A quiet reflection

I’ve been a little quiet lately, and it seems that my absence from the digital world has been noticed. I guess that when people expect to keep up with your life through your website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, they get a little antsy when you cease using all of them at once – as evident by the number of messages I’ve received through the various portals the last couple of days.

Most people have just popped a quick note to check that I’m still here and that I’m OK. Am I sick? If so, do I need groceries or to be otherwise nursed? Am I sad? If so, do I need some jokes or words of inspiration? Am I busy? Am I out of town? Am I “loved up”?

But one person developed a story of his own, hoping that his reason for my absence was correct. In his story, the man of my dreams came to whisk me away on a romantic seaside holiday where he professed his love for me and provided me with a cheque to cover my PhD tuition – and a bank account to cover all of my other bills. (In his story, the man of my dreams is a wealthy, childless, Catholic widower who dreams of adopting lots of kids with me.)

Alas, none of the above is the reason for my quietness. Rather, my silence is down to a bit of self-reflection that began on Saturday after an unpleasant experience. And since it’s an experience that I can’t seem to fully shake, I’ll share it here with you. (I’m no longer upset about it, just frustrated and a little angry.)

Long story short: I agreed to a dinner date with a man who had spent the previous weeks flirting with me. We had a lovely evening and I found myself thinking that I’d like to see him again. The next day, I ran into him when I was in Glasgow. Only he wasn’t alone; he was with his wife and daughter, and all of the sudden he was sporting a wedding band!*

I found the situation to be upsetting and I let it get to me. I let the dishonest actions of someone else shake me to the core and I found myself questioning so much about my own life – and my own future – because of it. And so, I’ve been very reflective these past few days – and therefore very quiet.

I’ve been reflecting on a couple of personal relationships that I’m struggling with. I’ve been reflecting on my financial future – and how I will pay for my PhD. I’ve been reflecting on my health and the future of my health. I’ve been reflecting on my failed attempts at reentering the dating world – and on if I need to date at all. And I’ve been reflecting on my life in general and what I can do to make it happier and more fulfilling.

So, that’s why I’ve been quiet. (Are you sorry you asked?)

But let’s go ahead and end this on a high note, shall we?

Late this afternoon I got a call from someone at Edinburgh Napier University inviting me to interview for the PhD studentship I applied for. I was starting to feel a bit down about my application as the deadline was 10 days ago and I hadn’t had so much as a receipt confirmation, so this little bit of happiness transformed my outlook a bit.

I know I’ve already been accepted to two other universities (Glasgow and Stirling) but my ego really wants to be accepted to every university I apply to. Of course, there’s a difference between being invited for an interview and being offered a place to study, so I won’t pop the Champagne cork just yet …

* We only had dinner; there was no kissing or hand-holding or anything else. Whilst you could say that it was all innocent in that case, he clearly wasn’t wearing a wedding band (I always look!) and never once mentioned a wife (current, ex, or otherwise) or child. It was very clear that he wanted me to have the impression that he was a single and available man.

4 Replies to “A quiet reflection”

  1. O.M.G.! What a jerk. Good thing you found out right away instead of after you two got serious. Did you say to his wife who you were? I would have told her then he would have got what he deserved.

    What about the man of your dreams. Have you told him that you dream about him? He might dream of you too. That would be so romantic.

    Good luck on the phd interview too.

    1. Yes, I am glad I found out right away. I had almost gone to Edinburgh that day, but felt the urge for some Glasgow time at the last minute. Maybe I was nudged by a higher power?

      No, I didn’t say anything to his wife. Maybe if things had happened differently I would have but I really don’t know. It was all such a shock—especially when he introduced me as a “woman from the Stirling office”—that I didn’t know what to say. So I said I was running late to meet friends and walked away to catch my breath. It was so embarrassing and hurtful.

      As for the “man of my dreams”, I don’t know who he is. His features are very “foggy” so I don’t know what he looks like. I sometimes think he’s representative of someone I know, but I dream of that person in his own right, too, so who knows. But it would be nice to know that someone is dreaming of me; that someone thinks of me as the “woman of his dreams”. (I’m not holding out hope on that one though!)

      Thanks for the PhD luck! I’ll take all of that I can get. I’m not too stressed about it (yet) because I have Stirling as a real option, but it really would be nice to have another option to consider.

  2. Quick tip for future first-date adventures.

    Always, always, get a home landline number and make a call prior to the date (cell phones, work numbers, Skype and social networks don’t count).

    If it were me, I’d want to have at least one conversation on that number at a time when other people (husbands, wives, partners, lovers) are likely to be at home (late evening is best).

    If nothing else it provides a certain level of security for a woman meeting someone she may barely know, especially if you give the number to a friend who knows where you’re going.

    It’s not foolproof and may be an awkward thing to raise, but someone with nothing to hide won’t bat an eyelid; reticence of any kind would be a red flag for me.

    I’d also google the person with as much info as I have.

    I know it all sounds a bit cynical but, as a man who didn’t meet his wife until into his 30’s, I feel as though I’m a wee bit of an expert when it comes to the hazards of “mature dating”. I also know a few people who are still out there and come back to share their adventures.. some of which aren’t pretty (the adventures, not the people!).

    Don’t brood too much, have fun (because it is fun), but also make sure you take basic precautions to be safe and avoid the idiots.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    1. Very good tips, indeed. I am a “Googler” but didn’t find anything on this guy other than a LinkedIn profile. But I never thought of land-line calls. (He did call my mobile number.)

      I did let a friend know I was going out (and where/with whom) and made my obligatory touch-points throughout the evening – including the “I’m home safe” one. And I went booze-free and sorted my own transportation. No need for some man I don’t know to know where I live!

      I’m not really desperate to date or anything, and am therefore not really looking for someone, but this did sting a bit. Especially since it was on his instigation. I think that part of why I’m upset is that (if I’m honest) part of the reason I went out with this guy was in the hopes of getting another guy out of my mind. (A guy I want to date, but I know I can’t because it would be doomed from the start.)

      I am a believer in things happening when they’re meant to happen. I was two weeks’ shy of 28 when I met my late husband (my first proper, grown-up love) and I wasn’t even looking for him. When/if I’m meant to find the right man, it will happen. And until then, I’ll just try to remember that I have a gazillion happy little blessings in my life.

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