Over the past year, people have talked to me about “making space.” Was I making space for someone new? Was my friendship with Bachelor #9 allowing space for the relationship I’m looking for? Though I hoped I was making/allowing space, but how do you know?
The New Year provided some inspiration and perspective. I decided I wanted to start 2016 with a clean slate, which translated to initiating 3 different breakup conversations in December. One was with the guy I mentioned in Five Things I Learned in 2015, who I had a “What Are We” conversation with that was interrupted by a Sugar Ray song. He'd said he just wanted to be friends, but it was confusing because we flirted with each other a lot and kind of acted like we were in a relationship. At the end of our “I Can’t Do This Anymore” conversation, in which he had been saying that he didn’t mean to be flirting with me, he said “I love you.”
But I realized that wasn't entirely true. I was trying to move on and date, but I was also trying to keep myself emotionally prepared so whenever he did reappear I wouldn't be completely destroyed. It was like walking around every day waiting for someone to pop out and shout BOO! and punch you in the heart. I felt powerless. A major topic in our last conversation (in July) had been, "How can we be in each other's lives and not drive each other crazy?" and it seemed like his answer was for us to not be in each other's lives. But he still had the option to pop into my life and I didn't have the option to pop into his, and that seemed unfair to me. I would've liked to have a conversation about it, but I didn't think that was an option. He had 5 months of space. It's awful to be in love with someone who isn't going to pick you, but it won't get better the longer you wait. On New Year's Eve I realized that I didn't want to drag that mess into 2016 with me. I was trying to start off with a clean slate, and having the situation with B#9 unresolved was interfering. Looking back I guess I could've tried to have more of a conversation with him about it, but after 5 months of him being MIA I figured the only option was to text him. I sent him a long text that started off, "It's been 5 months and I'm tired of waiting for you to break my heart again when your schedule permits." ^^This is what happens when you break a writer's heart. He replied with a short text that said he never meant to hurt me, but it felt sort of cold. It didn't make me feel better about all that had happened. The year we'd spent trying to figure out how to be in each other's lives. The 5 months I'd been waiting for him to reappear. All the times I told myself that he would never disappear, because he'd said he never would. Maybe he didn't mean to hurt me, but at some point I think he had to know that he was hurting me and it hurt even more that he couldn't take responsibility for his actions. I listened to the Tame Impala's album Currents a LOT in 2015, and there's a line in the song "Eventually" that seemed fitting: "I know I always said that I could never hurt you/ Well this is the very, very last time I'm ever going to." I also got rid of the things in my apartment that were connected to the exes of 2015: notes I'd written of things I wanted to talk to B#9 about, a necklace from the night I met Sugar Ray guy, records that another ex gave me. I still miss B#9 and Sugar Ray guy, but I'm trying to give it time. I've been working a lot, and that helps in some ways, but also doesn't leave time for dating. As I'm clearing space I'm also aware that my tendency is to fill that space in my life with whoever comes along, and I'm trying hold that space for someone who will be a healthy part of my life, whose words and actions line up, who is able to offer what I'm looking for (and vice versa). Recently I was missing Sugar Ray guy and looked through old texts to remind myself of how confusing that situation was, so I wouldn't get myself back into it. I saw a text about that night when we had the What Are We conversation in the bar, and he'd really wanted to put a song on the jukebox. I'd later asked about what song it was and he sent me the video:
It's a cover of an 80's song, and the chorus is: "I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say/ I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be/ But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me, I promise, I promise you I will..."
And I remembered how confusing it was. So I didn't text him. Thanks, Sugar Ray guy.