Late night, red wine and you.

Now and again we get let down or disappointed by the people that we trust the most. It sucks balls, no one likes getting their heart hurt, but if we’re all honest with ourselves, each of us can all do the same to other people, none of us are perfect. Maybe everyone of us betrays or hurts someone in our lives at some point.

When you’ve been fucked over in a past relationship, It can be difficult to let people in, old or new, but you need to eventually, right? Alone time is great but there will be moments when you want to surround yourself with friends, they’ll reset your sense of wellbeing, won’t they? Maybe just spending time with one friend, it’s always cool to hang out with people you care about. Perhaps it’s someone that enters your life who ends up becoming more than just a friend, the start of anything new can be exciting. If you can’t get someone out of your head, it probably means that they’re supposed to be there. You might meet that someone in a variety of different ways, a bar, a club, a restaurant, through friends, online, the opportunities are almost endless. The problem is though, that sometimes, you can trust your trust but occasionally you spectacularly misjudge things. It’s the old saying, if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

One night a whole lot of trouble arrives and sometimes it’s difficult not to be curious, especially after a glass of vino. Or three.

Late night, glazed eyes, we all lose our minds.

She’s incredibly pretty, someone is punching way above their weight, why would she even be in touch? It’s ridiculous that she’d even glance more than once but it’s okay to be intrigued by someone new, especially if you’re still a tiny bit vulnerable about everything that’s gone before. Is it a joke, a trick? Maybe we’re never tricked; we just trick ourselves into believing in something or someone. What’s the worst that could happen?

Things progress. We like a lot of the same things but don’t agree on others. Sports teams, music choices, television shows, some good, some bad. Who wants to be with someone who likes all of the similar stuff that they do, sounds boring, doesn’t it? She’s different, a little bit of feistiness can never be a bad thing, playful arguments are fun.

Things progress some more, and she drops the twelfth letter of the alphabet one night. That word always makes you stop and think, doesn’t it? It’s easy to believe that we’re all complicated because we’re all tangled up in our own lives and relationships, but we all have choices. We’re all wired to want answers from who we choose to spend time with. Fix what you can if you want to, stay or go, be honest or lie, say the word back or not. Eleven letters that should not be tossed around easily. You don’t need to say them back immediately just to show that you’re invested in whatever you’ve got going on, but it seems that if you’re not quite ready to open up emotionally, not all of us are happy about it.

The dynamic has changed and it takes a while but one day the penny drops. None of this was ever given a status or a tag, but if there’s someone in the background that you didn’t know about, and are only just finding out about, then it’s definitely not going to work. Questions are asked but no answers are given. It turns out that there’s deception in silence.

Leading someone on is never right, why would you mislead someone just because you’re bored with whoever it is that you’re with right now? If you don’t like him or her, don’t you just end things? Why try and pursue something with someone else if you’re already in a relationship or even living with someone? What’s the point in playing with someone else’s feelings just because you’re not quite sure what your own are? Maybe the difference between a girl who wants to be with you and who doesn’t, is one that will always tell you the truth. A little fib now and again is okay, it’s fine to pretend to like each other’s parents. For someone to think that your signature dish is excellent, when in fact, it tastes like shit. It’s okay to say that you like my t-shirt even when you don’t. Does your ass look big? That’s a whole other minefield, but obviously the answer is no.

Don’t lead anyone on. If you think even a tiny bit that you don’t want someone, then that’s cool, go and do your own thing and they’ll do what they need to do. Don’t feel sorry, maybe it’s just modern love. Oscar Wilde probably said it best, ‘Deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.’ Pretty cynical, don’t we all hope for something more?

Did it hurt to let go? Fucking right, but it hurt more to try and hold on. Any time we have options, we’re in a position of privilege but it sure doesn’t feel like that right now.

Is this modern love? If it is, who wants any part of it?

You fucked up, it wasn’t me, we both know it. It only takes one word, five letters, to make things okay again between us but it’ll never be what it was. It’s up to you if you want anything from this.

Tell me you’re sorry so we can maybe move on.

@TheSamMcLeod

@YouMeMusicLife

Three makes it a crowd.

When a girl breaks your heart, your friends are quick to tell you things along the lines of, “she wasn’t right for you anyway, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, the girl meant for you will come along, we saw the photos of you two together and she didn’t look like a ‘Sam’ girl.’ Fuck knows what that last part even means, but the rest are all cliches that we’ve probably heard at one point or another, but you know that they come from a good place, even if you don’t want to hear them in that moment. It takes time though to find that trust again, to let someone in, to want to even let someone in, to try and learn who to place your trust in.

Maybe it’s like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s broken, but maybe you can’t fix it with the person that smashed it. There’ll still be cracks, won’t there?

It’s tough to try and move on though, everyone is unique, it takes time. How long it takes differs for all of us, depending on our circumstances. Perhaps the more that you begin to care about someone new, the more sure you are that they’re going to get tired of you and disappear and leave you alone. Just your own insecurities about what went before, right? It’s 100% not fair on the new person that comes along but it can be tough to alter your mindset. What if one day everything changes though and someone new enters your life?

We all know immediately when we meet someone whether or not we’re punching above our weight. It’s a shallow concept, but it crosses our mind, dare to tell me I’m wrong. If more than one person likes the girl that you think you might like, shit, that you know you like, one of you is the underdog. Sometimes you know what’s in your future and what’s not. What’s likely and what’s unlikely.

Conversations happen, she smiles with her eyes when we speak, is there a chance for me, despite everyone else that’s fighting for her affection? It’s looking good, but is someone out of their league here? For sure. Things progress, the conversation is on point. We kiss, the night is spent together, it’s completely innocent, nothing wrong with cuddles and kisses when you’ve been starved of them both for so long.

I don’t know too much about her, other than she’s beautiful, she’s funny and she makes me smile. She’s not my usual type, yet incredibly, it looks like I’m not the underdog any more. Insecurity creeps in again though.

I bet, I bet we don’t make it.

The morning comes and she has to go home. She doesn’t stay in the same city, far less the same country, but an open invite is extended to visit her at any time. An email drops into my inbox on a Friday morning a couple of weeks later, ‘Come visit on Saturday if you can, a friend is having a party, it would be amazing to see you. Let me know when your flight lands if you decide to come, I’ll pick you up, it’ll be fun, assuming that you want to see me?’ The email insinuates a slight tease, she knows that I do. Tomorrow is short notice, but fuck it, why not?

A flight is booked, a couple of hours on a plane to take a chance on someone is no time at all. Better to arrive on the Friday though, get my bearings, although I lived and worked where she lives years ago, sometimes it’s just nice to have a little bit of time to yourself. The Saturday venue is familiar so I know where I’m going, but I use the Friday night to catch up in the same place with an old friend, drink some bourbon and reminisce. We both know the bar well, drinks are ordered and as is usually the case with my friends and I, a table is chosen in the back where you can see everything, always backs to the wall. No one wants to be taken out by a sniper!

The stories flow, memories are spoken about and laughter happens a lot. We’ve been friends forever, we grew up together so it’s a seamless catch up. I get up to go to the bathroom, come back and he points out a cute girl at the bar who he likes the look of. Guess who? I tell him who she is and he’s immediately apologetic. No biggie, she’s a stunner and he knows that she’s why I’m even here. Just as I stand back up to walk over to say hello, a guy walks in, hugs her and gives her the longest kiss that I’ve ever seen. Plot twist.

Neither of them can see us, thank fuck for small mercies. My friend and I look at each other and we both shrug, but inside I’m hurting a tiny bit. If something looks too good to be true, chances are that it probably is. I don’t go to the bar for a while, no way am I getting involved in whatever they have going on. Looks like my Saturday night will be free to do whatever I want to do, there’s no fucking chance I’m going to any party.

More bourbon is consumed, I get the piss taken out of me for trying to punch above my weight. I smile because he’s right, what was I thinking? Eventually they finally leave together with their arms wrapped around each other.

It’s my round. At the bar, I speak to the girl serving me and ask who the couple were who just left as I thought I recognised them. Seems they’ve been engaged for years and are set to get married in the autumn. It turns out I was a bigger underdog than I thought. It’s such a shame, a shame, we had to find out this way.

Fuck it, my flight is changed, my Saturday night will be spent with people I know who aren’t messing me around. Might as well get turbo though in the meantime with one of my oldest friends. Unbelievably, less than an hour later, my iPhone pings and it’s a text asking if I’m coming tomorrow?

Thing is, I know something you don’t.

I start to type a text a couple of dozen times and each one gets deleted. Finally I settle on, ‘I’m in the city already, I was in the same bar as you tonight. Good luck with everything for your wedding, we all deserve to be happy. All of us.’ The reply comes, ‘It was a mistake, I’m sorry.’ The thing is, it feels like the mistake is mine, for trusting you. Six words is all I get?

It’s one thing to make a mistake accidentally; it’s something completely different to make it on purpose. We all know what happens when you let yourself get close to someone, when you start to believe they like you, but you know that there’s a chance that you’ll be disappointed. Just choices, right?

We drain the bottle, handshakes and hugs follow and I head for bed, sleep and reflection is needed before heading back a day before I should be. The message I’m left with as my head hits the pillow is to be careful with who I let in, because I could have been the one that has messed everything up in the end for them, despite what she did. It’s not a nice feeling but how was I to know?

I’m down, down, but definitely not out.

@TheSamMcLeod

How could this be done by such a smiling sweetheart?

When we were younger, we were kind of fearless, we had just enough naivety to think, ‘Why can’t I do anything that I want to do?’ Become an astronaut? No problemo, there’s no way the training can be that difficult. A doctor? Absolutely, consider it done. Become an international superstar playing the sport that you love and get paid for it? It’s definitely happening, start working on that signature for autographs. A fireman? Saving people, plus girls like a guy in uniform apparently, win win. Falling in love at first sight with someone? It can’t just be true in fairytales, right? Meet and marry the most perfect person for you in the entire world? Obviously, there’s no way it isn’t in your future, it’s in the bag. Just the innocence of youth, naive enough to not yet know what you could never hope to accomplish.

It’s not the worst trait to have, perhaps being naive preserves your view of the world that maybe some others don’t have, we’re all different about what we think of people and things. Does it make us more vulnerable? It’s tough to say but you always want to think the best about everyone you meet, about everyone in your life. Maybe it is being a little naive, but it isn’t it cool to think that there aren’t really very many truly bad people in the world? The problem is, you grow up and you learn that you’re going to get hurt by someone, sometimes by the person that you least expected to ever cause you pain.

It can happen in every relationship, whether you’re friends or something more, but if someone or something isn’t making you happy, you question it, don’t you? Isn’t it right that it takes more courage to do things outside of your comfort zone when you know you’re miserable but you need to know why?

I know that she knows that I’m not fond of asking.

I know that something is up but asking questions becomes more difficult when people are evasive. She’s a loose cannon but generally one that fires in the right direction, so a little slack is cut. Questions are avoided though, no answers are given as to what’s going on. There’s a problem somewhere but let’s face it, boys aren’t the cleverest when it comes to matters of the heart.

As a boy, you can fool yourself into thinking that you understand women, but the truth is that you don’t. Do you try to keep them guessing though to make up for your lack of understanding? Sure, why not try and give off a devil may care attitude and make the ladies think that you’re some kind of badboy that they can tame. Sometimes it works, but there’s always the occasional disaster.

Something is wrong, something has changed. One of the most predictable things in all of our lives is that there will be change. It would be nice if you can have a say in whatever those changes will be, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that they’re not on your horizon, despite whether you want them to be or not.

A lot of the time, there’s always one person in a couple who’s more invested in their relationship. It’s easy for everyone around you to notice and tell you to walk away but it’s not always that easy, right? Isn’t it the best when you’re really close friends with someone but also in love with them at the same time? It hurts like fuck though when someone keeps abusing that and using you to comfort their own insecurities.

She’s becoming a complete mess but we continue on, you don’t just fall out of love with someone, but it’s getting harder. We all make choices, we do what we want, relationship or not. The penny drops one day, she has a massive issue. Excessive drinking, partying and random hookups are okay for single people, but not for a couple. I guess I always knew deep down but I can’t stop lying to other people about it any more, far less myself. A dignified silence is for the best, given everything that we’ve shared, I’m not about to throw her under the bus to our friends. If it makes me look like the bad guy, then I’m okay with that, her health and wellbeing is more important. It’s becoming clear to see that we’re ending soon, but it’s not the kind of thing to talk to someone else about, who wants to admit that their relationship is falling faster than a barrel over Niagara? I want to continue loving her despite the fact that she doesn’t seem to want me in the same way that I want her. Who the fuck wants to stick around just to give someone attention and comfort when they need it though? No point in having a relationship when nothing is on your terms. What happened to compromise and understanding?

The night comes and the sunset that evening is heartbreakingly beautiful. The conversation will be tough but it needs to happen, and the look on her face says everything. Words are said because I need to find a way to stop liking, far less loving her. Sometimes a relationship ending conversation doesn’t determine who’s right, only who’s left.

I’m not saying it was your fault, although you could have done more. Will there maybe something there regardless of what she did? Tonight, tomorrow, always.

All you want from someone that you let into your life? Just don’t let me down.

@TheSamMcLeod