Welcome to 29 Dates, where we explore the weird, wild and sometimes wonderful world of dating - one date at a time.
I know it sounds disingenuous to insist you had no idea that so-and-so liked you but with Colm*, I really didn’t know. He was flirty yes, but he was flirty with everyone.
And yet here we were. He’d stopped by a party my friend was throwing and hung out for a while before inviting me out to his minivan. We sat in the back and talked for a few minutes before he interrupted whatever I was saying to kiss me.
I felt surprised, flattered, excited — and just the tiniest bit resigned.
He was jokey and extroverted and fun to be around. He was also a twin.
Colm and I had met at the summer camp where we both worked. I was flattered to become part of his friend group; he was jokey and extroverted and fun to be around. He was also a twin. His brother, Dan*, was physically softer than ultra wiry Colm, and quieter too.
At some point in the last few weeks, Dan and I had spent some time together and I’d discovered he was pretty funny, too. And nice. And cute.
It was right around the time that I was texting Colm about my big crush on his brother that I realised that Colm had a crush on me.
After that exchange Colm didn’t talk to me for days. I apologised and I guess it was sufficient because he turned up at that party and kissed me.
All this happened over a decade ago, so the details are a little fuzzy. It’s possible that I’d always had a crush on Colm but, assuming he didn’t feel the same way, didn’t allow myself to acknowledge it until I knew he reciprocated.
But now that I have some hindsight, I can also see that I was always a little too willing to make others happy. I can’t help but recognise threads of that quality here. I didn’t want Colm to be angry at me, and I was flattered he liked me, and Dan didn’t seem to care either way… So when Colm kissed me, I kissed him back. We dated for over a year. We had a ton of fun and I ended up really liking him, and then we broke up. Now we don’t talk at all.
I don’t regret the time I spent with Colm, and I didn’t pine for Dan while we were together. But I wonder, What if? Hopefully now I’ve gained enough self-esteem to avoid dating people because it’s easier to go with the flow than it is to sort out my feelings before getting into a relationship.
If I were to go back and do it all over again, I would probably steer clear of the whole situation. Who wants to come between brothers?
*Names have been changed