This is the follow up to a story first posted in May. Click here for part 1. And thank you to Mr. G for letting us know how it all turned out. A note to first time visitors: On Sundays I turn the blog over to guest authors – always guys, hence “A Guy’s Story”. You can see the whole collection by clicking on that heading.
I woke up that morning looking forward to a busy week of social engagements. I did what I usually do and went on about my routine to prepare for the evening’s events. M was set to do her own thing with friends and I was set to go out to dinner with a friend before I had to pick M up later that night.
M wasn’t too keen on my having dinner with this friend (an attractive young woman). M never liked the fact that I have A LOT of platonic female friends but this was always the case with me since I’ve been a teenager. And I REALLY mean platonic (I’ve never pursued friendship with any woman I’ve been attracted to). The friend I was going out with is like family to me (I’ve watched her grow up). Nonetheless M was always uncomfortable with the fact that I was going to be sharing a meal with any female friend (even ones she’s met several times before). I tried to respect M’s ambivalence and set up strict rules of engagement when dealing with these female friends (e.g. no romantic restaurants, no one-on-one time in private, etc.). But all the rules in the world, gestures to reassure her of my fidelity, and spending 90% of my free time with her couldn’t ease her suspicions. But I hadn’t seen my friend in over 6 months and she was getting ready to move away to graduate school.
After dinner, I picked M up and she looked ravishing. I kissed her and asked her about her Girls’ Night and she replied with short answers that had little emotion; this meant she was upset for reasons she was probably not going to tell me about until we were knee-deep in a conversation whose gist was that I was not into her. M is an open book when it comes to emotions and she doesn’t hide what she’s feeling. I really didn’t have much to say about dinner other than that the food sucked and my friend seems to have taken up whining as a hobby. Besides I was exhausted from the day’s errands and I really didn’t feel like talking. She would usually respect my not wanting to talk and would leave it at that, waiting until another time to express her concerns.
As we pulled up to her apartment, she tearfully said that “we have to talk”. DING, DING, DING: emotional conversation alert. She stated that I wasn’t paying her any attention that night and that I wasn’t into her. I was annoyed because I was following her lead (i.e. short answers) and really wasn’t ignoring her. I wasn’t… I was sleep-deprived & tired. Talking was not on my ToDo list. As the “discussion” went on, my young friend sent me a text message about her boyfriend surprising her with a weekend getaway and M accused me of having something with this girl who might as well be my little sister. This did it for me and I ended the evening before I said anything hurtful that I would regret later.
I went for a drive that night to calm down. I felt that burning sensation in my stomach that i would always get after one of these MANY, MANY conversations with M where she came at me with emotions ablaze. What it boiled down to was that me being myself (aloof and withdrawn) and her being herself (in need of excessive contact and emotional validation) was causing these repeated conflicts that would leave both of us hurting for days. [“excessive connection” refers to things like LITERALLY spending 90% of my free time with her, spending 90 minutes on the phone with her every night, and ALWAYS having physical contact at ALL times when near each other… even when she was sick or it was 100 degrees outside.] I had had enough. I thought back to a comment Simone made about “wanting to love” M but never really feeling it deeply for M. I teared up and finally admitted to myself that she was right. Maybe I never really was that into her. Maybe by indulging her high need for connection at the beginning of the relationship, I set myself up for feeling smothered.
Do I patch things over and keep going hoping that one day I’ll change? Or do I finally let M go and let her find someone who will love her the way that she DESERVES to be loved? I thought about this over the next 24 hours. Sometime halfway through the next day M said she wanted to talk. I knew what I had to do.
The conversation started with my apologizing for anything I might have said that might’ve hurt her the previous evening. It ended with me saying that we weren’t going to work. M was devastated and withdrew from the conversation. The rest of her words were few but expressive. Hurt. Anger. Hatred. I can’t blame her. A rightful sense of guilt washed over me as I realized what I was losing. A friend. A confidant. An UNDYING supporter. But if the comments left by the women on Simone’s blog were any indication, I was doing the right thing by letting her hurt now rather than years down the road after she’s invested the better part of her younger years with a man who can’t muster up the affection and love she so deserves. I drove away with the heaviest heart I’ve ever had, knowing that I had just hurt the love of my life and my (now former) best friend.
M is a jewel that I couldn’t (or maybe wouldn’t allow myself to) hold the way it deserved to be held. The long history M and I have has demonstrated to me that I had very little hope of becoming the man she wants/needs. I was this “way” throughout the whole relationship and that’s what she loved. But “that” is not the man that I am when I’m in loving relationship (past experience tells me this). In other words, we just weren’t right for each other but we forced it.
The bottom line is that I tried to love someone that I couldn’t love. I can try to overanalyze the situation and lay part of the blame on her “falling for a man that wasn’t giving her what she wanted while praying he would change”, but I won’t. I left out many details about some of M’s past emotional outbursts that really were unwarranted & hurtful because attacking her person would do no good. She doesn’t deserve that. All I can say is that we were too different.
I never thought I would say, “it’s not you, it’s me” but I have no other words to personify this relationship. I just know that she’s hurt, I’m more screwed up than my over-inflated ego ever allowed me to admit, and that 2 good friends who should not have become lovers are leaving each other’s lives forever. My only comfort is that M is now free to love someone who wants to love her the way she wants to be loved. As for me, I’m looking for a good therapist… rereading this has made me see how convoluted my boundaries are and how much we both compromised on things that were important to each of us.No tags for this post.