Zan Dates: #6 – Every Rose Has A Thorn (Pt .1: Evaluation)

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The beginning

It has been over a year since my last post. Longtime readers of this blog will maybe recall some of my horror stories in the world of online dating.

My posts drew to a close as I entered the world of Alcoholics Anonymous to try and confront my behavioral issues & possible dependence on alcohol. With the possible loss of a child in Zan Dates #1, my experiences with partners that were documented here & of course my experiences that remain undocumented, I felt as though my mind had begun to unravel.

I was drinking daily prior to my AA experience & frequently knocking back opiate painkillers to manage the hangovers, shakes & pains that my body was going through. I was becoming a reclusive insomniac & pushing my self destruct button far too often. I was ill. AA enabled me to clear my head & find peace with some of my issues.

I departed AA after four months. I found myself fighting back at the underlying religious principles the program is built on. Sharing your truths with people that have a record for crime, some of it violent & the fact that many of these people seem to be ingrained with a desire to fuck people over was not my cup of tea.

Towards the end of my experience there, I began dating a lovely South African girl. She was kind, loving, fantastic in bed, & fully supported me with my issues & abstinence. She would even come over to my home to cook amazing South African cuisine when it dawned on her that I was not looking after myself. I was living on caffeine, sugar & had become hopelessly hooked on internet pornography as an escape from my drinking. I had merely substituted one addiction for several others.

She kept sticking by me though. She was a lot younger than me, approximately eight years but she was wise beyond her years. She admitted she was falling in love with me… I found it flattering but due to my own issues, I couldn’t focus on her in the same way. In the end, I finished it.

She was distraught, crying her eyes out on the phone to me daily for at least a week after begging me to give it a go. It took a lot of resolve to stick to my guns, but I did feel genuinely sad. I’ve felt like that myself with numerous partners & it’s tough to move on. What I did not expect was six months later to be feeling like that myself about someone.

Workplace romances are something I am usually against. It brings your personal life to the workplace & after being involved with colleagues before where it didn’t end well, I was even more against it.
I was coming to the end of a course, dealing with AA, getting my health back & trying to secure permanent work. My interviews were going well, but I kept getting turned down as the perception of my sometimes reckless behaviour was seen as a concern. No one wanted to take a chance on me, despite my work being of a high quality.

It was around this time that I met Thorn. We worked together & got on well. She had a one year long contract & had already decided to move back home at the end of it. She was a very pretty woman that took great pride in her appearance. She always had a smile on her face but kept herself very much to herself. We initially bounced off of each other in terms of our humour. I could never figure out if she was interested in me for more than friendship, as she was a very hard person to read. The polar opposite of me in the way I wear my heart on my sleeve. I admired her demeanour.

After yet another rejection from elsewhere & some quite laughable feedback, I returned to doing my work. She picked up on my mood seeming down. She asked what was wrong & I decided to tell her. She offered an opportunity to talk after work & I accepted.

We walked to a nearby cafe & we went through a lot of topics. In terms of the conversation, in hindsight it was red flag after red flag in terms of any potential dates. We talked about my interviews, job experiences & also hers. Her usual smiley demeanour had changed though. She seemed almost distant, made several references to an ex boyfriend who had fifty thousand in savings but had never wanted to pay for anything. At times, I felt like she was looking down at her nose at me.

I felt like proving a point though. The conversation led me to believe she was actually a high value woman that got shit on a lot. I wondered if I could be the one to change that. We swapped numbers & went out several times that week.

The fourth date was a meal out with a married couple who were friends of mine. Around them, she was cold, aloof & very quiet. Strange, I thought. But after dinner, we walked back to her place & thereafter she seemed her usual happy self. She invited me in for tea. We sat on the sofa & both knew what was going to happen. It was awkward though. At no point had she mentioned any sexual interest in me. At this moment in time, my self doubt had increased since giving up drinking & substance abuse was at a high level. We kissed and it became increasingly passionate. We went to bed & spent the night making love.

It was a strange experience. I put it down to nerves but the way she had sex was different to any partner that I had been with. It lacked intensity but then that intensity went into overload as she took control.

I awoke early the next morning & she was cuddled up to my chest. When she awoke she had a big smile on her face & did not want me to leave.

But I went home, got ready for work & headed up to my workplace. She was also heading in, so I stopped to talk to her & we walked in together. Suddenly she had turned ice cold & dismissive. I didn’t know how to take it. Over the following weeks of our dating, she would often switch like this, entirely unexpectedly. But being someone accepting, I didn’t read too much into it.

About a month in, she returned home & had an interview for a job there. We spoke on the phone daily & it was much the same. Hot, then cold. I had an interview whilst she was away & we both secured jobs on the same day.

I found myself becoming increasingly needy though. I never mentioned my feelings to her in this respect, aware that it might push her away. I felt as though I was beginning to fall in love. When it was good, things were really good. We supported each other, had fun together & just clicked in the right places. But whenever things went well & got to the point where we seemed happy, she would do something to shatter that.

It would usually be a conversation on how her feelings were not developing for me, despite her actions proving otherwise the vast majority of the time. I felt it had something to do with moving back home. From my point of view, I knew I was on borrowed time being with her in terms of location for the foreseeable future. I imagined she felt the same.

We had a big argument two days before she was due to return from her hometown & in a moment of pure spite, I got in touch with South African again. She came over to mine & we ended up having sex. I felt terrible & riddled with guilt. But I was also asking myself why the sex was not like that with Thorn.

When Thorn returned, I did some shopping for her & also got her some flowers to apologise for our argument. It was subconsciously also an apology for sleeping with South African, which Thorn does not know about to this day.

I had even spoke to South African regarding the relationship with Thorn. South African had moved on emotionally now & was willing to give advice. Her words still resonate with me now. When I told her at times I felt like I could never do or be enough for Thorn, she simply hit back with…

‘But is she enough for you?’

Looking back, this was where I should of walked away. But I didn’t…

~ Zan

Continued in Zan Dates #6 (Part Two)!

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