Having gotten some excellent comments on the M-phenomenon from my fave bloggers here, I’ve come back again and again to something.
Four years ago I split from the absolute and only love of my life. It was horrible, soul breaking, heart wrenching, mind and life altering, painful, confusing.. Every day that I woke up (well, the nights that I even slept, that is) from that point forward, it all felt so wrong and unnatural, like a split from literal reality had occurred. Had the chronic unshakeable sense that I was in the midst of a nightmare which couldn’t possibly be actually happening, but that I could not wake from. Horrifying on a level which I never even could have imagined was possible prior in my life..even after two divorces…it was dreadful to say the least…
Anyway, I met a guy, “B” maybe a year or so after this “split”. B was handsome, funny, super nice…and he asked me out. Well as “over” as things were with the ex, we were still very much “carrying on” in many different ways, neither really letting go, but not together per se either…. So I declined this great guy’s date request. Strangely enough, I suddenly kept seeing this guy everywhere. Every time I was out with friends..there he was. The grocery store..OMG he’s here too! On lunch with co-workers…B, too, was having lunch there! It became stranger and stranger… and was extraordinarily coincidental. Finally, I just decided that all signs pointed to the fact that I should at least try to go out with him a few times.
For three months, it went well. We had a great time. He was truly fabulous. I even lessened my time spent with the ex (and ceased sexual activity with the ex mostly) because I felt I owed a real effort to this guy and of course, owed him an attempt at fidelity as well. I didn’t really embrace this time away from the ex though – in my heart and in all other ways, that was really where I wanted to be. I was more making an effort to force that lingering non-relationship-relationship to cease rather than actually trying in this new relationship with B.
So after about three months of doing “this” (whatever “this” was), he and I were at dinner one evening at my most favorite restaurant. He seemed a little distant, but nothing too blatant, so I just avoided it. I’m not nosey by nature and I really believe in respecting people’s privacy. Plus, I really didn’t want to have one of those “what are you thinking/feeling” conversations because the ugly truth was, I had no desire to share with B what my real feelings were…being that they were not even really there..but constantly with the ex…no matter how hard I was trying to force that to stop and make my feelings for him subside. For these two reasons, I never mentioned his being more quiet than usual and the evening went okay, all in all.
The following day, he called me at work asking to talk. I felt really nervous about this because although I wasn’t being outright deceitful to him, I really could not(and had NO desire to) share my sincere feelings with this guy..you know….they were definitely 110% with the ex and it tore my heart in two to have to keep blowing the ex off, just to be “honest” …err…straight with this guy I was seeing. And more ugly truth here was that my plan wasn’t even working. The ex wasn’t listening anyway and regularly “rejecting” my ex was merely getting more and more painfully impossible, not easier as I had hoped. So, needless to say, I was not looking forward to this “talk”. In fact, the thought alone made me downright nauseated.
So we talk on the phone during my lunch… And he says, Kay, I really like you and I suppose there’s really no reason to stop seeing you, but I can’t shake the feeling that you’re just going through the motions of this…Sure, you’re with me and that’s nice and all, but it just seems like you’re just not really with me. And I just want to know from you if I should bother keeping on with this.
I was stunned. I could not say anything. I mean literally, I could not even respond. After a few moments of silence, he even said, Hello? Are you still there?
I finally choked out, I really have to go. Promise I’ll call you later though. And I hung up the phone without letting him agree.
How could I argue this? He was so dead-on, it was scary. So, I knew I either had to admit this (the very thing I’d been “hiding” from him from the start) or pretty much just lie straight out and deny it. I respected him; I even really liked him. I didn’t want to do either. Really, all I wanted was to just be back with my ex and thus, solve the whole damned issue across the board.
…of course, I called him back later and admitted that he was right, apologized profusely, and told him I understood totally if he felt it best to stop seeing me. He did. It ended right then. I liked him – I really did, but other than some guilt over letting it go on for three months, I really never skipped a beat. In fact, my “ex” and I went to the movies and had crazy wild OH MY GAWD it’s BEEN TOO EFFIN’ LONG sex that very night…
And all felt right and balanced in the world again (as effed up as THAT truth is!), so even my guilt didn’t last as long as it probably should have…
After much reflection, this past event keeps popping up again and again in my mind. I wonder if this is not maybe something similar to what’s going on with M now? …only maybe this time, it’s both of us feeling this “half in” way a little…or maybe even more him this time and only a bit is coming from me?
I know my heart’s not fully in any of this (M, dating, sex, whatever…), but my mind is in it some… And maybe M just has a similar struggle… What even happens when you put two mostly absent people into one relationship together? A disconnected connection.