Seriously ? Dating men is really no easier than woman I don’t know what I thought I remembered. I take some responsibility and have to remember to think sometimes rather than react or respond from gut which I like and feel comfortable doing. I have to “breathe” pause and evaluate the situation and ask more questions ask the brave questions to get the answers which leave no room for assumptions and if I don’t I have no one to blame but myself for it. So in part I’m not entirely mad at him I’m irritated with myself as well because I know better and I am capable of more. It’s been a precarious few weeks since our break up transitioning to friends was interesting, I mean since K, you would think I would be an expert but going from lovers to BFF is a strange path.
In actuality I had been denying something, denying that my feelings wouldn’t get in the way. It’s different to break up with someone you still like romantically but you know they can’t deliver on what you need and want so you cut your losses and figure ok we can at least be friends cause I like you and you like me and you make me laugh. The problem is the expectations change and you (I) remain sensitive to the your (our) interactions until those feelings dissipate, you meet someone new or they piss you off. My remedy is well, I got pissed off, that was my ready set go to spring into friendship.
Throughout our time well at the beginning there was no doubt in my mind he was looking for something more along the lines of a relationship, it was a short time but he was hard core, with what he said, how he felt , the flirting the planning, I mean he wanted to spend Thanksgiving night pampering ourselves at a hotel in the city-that’s a “we have been dating for a while” activity to me. He asked about religion, if I wanted kids and made a list of all the things he liked about me including the “I believe she would be a kind and caring step parent”. Now come on I couldn’t have to read into this, who fabricates this kind of stuff. Someone wanting to laid or someone having strong feelings for someone? Or both?
I took it hook line and sinker thinking “wow amazing a man who doesn’t play games, a man who lays it all out there, a man I do not need mind reading skills to date. Enter Thanksgiving night by now I had felt him pulling away the small simple things of the everyday set your watch like clockwork never late never forgets “good morning sweetie, honey, baby, blah blah text” the “miss yous” the “hey gorgeous” and more direct “your hot” “ I want you” “ best kisser ever” texts. Oh yes ladies these were given multiple times on a daily basis and there was no reason for me to think they were fake and I don’t know that I think that now but when it suddenly chills out you have to wonder.
I have read from some “relationship expert” this is what men do, they back off they pull back, for various reasons and that this is natural and the response that woman have to is to be more available and bend over backwards to maintain the “what once was”-and that’s exactly what I did, therefore according to the experts becoming less appealing because I was no longer mysterious.
I had this discussion with another smart beautiful successful woman, “Gabriela why do I do this?, why do we do this? Why do we then check our phones? Jesus I have a life and pretty great one so why is time stopping for a text?” The only conclusion I can draw is because we all want to be loved and appreciated, that’s a pretty good reason to act a fool but unfortunately some relationships do not recover from such mistakes. So even though I asked “is everything ok?, are you mad at me?” that did not trigger him to reveal more about what he was thinking and feeling. According to the expert this is the “hallmark error” woman make.
It wasn’t until after Thanksgiving night when I felt some distance between us in actual real time rather than over text that I got brave and asked more specific questions. The next day I asked him to be honest and confronted him about his feelings changing and he responded, well kinda. “I guess I’m a little, well a lot guarded these days and I have a hard time getting into and staying in a serious relationship. It sucks I know, you are a wonderful person but we might be on different timetables as afar as relationships go”.
Different time table? Now this could be interpreted in a number of ways:
1)I’m in the process of trying to end a 12 year marriage and fighting for custody so my priorities lady are somewhere else aka I like you but bad timing
2) I liked you a lot and now that we slept together I still like you but I’m not chasing you as I was before and frankly that’s what I like
3) I’m really only available for something light and easy a kinda FWB situation because I can’t even imagine getting into something serious right now
4) It’s time for me to sow my wild outs and spread my seed I’m free for the first time in 12 years well almost free and I need to explore that.
5) Thanks we are done but you’re awesome, high five babes
What I chose to interpret it as was “I can’t give you what you want because I’m not ready and I’m not in any position to get serious with anyone” with a dash of “I want something light, easy and unattached” this allowed him to still look favorable in my eyes and not at fault of anything and probably stroked my ego too.
So with that interpretation in mind I broke up with him. I first told him all the wonderful things about him that I adored and liked and then I offered my friendship. He said nice things back and accepted my friendship. Easy peasy right? Eh not so much, we talked about hanging out as friends and did once the day after I broke up with him where he proceeded to get faced and I became the babysitter (this shoulda been my first second or third warning) but noooo I gave more I drove him home, I took care of him, I cooked him breakfast, I told him I worried about him and he passed out on the toilet for about an hour. He did finally come out when I said I was leaving and hugged me and thanked me and then tried to kiss me but I didn’t kiss him back. I hugged him and left.
I have no idea, most woman would have run for the hills and considered him too damaged to like or love or date. I liked that he put all of his baggage up front, the divorce , the custody, the lawyers, the depression he has struggled with and goes to therapy for weekly, the medication he takes to control the depression, the ex, the back and forth between the homes. All of that, I accepted him where he was at, for who he was, a lesson learned from my last relationship but doing that does not a bond create.
We had an interesting conversation about what he wanted or more so he kept asking me WHAT I THOUGHT he wanted and I just always said I had no idea and that I had been wrong on all accounts so I threw the question back at him which he never answered he only told me what his therapist thought: that he was unable of accepting outside validation and was trying to replace the whole his mom had left with him. Seems cliché doesn’t it? I mean we can only blame our parents for our problems for so long before we take over and do something about it. I’m not trying to judge him only reflecting on my path with my mother. He was slippery when I tried to pin him down on if he thought his therapist was right or what it was that he was looking for. As I have communicated more and more with him I notice he hides, he never answers those questions or acknowledges those comments that he feels uncomfortable addressing. I thought I was good using humor to deflect vulnerability he is an expert and he becomes a hard of hearing, visually impaired mute. I know another read flag that he doesn’t get serious (he admits) and maybe isn’t emotionally ready for some things.
I guess that is how he feels, I don’t know, I just know that he ignores those questions/texts but comments on the text right before it and right after it, conveniently. I have put him on the hot seat before and go back and grill grill grill reasking the question till he answers but I neither have the time, patience or energy to do so. I did it for a year and a half with K when I dated her.
I had romantic feelings for him probably up until last night when this conversation took place and I thought “what are you doing? Why are you holding on to feelings for this guy”
Last night we were texting and he was complaining about Match.com as we do and I said “don’t worry you’ll find your friend with benefits tomorrow” “I don’t want a FWB why do you say that? “ “cause it seems liked that from many of our conversations, interactions and comments in fact it was the reason I thought we should stop seeing each other because that’s what I thought you wanted”. My assumptions were obviously wrong but then he made no attempt to clarify or communicate what indeed he was looking for. For some reason this made me mad, he has been pushing me to give a younger guy a chance and encouraging a FWB situation for me and I was letting that influence me and perhaps convince me to accept something less that what I wanted. Ultimately it is my choice and I can hardly blame him nor can I say he manipulated me but I let myself get caught up in that and adjusted for a guy-stupid. I’m learning I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to another. Never compromising or giving in to someone else’s needs to being overly accommodating. So as with everything in life it is a readjustment and a learning process and this morning I woke up with a whole other attitude and I was really feeling myself today –got dressed up and walked with a spring in my step today with a I’m funny and darnit people like me attitude. Bottom line is I have much to learn and a lot of room to grow but I accept myself where I am at. The fact is with all that I have been through the past 2 years I’m more open that I have ever been and putting myself and my heart out there I realize well at times it just won’t work out as I hoped, I’ve only learned that I control far less than I thought in the past and my commitment is only to follow my karmic destiny or hero’s journey or whatever the new age phrase of the day it. I’m in.
We have actually transitioned to friends spent time together hanging out even on Xmas night and exchanging gifts. We talk the next morning he sits and drinks coffee I challenge his caveman ideas about relationships and woman and we talk about everything and anything. We laugh, we questions, we challenge, we ponder, we share about why we are the way we are, we reveal a little bit about ourselves as friends do when they trust each other and are building a friendship. He confide my fears although he already knows most of them and vice versa. We talk about our dates we bitch about our families. We support each other and remind each other that it’s ok to be him and ok to me and we are in our respective places /stages in life for a reason and we learn each and every day. I get mad at him sometimes and he apologizes, I get on my soapbox and he tells me I’m nuts but it works. At first when I saw how much he drank I worried and thought I met him to be in his life as a friend but I needed a friend like him just as much. I am grateful we are here and while I figure out what life holds for me from here on out I have someone who can really relate.