When a relationship ends, it’s difficult for both people, regardless of who makes the decison that things can’t continue any more. You might have been thinking the same thing but you just didn’t have the guts to pull the trigger first. Emotions can be mixed, but maybe the negative ones come first. Hurt, regret, sadness, tears, all of us have experienced those feelings. The nights come and they’re brutal, the suffering begins. Sleep is difficult, there’s a heightened silence, it’s easy to feel that you just want to disappear for a while.
Once you find yourself beginning to get over things or thinking that you’re getting over things, perhaps that’s when there’s a chink of light in the dark. Excitement, hope, relief, surely there will be someone that comes next for you, assuming that’s what you want.
It’s difficult to know when you’re ready though. All you can do is to go about your day, live your life, be as good a person as you can be and then maybe something happens. It can be a minefield, right? Take politeness, has it become so rare that people mistake it for flirting? So, you’re a nice person, you smile a lot and try to be cool and friendly to the people that you meet. Tough though, because it can be seen as flirting when it’s not meant in that way. Just because you’re being nice and making conversation with someone doesn’t mean that you want to take them to bed. Good conversation between two people of the opposite sex doesn’t have to be anything more than that.
Flirting is one of those things, just like everything else in the world, that some people are just better at. Is it something that’s probably just as much about learning to like yourself again, as much as it is about liking someone else? Trying to see yourself through someone’s eyes and realising that whilst your confidence has taken a knock, you might just be okay? Do you wait and see what happens, or try and chat up everyone that you meet that you think you might like? It’s a lottery, the chances of winning are extremely slim but millions still play, in it to win it, right? Hitting on every girl in sight is like buying a shit ton of tickets, one of them might pay off at some point.
How do you even flirt? Look someone straight in their eyes, smile, use their name a lot, pay them compliments? If it’s been a while, it’s tough to know which approach to take. It’s okay to be nervous, hopefully your courage kicks in, but it’s hard not to think of your last relationship if it hurt you though.
If I did, I’d be a broken man, full of broken dreams, with a broken heart.
My lease is up on my apartment, so I have to move. The issue is that the new place won’t be ready for a few months, and crashing with friends for a couple of days is okay, but you don’t want to ever inconvenience anyone. I know that I’m only taking up the new place to rent it out before moving back overseas for work, so a hotel it is. I check in, it’s cool, but it’s lonely. You need to force yourself to get out there and meet people, it’s too easy to sit in your room. A few weeks in, I try to renew my booking but it’s full for the next week due to a big conference in the city. Availability is limited and all that’s left is a hostel. I’ve not stayed in one before but fuck it, every day is an adventure. To my surprise, it’s actually pretty cool, I have my own room, there’s a full kitchen, internet access, what more do you need? The best part? Different people are coming and going every day, who knows who I might meet? Nothing romantic enters my head but meeting new people from across the globe, people on their travels, what’s not to like? Knowing the area well, it’s nice to be able to recommend things to do and see to others. Politeness.
New friendships are made, conversations in the kitchen with random strangers of varying nationalities happens regularly, drinks are shared, music is played, some have dodgier tastes than others, but that’s okay. How can broadening your horizons be a bad thing?
There’s a Canadian girl I meet, travelling on her own around the country, but she’s here to take care of some family things. We strike up a conversation one night and she shows me a map of all the places that she wants to visit once she’s done what she needs to do. Advice is given and I don’t think any more of it, as nice as she is. Politeness. She ends up staying for longer than expected and the conversations become more regular, meals are cooked for all of our new mutual friends, wine is shared and friendships evolve.
It’s a Saturday night about ten days in, and a small group of us are cooking and drinking, music is on, each of us gets to pick the next song to play. A friend tells me to hurry up before there’s no more night left. My mind is blank, but he tells me that she clearly likes me and to that I need to do something about it before she leaves. Fuck. I know that we’re all looking for that tiny spark that we’ve been dancing around with to set off an explosion in our lives, but I didn’t even know that we were dancing, I thought that she was just being polite too.
It’s my turn to choose a song and you sing along if it’s a song you know, don’t you? She looks at me and asks me the question that my friend saw coming but I didn’t. I have to say no because I promised someone that I wouldn’t move on until things were finalised between us. I’m missing out but a promise is a promise. It’s not the first time, it might not be the last, but I can see how I’ve disappointed her, although it was never my intention. The song plays, and I sing along, almost under my breath.
It’s going to be alright, you’re going to be golden, you’re going to be falling in love before you know it. Am I telling her or am I telling myself?