard anything back.
There’s no rulebook for this kind of thing. It’s hard to know whether to keep trying to break through or to just give up and squash any remaining hope.
If I ever got to see her again I would ask ‘why the silence?’