Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Breaking all the rules...

Online dating is something I've refused to dapple in. Ever. It was a personal rule in my life. I broke this rule after some pressure from outside influences, finally giving in late last year & signing up to a few. eHarmony was the only one that lasted more than a week. I signed up for 3 months & made myself a few rules to get me through what I envisaged to be a horrible experience.

One of these rules was that I would not, under any circumstances, respond to an 'icebreaker'. (Basically the same as hitting a 'like' button) If someone was interested enough in me they would talk to me, asking & answering questions, even if prompted from the system.
I held fast to this rule, checking out the profiles of the guys who had sent them & rolling my eyes.

Then, suddenly, this one guy.
I seen the 'icebreaker' notification, sighed, and checked his profile. I read it, and re-read it. I looked through the photos more than once, and then, an internal battle raged. 
I had made a rule, dammit. 
Who was this guy, to come up on my screen & not allow me simply ignore his existence? 
I broke my rule.

Now, I'm not overly Facebook savvy. I post a lot, like & comment on things I see, but stalking is just not my forte. It is also not something I like to do. Another little rule.
How else though, to get to know someone who lives a touch under 1000kms away? 
Talking was fantastic, but he could say & act however he pleased & I would know no different.
Seeing how he interacted with family & friends on a public forum was what I was after.
Facebook stalker extraordinaire I became. Another rule down the drain.

It was the 4th of January when Jacob asked me if I would like him to fly up & take me out to dinner at some point. Naturally, when I seen the message I was completely out of range. It only took me less than 10 minutes to get close enough to my sister's wi-fi to respond, but I can assure you, it was a very long, slow-motion 10 minutes.

There was absolutely no hesitation for me to say yes.

As things turned out, Jacob couldn't make it up here until mid to late march. After a couple of phone calls & daily conversations, my impatience & excitement got the better of me. I booked a flight to Sydney for the weekend.

All week I could barely think of anything else except the upcoming meeting of this man that I had been talking to constantly for what seemed like forever. He made me laugh, shared in my boring day-to-day life & didn't question when I was being a complete dork. In fact, he got it. There was also no judgement when he called me for the first time ever & I continuously slurped on ice-cream & Milo throughout the entire conversation.

The day before I flew out (Valentine's Day), I spent nervously shopping for something nice to wear, getting my hair cut & barely eating a thing thanks to the wonderful nerves coursing through my body. I was entirely convinced I would walk off that plane & be a disappointment. Post retail therapy, I came home to a long-stem rose & a card with the message "Hey Gorgeous" and nothing else. Now my confusion here was that it could only have come from Jacob, he says those exact words to me. A lot. But I had never once given him my address.
Insert sneaky best friend who had asked me for my address earlier that week for "contact details" on a form.
The effort to find out my address, send a rose & note for me to receive on Valentines Day pretty much blew my mind. It also abated all of my fears...
Mostly.

So last Saturday I got on a plane, on my own, for the very first time in my life.
I avoid getting onto any sort of aircraft as much as possible, only swallowing my fear of flying to take my Mum various places. There was no rule as such that I would never fly alone... It was simply something that I would never do unless absolutely necessary, because lets face it, I lose my mind. Flying makes me panic. My anxiety attack is not pretty. I cry silently, I clutch at the hand rests every time the plane so much as rattles. I honestly fear that I will not make it to the other side. Not due to the plane crashing, but simply because the gaping hole in my chest feels as though it will be the end of me.

I managed to put one foot in front of the other & board my flight, hoping & praying I would sit next to someone who I could talk to as a distraction. I sat next to 2 gorgeous young girls from Germany who struggled with their English. Of course.
I also made it to the Sydney airport, hitting the tarmac with so much relief I could feel it in every tip of my body. Disembarking though, only brought with it an entirely different anxiety.
What if this was entirely awkward...

The second I walked into baggage claim, to see Jacob stand up & come towards me, instant excitement, familiarity & a complete sense of warmth took over everything else. He also had a block of chocolate I had jokingly claimed I would need after enduring a flight... that wasn't including the other 2 blocks waiting in the car, either.

I spent an amazing weekend, talking, sharing, laughing & being doted on. Even the odd moments of silence were comfortable & relaxing. I discovered a whole lot more about Jacob, setting my feelings even more alight. It was almost a silly question to ask, 'where to from here?'
We have something very special to pursue.

I remember my Mum once telling me it was not just about how I may feel about someone, it was about how they made me feel about myself.

Now I understand.