Well, I’m back from vacation. It was amazing. Jamaica was lovely–clear blue skies, and equally clear waters. Loved every minute of it, and for the most part, I was able to put everything behind me and forget about all my worries and stresses.
Then I came back home and did something stupid. Though time will tell just how stupid.
I pulled the trigger too soon on a relationship that my heart is still very much into.
Long story short, I’ve felt for some time that we’re not on the same path. Then, the day I came back, that first night he went out with his coworkers and I felt sad and alone and uncared for. It was sort of the last straw in a series of similar disappointments. I talked to my brother and his wife who have an amazing–albeit anomalous–relationship. They met online and two and a half years later they’ve just passed their one year marriage anniversary and she’s due to give birth to a beautiful baby girl in June. Hence, the anomaly: they’re one of those ‘we just knew’ sort of couples and I love them together–you can tell they’re very much in love. Again, though that’s the anomaly.
Anyway my point being that sometimes the advice you get from someone depends on their own experience and sometimes you just freak out and feel like you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and you wonder how, nearing the age of thirty-one, relationships can still be so utterly confusing.
I basically convinced myself we had to break up. I don’t have time to waste on relationships that are going nowhere. I want to be with someone who cares for me as much as I care for them, and who envisions the same sort of life for himself. The thing is, I really like this guy, but he has been really hurt in the past, more than once. This makes him afraid of being vulnerable and of being hurt. Which makes what I did all the more disastrous.
Anyway, I convinced myself we should break up for a few reasons. I felt that we were on different paths and we wanted different things. It has been four months, I’m turning 31 and he’s 35, and I feel like as time passes I don’t see us getting closer together. He recently rented out a place and didn’t involve me in the process at all. Not even just to know the places he was considering. He’d make the appointments and go and not tell me where or when. To me this was a bit of a red flag because I know if it was the other way around, I’d want to involve him in the process. I’d want him to see where I’m thinking of spending the next year of my life, and to see what he thinks about the place. He didn’t want that, and if anything, he seemed to want the opposite. I wanted to help him because I could tell it was stressing him out, so I did some searching for him. One ad that I found had a picture of two girls in dresses and in my mind it described the place as a party house. I told him I wasn’t sure how comfortable I’d be with him living with two random girls who seem to want to party all the time and he snapped at me “you don’t get to decide that”. Later he apologized and said he wished he had asked me why it made me uncomfortable. Then he went out for drinks with the two girls and checked out the place, which he told me about the next day.
So that was one red flag. Then there were a few others, like when I was drunk and told him I liked him, a few times in a row (inadvertently :/) and he later got mad and said it made me seem needy and he didn’t like that it seemed like I was only saying it to hear him say it back. He compared me to my dog, who over zealously greets anyone who comes to the door.
So there were a few instances like that that hurt me deeply and made me put up my own walls. Then, the final straw was my first night back from a one week vacation, having him go out. That actually was partially my fault because I didn’t communicate to him that I would have liked to just spend time with him that night. I first agreed to go out with his coworkers, then I changed my mind, and it wasn’t fair for me to assume that he would know I wanted him to stay with me and hang out.
Anyway for these reasons, and other little red flags along the same lines, I felt like I was wasting my time being with someone who didn’t want the same things as me, and who was hurting and disappointing me in the process.
And then of course when it came right down to it I couldn’t let him go. I’ve never done that before. I don’t believe in half break-ups or near break-ups: either you do it or you don’t. But this time it was so hard I just couldn’t go through with it. We talked and he said he does want the same things as me, it is the same road, but it’s a different pace. I seem to want to move faster than he does.
Well, I know what my brother and his wife think: he doesn’t want to commit to me, or involve me in some aspects of his life and he’s treating me like an accessory to his life. At the same time he didn’t want to break up either. Well, again, I don’t know what to think, whether they’re biased and their perspective is skewed, or I’m too emotionally involved to see the truth of the situation.
Dating in your thirties is hard. You can’t just live in the moment because the future looms too close and is too important to mess up. In my twenties I didn’t think about the future and now I feel like I really can’t afford not to.
Unfortunately we all know people who really want to get married and have been with their partners for years waiting and hoping for it to happen. I know people in that situation. I don’t ever want to end up there. Marriage is hard enough when both people are completely in it and 100% enthusiastic about it. Dragging someone into it, or coercing someone, is just a terrible disaster waiting to happen. That’s what I want to avoid. I want to see the red flags before I waste my time on someone who doesn’t want the same things as me, and who might be stringing me along. I spent five years with someone because I couldn’t let go (though I never thought I wanted to marry him) and now I seem to have the opposite mentality: I don’t want to be with anyone for very long if there isn’t some serious potential.
I like him. Most times I think I love him though he hasn’t said it to me and I don’t want to risk saying it to him. His past experiences have made him very guarded and I have to either accept a slow pace and a lot of uncertainty, or let it go now, and still care about him and feel uncertain.
As it stands, the ball isn’t in my court anymore. You don’t just drop the bomb on someone and expect them to still feel the same way towards you afterwards. Now he’s taking the time to decide if he still wants to be with me, and if this relationship is right for him. I told him to take all the time he needs.
It’s breaking my heart and I’m trying to just keep it together but in the end, I know I’ll be okay with whatever he decides. If he doesn’t want to be with me anymore, it’s okay. I get it. If he does, then we’ll have to try to re-establish the trust we had and the closeness we felt, at some point.
For now, I’m going to visit my mother’s grave, sit on the plot and just cry.