The two of them continued to stroll down the street, quietly looking around for the most part and sharing some memories about what had happened in their past relationships every now and then when they remembered something.
After listening for a while, Li Ming couldn’t help but feel that even though Zhao Chen had said that his relationships usually lasted a bit longer, he had had quite a few more than him. “You’re the type to get into a new relationship pretty fast, right?”
Zhao Chen smiled wryly. “Honestly, you’re not the first of my boyfriends who mentioned that. I guess I can’t deny it. I do move on pretty fast. I just … I guess I feel that when it’s done, it’s done. There’s really no use in crying over spilled milk. Usually, after a week or maybe two, I’m usually back in the game. I just … I guess I don’t really like being alone. It’s just … nicer to share life with somebody, you know?”
Li Ming nodded, even though he had to admit that he felt a bit uneasy. Moving on that fast made it seem like the previous relationship hadn’t meant all that much. And being in a relationship with Zhao Chen, he couldn’t help but wonder if it would be the same for them.
He knew he shouldn’t think about it like this. They had just started dating and while they had gotten to know each other a little, they still didn’t know each other that well that he could make any judgment calls.
Maybe Zhao Chen just had an easier time putting things behind him than he did. That was his right. He didn’t need to interpret anything into that that wasn’t there. But honestly, as somebody who was very invested in his relationships and had a very hard time moving on, it seemed odd to him.
He dwelt on the matter for a moment, feeling that he really wanted to ask about it but not quite daring to do so. Anyway, if he did ask, it would seem like he was judging him. And yes, maybe he was. It was just so incomprehensible to him, he really couldn’t understand.
With Li Ming hesitating like that, Zhao Chen also realized that something was wrong. He kept quiet for a moment, causing a lull in the conversation that was really awkward for the first time. “That response wasn’t received very well, was it?”
Li Ming could only smile wryly. “I guess I don’t have a poker face, do I?”
Zhao Chen looked at him and shook his head. “Not a good one at least, no. But even if your face was looking any better right now, the silence really spoke volumes. Also, believe me, I’ve heard that pretty often already.”
Li Ming sighed, feeling that he really hadn’t done well just now. “You know, I don’t want you to feel that I’m judging here. It’s … it’s just that I’m not sure I get it.
“For me, when a relationship ends — whether that is because I ended it or because the other person did — I need a pretty long time to get back to myself first. There are a lot of things I have to think about and I try to reason out why things ended the way they did. And then after that, I need time for myself to adjust to a place where I’m comfortable with myself and will also be comfortable with another person in my life again and not carry around any baggage. So imagining to get back into dating in a matter of weeks is just such a foreign concept to me.”
Zhao Chen looked at him, feeling that he should better consider very carefully what he said now. Li Ming had already told him that he had trust issues. And saying that he moved on fast was often seen as just playing with the other person.
His track record of usually dating for quite some time made him feel that it shouldn’t be that much of an issue but maybe in Li Ming’s eyes, that made it even worse. Yes, knowing that he was able to date for such a long time and then not be distraught about breaking up probably didn’t look good to him.
For a moment, Zhao Chen felt a sense of panic. He really liked Li Ming and he wanted this relationship to work out. He had always wanted that, no matter who he got into a relationship with, but something told him that this conversation might make or break their relationship. He felt as if he was on thin ice and every word he said might be too much, making the ice beneath his feet crack and not giving him any opportunity to get back out of the water.
He gave a hum and then put up a hand, not even sure where to begin. “Give me a moment to think through how I answer this.”
Li Ming nodded and then looked around before stopping in his tracks. “Actually, maybe this isn’t the kind of conversation we should have out here. How about going back to either of our places and just talking it through there? That might be more comfortable.”
Zhao Chen raised his brows and then nodded. “Alright, actually, my place isn’t too far from here. How about going over there?”
Li Ming nodded. In fact, he might prefer to go to Zhao Chen’s place for this. It would make Zhao Chen feel more comfortable and he wanted him to be comfortable for this because then, he’d have an easier time talking about this. That way, they could solve this more smoothly.
He didn’t want this to end again just because of something like this. It didn’t feel right. He had been really happy since they had gotten together. He didn’t want to give up on that, not that easily.