“We never fully closed the door on it”
Shashwat Sahay, 29, is an architect from Yorkshire
My friend was in a tumultuous relationship – he and his girlfriend would invite me out, then go home early to argue or have sex. But one time his partner invited Alex, so when they left, she and I stayed out. I couldn’t believe how well we got on – she was funny, laid-back and really attractive. I got her number that night and tried to arrange a date, but she was too busy. There was another chance meeting after that – the same friends disappeared early from the pub and Alex and I stayed out. We kissed for the first time that night, then went out for a drink the next weekend. I had never got on with someone so easily. I loved spending time with her. We started seeing a lot of each other, and got close quickly, which may explain, in part, the reason for our split: we lost the romance.
Six months into our relationship, I said ‘I love you’ to Alex at a friend’s wedding. She might have been about to say it back, but my mum interrupted right at the crucial moment. About a month later, Alex said she loved me, too.
I realised the spark had gone after a year: it felt like we were cohabiting. A few weeks later, she broke it off. I was down, but I knew something had to change. We didn’t want it to become a habit – we wanted to really choose to be together.
The date felt like how it was when we were first together – it was romantic. I didn’t try to kiss her, though the thought definitely ran through my mind. But I don’t think I ever would have, given our history. It’s not simple any more; there’s a lot attached to this.
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