There comes a pivotal point in getting to know someone where I decide to say something serious, to unpeel a layer, to reveal something of myself.
It usually comes some time past where we have shared silly, flirty emails and the normal ‘getting to know you’ stuff, it comes at a point where I feel safe enough to let them have a little peek inside.
I know it sounds a little strange for someone who shares so much in public spaces to talk about letting someone have ‘a little peek inside’, but I’m sure you can imagine that for all I share here, even the raw emotional stuff, I keep a hell of a lot to myself. I am not emotionally fearless or open, I have so many walls I sometimes can’t imagine how anyone will ever get through them.
So I take tiny little steps, and the first one is a measure of him: how he reacts is either going to draw me out, or shut me down. And each time, if I get this far, I am wishing, fervently, that he will hear me, SEE me, and respond in a way that makes me feel safe to share more.
When he doesn’t, when his response makes it clear that he doesn’t ‘get it’ (or me), I quietly close the door that I have cracked open and often won’t try again. I go back to the frivolous emails we were sharing before, and if I am honest, I’m not even sure if he knows that it’s happened because on the surface, nothing has changed. But *I* have changed.
If our correspondence continues, I MIGHT try again… twice, maybe even three times, but each time the door is harder to open, it gets heavier, and soon enough it won’t open at all any more.
There is no blame in it, it’s no-one’s fault, but there is some melancholy for a connection that I had hoped might be made there.