So lately I have been seeing someone. He started it; I was minding my own business and just doing my job but he doggedly pursued me in a very charming and engaging way. Before I met him, I was quite happy not putting myself out there to meet new men, and really not willing to enter into the world of dating at all. My three-times-a-year booty call with the kind and devoted SatinBalls was enough.

But this dashing guy wore me down, and I have sort of fallen for him.

And now I live in terror. Since the courtship began, we have been in almost steady contact via e-mail or text message. The other night, he disappeared, and it was bad for me. Even though he’d told me what he was doing that night and that he was out for a Christmas drinkup with his office mates, the old fears returned: He’s lying. He’s fooling around. He doesn’t like me anymore. He’s got other chicks; I’m just one in a cast of dozens. I’ve done something to turn him off.

Thankfully, I didn’t do anything stupid — IE, I refrained from sending any pathetic messages — and just went to sleep. I woke up to several affectionate messages at the end of his night. We saw each other later that day, and everything was marvellous and filled with fun and laughter. But when I sent him an e-mail last night telling him to drive carefully back home for the holidays today, I did the cool thing and said: “Enjoy your time with your family. Don’t be obliged to be in touch!” And he basically replied: “OK, thanks!”

And now I am quietly freaking out again. I actually think I said it to begin with to give him an out so that if I DON’T hear from him, I can say: “Well, I did tell him not get in touch!” because it would be too painful if he just simply wasn’t in touch. I don’t know if I was hoping he’d reply: “Don’t be silly, you daft cow (he’s British). Of course I’ll be in touch.” But what I wasn’t expecting was an “OK, thanks!”

Do I have a Daniel Cleaver on my hands? Was it the chase, and now that I’ve been caught, the thrill is gone? Or am I completely over-reading all of this?

And this is why I HATE HATE HATE HATE dating. All the fears and self-doubts! All the ghosts of relationships past coming back to fuck with your head!! All the anxiety!! I don’t know how you young’uns do it; I just have no stomach for it at all.

p.s. How hilarious is that Bridget Jones photo above. You know what my lifelong problem is? I am always, always more turned on by the Daniel Cleavers than the Mark Darcys.