This year has been a year of echoes. I’m of the opinion that things echo, for me, because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do with them the first time. Like in school… if you don’t master the concepts of a class, then you fail the class and you take it over so that you DO. Life is like school. Only harder. And less forgiving. And at the end of the day you don’t get a report card that tells you exactly what you did wrong – no, you have to figure that part out largely for yourself.
I thought I’d learned the lessons I needed to learn from Botboy when I squared things away with Jesus. I don’t think I was necessarily wrong – I still believe I did the right thing in that situation. But I suppose the Universe had other ideas with the new guy I’d started seeing about a month and a half ago. This is the one I manifested. And he was, by all accounts, at first glance (and even over the first through fourth dates) perfect. But then he started pulling away. He started getting quiet. He’d still text me now and then, but it was different somehow and at first I didn’t understand how.
Then it came to me… those texts weren’t as involved as they used to be. They weren’t as enthusiastic. It reminded me of how things had started to go downhill with Botboy. I remembered enough from then to know not to push now. And so I didn’t. I assumed he was busy, because he does have a lot going on, and I let it go. I pulled back, I didn’t try to make plans with him, and I watched. A week went by and I finally got a text, apologizing for the distance, and telling me he had a lot going on – and would email me about this later. I did not get the email for a couple of days, but when I did, the email was long, and clearly worded.
As I read the email, I was astonished at the similarities between his situation and my own. He was reminded, when he was with me, of his ex. I knew what that felt like. I remember all too well the inability to move forward from an ex. The haunted feeling you get, almost torturous, when pieces and reminders of the one you are not over are thrown continuously in your face (making it impossible, really, to get a handle on things and move on anyway). I had been here before. In both places. It echoed the conversation I had with Bot in April. It screamed everything I’d already been through. And the mantra, “When you don’t learn from the past, you repeat it until you do it right” kept rolling through my head as I read it a second time, trying to internalize it all, attempting to figure out what it is that I needed to do – or essentially, what it is that I DIDN’T do the first time that I need to do this time.
I knew the answer to that. But, then, I’d seen it all before, too. A full stop toward progression, silence where there had been none, the occasional daily check in but no attempt to make plans. I’d been right not to push it. That much I’d learned from the past.
I suspected I even knew what I needed to take from the past and apply to this situation, too. It wasn’t that I handled the old situation incorrectly… it’s not that the conversation I had with Botboy didn’t need to happen. But I’d broken one of my cardinal rules then – I’d gotten angry at him and I’d confronted him when he was at war. And I’d said I would never, ever do that – because if something happened to him, I did not want to have to live with the thought that the last thing I ever said to him were words spoken out of anger. And yet, I spoke them. I was harsh. And I made demands of him that I had no right to make– so what if he wasn’t over things? Who am I to tell someone to get over things? It’s true there can’t be three people in a relationship, but we all have baggage, and sometimes that baggage is harder to throw away than we’d like to admit. It wasn’t my job to tell him to throw it away, he knew he needed to throw it away. It was my job to be there, to listen when he needed to talk, and to be understanding (as long as there was no chance that she was coming back). And I hadn’t done that.
And here I had it. The same situation, dropped into my lap. This time, I came from a different approach. Acknowledging that I could not tell him whether he was ready to move forward or not, I left the ball in his court. If he wanted to continue to hang out, to date with INTENT (I made that part very clear, because I am not and will not be a fuck buddy), then I would do that. If he did not, then he needed to tell me so that I could move forward. And no hard feelings either way. I did not speak ill of his ex (either of them), I did not get angry. But I also said that putting me on the back burner is not a good idea. Isolating yourself, remaining stagnant, is never a good idea if you’re truly trying to move on.
Things ended with the agreement that we were not going to stop hanging out, that we were going to take it slowly. And during that period, I was going to see other people. Because while he may not be ready to move on, I am. I have been divorced for five years… And in that five years, I have had a multitude of flings but nothing real. And I am sick of flings. I am sick of dating, and dating, and dating, finding a relationship but realizing that it’s unsteady because he isn’t sold; or because he can’t love me; or because he’s afraid and won’t admit it; or because there are too many complications; or watching (figuratively) the one that came so close, packing up all his TransFormers and walking out the door. As long as there was effort to move forward, I could take things slowly with Nameless, and I could leave that door open. But I can’t close the door to any others who come through either. Because if I’ve learned nothing else over the last five years, I’ve learned that closing the door prematurely to anything (despite what my friends say) is not conducive to progress.
It has been two weeks since that agreement. I have been patient. We have texted, but only when I initiate it. We have not seen each other during that time (where we were, at least, getting together at least once a week). I was watching – waiting and hoping for some improvement. Hoping for something to give me a sign that I needed to continue to hold on. I waited. I was optimistic. I was patient. After no plans were made, after no attempts to make plans were made, I conceded. His ghosts may not exist anymore, but he’s still giving them a priority in his life. The past, mourning over the past, is, at present, more important to him than moving forward from it – and because of that, making something happen between he and I was not a priority. And I know, better than almost anyone, that someone who wants to see someone, makes it a PRIORITY to see someone. It’s a shame, really, but I don’t have time for someone that doesn’t have time for me. And so, I sent an email. Because I don’t like leaving doors open. I closed the door… as nicely, and as patiently as I could.
It is two weeks until my birthday and two weeks until this blog celebrates its first anniversary. It’s been a hard year in some ways; a happy year in most ways. And I’ve come a long way from the woman that had just ended a very unhappy relationship when I began this blog. The thing is, through all of this, I’ve learned something: I’m a busy girl. Despite all of that, though, I can make time for the people I want in my life. I do not, however, have time for the people who cannot make time for me. And I am not obligated to make those people a priority.