dating

Attention all single women: Beware the self-startler.

If you are a single woman, beware the self-startler.

You’ll meet – and be drawn to their intensity and charisma. They like you, you’re sure of it. They’re emotionally available. Communicative. Complimentary.

They don’t wait until the next morning to text. They message the second you’re out of their sight. Are you free tomorrow? How about the next day?

“I like them,” you’ll tell your friends. “But they’re coming on very strong…”

You’ll be assured this is exactly the kind of relationship you finally deserve after years of bad luck. Are you really that uncomfortable with someone telling you they like you? Are you so insecure you don’t believe them?

So, you go along with it.

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They text constantly. There are no games. A week in, and they introduce you to their closest friends. Two weeks in, and it’s their family.

Then, of course, it’s “I love you“.

“Is this… real?” you wonder. But then a voice creeps in that says, “When you know, you know.” Your person has arrived, and why would either of you waste any time?

You book holidays. Post pictures together on social media. Share things you’ve never shared with anyone.

Your friends think they’re great. They can’t believe how comfortable you are together. You wonder how only weeks ago you were single, and now you might just be in the most intense, emotional and intimate relationship of your…

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Oh.

Today they’re acting a little strange. Nothing to worry about, but it’s been four hours since they responded to your last text. You had plans tonight, but that must not been happening. It’s fine, you reason. Don’t be clingy. Don’t be weird.

And just as quickly as it was on, it’s off.

They’ve gone quiet. They don’t like your pictures on Instagram anymore, or send you messages about what they had for lunch. Plans are cancelled. They speak to you as though you’re a stranger.

And that is the self-startler.

The greatest irony, and the source of your unspeakable frustration is that they’re the one who had their foot on the accelerator. Not you. 

They made the plans, and forced the introductions. They said all the right things first. You just followed their lead.

And now you’re left humiliated and rejected, reorganising your life in the wake of a bomb.

All because they startled themselves.

They jumped into the deep end and then panicked because they couldn’t see the bottom. And you’re left to tread water alone.

Beware the self-startler.

Often, the relationship will disappear as quickly as it began.

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