Dear mate:

Self-portrait

If you’re anything like me, and chances are you probably aren’t, at this stage in a “relationship” (note that term is used in the loosest sense of the word) you’re probably freaking out.

The lead up to the first date is always a mix of flirting and not giving a shit and then immediately a wave of regret the day of that you even made plans to spend time with someone you don’t know very well (you hate plans!) and the 8 million times you think of bailing the day of, but you don’t and you go and you have fun and it’s nice.

You start to think “Maybe this could be OK.”

Then there’s the first time you share a physical interaction and it’s so exciting and overwhelming and you can’t believe you almost didn’t meet this person for whatever reason (you can’t remember why you ever wanted to bail!) and literally everything is perfect. The excitement, the constant texting, the longing to see each other is at an all time high. This period lasts for… a short amount of time I think (results may vary).

And now we are here at the point where doubt sets in. You suddenly feel trapped. You worry about every text you send being one text too many. You count the seconds till they respond. You question every choice you’ve ever made up until this point and you start to feel sick. Why have you done this to yourself? What were you thinking attaching yourself to another person? RUN, RUN, RUN away! You start to put up the wall. You stop texting altogether and only respond to theirs. You start considering cancelling plans for no good reason. This all happens (in MY head at least) in a matter of seconds. On the outside, it may appear as though nothing has changed.

Normally, I stay. I don’t know what you do, but I stay. I feel like I have to. I think I need to ride it out and bottle up my feelings and my anxiety and store it away no matter how bad things get until I just burst. I feel obligated to do this. To “try” as they say.

This time, I am going to allow myself to bail. I give myself permission to leave if that’s what I really want. Call it all off, walk away and apologize. If that’s what I want.

This time, I look at the facts and ask some questions:

  • Has anything actually happened?
  • Are you really unhappy?
  • Would you be happier alone?

If any of the answers to these questions are “Yes!” then I should let you know, I’m going to bail. Normally, even if all the answers to the questions are “Yes!” I would stay. I would stay as long as I absolutely could hold on to my own sanity, even if I didn’t like the other person. Not this time.

I may be living my life with one foot out the door, but maybe that’s better than all or nothing. Maybe having one foot IN the door is best for me.

So, if you’re anything like me, mate, maybe you’ll keep one foot in the door too.

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