I’ve always been quite wary of dating and anything to do with romance. It started when I was 13 and I decided to save myself the heartache and just to resign myself to a life without romantic entanglements. Nearly eight years on, and I can count all of the guys I’ve ever had feelings for on one hand. Going to an all-girls secondary school definitely helped with this, but growing up and meeting new people in college has changed my mind and made me challenge the ideals of my thirteen-year-old self.
A month or so ago, I met a boy. I quite liked him, and I hope I’m not misspeaking when I say that I think he liked me too. I met him at a party one night, and we continued to talk after that. We shared a kiss or two, but it went on to play out strangely through a series of brief encounters and terrible lapses in communication on my part. I guess I can sum it up by saying that I got scared and was absolutely clueless about the whole situation. The prospect of such a gorgeous guy liking me intimidated me immensely, and I can’t remember ever feeling so nervous about a boy.
Romantic territories are hard to navigate, worsened only by using a wheelchair. Guys in my past have said some awful things to me – the general gist being that no matter how pretty, charismatic and clever I am, the fact that I use a wheelchair outweighs them all. On the few occasions when things like these happened, I thanked my thirteen-year-old self for deciding to lessen the blow, no matter how naïvely it was decided. This guy was different though: he explicitly told me that the wheelchair didn’t matter to him. My self-confidence soared! I’d never been told that by a guy before, and can‘t imagine it happening again any time soon. After convincing myself for the past few years that I was okay with being undesirable, this new feeling of being desired was so welcome and an absolute breath of fresh air.
Of course, I’ve been told time and time again by my mum that it doesn’t matter, but I suppose it’s like when your mother tells you you’re pretty, but you refuse to believe her because it’s as if she’s meant to say such a thing to you.
Now, I fear I’ve lost the boy, through a combination of my fear and the aforementioned faults in conversation. I feel ridiculous for being so unwilling to just mash it down, not think about him and leave it be, and I wonder should I just get over it?
As summer rolls in and the sun sets on as amazing year in college, I worry I won’t get to try again and learn from my mistakes. Until now, I’ve never really understood the need for ‘closure’ when a romantic venture goes bust, but I now find myself wanting to reach out to him. It’s down to me, completely, I know. I either have to throw caution to the wind, face fear and send him a message or, alternatively, I could let it pass by and let the feelings fizzle out of my heart. What do I fear more? Rejection or the prospect of never knowing?