Saturday, June 21, 2008

"When it comes to relationships, how do you know when enough is enough?"

That quote comes from Carrie, from tonight's rerun of Sex and the City. It's an appropriate episode for me, cause I've been to hell and back once again due to relationship issues. I realize it's been an ongoing topic for us, dear reader, but it's really gotten bad around here. Carrie and Big have such a similar relationship to me and the guy I was dating. I never realized it before but the pull me in/push me away thing is really hard to live with. And it makes you crazy. And I shouldn't have done it.

I went too far this time. I should never have let it go on as long as I did. It ended very very badly, and though I feel like he deserved my screaming and crying and general psychotic break, which in fact sent me to the hospital again, I regret two things. Well, these two and a few more:

First, I called him names - asshole, fucker, liar, user - and while some of those may be in fact true, I had worked so hard to get to a place where I could be honest about my feelings, no matter how awful they were, without attacking that I'm very ashamed to have hit below the belt like a cheap bunny boiler.

Secondly, I said something about his daughter. That is unforgiveable. I have nothing against that young woman; in fact, I feel sorry for her. She didn't ask to be used as a foil in her dad's emotional unavailability, that was his doings. But she's there...the reason we couldn't be together... and I said something along the lines of "Fuck you and your daughter" and threated to come to their house like a goddamn idiot. That's just wrong.

But otherwise, it was a fair confrontation. He was not honest about what was happening between us. He kept saying he wanted us to be friends, but then would call and tell me he loved me. I'm not even sure if I've told the entire story here, so I think I will purge if you can bear it, reader.

We met online, though we actually knew each other in real life. But we 're'connected online. In the beginning, I just thought "Wow! What a fabulous and interesting and smart and funny guy!" but soon it turned into some serious flirting. Then one night he sent me his phone number, I sent him mine, and he called. We talked till I think 3 am that first night. And thus began the four, five, and once even seven- hour phone calls, which included literary talk, movie talk, music talk, Bob Dylan imitations, phone sex, him crying for various reasons, saying he loved me and me saying it back, him calling me his girlfriend, saying things like "How is it we didn't find each other before?" and "I love you because you understand me" and "You really do love me, don't you?" and us sharing way intimate things and me loving it and beginning to love him. Heavy stuff, and for me, just the fucking right thing at the right time. I completely fell for him.

Then suddenly, he told me in April we had to be just friends, cause his daughter had overheard us having sex at their house on my birthday weekend, and she freaked out. This was really upsetting to me, cause I'd felt him pulling away from me and didn't really understand why, especially cause then he would always come right back and be very sweet and loving. But if this was the case, I had to accept it. So I told him "I need to not talk to you for a while and get to where I can actually think of you as a friend and not a lover. I need to go off and lick my wounds." He said fine. But we never really DID it, cause I had asked if we could talk about it in person (this was all via email) and he had said "Of course! I never intended to break up via email." So when we finally did, all these other issues he seemed to be having came out - our living so far apart, us not being able to see each other regularly, his inability to keep dates if something came up with his daughter -and I said "Look, I don't care about the FORM of the relationship, as long as we're committed to making it work however often we see each other, I'm game." He seemed really excited about it, saying "Oh wow! I didn't realize that was an option! I can try this! No...I WANT TO try this." We came up with an agreement that we could indeed date, and I told him "Hey, I have more time than you. I can come to your house" and he was happy with that, saying "That's great. I can do that, it's just hard for me to get away for like an entire evening, drive to your house, and then drive back." We kissed goodbye in the parking lot, and said "I'm glad we worked it all out."

But by the time I got back home, he was pulling away again, coming up with things like "This isn't fair to you...what if there's some guy right down the street you aren't available for because you're with me, but who might be able to give you everything you need?" and "You're gonna get tired of me just like they all do." At that point, I didn't know what to do. It was like he really did want to be with me, but was worried and lacked any self-confidence. Being the person I am, this really got to me, and I said "Look, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. I want to be with you, not some random local guy" and tried to reassure him. He'd come back, then go away, then call and say "I love you" and "We should just sleep together and not worry about it" and "This thing between us is serious."

Finally it ended with him telling me completely randomly one night "I can't do this. We have to be friends". We were both drunk and it ended in a big fight, after which I told him I really needed to cut all contact. He agreed. This lasted from a Saturday to a Tuesday night, when I got a text "I hope you're doing well." Idiot that I am I couldn't NOT reply...I missed the hell out of I replied. We fell right back into the old pattern. Which ended again when we agreed to get together when I came to Athens one Sunday and then as I was leaving town to come see him sent me a text saying "Sorry, I already have plans this evening."

Well, that seriously did it. But no! It still wasn't over. Back and forth, back and forth, me trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and him trying to make me feel better, I now think. But shit! Until the last few weeks he still seemed so interested and wanting to pursue something but just afraid to do it. I looked at my text messages a while ago and like three weeks ago he wrote me saying: "Bring it. Bra and panties only" in response to me telling him I was about to drive to his house. I mean, we were totally still flirting and stuff...and even after that he told me that he loved me, several times, once saying something I remember so well: "I like you far too much for my own good."

Anyway, it ended on Sunday, Father's Day, appropriately enough. I finally confronted him about everything, saying that I didn't get the whole daughter thing, that it just didn't make sense, and he said "Well that's the truth, and I think we just need to take some time apart, like you said, cause at this rate it's going to be impossible for us to ever have a friendship," and I said that my gut told me he wasn't being truthful, and that there was somthing more to the story. "Look, I'm a big girl. Just tell me if there's someone else you're dating, cause I have a weird feeling there is," and he said "Well, yes, I am interested in someone else and we've been dating." And I said "How does daughter feel about that?" and he said "She's rolling with it."

Naturally I lost my shit. Having had the daughter displayed for weeks and weeks as the reason we couldn't be together, hearing that she's 'fine' with him dating this new person was just too much. I've tried so hard to hold myself back when I'd get frustrated or angry, telling myself "This isn't Paul, this is a real man, and he's not a liar." Well, guess what folks...

So there you have it. I think in the end he's just a sad scared man who can't let himself have anything heavy or meaningful cause he can't control it when it gets messy. At the same time he's a user who goes from new exciting relationship to new exciting relationship, stopping before it can get deep. But either way, I'm hurt.

Sorry, for the way TMI, but what's a blog for anyway? Now I'm just numb, sick inside, wishing I'd stopped months ago, just to have saved face, cause now one of his friends has now deleted me from her social networking site and I'm sure all of Athens now is like "Oh yeah...we're so vindicated...we knew she was crazy." Well, maybe I am.

"Did I ever love Big, or was I just addicted to the pain, the exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable?"

So, have I learned anything? Sure. I now know that love is a slow process, and that if someone is rushing it that is a very bad sign. I know that it shouldn't be easy, but it damn sure shouldn't be so unbearably difficult, either. I know that if someone gives you a different reason why you can't have a relationship every time you talk about it, there is another reason he's not telling you, and it's not worth fighting it. I know that I should have waited a real long time after the horrible breakup of last year to even try anything with another man. I know that I don't want a relationship anymore.

I feel better having just put it all down on paper, as it were. I am focusing on the good things in my life now. Rosie's birthday slumber party is tomorrow night. Nick has been invited to join a cool teenage band. I have a job coming up that I'm going to love. I have an airline ticket I didn't use in November, that I just found out I can use for any destination in the U.S. So it's all good. I'm just full of regrets tonight.


Chicken & Waffles said...

A few thoughts, darling girl:

-Men are shits, but we love them anyhow.
-I think you should cash in that ticket and come to NYC. Me and this big badass of a city can definitely distract you for a bit.
-Kisses to your adorable offspring. They are just delish.
-You are a wonderful person. I hope you know that.


Mike M said...

That's a great way of getting it out of your system and worded so well. Painful breakups as an enjoyable and informative read.

Sounds like you have this one filed under personal growth. I like that idea.

If that plane ticket works, Austin is waiting.