Last week, and despite recent What’s my type? and It’s not me, it’s you and Very Wise Stuff I Say posts, I broke my own rules and I hooked up with someone* – something I don’t do very often at all. But hell, it was Christmas, I’d had a few drinks and it had been a while since I’d felt a man’s body next to mine. Breathed in the scent of a man’s skin. Been kissed by a man, long and deep. Or was wrapped up in a man’s arms, with my legs tangled around his.
It was supposed to be just a One Night Thing, and I was ok with that for a number of reasons, but primarily because he was a smoker and his lifestyle didn’t necessarily complement mine.
Things were different in the morning, sans the alcohol-induced fog of Let’s Just Do This For The Hell Of It. There was none of that awkwardness that usually accompanies a hook up; none of that Just Get Me Out Of Here, I Want To Go Home To My Own Bed feeling one often gets. It was, in fact, very much along the lines of I Think You Are Awesome And We Totally Need To Do This Again.
So we swapped mobile numbers and stayed in touch across the weekend. All texts were initiated by him.
And then we Totally Did It Again Two Nights Later, after I might add, a few more drinks, lots of talking, food, more talking and sambuca shots. Another morning, with no awkwardness. In fact, he had to go to work and suggested I stay there at his place. Of course I declined, mainly because he had no tea and I couldn’t have a cuppa. I told him he needed to Get Some Tea if this was going to be a regular thing.
By Tuesday afternoon, my gut was flip-flopping around like freshly caught fish on a ship’s deck: my internal alarm system had kicked in and was notifying me that something was wrong. Texts initiated by him had dried up overnight, and ones that I was sending (not that many, I might add) were being responded to in hours, then days, if at all. I was experiencing a case of The Dreaded Man Pullback Syndrome.
I tested the waters one last time with a flirty text – just to prove or disprove my theory – and this message popped a few hours later:
While I’m grateful for his (eventual) honesty, I am, quite frankly, a bit puzzled. And I have all sorts of questions for him like: why even bother to start something in the first place if you were just going to pull the pin a few days later anyway? Or: why pull the pin at all when it was only supposed to be casual and fun? Or: how come you didn’t have the balls to tell me sooner, because my gut picked it on Tuesday? Or: why did you send me such mixed messages when I was totally up front with you? Or: you do know that just because I told you to get some tea does not mean I want to move in with you, right? Questions like that.
But it’s my own fault. I am really, really, really bad at doing the hook up thing. I get too attached too quickly. Always have done, even in the 80s, when hook ups were de rigueur and all the cool kids were doing it. I should never do it, or if I do, which I shouldn’t, walk away and refuse to be seduced (pun intended) by promises of something more, because that’s what generally happens. And I generally Fall For It. Silly, silly, silly me.
So, I need me a game plan, because the lovely Melsy won’t be around all the time to be the Hook Up Nazi and save me from myself. I need to devise carefully thought out heuristics I can call up at the drop of a hat to guide me to safety when these sorts of situations arise. Something along these lines, I think:
1. Don’t do hook-ups
Self-explanatory, but this might be occasionally difficult to stick to because of alcohol, festive occasions and the last three sentences of paragraph one. If, by chance this does happen, then I should observe the following rules of thumb, given that I’m probably also Ignoring Good Sense and am in the process of being seduced by Promises Of Something More.
2. Don’t text (or Tweet or Facebook)
I am convinced that no good comes from texting. Yes, texting’s quick and easy, but it’s also incredibly misused. Calls, though, are a different story. Calls have currency and mean something. A man who calls a woman to make plans is a man. A man who texts “Hey, what’s up?” is a boy, no matter how old he is. I will make it clear to The Next Man On The Scene that I don’t text (or Tweet, or Facebook) and if he wants to communicate with me, then he is going to have to do it the old-fashioned way and call. Watch them scatter.
3. Watch and learn
Once is never, twice is always, and actions speak louder than words. It takes a long, long time to get to know someone properly, but I can work out how genuine someone is pretty quickly. All I need to do is Keep My Emotions In Check and observe. Do they call or try to text (Facebook or Tweet) me (despite me making it clear I want calls)? How often? When and what time? Is it to make plans to see me, e-maintain me, or just to chat? If plans are made, who suggests it? What is the quality of the plans? Dinner and a show, or just wanting to hang out at my place? At the ages of the specimens I’m dealing with, no behaviour is new behaviour and it’s easy to get a clear picture fast. The trick is To Not Ignore The Evidence and Keep Observing The Ant Farm.
While this was going on, I sought solace from dear old Uncle Google. I found a few awesome sites that helped me See Things Clearly, when things weren’t very clear and kind of confusing:
Miss Matchmaker on disappearing men – again, just plain old, good advice.
Evan Marc Katz on disappearing men – it’s the comments that make this post a worthwhile read.
* This person was not a complete stranger. I’m not that stupid. I met him about a month ago, and we’d exchanged pleasantries a couple of times since first meeting. In all likelihood, we will probably go back to continuing to exchange pleasantries.