The adventure of dating is getting to know someone, but at some point when do your true feelings come out? Would you think that you’d intentionally string someone along? I didn’t.
Remember Kartik? Well, I had to admit that in spite of all of his red flags, I was charmed by him. His commercial-friendly voice, friendly personality, Gemini placements and engaging attitude were what sold me to him. Though he had a beer belly, I overlooked the physical by focusing on the positive aspects of his personality.
Our DMs and phone calls were pure serotonin to make up for the fact that we were in lockdown at the height of the pandemic. We laughed, smiled and my eyes sparkled during our two-hour calls. I was very interested and hoped that we could make something happen. I was eager to meet him and so was he. On a late July evening, Kartik, a couple of close friends and I all grabbed dinner together at the Coconut Club.
We bonded over nasi lemak and calamansi juice as we talked about our high school and college days. Then, we went to OverEasy for drinks, where Kartik paid for the ride. He returned my best friend’s cash and rejected mine as he wanted to treat me. It was clear as air that Kartik was subtly making moves on me. I was flattered that he wanted to, but that evening changed my perception of him.
While we drank our beverages, Kartik shared a story where he bad-mouthed his friend during a misadventure in Thailand. My stomach shook. As someone who values friendships, I was put off by how he judged his friend for making the mistake of excessive drinking and complaining about having to take care of his friend. It didn’t sit right with me. The moment I curved him down the DM, he fought back. Out of the laundry lists of rants Kartik sent me, he said that I strung him along. I wasn’t aware that I conducted myself to lead him on. In fact, I do concur that I did express my interest in him through body language over our video calls.
Never did I ever confess my true feelings that I didn’t agree with the negative aspects of his personality. I felt terrible for accidentally sending mixed signals. Had I been more direct, this wouldn’t have happened. I could have been clearer with my communication, but I never did it until I said “no”. More than anything, your feelings change and that’s ok. Never regret, but accept that you can always do better in communicating how you feel and conduct yourself.
Michelle Varinata is an entrepreneur of Soeng Signature and a freelance writer. A voracious vintage fashion obsessee, wanderluster and hopeless romantic, she refuses to live by conventions. Upside inside out, she’s #livinlavarinadah. Her love column is called Lovin’ La Vari Na-Dah, where she chronicles the flop era of her dating life. Grab a Kleenex and a glass of wine as you laugh and cry.
Text: Michelle Varinata/HerWorld