I’m supposed to be on a date right now.
I chickened out.
I feel bad about it, ashamed, like a child who’s scared to make new friends, especially given all the hard work everyone put in helping me create my online dating profile. The trouble is, although you got my requirements spot on, you missed one crucial ‘must-have’ for my ideal man.
‘Must creep up on me slowly, catch my eye in a bookshop, be the last person in the world I expect to fall in love with.’ Pathetically romantic I know, but there you go.
Tonight I was having dinner cooked for me by a man I met for lunch last week. This was going to be our second date. He was a perfectly nice, normal man – attractive, French, a musician, nothing not to like, and yet all day I was just overwhelmed by the desire to instead spend the evening lying on the sofa eating crisps and watching repeats of Jonathan Creek.
So I sent a text and cancelled. (A text. I’m not even brave enough to pick up the phone). “I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m just not ready for the whole dating thing. I hope you meet someone lovely who’s not so flakey.”
“But you are lovely,” he replied, “I agree with the flakey bit though.”
I had a lunch date on Wednesday too. I cancelled that three hours beforehand, with an excuse about work. I have been busy this week, that bit’s true enough, but I could probably have found the time. If I’d been brave enough.
My friend Suzie says I’m just not the online dating type. In my most self-destructive moments I wonder if the prince was right, if I’m just too fickle.
I know deep down that I’m being too hard on myself. If it doesn’t feel right it doesn’t feel right, right? I should stop trying to force it and someone will come along when I least expect it. But will they? And if they do, how will I know, if I can’t even get as far as a second date?
I’ve hidden my online profile, and now I’m hiding at home on my own eating toast.
Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I didn’t like him enough. I’m not sure. I don’t trust my judgement – am I being sensible, listening to my heart and following my instinct, or am I just a big cowardly custard, terrified of making myself vulnerable, of opening my heart to someone new?