I Was There Once

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I spend most of my virtual time in a little bubble that I like to refer to as my skybox. It’s not that I don’t care what’s going on around the grid, but most of the time, I have to have it pointed out to me when it occurs. Though once I’m aware of it, I do enjoy the voyeuristic aspect of being a fly on the wall. It’s like a stage drama being played out in tiny episodes. I know some people get a thrill out of the drama aspect, but I enjoy trying to establish each individual’s motivations and trying to determine how I would react in that particular situation. Honestly, sometimes I do judge participants harshly.

For example, in the past, I have observed, from a safe little corner in my skybox, the beginnings and endings of a virtual connection between two individuals. I was not privy to the inner workings of their encounters, but unfortunately in the small fishbowl that we choose to live our virtual lives, such things can be obvious.

Perhaps it was a happy Plurk that they had a great night with someone special or several weeks later, it may be a Plurk that indicates for whatever reason they are no longer as happy. I wonder at the time what made a person get into this particular situation. Why would you so easily get close to someone so quickly? How could anyone have been so naïve?

Perhaps if I could rewind back a few weeks earlier and see it from the beginning, I could answer those questions. It could have started with a casual click in random banter. A person makes a comment, you respond, and before you know it, you realize that this person is more interesting than you expected. A few days of casual public conversation could lead to one long late night conversation, and interest could be piqued. There is an unforeseen connection. You wonder what it is about this person that makes you want to know more. It could be that they are charming, intelligent, humorous and unexpected. You begin to lower your defenses and before you know it, you are starting to look forward to seeing their name on your screen, and you find yourself smiling as you share silliness back and forth. It may have only been a few days but in terms of talking, you have spent hours and covered a spectrum of topics. You start to trust and find your mind wandering to thoughts of this person even when the computer screen is turned off.

This is the point that you could stop, but why would you want to stop? It’s the first signs that this may be becoming a silly crush. Perhaps one night you log off, but on a whim you think, I want a little more and pop back on for a moment, and get surprised by that person expressing a casual fondness for you. They may just say something simple such as, “I like you”, and you realize that you like them too.

It sounds innocent so far. Two people making a connection, and though this type of connection may come easily to some, let’s just say in this case, that it doesn’t happen as frequently for these two, so this particular connection is surprisingly wonderful.

So how could this go wrong? There could potentially be real world complications to consider or possibly a trust issue develops, or it could be a combination of both. One person could have real world complications, and the other person could present a few trust issues.  Though at that moment, all of those things are forgotten as the beginnings of a new and seemingly perfect connection confound at least one of them.

As time goes on, the trust issues and real world complications may present a problem, it could be as simple as an idea that one of the involved parties could possibly have a habit of similar behavior. Something said in jest by a random person could be misinterpreted and mistrust grows. One party pulls back questioning the motives of the other. This situation could easily be resolved as long as the accused responds quickly and assures the other party that the connection is real and unique. Things go back to normal or as semi-normal as this situation could ever be.

Until a few days or weeks later, it begins to become obvious that one person’s interest has waned. This leaves the other person confused and potentially hurt. The question of motive begins to rear its ugly head again, and the lovely connection that seemed so amazing a few short weeks ago begins to fade.

What finally ends the painful back and forth of one person seeking contact and the other person halfheartedly responding? I could speculate that it finally ends when the person seeking contact stops. They realize how pathetic the entire situation has become, and that they must put an end to it before it becomes even more ridiculous. The self protection instinct has finally kicked in.

Though how do you end it when you really still want contact but can’t stand being the person left waiting over and over again? I suggest as open and honest as possible. First, reduce the ease and opportunity of contact. If you can’t contact them as easily, you won’t be as hurt when they don’t respond. Depending on the level of the initial connection, you may want to give the other person one last chance to respond and confirm or deny their level of interest. It may seem a last ditch pathetic attempt, but it also rules out the possibility that there was a misunderstanding. Though once you make that last contact and you get no response, you have to realize, no matter how painful it may be, that perhaps the connection was never really there.

It may have been a random virtual connection, but the time you put into it was very real.  I have reached the realization that it is okay to be hurt, feel confused and question your judgment. I have also decided that the next time, I see someone hurt and confused over a similar situation, I will withhold judgment and remember no matter how much I thought I had it all figured out and could resist the draw of a temporary rush of endorphins, I too was there once.

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13 Responses to “I Was There Once”

  1. ♥JellyBean♥ Says:

    Excellent post Daila… I have been there, more times than I could possibly count.

  2. Lizzie Lexington Says:

    All I have to say is Wow.

  3. Stacie Pryor Says:

    I’ve been there, too. Thank you for this post, Daila.

  4. Dalia you are an amazing writer. Thank you for sharing your words

  5. Kerryth Tarantal Says:

    Beautifully written, and so full of truth.

  6. It is my opinion that in these sorts of interactions, many tend to overthink the situation. First by ascribing more to it than casual friendly interaction. And second by trying too hard to understand the motivation and micro analyze every other subsequent interaction.

    Any real connection just like in RL has to happen over a longer period of time, and if one party is too interested early on, it puts pressure on the other person and drives them away. Because people just want to relax and be friendly and not have each statement they make scrutinized. Nobody wants pressure.

    So my advice is just be a friend and do what friends do, and that is DON’T JUDGE the interactions, just have a good time. If there is a real connection, it will come later on after extensive amounts of TRUSTING interaction. If a real connection doesn’t develop, don’t write the person off, just treat them like you would any other friend: no pressure, no judgement, just acceptance of how they are.

    Trust should be the default interaction, not trying to set it up so someone has to prove themselves worthy of trust.

    Simply put: many get involved emotionally with their idea of a person instead of the actual person. They become in love with their own fantasies. The way around this is to not look at anyone as a potential love interest, simply a friend. Anything more involving will develop later on if it is going to happen.

    So: Male Perspective: 1) Don’t overthink. 2) Don’t care too much too soon. 3) Trust first, dump later……

    my two cents worth!

  7. Daila Holder Says:

    I want to thank everyone who responded! This post was one I debated a lot about, but I wanted to get it out! Knowing that you read it and have had similar experiences or can at least appreciate my experience means a lot.

    Scarp – The male perspective makes a lot of sense. 1) I did overthink. I do overthink. I am the ultimate overthinker. How do you turn that off? 😛 #2 is such good advice! I think I’ve been able to do that pretty easily in the past, but this time I did make that fatal error. Once again, I ask how do you turn that off? As far as #3, too late for both unfortunately or fortunately depending on the particular minute of the day. Thanks again for the well thought out and honest response. I needed to hear it!

  8. Another RL male basically agreeing with Scarp! 🙂 Here’s the classic girl/boy joke on overthinking:

    http://www.webmaster-talk.com/general-discussions/873-bit-old-one-but-worth-repeating.html

    Hang out together, have fun, have long talks, admire each other greatly. But don’t prematurely make your happiness depend on what someone else does; that’s a very risky thing to do, and should be allowed to happen only after LOTS of consideration and experience. He didn’t log in and call me tonight like he said he would? Oh well maybe he got busy; I’m going shopping! 🙂

  9. Lizzie Lexington Says:

    But here’s a thought – What if I love you’s come into the mix? Can you overthink that?

  10. Oh, absolutely! Clued guys know to treat that lil phrase very very very very carefully. But guys who haven’t thought about it, or not noticed, or not been around that particular block, can certainly say it without thinking, in a moment of approval / admiration / enthusiasm, without it meaning “you are the most wonderful person I’ve ever met and I want to abandon all others and spend the rest of my life with only you”. (So can girls for that matter.) So even if someone says that, perhaps in a moment of weakness :), don’t either go crazy trying to figure out exactly what it meant, OR assume that it means exactly the same to you that it does to him. Just be happy, and see what happens. 🙂

    Not that I’m qualified to give Advice to the Lovelorn! 🙂 / hands you a huge grain of salt.

  11. ♥JellyBean♥ Says:

    Wow! Daila, just wow. I love the discussion from everyone on this post. ❤

  12. newlandsjournal Says:

    One can follow all of Scarp’s very excellent advice and still end up in that place. No matter how little thought has been given and how long the guard has been up, when it finally goes down the feelings are real. And the pain of being dumped (because the guard finally got let down?) still hurts. And sometimes the overthinking does not even start until that point, because it is a natural way we try to cope, moving through the stages of grief.

  13. […] thorns, the only proof I have left that there were ever any raspberries at all. Perhaps they were only a dream. […]

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