So, I’ve been going through a roller coaster ride of a new “relationship” You know what it’s like: Hot one day, cold the next. Sucked in by the hot, the fun, the wonderful. Shut down by the cold, the brash, the weird…Couldn’t quite figure out why it…well, why HE kept flip-flopping. Brought up all the old “Why am I not good enough?” fears. And, to make matters worse, I had gotten on the emailing lists of a couple of “relationship expert” sites (you know the ones, they give you just enough “advice” in their emails to hook you, to get you to want to buy their product, then tell you have to buy the book to REALLY understand how it all works—I became suspicious, however, when the first “book”, which was like $160, led you to the second, which was $200, etc.) So, whenever things were on the “cold” side, I’d be looking at these emails, reading their advice, fretting over not “knowing” enough about “How to make a man fall deeply in love” with me, and shutting down even more. See, I’ve never been one to “play the game” Never knew the rules, never wanted to know the rules. I want a man to love me, because he SEES and adores ME, not because I’m tricking him. Not because I’m playing a game and I “won”. Not because I’m “the kind of a woman a man falls in love with” (sheesh!) but because I am ME, and amazing, and great, and wise and smart and fun, with a huge and loving heart and far, far more than worthy of being adored! It’s what we all want, right?
As an aside here, let me say that my friend Scotty and I were talking about these “relationship experts” the other day. Scotty said “If you were a hermit with very few social skills, or you only had a couple of friends and just didn’t know how to relate to people , then these kinds of experts, or seminars, or whatever might be right for you…but Darla, you have literally HUNDREDS of friends who absolutely adore you, and they have for years and years and years!” He also said “You know, with a friend, you don’t say “Oh god, I hope I’m good enough to be this persons friend, I’m hope I’m worthy enough” No! You say, “I just met this cool new friend, and I’m gonna go hang out with him!” Why can’t we just transfer that thinking to our love relationships?” (okay, I just had an “aha” moment! I’ll fill you in later…)
Scotty is so right! HE should be a relationship expert, he really should!
(Scotty ALSO said, in a different conversation, several weeks ago “Darla, I wanted you, and I’m gay! How’s that for sexual magnetism!?!!”)(God I love my Scotty, there are so many reasons he’ll always be one of my dearest friends!)
So, here I am with this guy, trying my damnedest to just relax, but feeling awfully tongue-tied, unable to say the things that I feel would clear the air, or at least let him SEE me. But, of course, I forgot to ask if he’s willing or able to hear me or see me. I’m not altogether certain he is. The guy is pretty clear about controlling his environment, his domain. I don’t think he realizes he can also be a bit controlling of those around him. (now, I know where this comes from, he had a bitch of a mother, a very domineering mean-spirited, unhappy woman.) And me? I’m sensitive. I tend to shut down when people I care about get too gruff with me….unless I get angry, then all bets are off! (and I know where this comes from too: I had a bitch of a mother, a very domineering, mean-spirited, unhappy woman!)(‘cept, from our’ conversations, I think his was worse—mine could be fun, and sometimes loving, and occasionally nice! Just not when she was busy trying to control me!) Oh Jeez, life is just FULL of “Aha” moments today, isn’t it?!! I was only able to tell my mom what I felt when I got older, a teenager, a twenty-something, and I got angry, and just wasn’t going to take it anymore. No wonder I couldn’t tell this man…I was more of a freaked out 5-year-old than an angry teenager. (Oh, god, after 35 years of learning to control the anger that was the legacy of my family dynamics, I sure hope I can figure out ways to step away from the freaked out 5-year-old reaction without resorting to the angry teenager reaction!)(and here’s where the “aha” moment from my conversation with Scotty comes in: When I’m angry with a friend, or upset, or hurt, I don’t get all clammed up and afraid and throw the I-Ching a million times a day [yes, I AM just that kind of nutty!] I TELL them that I’m mad at them or upset with them or hurt by them. I say “HELLO! EXCUSE ME!!!!” And, I talk to them in a way that engenders dialogue, not a fight. I’m actually GOOD at that. So, I just need to transfer that ability over to my romantic relationships, and I think that involves seeing a lover as a friend!)(Okay, and I gotta admit…just a bit sheepishly….that THAT involves, for me anyway, taking the time to get to know someone before jumping into bed with them…no matter HOW damn-sexy they are!)(the best laid plans! *sigh*)
So, here’s the gist: I’m thinking that this guy and I are pretty much just two good, moderately effed up people who have coping styles that just don’t mesh. Now, if he and I had taken the time to be friends first, and/or were both willing to work together on all this, it could probably be a very healing experience…but I just don’t think that’s going to happen! Not this time…
Okay, long story short (well, shorter, you all KNOW verbose little ol’ me is functionally unable to do SHORT!!!!) A couple of weeks back, we, well, more or less “broke up” (though,I gotta tell ya, it feels weird to use that term: how do you “break up” with someone you’ve only known for two weeks?) It was the same old same old: he got gruff, I got sensitive and cried, he got gruffer, I went to another room. (I DID talk to him the next morning though, at least I was courageous enough to do that!)
Things were said by him that night, the most pertinent of which was that he said that he didn’t see us having a long-term relationship, and that he wanted to be”friends with benefits”. Just fucking great!
He went out-of-town for a job, and I was left house sitting for him. I was miserable, of course, and lonely, thinking it was over, wishing it weren’t so…eventually, I just concentrated on taking care of myself, walks everyday (once the sun came out—Oregon, rain, mud, yuck!) Then I made it a point to drive the millions of miles (his place is waaaaay out in the country!)to be with people, and to talk to my friends on the phone. It helped. I was feeling better.
He emailed every day. At first they were just perfunctory, asking how things were, thanking me for house sitting. Then, a little over a week later, the emails got cute again, and sweet, and the next night he called. After we hung up, I emailed Scotty with “I think the big lug’s missing me.” and he was! When he got home, he couldn’t stop hugging me, telling me “I thought about you a lot when I was gone” and “I MISSED you!” I thought we were back on, cuz this sure as hell didn’t seem like a man who wanted to be “friends with benefits”!
But, of course, this being the rollercoaster ride it is, things got weird again. The very next day. On his 3rd evening home I hit my breaking point. I’m not going to get into it, suffice it to say it was the same dynamics once again, and, I realized that I was done. So I cried all night, threw the I-Ching a million more times, talked to a friend or two, slept a little,and kept to myself. Now, I have to tell you, I was feeling decidedly dark and forlorn, on the brink of going back to celibacy and staying there. Which of course made me feel MORE dark and forlorn! I felt like all my courageous “I’m just going to keep my heart open and love any man I’m with as much as I can for however long it lasts!” was a naive pipe dream, instead of a spiritual principle and a great way to live my life.
So, last evening I got on Facebook and let my friends (just a few of those “hundreds”!) hold me (metaphorically) and support me, listen to me, give advice,and help me practice what I was going to say to the guy I’ve been involved with. My friends are wonderful! They love me dearly, and my love for them is returned sevenfold. I couldn’t survive without them!
One of those friends, someone I don’t know all that well, has commented on lots of my posts, including the ones like this one, the “oh-so-ridiculously-tragic-oh-woe-is-me” threads. And he occasionally throws in a few sort of flirty lines, not too obvious, but sweet and kind of fun. (As an example, here’s one, not from a “oh-so-ridiculously-tragic-oh-woe-is-me” thread: it was when I pulled out of Reno with my Airstream, and the cute young boy at the gas station asked me if that was my “awesomeness parked right out there?” Well, I posted this and my friend commented back “No, your’ awesomeness was standing right in front of him!” Made me giggle and blush to read this! It was so sweet and…complimentary!) Well, last night he threw in a couple of these flirty lines, and I gotta tell you, that was what put me over the top as far as feeling better goes! It was what made me know for sure that I am NOT going back to my lonely ol’ celibate life! Now, mind you, I don’t know if there’s actually any desire there on his part, or whether he’s just being nice….and, after all, he lives an ocean away, and, let’s face it,this little heart o’mine needs a wee bit o’ rest before I put it back on the proverbial horse….but, it reminded me that there are gorgeous, smart, sweet, kind men out there, who are not only willing to listen to me, but who think I ROCK!!!!! Made my day! Made me smile and get my hope back! And that’s why he will forever after be:
My Knight in Shining Typeface!