"Why did you ask me out?"
He paused for a few moments and considered his words.
"Because I think you're really pretty. And I wanted to get to know you better."
And on our fifth date, with those words, he dealt me another death sentence.
Something inside me was desperately crying out for him to like me for more than how I looked. But of course I knew. It always is. Always.
In my heart of hearts I know he is not the same, not as bad, not as soulless as the other men I'd known. But still, same enough in that respect.
He tells me he thinks Miranda Kerr is really beautiful. Visions of her pencil-thin legs haunt me. I look at pictures of her and see I am twice her size.
I have written about all the guys I've fallen for since I've been blogging but as yet have told you very little about Joe - the 'nice boy' mentioned in my last few posts. When I read my old posts about Theo, Alex, and all the others, it has served to give me peace and relief and I love having my memories and emotions collected so fully. I am a product of all my past experiences.
Joe. I want to make sure I have chronicled him too. He makes me smile, makes me feel grateful and blessed. Because he is so completely different to any of the boys I have ever known, ever dated. And only now can I appreciate how wonderful it is.
I have always gone for the stereotypical good-looking, charming, arrogant boys. The ones who I had to fight for and work for. The ones who burnt my lips when I kissed them and caused sparks in the bedroom. Joe is not that boy - because he's not a 'player', 'womaniser', 'chauvinist', 'lad'...
His respect towards me was mind-blowing. I have never taken things so slowly before. I have always kissed a guy, and usually slept with him too before I spend quality time with him. In the beginning, things seemed so slow that I thought there was something wrong and was convinced it wasn't working. We didn't kiss until the third date - when as my tube train approached and I said goodbye, I decided I had to move in and make it happen. The train came and left, we carried on kissing until the next one came along.
Although our first date was in mid-October, due to us both having exams and then him going on holiday for three weeks, our dating momentum didn't start to pick up until mid-December. Whereas before my feelings for him had been lukewarm at best, he started to melt me bit by bit - taking me to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Ice Skating at Somerset House - the kind of things that I had always wanted to do with a guy, but had never, never found someone to do them with. In comparison, Theo was hands down, 100%, not the type of guy that would ever have taken me to do fun things - if it didn't involve alcohol, sex or food, we didn't do it. Whereas Theo would routinely ignore my texts and calls, Joe never once let me down. I kept expecting him to ignore me or push me away. But he never let me down.
As we started to talk more about our past, I knew it was time to take the plunge and tell him about my eating disorder and recovery. He barely reacted. "I still like you", he said. I am the thinnest I have been in years, so I guess it doesn't matter if I still throw up and over-exercise.
After these dates I had no doubt in my mind that Joe was a keeper.
But nothing is that simple.
Sure, he was ten times the man that Theo was. But. I was crazy about Theo, he infected me, we sparked and burnt and made fire together.
I didn't feel that with Joe. Sure, I liked him, but I knew what it was like to have a passionate connection with someone - and I didn't feel that with him.
"Give it time", my friends said, "Often the best love and relationships take time to grow".
Following date number six, we were comfortable enough together and had made out enough that I determined it was time to take it to the next level. Maybe if we spent the night together it would bring us to the place I wanted.
So on Friday, I booked us into a hotel. We went out for drinks and once things had heated up, I led him back to the room.
Joe is not Theo. They are two completely different men, and I have to accept that. I cannot love in Joe what I had loved in Theo - the passion, the animalism, the deep conversations, the excitement...
But, I can love in Joe, qualities that Theo didn't even posessess - the honesty, the kindness, the heart, the smile.
I have to wonder though, what Joe likes about me, and I worry that I know the answer all too well.
"You're really hot."
"Is that the only reason you like me?"
"No.... Yes... I'm kidding..."
It's funny, the years I starved and threw up and cried, wishing and wanting to be pretty enough for a guy. In the end it's not what you really want. You just want him to love you for who you are inside.