Part I here.  Part II here.

Ironically, I had started dating an Indian guy at the time. Let’s call him T.

T approached me on the street as I was walking home one night. I was thrown off guard and didn’t find him particularly attractive, and it didn’t help that he was Indian. But he seemed harmless, and I’d just been on two bad dates in a row, so I figured I had nothing to lose and gave him my number.

We exchanged some messages and he sounded like a decent guy, so I gave it a shot and went on a date with him. If I was being really honest with myself, I was kind of hoping it was one of those scenes from a movie where one finds love in the most bizarre, random way. I mean, what a cool story to tell people that I found love on the street- literally! I had already created this perfect story in my head, with a fairy-tale happy ending – all before I even started dating him.

In a way, it’s like I was idealizing an order of fries – imagining how heavenly they would taste, thinking these would be the perfect fries – before even actually having a taste.

So we went on a date. Although we had a good conversation, there was no chemistry on my part. The fries didn’t taste as good as I imagined them to. But…. I really wanted to believe in that story. I wanted him to be the perfect fries. So I continued dating T, with the hopes that I’ll wake up one day and the ‘feeling’ will hit me. Except, each fry that I put in my mouth didn’t taste better than the previous one. Each date I went on with him didn’t change the way I felt.

Three weeks into the so-called relationship and I was frustrated, exhausted, and nowhere near to feeling anything. I didn’t even want him to kiss me.

During this three-week period, Mr V and I started talking. I guess after seeing him in a different light, I let my guard down and naturally became friendlier towards him. I even fessed up to him about why I’d been ignoring him. We started off talking about the leadership program, and the conversation flowed naturally onto other things. I was surprised to learn that we have a lot of things in common i.e. he too enjoys writing and poetry. We also began exchanging stories from our dating adventures.

I shared with him the whole situation with T. Our mutual friends encouraged me to push through and make it work, and I asked him what he thought. I remember his response so clearly because it made a huge difference to me. He said he comes from a school of thought that deep down, you know what you want. He also assured me that whatever I choose is the ‘right’ choice, and there is no ‘wrong’ choice. It was really just up to me.

What he said made me realized that I knew the answer all along. All I had to do was apply the lessons I’d learn from the past: trust my instinct, and if the fries don’t taste good, then I don’t have to force myself to finish it!

And with that, I broke it off with T. Although I was relieved and had no regrets about my decision, there was a part of me that started questioning myself. Am I just hopeless with relationships? Should I stop trying? Am I ever going to find that person?

Little did I know, that person was already right there 🙂

Part IV here