During the first year of my college, I met Nitish, a friend’s classmate. He was very charming and was liked by all. My friend often told me stories of all the romantic things he did for his now ex-girlfriend, and I wondered what it would be like to date a guy like that.
Somehow, all the men I had dated were emotionally unavailable and romantically challenged, so it was natural for me to imagine myself with someone who actually made efforts to make his girl feel special.
Even though we were friends, we didn’t quite talk to each other until almost the end of the second year of our college. He was finally over his ex and had moved on, while I had recently broken up; we were both single and ready to mingle. Our mutual friends started to play cupid and we ended up meeting every day after college for some reason or the other.
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Though he lived in the college hostel, he would drop me till the metro station and at times even travelled with me just because he wanted to keep talking to me. He would borrow his sister’s car and drive me around for hours. He would come to all the parties I invited him to and once he dragged his friends from Gurgaon to Hauz Khas Village just because I was there with my friends and he wanted to be with me. He did all the things I would have wanted any guy in my life to do.
So, what was the problem? I felt nothing.. nada. There were no butterflies in my stomach when he came too close, no excitement about seeing him and even the flirting between us felt rather formal. Trust me, I tried. I really tried to create a spark between us, for who would not want to date a guy like him? All my friends told me he would be perfect for me. I couldn’t ask for anything better, and yet I felt that something was missing.
For a while, I made myself believe I was being stupid. So what if there is no spark? There would be one eventually and there was no way I was letting the ideal man go. Until, that night came when he called me and asked me to come out to my balcony. And there he was, standing outside my house on the street, holding placards asking me out. It was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me and all I could say in the middle of the night to the guy standing outside my house was, “Can I get some time to think about it?”
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There were so many things that should have come to my mind at that moment - This is so sweet, oh my god, he is amazing, I love him - but the only thing I could think of was, “How do I get out of this now?” In that amazing moment I did not know what I wanted from my perfect man, but I knew that this perfect man wasn’t for me.
When I eventually did say no to him, I was filled with guilt. I had broken a friend’s heart and I couldn’t help but blame myself for this. I could have avoided it; if only I hadn’t gone out with him all those times or not laughed at his jokes when I didn’t find them funny. I wish I had known a little earlier that you really can’t force yourself to have feelings for someone.
He never spoke to me after that but I know that he has moved on and is happy in his life. I truly hope he kept the romance alive for the girl he was meant to be with.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Aug 11, 2016