I learned something about relationships this week.
Relationships are very new to me you see. I’m learning all this stuff very late in life, stuff most people learn in their teens or twenties….
I did have a boyfriend when I was 15 for about three months I think. It all ended when I wouldn’t sleep with him, so he decided to show me the error of my ways by letting me catch him snogging my best friend! All good teenage learning experience! I did what people seemed to expect and pretended I didn’t care, had a couple of ‘dates’ with his best friend and that was that. not really dates as such, just s bit of snogging at the youth club.
Dates are something I know very little about. There was one arranged when I was 17 ish, but he stood me up! All my other experiences were just a bit of a fumble in the youth club disco.
when I had to stay at home to look after mum, relationships were out of the question. After she went into residential care, I got a job and did start to meet people again, but nobody ever seemed to want to see me more than once. I never knew why, but assumed it was because I was unattractive, shy, boring, all the things I knew I was deep down.
when mum died, I guess I thought I would finally start to meet men and maybe get married, have children, etc.
But I didn’t understand the game. You’re not supposed to be honest, you see. If you really like someone, you’re supposed to pretend you aren’t interested and ‘play hard to get’. And you’re supposed to flirt with men, but not too much. If you’re not interested apparently they like that and will be more keen than ever….
Anyway, after my 20th birthday, I decided that it was about time I slept with someone. there was a colleague of mine, who I got on well with, flirted with a bit. He was a nice boy, engaged to his childhood sweetheart and we decided to sleep together. It only happened once and wasn’t unpleasant and we were still friends afterwards. I left that job soon after and started my travelling adventures.
I had sex a few times with men I met on my travels. Mostly just the once, as by that time I just knew they wouldn’t want to see me more than once. There was always a bit of hope, but wasted hope. In hindsight, having sex with someone on first meeting isn’t the best way to get them to marry you, is it?
Then when I was 23 a soldier I met at a nightclub came back for a drink. When I decided I didn’t want to sleep with him, he got really nasty and raped me. He also beat me and almost strangled me. I thought I was going to die and all I could think about was the police turning up on my dad’s doorstep telling him I’d been murdered while having a one night stand…. The shame of it!
ive never liked soldiers since then. Nor men really. After that I didn’t have any contact with men for 27 years!
So it’s not surprising I know nothing about relationships.
I didn’t know I was supposed to pretend not to be interested. I’m too honest and I just think that I should say exactly what I think and feel. Apparently that’s not how it works.
And that’s why I will probably be on my own for the rest of my days. It’s not because I’m unattractive, shy or worthless.
it’s because I’m honest.