Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Over before it began

There once was a man in Canberra who was interested in me, as much as I was interested in him - or so it seemed.  After meeting through friends and getting on well we had started communicating over the phone/email/text.  It was nice - but me being me I wanted things to proceed and he was keen to come and visit me.  But then he saw the price of flights from Melbourne to Canberra and was a bit put off - not enough to cancel, just to save up a bit.  So we kept talking and finally I told him that I'm looking for a serious relationship and while it's nice to talk and email I really think we need to spend some time together in order to really get to know each other better.  Considering I'd seen him twice in Canberra, it only seemed fair that he travel to Melbourne.  I've put myself out time and time again for men who aren't prepared to do the same for me and this time I was determined not to do that.  I also said that if things did proceed that while I'd be happy to move to Canberra and stay with him for a year or so, I wasn't happy with the idea of living in Canberra forever.  It's far too cold for me and even one year would be tough.
So this was the bit he couldn't handle.  It seems he is finally settled somewhere and has a well paid job.  Having put down roots he doesn't want to move again.  He's also built some friendships there and feels there are people in the community who depend on him too much.
For a very fledgling relationship I'm feeling quite devastated about this.  He is such a lovely, caring, intelligent man who I feel a great connection with.  I know he was keen on me as well - but as I said to him - obviously not keen enough to compromise.  I held such high hopes for a future with this man - now I feel as though it's loneliness forever.  At one stage when we were talking I said 'so I guess it's goodbye then', he said, 'well not necessarily..'  I stopped him as I've been in too many long painful drawn out relationships going nowhere - maybe I shouldn't have, I don't know - but I find ambiguity very difficult and I don't move on unless ties are cut.


  1. A few years back a friend (in her 40s) had started dating a man who moved to another state. They were in Florida, but for work purposes he moved to a town in Texas. She went to see him, checked out the local schools (she was a guidance counselor), but ended up not making the move. A mutual friend had told her to think hard about it, as she didn't think my friend would like that environment. Years later my friend married (at 49) a man (also 49) who lived in the same city. It worked out nicely for her. When I was younger, I think my choice would have been to move to Texas, but I guess this depends on so many factors. How settled you are in your own life (career wise, family wise), how bad it really would be for you to change cities, how much you truly like each other.

  2. Thanks for your comments IrisD and especially for the good news story of a 49 year old friend marrying a 49 year old male. There is no denying I feel quite depressed about the whole dating scene at the moment. Internet dating is the pits at any time, but lately I really notice that no-one much contacts me anymore and those that do are much older. Yes I know I need to meet men in other ways, but it's tough to keep putting yourself out there when life has deliverd so many kicks in a relatively short space of time. I love hearing your good news story of someone finding love later in life - especially to someone the same age!
    I'm far from settled where I am, and thus would be happy to move - but cold whether is really bad for my body and Canberra is colder than where I am and it wouldn't be a happy/healthy long term option for me. He knows this and said 'Yes I guess I'd just thought you'd move here and put up with the cold'. Of course he realised after I'd expressed concerns that it wasn't going to work for me - but seems unwilling to think about other options. Anyway he's a slow thinker and mover so I know I put too much on his plate and keep thinking I should try to start again more slowly this time, but that requires me being in a better head space than I am this week anyway :)

  3. I have another friend who married in her early 40s (both friends mentioned met their spouses through online dating services or ads), and one who remarried in her late 60s or early 70s. I knew my husband for 13 years before we managed to arrive at a relationship where we were decidedly committed to each other (or rather that he was decidedly committed to me). So, I'm no stranger to feeling anger at life, at men, at myself. I fell in love with my now dh in year one, but (ah, yeah), he was my professor. No hanky panky went on during that time... just some serious unrequited love on my part. Things changed shortly after (I also worked as a research assistant for him so we had become good friends), but we come from different religions, different countries, he was uncertain about staying in the U.S., where we live, and it was a really, really, really painful decade. I dated other people, often once or twice, but couldn't make an emotional connection with them. There were two times when I thought something might have been possible with someone else, but they both lived out of state or overseas. When all was settled, infertility reared its ugly head. I'm getting around now to the idea of becoming "childfree" instead of "childless". I have friends who are single, never married, others who are divorced and have not remarried. For me one of the things that has made chidlessness difficult is the societal expectation for women to have kids and the comments friends (who are not familiar with my situation) or strangers make to childless women. I know the pressure and expectation is also there very much so if you are single. I try to tell my niece and another younger friend who is single and approaching her mid thirties, to focus on the positive in their life, to enjoy themselves as much as possible and to be happy with themselves. I've known my share of unhappy couples. Growing up for me it was all about getting married and having kids, and often life is not a carbon copy of fairytale life, and that disparity is can cause unnecessary sadness.

  4. Thanks again for sharing your story and your friends' tales of hope - right now I really need some hope. Turning 40 in a few months and of course that has a whole lot of emotions mixed up with it. Lately I have honestly been feeling I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life, and for someone who really values and needs close relationships rather than many acquaintances that is quite terrifying. And yes I know feeling like that doesn't help, but I don't want to beat myself up for feeling down as well as everything else.