I Am My Own Worst Enemy

Hello! Remember me?

Back in June I told you about two blind dates. I thought that my second one went well but then the man was fairly unresponsive – for four weeks. Turns out, he was battling some things related to his recent divorce, and after getting dates two and three out of the way in July and early August, we have been dating since then. So, about five months now since date #1.

Great, right? Well, not so fast. Things were moving very slowly for us. We spent a lot of time together and he was acting more and more like we were in a relationship, but he would say things like, “My friends tell me to just have fun!” and he had told me in July that a relationship was not a priority. While we were getting to know each other with every date, I felt like an emotional depth was missing.

Silly me, I thought perhaps we could casually date for a while and that would be the end of it. But the more time I spent with him – surprise! – the more I liked him and I started to fall for him, despite knowing in my head that I was most likely his rebound.

Last month I verbalized my fears and wanted to ask how he felt about me, but instead only managed to ask if I was a fling for him. I acknowledged that that’s kind of what I signed up for, but my feelings for him were growing beyond casual. He said, “I don’t see why we would NOT be dating,” which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for liking ME, but I didn’t want to push the issue.

He met a couple of my work friends briefly at a wedding reception, and we had a double date with neighbors of his. Everything felt like it was moving in the right direction, yet I didn’t want to misinterpret where things were going. Maybe he was still considering me a friend with benefits and I was hoping for too much? He scoffed when I mentioned my siblings wanted to meet him during Christmastime, for example. Would say things about his brother and then say something like, “I’m not sure if I’ll introduce you to him.”

I have a vacation coming up which will mean over two weeks apart for us. I felt like I had to ask him for clarification before I went because I was starting to feel some anxious doubt about us (note to self – do not talk to someone about serious topics the very day you decide you want to talk). So Tuesday I said I wanted to talk to him about the direction we were going. I couldn’t muster the courage until almost 11 pm. when we were both tired, another mistake.

“Remember when I said, ‘If you’re going to break my heart, do it soon,’ last month?” I asked. He nodded. It had been said in jest then, but I explained that my feelings were deepening even more and I was ready for a serious relationship now. I told him that I knew he’d said he wasn’t ready to make a relationship a priority a few months ago, and I respected that, as I also respected the fact that he’s newly divorced.

“I’m not in a hurry,” I said. “I really like the way things are between us now, but I do eventually want to get married again. Not right away, not even for a couple of years. And you and I still need to learn more about each other. But if we don’t want the same things at the same time, things won’t work out.” He told me how he was still hurting from his ex wife cheating on him, and that it was a slow process. He said he never looked at me as a fling, and he hoped he was showing me that by coming to see me during the week for lunches when we couldn’t be together in the evenings due to kids. When I said I would like to integrate more time with our friends and family into what we do, just to see how things fit together, he brought up the time he met my coworkers and I met his neighbors.

In hindsight, I wonder now if he felt like I was criticizing or overlooking those efforts. Or maybe he thought I was saying I wanted to marry HIM, instead of just meaning marriage is my generic but ultimate goal with dating. He texted me as normal Wednesday and yesterday but now I haven’t heard from him for 20 hours. I know, I know. Twenty hours is not the end of the world. But when it’s not our normal communication style, it’s worrisome. Not going to lie, I’ve been freaking out more and more as the clock ticks on.

I have to hope that he wouldn’t leave me hanging like this before my trip. That he’d either communicate like normal so I don’t worry or he’d text and break things off. This unknown is so awful.

All day I’ve been second-guessing my decision to tell him what I was looking for in a relationship. Did I move too fast? Discount the effort he’d put in? Perhaps in seeking clarity (because his words made it sounds like he didn’t want anything serious, but his actions seemed like he was moving ahead more) I muddied things up to the point we can’t recover. On the other hand, if he was really into me, would this one conversation have scared him off? I have to believe that if he wanted me in his life, me expressing what I wanted wouldn’t make him end things.

I just want him to text me back. I last heard from him last night. I texted once this morning and once this afternoon and nothing. How much longer do I have to let pass without hearing from him before I can be like, “Sooo, what is going on? Everything okay?” I feel like a 14 year old in her first relationship, and it’s not pretty.

If this reads like a journal entry, it’s because I basically just free-wrote it to work off nervous energy, thinking it would be a good way to pass the time while I fretted about not hearing from him. Hasn’t really worked. Ha.

In other news, I got a raise at work and moved! And I’ll be visiting a friend in Europe next year, my first time ever traveling with a passport.

If my divorce, and then subsequent breakup with Greg taught me anything, it’s that I will be okay even if my heart breaks. Again.

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4 thoughts on “I Am My Own Worst Enemy

  1. Oh honey! First let me tell you that I completely 100% understand what you’re going through because I was recently in the same position myself. Feeling like a pathetic 14 yr. old, over analyzing everything about the relationship and at the same time feeling like my friends couldn’t really understand because most of them are long married with kids.
    You need to remember that you have no idea what’s going on in his head so don’t jump to the worst case scenario conclusion. It does suck that you haven’t heard from him (I mean seriously, how hard is it to return a text?) but some people’s brains, especially men, work really different from ours and they space out on things like this. Maybe he is just confused and wrapped up in the holidays and putting off having to have a difficult conversation with you (even if he doesn’t have anything bad to say, talking about feelings and the future, etc., can still be difficult….)

    Or, yeah, maybe you did scare him off and in that case, better to find out now that to keep hoping and hoping for months and have it happen then. Either way, it’s unlikely that he’ll just never ever text you back! In the meantime – try to find something else to focus your attention on. Take care of yourself, go to a yoga class, read the world news and remember how insignificant our relationship problems are in the grand scheme of things.

    • Thank you so much for writing. I think my friends think I’ve gone off the deep end. I am great at the first few months of dating. And I’m great once a general level of commitment has been established. But this middle stage where I don’t really know what’s going on FREAK ME OUT.

      If the men I’ve dated had any idea how much stress I cause myself overanalyzing things, they’d surely run for the hills. Instead I keep it to Facebook messaging my friends and venting in blog posts.

      (He did text back finally. He’s coming over tomorrow. I’m still half scared he’s coming over to break up. But, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want me, so that’s fine. I have to remind myself that if I can survive a divorce, I can survive the end of a short term relationship where “love” was never uttered.)

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