When I went out on a couple of not-a-date date with this guy friend of mine, I ended up confirming two things: what I have always known, and what I didn’t want to know.
Even though I tried to convince myself that no, I’m not leading him on, I knew deep down that I was. Even though I did say that I don’t want any relationship and that going out doesn’t mean it’s a date, the very fact that I went out with him and let him put a lot of effort for me still equates to giving him false hope. I’ve always known what it means to lead someone on.
Another thing that I’ve confirmed but didn’t want to know is the truest reason why I don’t want a relationship and the deepest source of my dismissal of it–fear and pride. Fear of being hurt and going through all that pain again, and pride because I didn’t want to accept that my previous relationship had this huge effect on me.