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What first brought you to ENA?


Carnatic
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Did you join ENA for a specific issue, or maybe the place just appealed to you, or you joined in order to support someone else.

Was that resolved, is it in the distant past now or still part of why you're here?

Just interested in sharing stories.

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Posted (edited)

So I joined when I was 21 years old (I'm 39 now)

I have no recollection at all of how I came across the site... might just have been a Google search but I have this vague notion that someone I knew recommended it.

I had gone on a date with a girl and to cut a long story short, made an absolute pig's ear of the whole thing.

I'd never been on a date before, or even had a girl show interest in me before so I was in uncharted territory, and having not even had the opportunity to flirt or kiss a girl before, I was very nervous about it. It wasn't just my age at the time but the fact I felt insecure about being so inexperienced compared to most other 21 year olds.

She was *extremely* pretty, but it was a blind date for me. We studied at the same university and had mutual friends but this all took place over summer and while some people (her included) stayed living in the city where the university was, I was back in my hometown with my parents. Her best friend was dating one of my friends and she had seen pictures of me while hanging out with a larger friendship group and specifically asked if my friend would give me her number.

It was all pretty daunting for me. I had no idea what she looked like myself, but even before I heard she asked for me, guy friends who were texting me about things going on over the summer were mentioning how hot Paul's girlfriend's friend, Clare, was, and how various guys in the group had made fools of themselves trying to flirt with her. Then I get a text from Paul saying 'Clare wants me to give you her number, she's seen a photo of you and I told her you're a nice guy, she's interested in you'... this 'Clare' whose reputation for beauty preceded her. Apparently I would have been considered fairly attractive at that age, but I had no idea and I firmly believed the total opposite, that I was some hideous troll-faced monster (people told me to my face at school that I was ugly so why wouldn't I be insecure about it?). According to Paul in fact, Clare was really insecure about her looks and also considered herself to be ugly.

We exchanged texts, flirted a little, shared jokes... it seemed pretty good and I was due to be down there the following week to pick up the keys for mine and my friends' student digs, so we arranged to go on a date then.

We went on a couple of dates, I thought things were going well, she was clever and witty and we had similar senses of humour and liked a lot of the same things (for example, we both supported our local football clubs and there's a sort of camararderie among football fans who support their local club rather than one of the big name Premiership clubs). We even managed to have a decent second date despite me making a hash of picking out a nice cafe near her only for that cafe to be closed on the day we met forcing us to go and have our date in the cafe in a nearby supermarket. If nothing else it makes for a funny story when people ask about most embarrasing dates and I can say I took a girl to Asda.

I don't really know what happened after that. Maybe my nerves, lack of confidence and general awkwardness were offputting to her, the dates went well enough but I don't know how much of my insecurity showed through. She didn't reply to my suggestion that we go on a third date. Also Paul messaged me and said he didn't think I was her type and she wasn't interested in me after all... no idea whether she told him that or it was his attempt at guessing (Paul was in no way a seasoned expert in the field of dating, he himself had never had a girlfriend before he started dating Clare's friend). I posted a hugely insecure ramble on my blog (yes this was the noughties, we all had blogs) about how women don't like me and though I take most of the blame for writing it, I will never know why Paul then took it upon himself to send her a link to it, these were private blogs that were just shared between friends.

Next time I was down there (this was still summer and I was still only popping down occasionally while living with parents) I bumped into her unexpectedly, we spoke briefly, she acted like she was afraid of me, keeping her distance and at this point I knew I'd messed things up so I didn't try and push the idea of meeting again, it was awkward.

Then a few days later she texted me asking me to stop stalking her. She accused me of loitering around outside her place of work. I didn't know where she worked and when she mentioned it I can say for certain that I'd not been within half a mile of her place of work at any time that summer... also she said which specific day it was I'd been stalking her and I was in my hometown on that day, I'd only been in the city where university was on two or three times over the summer.

So this whole thing upset me, and that's what brought me here. It's all in the past now though and I know that I take most of the blame for what happened for being so insecure in the first place, and for writing that blog post... but it was a big knock to my self-image as I thought of myself as being if nothing else 'a nice guy' and the idea that I could be considered creepy and stalkerish hurt me.

It's all in the past now, just one of those things that happens to everyone when they're young I guess... but yeah, that was a little walk down memory lane for me.

Edited by Carnatic
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Afternoon Carnatic! 
 

Great to hear your story! I got this exact feeling a month or so ago! I was curious as to what brought everyone here as well! So many different walks of life! This place is a unique little fish bowl ain’t it!

 

Looks like relationships and unhappiness are a common theme here.

 

I think I posted here at the same age as you! 21! It’s a funny age isn’t it! It’s a turning point for sure. You still have all those wild and rushing teenage feelings but you are figuring out what you really want and making the first steps that are gonna set in motion the pattern of the rest of your adult life!

 

I posted (frantically, and very upset) about “loosing the spark with my boyfriend!” I was deadly serious. This happened a few times. He is now my husband! We have 3 kids! Been together 14 years, married for 8! 
 

This is why; I see plenty of threads about relationships and sparks and I am always so reluctant to offer any solid advice. I feel like those situations are so tentative. There are so many tiny, micro details the OP and the advice givers will never know, that it can be quite a dangerous thing to give a black and white answer, in my lil’ ol’ humble opinion! Of course, pretty much everyone told me to leave him! 
 

I do like it here. I am, addicted! I have spaces off, where life just happens. I think at least nearly a year went by before and after I had our second baby. I will leave for a couple of months sometimes. It’s random. But I always love coming back. I adore the journal section, reading people’s thoughts, and seeing all the opinions!

 

x

 

 

 

 

Edited by mylolita
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7 hours ago, mylolita said:

Afternoon Carnatic!

Great to hear your story! I got this exact feeling a month or so ago! I was curious as to what brought everyone here as well! So many different walks of life! This place is a unique little fish bowl ain’t it!

Looks like relationships and unhappiness are a common theme here.

I think I posted here at the same age as you! 21! It’s a funny age isn’t it! It’s a turning point for sure. You still have all those wild and rushing teenage feelings but you are figuring out what you really want and making the first steps that are gonna set in motion the pattern of the rest of your adult life!

I posted (frantically, and very upset) about “loosing the spark with my boyfriend!” I was deadly serious. This happened a few times. He is now my husband! We have 3 kids! Been together 14 years, married for 8!

This is why; I see plenty of threads about relationships and sparks and I am always so reluctant to offer any solid advice. I feel like those situations are so tentative. There are so many tiny, micro details the OP and the advice givers will never know, that it can be quite a dangerous thing to give a black and white answer, in my lil’ ol’ humble opinion! Of course, pretty much everyone told me to leave him!

I do like it here. I am, addicted! I have spaces off, where life just happens. I think at least nearly a year went by before and after I had our second baby. I will leave for a couple of months sometimes. It’s random. But I always love coming back. I adore the journal section, reading people’s thoughts, and seeing all the opinions!

Good that things worked out. I think with the 'spark' in a normal relationship, it might go every now and again because you have to work at keeping it. So you might worry, especially when you're young, that the lack of spark means the relationship is doomed, but it's only a sign that the relationship is on its way out if neither of you feel like doing anything to rediscover it. People break up not because the spark went, but because they didn't feel it was worth the effort getting it back.

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4 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

Good that things worked out. I think with the 'spark' in a normal relationship, it might go every now and again because you have to work at keeping it. So you might worry, especially when you're young, that the lack of spark means the relationship is doomed, but it's only a sign that the relationship is on its way out if neither of you feel like doing anything to rediscover it. People break up not because the spark went, but because they didn't feel it was worth the effort getting it back.

Well said!

 

I have a real big habit of overthinking as well. I can negative think myself into a problem that isn’t even there. Looking back, it was a lot of that too. I did it before getting married as well. Wanted to get married as soon as I met him, got engaged, it was all I ever wanted, then boom, got cold feet! I put it off for a year. So strange. I think I was wanting to mourn the loss of, being a young kid? Getting married feels like, you are becoming a family, even before you have kids. I took it very seriously. We both did. 
 

One of the best days of my life but, I did start fretting over stupid stuff. Typical!

 

Often you can be so in your own head that it takes years before you can look back and see what was going on, from an outsiders perspective!

 

x

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15 hours ago, mylolita said:

Often you can be so in your own head that it takes years before you can look back and see what was going on, from an outsiders perspective!

That's true, and circling back round to the topic of this thread, looking back at your old problems, the things that brought you here, you almost have an outsider's perspective on them now, even though you can also remember your frame of mind at the time.

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