Adventures in Dating 21: Mixed Signals.

In this edition of Adventures in Dating, Ella gets some mixed signal on her third date with Q
Original photo by Sian.

Here we have it, the final chapter of my dating triology with Q (oh yeah, spoiler, we didn’t go on any more after this). I’m sure you’re all at the edge of your seats wanting to find out what happened next…

Before Q and I went on our spontaneous second date, we had already arranged to go to a comedy show of a comedian I knew. I was going to go regardless, but thought it would be fun for him to come along. He had gone a bit quiet since we went out, so I checked if he was still up for coming.

“Totally cool if not,” I told him, “seeing me twice in one week is probably more than enough!”

“No it’s cool, I still really want to come!” He said.

That was reassuring. He was probably busy with work, so understandable that he wasn’t as attached to his phone.

On the evening of the show, he was a bit late, but made up for it by getting the drinks. After the show was over, we went across the road to the pub for more drinks. We were sat with a couple of other comedians, who were talking about various gigs and the run up to the Edinburgh Fringe, when one of them asked me whether I had a show on this year.

“Oh, no,” I laughed, “I’ve only just gotten started, but I am performing at a charity night in Sheffield next week.”

Q turned to me with a bemused expression on his face, “I didn’t know you did stand-up comedy.”

Now it was my turn to be confused, “I told when we first met.”

“I didn’t think you were serious.”

I rolled my eyes. I could have excused it if he simly said he’d forgotten; we drank a lot on the first time we met, after all, so hazy memory was inevitable. But this felt like a direct dismissal of something I was actively pursuing. Not wanting to cause a scene, I ignored it and drank my pint, turning my attention to the other people that were sat with us.

Later in the evening, Q asked me, “Do you have any plans for the summer?”

“I’m going to a music festival in July,” I said, starting to feel my head get fuzzy with alcohol. What was it with this boy and drinking excessively whenever we met up? “And I’ll be going to Edinburgh Fringe for a few days at the end of August.”

“But you’re definitely free the rest of August?”

“…for the time being, yeah,” I said, one eyebrow raised.

We eventually left the pub. Even though I took the train to and from Victoria for work, I also had the option of getting the train to Waterloo. I may have lived in a tiny commuter village in Surrey at the time, but damn did it have some good connections to London. The Waterloo train was actually often quicker, and where we were sitauted that evening was closer to Waterloo, which was the route home I was intending on taking.

“Aw, but can’t you come to Victoria with me,” Q smiled, “I want to spend more time with you.” I thought this was very sweet, and decided it was worth adding another 20 minutes or so onto my journey to spend some more time with him.

When we were on the escalators of the Underground, I made a joke that I was finally as tall as him, as he was stood on the step in front of me as we were going down. Then, in my drunken affection, gave him a quick kiss. Q seemed quite startled and blurted out, ‘thank you.’

First of all, saying ‘thank you’ after a kiss is incredibly awkward. Plus, despite being quite tipsy, I kept the kiss quite tame – I didn’t think it was anything worth being coy about. He continued being a bit awkward and standoffish throughout our journey to Victoria, and before we went to our separate platforms, he gave me a hurried kiss on the cheek.

Needless to say, I was a bit confused by all of these mixed signals Q was giving me. He didn’t seem very receptive to my affections, and despite wanting me to come to Victoria with him, he couldn’t get rid of me any quicker once we were at the station. And to confuse things even more, he sent me a message when I was on the train home:

“Hope you get home safe! Thanks for inviting me, I had a good night!”

Then a thought dawned on me. On our first date, he had mentioned that his brother was getting married in August. And earlier this evening, Q asked me if I had plans this summer, and made a point of making sure I was definitely free in August… was he hinting at inviting me to his brother’s wedding? After three dates?!

I never got to find out whether or not that was his intention, because Q soon went silent again. I decided to leave him to it. I had my stand-up gig in Sheffield and various other things to occupy me, but then the next week, he sends me this message:

“Really sorry I’ve been shit and not texted you. Hope you had a lovely weekend in Sheffield. I’m not feeling great in terms of mental health at the moment, and I don’t think it’s fair on you to be involved in or affected by that.”

I felt for him, I really did. As someone who’s been through the ringer in regards to depression and general ill mental health for years, I know how shit that can be and how it can complicated things in terms of dating. And I appreciated him telling me upfront (eventually) rather than letting things drop off altogether, which has happened with people I’ve dated before. I told him that I was sorry he was going through a tough time and I would be happy to lend an ear or chat – but understood if he wasn’t comfortable with that. I didn’t hear back from him.

That is, until over a month later, in the late May Bank Holiday when I was in Brighton hanging out with some friends at Brighton Fringe. I was day drunk at 5pm, when I see Q’s name pop up on my phone.

“Ello. Hope you’re getting on alright and enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend… and sorry for messing you about xxx”

There were many things that were confusing about this message, even if I wasn’t day drunk. Okay, I had trouble reading his behaviour at points, but I didn’t put that down to him messing me around – I just assumed it was down to confidence issues on his part. But also, why was he messaging me out of the blue over a month since we had last spoken? I assumed that maybe he was also drunk (the three kisses gave it away… who puts ‘xxx’ at the end of a text to a virtual stranger)… it was Bank Holiday after all.

I decided to put a pin in it and deal with it when I wasn’t inebriated. Except, I kinda forgot about it until Monday. And then I decided it was probably for the best that I left it alone.

more: instagram | twitter | other dates

One thought on “Adventures in Dating 21: Mixed Signals.

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