Two days after our third date I text the Francophile asking when she’s free. I’m planning to take her to the darkest, booziest, filthiest bar I know, where the seats are so tiny she’ll practically have to sit in my lap. It’s always rammed full of couples with hard liquor and hard ons. If we don’t kiss there we’re not kissing anywhere.
Sadly, I never get the chance. After my text I wait an excruciating day and a half for her to reply that she doesn’t “know how [I] feel” but if we meet again it would only be “as friends.” “Again, I don’t know how you’re feeling but I thought I’d be upfront.”
How am I feeling? Angry, frustrated, hurt, fed up, fucked off and furious.
It’s not that she’s not interested. After all, there are lots of reasons why someone might change their mind. Maybe she’s dating someone else and it got serious. Maybe she’s not over her ex. Maybe she doesn’t know how I feel and so she’s mounting a pre-emptive strike. Maybe she just wasn’t that impressed the last time we met.
The problem is she asked me to meet up again after our last date. She gave me the impression she liked me and then changed her mind in 48 hours. Yeah but no but yeah but no mais oui mais non. Then she didn’t have the decency to let me down gently but waited for me to text her first. Then she kept me hanging for nearly 2 days to get back to me. If that’s her being ‘upfront’ I’d love to see her being coy – dumping you at the altar, perhaps?
I meet up with friends a few days later, still fuming, and fill them in on the non-kiss.
“Wait…you didn’t kiss her in the cinema. It’s a cinema! It’s the easiest place in the world to get off with someone!”
“No it bloody isn’t. What am I meant to do? Randomly start touching her up? #metoo exists for a reason, you know.”
“No, you put your arm around her. Or let your arm gently brush up against hers.”
“Firstly, I’m not putting my arm around her because I’m not some creepy lothario from the seventies. Secondly, why do I have to be the one to make a move?
“Maybe if she doesn’t have a lot of experience she’s afraid to.”
“I’m afraid to. I’m deathly afraid. We’re all afraid. Dating is like being repeatedly jabbed in the tits with a cheese knife. But if you want to date women you cannot expect the dynamic to be the same as with a man. You cannot rely on the other person to take the lead. If we all thought like that we’d be waiting forever.”
“True,” she sighs.
I’ll never know what really happened but my instincts tell me if we’d kissed this story could have had a very different ending. Maybe not the happy ending, but a happier one. I wish one of us had found the courage to do something. I wish I’d fought through my insecurities and been upfront about liking her. I wish she hadn’t hurt my feelings by asking to see me and then changing her mind with no explanation. I wish I’d taken her to the filthy bar on day one.
Oh well, if you think like that you’ll wish your life away.
Merci pour rien, Francophile.
I’ll be posting a new blog every 2 weeks from now on. The next blog will be published on Tuesday 9 October.
Photo by James & Carol Lee on Unsplash