Closure and The Eclipse Effect

The great part about writing a blog on WordPress is that the site is sophisticated enough to work backwards – I can not only tell how many people are reading the blog, but the site lets me know how they found it.  Using this function, a few days ago I discovered a link to my blog, posted on a forum about Internet dating.

It was an interesting read – one guy was quoting my advice about how I prefer a man to suggest a meal rather than a drink for a first date, and asking other girls on the forum if they agreed (some did, some didn’t).  But the bit that caught my eye was one woman’s discussion of Henley Boy.  A hardened Internet dater, she called me naive.  It was a criticism I found interesting, as I’ve never really thought of myself as naive.  Fussy, yes. .  A snob, to some degree! Superficial, in some ways …. But naive …?

As an almost-thirty year-old, I like to think I understand boys.  I can normally read when they’re only after one thing, or when they’re just not that into me.  But the Henley Boy situation completely confounded me, because the guy went from so hot to so cold literally in the space of a few hours, and with no obvious reason.  What doesn’t really help is that even my male friends who like to think of themselves as players don’t know the answer either!  Unfortunately it’s not as simple as me having had sex with HB and him disappearing off, never to be heard from again. Nor was there ever a suggestion that he wouldn’t have been able to sleep with me with a bit more effort.  I guess I’ll never really know why he put in so much effort for two weeks, never to be seen again …

It’s an interesting one, because HB seems to have divided my female readers. A great number have messaged me with similar tales.  It seems almost every girl has had some kind of Henley Boy experience in the past (even my friend’s mum, though she called hers the ‘Ugandan Prince’!).

But some girls apparently don’t understand why you can get so hung up over someone you’ve literally known for three weeks…

I guess for me, the issue is closure.  HB just stopped replying to my texts one day, and when I asked what had happened, he never replied with any answer at all.  So I never got an answer, and never got to mentally close the case.

I’m just over a month into my 30 Dates Challenge, and exactly a third of the way in.  But after ten dates, and an additional twenty speed-dates, I have to admit that I haven’t stopped wondering about Henley Boy.  In fact, it’s actually the better dates which make me think of him, because afterwards I’ve found myself mentally comparing the men to him.

This is another thing that not all the blog readers can understand.  How can HB be a perfect date when after just three weeks he never contacted me again?

I don’t necessarily have an answer.  I know he wasn’t a perfect guy.  I know he treated me really awfully by literally never replying to me after cancelling our third date, but all my actual interactions with him (where he actually replied!) were great.

We chatted for three weeks, over texts and lengthy phone conversations.  We had a four hour-long first date where we didn’t stop talking and laughing, and a second date that felt so comfortable we could have been dating for weeks.  We spoke so much, that I know more personal details about him than I do most of my work colleagues.  And those are the bits I find myself comparing the better dates to …

It’s the Eclipse Effect.

I’ve noticed it throughout my adult love life.  When a guy has a big effect on you, the only real way you ever get over him is by waiting for someone else to come along and eclipse that effect.  That might sound simple, but when you’re particularly picky, that eclipse can take an awfully long time.

Last year, my ex boyfriend split up with me, telling me I was too paranoid about him not being over his ex-girlfriend.  A few months later, he moved back in with her!  In the grand scheme of things, he treated me way worse than HB, and yet, it still took over a year for someone to come along, and properly eclipse my ex.  And that guy was Henley Boy.

They call it a ‘spark’.  And I think the reason for that, is not just because sometimes physical attraction can feel electric.  It’s also because flying sparks aren’t everyday occurrences.  How many times a year do you see lightning?

Looking back, if pushed, I could probably tell you the moment I met all of the men who’ve made a definite impression on my love life.  The moment the ‘spark’ hit, has stayed with me for life.

And so realistically, with no source of actual Closure on the Henley Boy situation (short of someone inadvertently setting me up on a Blind Date with him!) my only chance of stopping dwelling on him is gonna be the hope of an Eclipse.

Can one of the next twenty dates eclipse Henley Boy?  I guess we’re just going to have to wait to find out ….

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

5 Comments on Closure and The Eclipse Effect

  1. Sonia Batey // August 3, 2013 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    What reaction to HB do you think you would have, if you were inadvertantly sent on a blind date with him? X

  2. Utterly spot on with the EE. People don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. Or rather, women don’t want to admit it, but men have been using it for yonks.

    And sorry, it may well have been me who you were referring to earlier in the article re the “naïve” comments on another forum. I am very much a hardened internet dater and have suffered very, very bad luck of late. I’m really sorry if my comments have upset you, I guess at first we may have come from opposite ends of the dating spectrum. I do (as previously stated) massively admire your openness on this but hope that you keep your personal details private for the sake of your own safety, that’s all, as there are a lot of weirdos out there. I’ve certainly had some and it’s really quite scary, what with what’s accessible on t’internet these days & all.

    Alas (call it karma if you will!!) I’ve just had a HB experience. A guy who I was seeing for 3 weeks, who I went on a good few dates with, has vamoosed. Just like someone else earlier in the year that I was seeing and who I got very close to. Like you, I’m very fussy and I really don’t meet the ones worth getting close to that often. I guess my only concern is that I get the impression HB happened quite a long time ago, so it’s funny he’s still on your mind. But ergo kicks in the Eclipse Effect, which is very bloody damn true and it doesn’t matter how long/short you were seeing someone for, people just get under your skin sometimes, they really do. Hopefully after a week or two and a bottle of wine or 20 and tremendous bitching sessions later, I’ll not quite have forgotten about the latest, but will be in a better, clearer place. But my head was nodding in a very up-and-down direction every time I read each line of your article about this, it’s painfully true. Whether people want to admit it or not.

    I tell ya – this dating lark is a tremendously contentious, interesting and provocative-debate-triggering experience. And to think it would have been considered “taboo” not so long ago.

    Keep doing what you’re doing and sorry if any comments I would have made elsewhere have caused offence. I’m quite opinionated – particularly re journalism – but I also forget how “old” and hardened I am to this stuff and your articles are a superb read, especially the eclipse one.

    Hope you find not just the eclipse, but the sun before the big 3-0 x

    • Thanks Jen 🙂 Genuinely no offence taken – just good to have some debates about certain topics. (I definitely preferred your comments to the ones by the guy who thinks I’ll grown old alone with my cats!!!) The HB drama ended a week before I started the blog, so still only a month ago. Am hoping by the end of this experiment, if I achieve anything, it’s at least a bit of closure where he’s concerned (and a bloody good summer in the process!!) Thanks for reading and for your feedback – glad you’re enjoying the blog, Miss Twenty-Nine xx

  3. Ah ok. Even more apologies, as for some odd reason I thought that HB occurred months ago (last year?? Don’t ask me where I got that from!!). Anyway, keep it up. Although in a way I’m hoping that Date#30 will be the one for our reading pleasure, haha! x

9 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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