My heart is in a lot of pain right now.
For the past (nearly) four years, I've been in a tumultuous on-and-off again relationship with a man I know that I will never marry. One who I have never called my boyfriend. One that neither of us ever gave a chance. He's asked me to be in an exclusive relationship with him a handful of times. And when I let myself consider it and open myself to this idea with the realest intentions, he immediately vanishes. I'm left feeling like the room around me disappeared. How do I even mourn that? How do I address something that was never there, but always there? If I answer your question with yes, how can you respond with a no?
I want to be open and genuine to the experience, but you can only push a stone as far as there is road. Deep down, I know that it doesn't work because it's not meant to work. I have to believe that. I have to believe that some day I'll be looking back and thankful that it didn't work.
It feels like I've been placed in a vase and the petals have started to go limp on the stem. If you have no intention to water me, leave me be. Let me find my own sun. Let me draw my own food. Let me grow strong and my petals be fresh and bright and open.
I'm finding myself in this confusing and repeating cycle of men who need some sort of acknowledgment from me. They want to slide up into my DMs and have no idea what to do if I actually respond. They want to know that I've seen them, but there is no follow through. They want to like all my instagram photos, but they don't want to text back when I ask them to come get sushi. They are single guys who want to see if I'll react to them. They are married guys who want to safely play with the idea of flirting with someone who is not their wife.
As if I don't really exist. As if I am not moving down the road of my own journey.
Most recently, a male friend of mine asked me out in the middle of the day on a Monday, details that I believe are important because generally that's a pretty sober time in someone's day. It would appear to be genuine rather than a late night champagne-fueled pseudo flirtation. When it was time to meet up, he texted me 30 minutes before to cancel because he was going to go to a show instead. Brutal on all terms. Instead of reacting in the very injured ego way that I wanted to, I took a breath and remained poised. We're friends, I told myself. You give your friends the benefit of the doubt. I gave him another opportunity and he didn't so much fumble it as put the ball down, leave the court and say "I'm so excited to play with that ball" as he turned off all the lights and locked the door.
I'm not just some stranger. I'm a friend of yours. I'm someone whose writings on love you read regularly before you even moved to this city. I'm someone who you know you are going to see again. What an unbelievably shitty way to treat a friend.
Why is the assumption that I should just deal with that? Why is it in dating that it is okay to treat people in ways that you would never do in other aspects of your life? You wouldn't be this person at work. You wouldn't be this person to your friends. To those who say I'm too sensitive, I say that you are way more comfortable trashbagging my emotions than I am. This isn't a good way to be. Where is the honesty in our actions? Where is the honesty in the life we are presenting?
And now I'm left feeling insecure and wanting. I do not like that I'm feeling that way. I do not like how feeling insecure makes me act. You don't have to deal with the mess that you made. I have to deal with the mess that you made. Why is that we don't acknowledge the real humanity of the person on the other end of a text?
Today, I sent him the following:
I’m sorry for what my ego said. A former flame has been pretty aggressively pursuing me recently and it’s thrown me out of balance. It’s true that I am feeling confused by what went down between us and I really don’t like feeling that way. It feels like I was staying in my lane and got completely sideswiped, which also bothers me. I’m telling my ego to chill for a minute though and be understanding that you needed some sort of validation. I would like a chance to clear this shit. Because I don’t like it in my space. Lemme know if you’re available for that.
Still nothing. Still silence. How is that okay? I want to be understanding. I want to be aware of the places that my ego is leading me. But you need to acknowledge that you did some weird shit. Just take accountability. Then it's all fine. That's all.
I'm kind to my heart. I feed it with music, art and friendship. I let it unwind in meditation. I explore the places that ache, so that they can be fixed. I shine light on the places that feel good, so that they can grow stronger. So, why do these guys feel like they can come in and graffiti their own self-hate on my walls? Why does that seem okay? Then I have to spend time wiping down the words their absence left. Then I have to lock up the doors and close the windows when all I want to do is be open.
As this podcast of mine grows and unfolds as what is clearly my life purpose, I find myself wanting to lay next to a man who says to me "I believe in you." And let's his actions support this. I'm a woman who is doing it on her own and I am good at it. But why is it weak or needy to want to see your reflection cast back at you from the eyes of someone you respect and love? A reflection that is even bigger and more beautiful than the one you see in the mirror. A lover who believes in you when you are not sure that you can believe in you.
I'm not independent, because I want to be by myself. I'm independent, because I refuse to sink on a ship when I can paddle instead. It's not the rejection of a partnership. It's an understanding that I don't want to just allow myself to drown.
I had a talk with myself this morning about Divine Timing. I told myself that they have to all be wrong, because they can't all be right. And I'm okay with that. What I can't have in my life is the disrespect and needlessly hurtful actions. That is not who am in my life and you are not invited to be that way in my life.
Are you the man to whisper to me "I believe in you" as I'm fighting my demons in my sleep? I know I still believe in you. I believe you are out there. I believe we will find each other. And maybe that is the greatest tragedy of all.