I’ve been staring at my laptop for the best part of an hour now wondering where to even start.
It’s very difficult to know when a person is leading you on or isn’t interested in you, and even more difficult to accept it. A few years ago I met a guy, Tom. He was the first person in a very long time that had given me butterflies. I’d get excited every time my phone buzzed and I’d become irrationally nervous any time I arranged to see him. One day, out of the blue, the messages stopped, Tom would ignore my texts and stopped making the effort to speak to me. I was heartbroken. We’d been getting on so well, what could I possibly have done? I spent a lot of time questioning what was wrong with me. This went on for months, until one night in the pub, I was updating an old friend on what had happened and she said something that helped me move on.
“Oh, Tom? That’s weird, he did the exact same to my friend!”
There it was. Tom was a flake. It wasn’t that he didn’t like talking to me, or didn’t think I was a nice person. He was just rubbish at making any form of effort. He’d lost interest and couldn’t be bothered to tell me.
Two years past. My heart mended and I forgot about what it was like to constantly question myself. I moved away to a new city and put it all behind me….or so I thought.
I ran into Tom again this year by pure chance. We smiled and chatted, perfectly pleasant. As I looked at him it all came flooding back, how dare he act like nothing was wrong! This guy had broken me and made me question my self worth. Who did he think he was?! Then I realised I wasn’t just thinking this in my head, I was actually saying it out loud. I harped on about how it wasn’t fair that he’d just stopped talking to me, that he didn’t understand what a shitty thing that is to do to someone. I NEVER say what I mean, I hate confrontation. I felt like I was a different person, but I wasn’t hating it.
Tom was stunned.
I don’t think he’d ever expected the conversation to go that way. He didn’t know what to say. He apologised and said he’d never meant to make me feel that way. I believed him (do you see where this is going?).
I was back to square one. [I know, I know, I was making a mistake. I’d be screaming at the screen in frustration too if I were you, but who ever really takes their own advice?]
We started talking again every day. When I went back to visit my old friends, he’d ask to see me, and I’d make extra time in my trips just to spend a moment with him. He’d pay for things, show a genuine interest in my life and sleep with me. [side note: if you aren’t interested in someone DON’T DO THESE THINGS!]
Tom would mention coming to visit me in my new city, but never follow through, it started to really get to me. When I challenged him about it, he said he would make it happen…
He never made it happen.
In fact, the opposite happened. Tom reverted back to his old technique of ghosting. It drove me crazy. After everything I’d said, after everything HE’D said. Tom had learned nothing. I was back to my former self, wondering what the heck I could have done wrong. WHY WAS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN?!
The answer is that there is no reason. Tom just lost interest. It’s not a problem with me, he just doesn’t feel the same way. It took a long time for me to realise that. The hard thing is; realising something doesn’t mean getting over it, those things take time.
I still think about Tom a lot. We talk occasionally. In our most recent exchange he said the thing he likes about our ‘friendship’ is that it doesn’t matter if we don’t talk for a while, because when we do it’s not weird…he’s just completely oblivious.
I think it’s important to point out that I don’t have any bad feelings towards Tom, I’ll always have a soft spot for him and part of me will always care about him. It’s nobody’s fault he doesn’t feel the same way I do. It’s a lesson learned. Don’t waste your time or your feelings on someone that isn’t willing to offer the same.