Drawing a Line

Sometimes I think you hope that there will be more, even when you know it’s over.  Maybe because it wasn’t your decision to end things, maybe because you don’t want to start all over again.  There’s always a reason.

I think one of my biggest hangups has always been that I’m completely honest, and I expect the same in return.  I want to be able to tell you what it is, and I want you to do the same.  I don’t see the point in flowering words to save feelings, someone else’s or my own, because then we’re not really at the heart of the matter.  We’re skating around it.  I always come back to two words: be real.  In my last romance, I honestly don’t know what happened to cause our demise.  I just know it’s over.

I started blogging just over 9 years ago.  My first start was on Xanga, and then Blogger, and now WP.  Over 12 blogs in all, multiples are still in use.  I was grieving over the loss of someone very close to me — someone I’d known her entire life — my sister.  That same year, I lost 4 more people close to me, and I felt like my world was closing in around me.  Honestly, I’m still grieving.  Writing has always been my outlet; I always knew how to describe and myself through written word.  It wasn’t until I’d dealt with some demons through writing that I realized that I had a need to express myself verbally.  If I love someone, I need to say it.  I can’t hold back anymore.  I’ve lost too many opportunities with people I grew up loving to continue to hold back.  The cycle would just repeat itself, and I don’t think that I could bear it.

The one that gave me butterflies… There’s no question, I love him.  Even now.  He knows that.  And maybe he didn’t love me back, or he wasn’t ready.  Maybe I just wasn’t the right one for him.  I may never know, and I’ve accepted that.  Maybe we can never be friends or be close the way that we were.  He’s drawn a line.  At the end of the day, though, I just hope he remembers.  I won’t forget how I felt, or how I loved him, or what I’d hoped for.

Maybe there’s something better out there and I just can’t see it yet.  Maybe.

Closure

Sometimes you just don’t get it.  There’s no warning, there’s no explanation… Seemingly, there’s no reason.  And it hurts.  You feel rejected, you question everything that transpired, and you wonder what it is that you did wrong.  You’re assuming it was you.

If you can relate to what I’ve just said, I’m here to tell you that you can do everything right and sometimes it’s just not going to work.  I’m saying this from experience.  You can love, give, try, work at it, everything — but it still takes two.  That darn free will element.  But that free will portion is so clutch.

It’s easy to say hey, I’m a good woman.  I cook, I love sports, I play video games, I’m intelligent, I’m funny, I’m sweet, and I don’t need to be up under him all the damn time.  I have a life and my own friends, and I intend to keep them.  He compliments me, he doesn’t complete me.  He says he loves me, and I haven’t given him a reason to stop, so logic follows that he should just keep loving me.  Stop right there — that last statement is flawed.

I hate to compare love to a job, but maybe it’s not such a bad analogy.  A relationship is like at-will employment.  You can be fired without cause; meaning, you don’t have to do something wrong to be dumped.  Whether it’s timing, he decides he’s not ready, a lack of chemistry, a loss of chemistry, dishonesty, or whatever the case, you may not have done something wrong.  And, still, you’re now seeking closure for the end of a relationship.

But think about it:  you’d rather KNOW that someone wants to be with you, rather than feels like they HAVE to stay with you, right?  It makes a difference.  Knowing that someone chooses to spend time with you over someone else, chooses to treat you with love and respect, makes you a priority… Doesn’t that feel better than someone who is just with you for now, biding their time until something they perceive as better comes along?  Or better yet, someone who is with you for that one thing only?

It’s so easy to overanalyze every single event, thought, expression, conversation… But it’s pointless.  If it’s over, give yourself the time and space you need to accept that.  Whether you ever get that explanation you’re hoping for, you’ll find closure.  It’s really about getting back to the place where you can accept that you are enough.  With or without someone else.

Too Open

So when I last left, I was taken over with butterflies.  I couldn’t get enough. But maybe he could?

It’s not that we’re on bad terms now.  There just are no terms.  I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t think he wants me to.  Some might look at it as mind games being played, but I know better.  I think that’s why I haven’t really done anything to stop what’s happened. I know that he needs to put himself first — this may be the first time he’s ever done that.  But it’s what he needs.

He came to visit me.  Waiting for the day he arrived built up so much anticipation.  I think we both knew that we would enjoy each other’s company, but we both were prepaaring for the worst.  We had an amazing time together; couldn’t keep away from each other.  When he had to leave, I think he was ready to take a step back.  Unbeknownst to me, of course.  I was beyond smitten.

I fell, and there wasn’t any denying it.  But I think the difference between us is that I was looking for something before we met.  He wasn’t.  And there it is.  I won’t ask if there’s such a thing as “too open” or “too ready.”  I was ready, and he wasn’t.  It’s just that simple.  I can’t blame myself, because it’s taken me years to get here.  I can’t blame him, because he didn’t think either of us could have feelings this fast.  But I did.  Maybe he did too. But he knew enough to stop things, or at least put them on hold (whatever this is) until he could actually do something about whatever it is that he felt. Maybe.

All I know is that I’m getting on a plane in an hour.  I don’t know what will happen when I get there, but I do know that I wouldn’t object to having his arms around  me one more time.  If the season has ended, I look back with no regrets.  I was ready, I was open.  That’s progress.  There are still butterflies to be had.

Butterflies in Springtime

I’m not a sappy girl.  Not overly mushy, I don’t gush, but I still blush when I get embarrassed.  I wouldn’t say that I’m shy, but I’m very… aware.  But he gives me butterflies every time he calls or sends a text; every time I think about being near him.  All of the fluttering starts to build, and I’m so (internally) flustered.

As we get to know each other, it’s like peeling back layers of an onion.  With each layer, we reveal something new to each other.  Every time he tells me something new, the butterflies return to remind me of his effect on me.  When he reveals even the tiniest inkling of how he feels about me, the butterflies multiply, and he can hear my smile in the dark from thousands of miles away.

I love when people get closer and begin to find their rhythm, but I’m not ready to let go of my butterflies.  Not yet.

Far, Far Away

I try not to put too much weight on new situations too soon.  Especially something that’s long distance, where a lot of times you feel like you never really know what the other person expects or intends.  But then there are moments when you feel a flicker of something that makes you wonder what could be.

I’m not going to get all sappy on you, nor will I make some crazy declaration of love, but I will say that I have a strong like for a certain someone.  I know people are always saying something’s different about their significant other, and it always seems so corny, but something about this really does feel different.  Ugh, and I promise I won’t gush.

Since the moment I met him, there was something electric.  I haven’t wanted to take my eyes off of him.  What’s funny, is that when I rounded the corner to say hello and shake his hand, I think we were both taken aback by the sight of each other.  He seemed surprised by my appearance (but at the time I couldn’t tell if that was a good surprise or not).  We shook hands, and when I went back to sit down, he stayed back out of view.  Though he spoke to both me and my friend, he rarely looked at me, and I remember hoping he would sit next to me.  He didn’t.

That night and the next day, I saw him several more times.  We were both all smiles the entire time.  I was a little embarrassed at how much I stared, but there was just something about him that kept my attention.  I still don’t think I can articulate it completely.  It’s not simply a physical attraction.  Before we actually spoke, I felt like I knew him.  There’s this connection that we both feel.  But still, I don’t think he gets why I’m into him.

We didn’t really express anything until I’d come back home, but I think we both knew that SOMEthing was there.  I don’t think either of us could admitted it face to face.  Maybe the distance helped us work up the nerve, or maybe we just needed a moment to talk without anyone else around.  Either way, I just smile.

When I hear from him, even though he’s far away, I’m content enough to not even think about how far away we are from each other.  I just think about the next time I’ll see him.  I think we have great potential.

It’s weird, I know, but I’m hopeful.  I’m not going to be dramatic; I’ll just say that he was an unexpected, but welcomed, surprise.  I don’t know that anything will really happen, but I can say that there’s promise.

Stay tuned!

“Just Being a Guy”

Wow, from four followers to 59.  Amazing!  I definitely feel motivated to write.

I know I’ve really been on a relationship sort of theme lately, but seriously, why do guys do some of the things that they do?  I don’t understand the rationale sometimes, and I know women like to attribute certain actions to a guy “just being a guy,” but really?  I’d like to believe that men aren’t really that simple or predictable.

I don’t know if I just get too hopeful when I meet someone, or maybe I’m just not yet jaded, but it’s not like I create high expectations that no one can meet.  If we’re both feeling it, we’re talking and texting multiple times a day, and you start sending me messages telling me that you’re thinking about me, that I’m so whatever you think I am, et cetera, is it really that surprising that a subsequent silence would make me confused?

Yes, yes, you’re so great, blah blah blah blah, I can’t stop thinking about you, yadda yadda, I can’t wait to see you again, woh woh… silence…  really?  It’s like you’re putting in the leg work to seal the deal and then you forgot to actually cash in on the deal.

What is that?  Is that L.A.?  Is that one of those “wait for it” kind of moments?  I don’t get it, and I don’t think that I really have time to figure out the Rubix cube that is this reasoning.  I’m not one of those girls that will wait by the phone.  If I stop hearing from you, I’ll assume you lost interest and moved on, and I’ll do the same.  Why then does the guy get confused because I’ve moved on?  Am I expected to pine over someone who no longer sees a reason to contact me?  If nothing else, I’m a creature of consistency.

Some gals might think I’m giving guys too much credit, by thinking that interaction can be more than just a game, but I just know that SOMEone out there has to understand what I’m saying.  You worked hard for the deal… why are you walking away?

*Brief aside:  Yes, I’m a writer.  And, yes, I am currently working on a book that chronicles some extremely amusing dating adventures experienced by myself and by others I know, because sometimes it’s just too funny not to share.  Names and circumstances will be altered to save the dignity of all of those involved.

Dinner for One

I haven’t been single (or without a date) on Valentine’s Day in 12 years.  Now, mind you, I’m not boasting.  I’m actually in awe.

Before I get into all of the V-day hubbub, I have to say that I had a terrific day.  And that’s rare for someone studying for a state bar exam.  I was productive, I received encouragement and support, I laughed, I had great food, and I was really proud of myself.  Mind you, tomorrow’s studying may not feel the same — I might hit a subject that I’m not particularly strong in, or my multiple choice scores could drop.  But I had a great day, even with that big, red-hearted day looming ahead, bringing just a tiny reminder that I don’t have a special someone to share it with.  At least not in the traditional sense.

And I’m not a person that hates Valentine’s Day when I’m single; I don’t think that tomorrow will be “Single’s Awareness Day,” nor will I be depressed because I don’t have a date for tomorrow’s romantic holiday.  I really don’t like when some folks get all bitter and abrasive just because they’re spending this particular day alone.  You were alone the day before and you were just fine, right?  So it follows that you’ll be just fine tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day.

Single and all, I still actually love the thought of Valentine’s Day, though I know full well you don’t need a special day of the year to express feelings of love.  It’s the romantic in me.  I don’t think of it as a forced cliche where you have to be lame and lovey-dovey just for the hell of it.  I think of having a valentine in terms of the person I’m with.  It’s like having someone who I can’t celebrate enough.  And life with a few extra celebrations, does that really hurt anybody?

My last single Valentine’s Day was when I was in college.  I had just turned 19, and though I was dating, there wasn’t really anyone special.  There was no date, or anything like that.  It didn’t matter to me — I sent myself a lovely box of my favorite chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), had a bubble bath, and was as happy as a clam.  Tomorrow, I’ll be showing myself love and appreciation by ordering some pad see ew from my favorite Thai food take-out spot and continuing to study for the bar.  Maybe a glass of wine once I’ve finished study for the day.

As much as I want to find someone, sometimes circumstances are the way that they are for a purpose.  I believe that.  Maybe this is what I need to pass the bar and finally feel like I accomplished a goal that I set out to do when I started law school in 2006.  I love the idea of love and romance — of a meaningful relationship and all of the bells and whistles — but I love me first and foremost.  Passing the bar just gets one more hurdle out of the way.  Then I can focus more on other things I love:  helping people and writing.  I’d rather feel that sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction than just have a date on a Tuesday in February.

Really, what’s more important?

“Meeting” Online

Though I can truly say that there are several people that I’ve befriended over the years, having met through different web forums, blogs and other media, it’s not nearly as often that online dating has been a successful venture for me.  More often than not, I find myself questioning my decision to even put myself out there, believing that I must have signed up in a fit of desperation.

But desperation really isn’t it.  And there’s nothing wrong with online dating.  There are some perfectly nice people on these websites…

Why the hesitancy?  Especially when I admit that “the potential” was discovered on one such site.  Because something’s always wrong.  Whether it’s a communication issue, a social awkwardness, a moving too fast situation, or what have you, they’re always wrong.  And I’m not just being pessimistic, I can now say that I’ve had accounts on at least seven different dating sites.  Not all at the same time, of course.  That would be a nightmare.

And while, yes, I can see the pros of some sites over others, and responses have been more positive from some over others, I’m still not convinced that this is how I want to meet my ultimate match.  Does that make sense?  Even though my best friend seems to have found the love of her life from a dating site, even though another good friend is clearly in love with a guy she met from a different site, I’m still not convinced.  I mean, no, I’m not Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”  I don’t need the fairy tale.  I think it’s just that I don’t want to have to later attribute my relationship success to social media.  Something just seems wrong about that.

Maybe I’m just old school…

Potential Lost

And so it started, so it ended.  Quickly.  It was over so quickly, and I didn’t even really get a chance to understand or know what was happening.  Rather, the silence of one meant the end of the unit and confusion to the other. 

Obviously I know that either things would work out or they wouldn’t, but perhaps I gave him too much credit.  It’s not that it didn’t work out that upsets me, it’s HOW it didn’t work out.  Only in Los Angeles have I had someone, seemingly so into me, just choose to fall off the face of the earth.  All of a sudden there’s no response to a message, no call backs, no communication at all.  And it hurt, because I think I was ready for serious — exactly what he’d said he was looking for. 

I sent a text to him after a week of silence on his part, expressing how I felt, how much I’d liked him, and how I would have hoped he could at least speak to me.  That I’d deserved a goodbye.  It was the closure I needed to move on.  And another week of silence went by.  I assumed everything was over and that he’d chosen to judge me because, though we’re both Christian, his particular denomination isn’t mine.  I wasn’t closed off to his, or even in a mode of thought that one of us had to change, but apparently me not being a specific denomination, primed and ready, is a dealbreaker.  I get it, but I don’t.  If our core values are the exact same, and I’m accepting you and what you believe at face value, and who knows, maybe I’m even open to agreeing with some of your values once I learn more about them, what is the problem?  What I don’t like is being judged for the one thing that someone else doesn’t want to be judged for. 

But then something happened that was so unexpected.  After two weeks of silence, I received a friend request on Facebook.  Still silent — still no message — but I supposed you could call it a communication.  But what does that really mean?  Does that mean “let’s just be friends” without having to say it?  Does that mean “I’m sorry?”  Does that mean “I like you, but I’m just not ready for serious after all?”  All I knew was that I expected a message to follow this addition.  I added him thinking that, surely, he would not remain silent.  But he did.

I allowed us to be “friends” for about 24 hours, and then I just couldn’t deal with all of the unknowns.  I deserved better.  I deserved an explanation.  How are we so close, cutesy, kissy, handholding and all, and then he won’t speak to me again?  We never crossed the ultimate line, and he seemed so happy when I last saw him.  All smiles, our breath marking the cold air as we realized it was a random 42 degree morning. 

In a fit of self-righteous indignation, I unfriended him.  And I messaged him to tell him so.  We can’t go from where we were, to silence, to unspeaking Facebook friends.  Far too much transition in two weeks, and with no explanation for what ever happened to cause our demise.  It’s not that I’m against being friends, but why start out at friends if you’re going to give the other the silent treatment?

I don’t regret the decision, nor do I regret the message I sent following.  I really laid out there how I felt; that I felt blamed and judged and at fault just for being who I am — a person that I think deep down he actually really likes.  How I was willing to accept him as he was, and how I had hoped that this was something more than the trivial nonsense I’ve dealt with the last couple years.  How I could be friends, if that’s ultimately what he wanted, but that I couldn’t feign it if he didn’t even want to speak to me.  How all I really wanted was for him to speak to me.  And then I promised not to send him any more ranting messages.  After all, what is there left to say if he remains silent?

I get a sinking feeling that he was what I was looking for, and it makes me miss him, and I hate that.  I hate that I can’t just turn all of this off, because he doesn’t seem to want it.  He never bothered to see if maybe the things we were looking for actually lined up.  He just assumed they didn’t and moved on.  And while he may be the one that loses out (as most of my female friends would quickly say his choice creates his loss), this one feels like the one who got away.

He has this calm about him that I found so comforting.  And I loved how much he could make me smile.  But, I guess at least for now, it’s time to say goodbye to the butterflies.

Potential

So I’ve started dating someone new, and it’s truly one of those things where I really don’t know what will happen.  He’s one of those random finds, so similar to someone I’ve been with in the past, but yet there’s something so different about this time around.  There’s potential.

I think that I always knew my previous relationship could never move forward.  It was always him holding us back; he wasn’t ready, and he didn’t know when he would be.

But with this new guy, there’s the potential to get really serious.  Certainly not a guarantee of serious — we’re not even in what I would call a relationship yet, but there’s definitely potential.  I don’t know who is more scared, he or I.  There are some major concerns that I think we both have, but something seems to draw us together.  He makes me feel butterflies again.

If this one can’t work out, I hope that we determine it early on.  Butterflies are wonderful, but if they’re all coming out at once, there might be trouble looming not too far behind.