My friend Joe had never put a kiss on the end of a text message to me before and I’ve known him for a couple of years.
I read hs message again:
I can’t believe Leeds have stayed up! Sorry if I was a bit quiet after the game. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon for a few drinks :-) x
I had two choices:
1. Reply to his message and just be friendly, ending it without a kiss and hope that he got the subtle subtext. Do men understand subtlety?
2. Reply to his message and be friendly and end it with a kiss, therefore effectively encouraging him and potentially setting the creaking wheels of romance into motion.
As I drove home from the game I considered all the pros and cons of leaving that one extra character at the end of a text message. It’s amazing that one little ‘x’ can mean so much. It can turn a friendly message into so much more.
Pros of the ‘x’:
- Joe likes rugby.
- He has a good job.
- He’s not that bad looking.
- We get on well.
- I’ve known him for so long that I know he’s not a wanker.
- I don’t fancy him, and I mean really fancy him enough to put our friendship on the line.
- He’s a bit older than I’d like my boyfriend to be.
- It would be weird hanging around with him and my friends at the same time as they don't have much in common.
- I don’t fancy him. I mean, I just don’t fancy him enough. I must learn from what happened with John for goodness sake.
But Joe is good on paper, so should I settle for that? I’m not getting any younger and on paper he is an excellent catch.
No, what am I thinking?
I didn’t start out on this experiment just to “settle” for someone because I think they might be the best I can get, especially if there’s no real chemistry between us. If I did that then I would feel like I had cheated myself despite everything I promised I wouldn't to do this time around.
To clarify my decision I matched Joe up against my Perfect 10:
The Perfect 10 Checklist: Joe
Joe is sort of good looking but more average I think – well, in my opinion anyway. As he’s a bit older things might have started to sag too... Put it this way: I don’t look at him and go weak at the knees/experience any dampness in the knicker region. So it's a no.
2. Sense of humour
I never really laugh that much with Joe and he certainly has never had me rolling around on the floor in hysterics. Mostly we have quite serious conversations, and even when it’s light hearted I don’t really get much from him humour wise. Therefore as lovely a bloke as he is, it’s a no in this section too.
3. Being Down to Earth
Joe works as an IT consultant so you might assume that he’s up his own arse, but this is so far from the truth and I couldn’t be friends with him if he was, so it's a yes here.
4. Loyalty and Trust
Yes, I think so. He’s definitely loyal to the team we both support, but when it comes to romantic relationships I’m not sure as we’ve never talked about his romantic past. I mean, I assume he's had girlfirends? He was always trustworthy at work though and I think it’s enough to earn a point.
Sometimes Joe can be a little detached but on the whole he’s a lovely, generous man, so it's a yes here.
6. Have a strong sense of family
He holidays with his brother and his nephews and spends a lot of time with his family, so a definite yes. Bit weird holidaying with his brother though, don't you think?
8. Ambition and a drive to succeed
He is self employed and is successfully running his own business, so yes.
9. Different interests
I’m not too sure. I know he loves skiing (which I’ve never tried as I’d probably kill myself) so that counts, as does golf, but rugby is his main love. I’d still say yes to this one and give him a point.
No idea as I didn’t get far enough to find out. As I’ve said, I’ve never heard anything about any previous relationships so this will have to be nul points for this criterion due to lack of information.
Marks out of 10: 7
Conclusion: I think that Joe is the typical “Mr. Looks Good on Paper” but in reality there’s still something missing. I think in his case it is the spark that lights up and shines when you really fancy someone. I’ve never felt that tingling sensation when he touches me and I’ve never felt my stomach flip when I see him. To me he’s just lovely, dependable Joe, who has dozens of amazing qualities but who just doesn’t set my world (or pants) on fire. I suppose that at least I learnt to step away this time before burning my fingers.I’ve decided.
I sent him the following text:
It was a brilliant game - I'm still bouncing! I’ll definitely see you soon and I’ll remind Mick to get a night out organised. :-)
Friendly, funny and no kiss. Although, reading it back to myself was I a little bit too flirty? Oh well sod it, I sent it and it was too late to change it.
A few minutes later my phone buzzed with an incoming text message, again from Joe:
Great I’ll look forward to it. I’ve not seen Mick and the other guys in ages. I’m off to go and have a couple of pints and celebrate our win! See you soon. Take care :-)
Phew, no kiss and problem averted. I think.
I’m going to have a chat about this with my work mate Mick to see if he’s picked up on anything from Joe, but then again it will probably be very painful as Mick will undoubtedly whip his big shit-stirring stick out and have a field day.
I’m glad I screwed my head on firmly over this one as I’d hate to ruin another friendship, especially as it would mean that I’d have to find another willing soul to watch the majority of home games with next season.
Joe is a brilliant guy, but just not perfect for me.
I'm almost 100% convinced of that...