July 1, 2010 in Dating

Love Gone Awry

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It’s been ages since I’ve provided a real update. Actually, since I became self employed almost two years ago, I stopped blogging about my personal life. Not ideal really because when I started this blog it was my hope to document my life history so that in my old age I could reflect and remember all my trials, tribulations and definitely blessings over the years!

So why did I stop blogging about my personal life? Well initially I just wanted to focus on my new business venture. Then as time went by, it became harder and harder to write about what I now perceived to be trivial matters. Not that what’s happening in my personal life is trivial, just that in the grand scheme of things my focus was elsewhere. But, change is a new! I need to get back into the rhythm of things. I don’t want to go weeks, months or years again without really blogging.

So one area I should probably address is my love life! The long and short of it is that I’m still (surprisingly) single.

After ending things with AirportGuy, I took some time for reflection. This was the right thing to do as even though I was the one who ended the relationship, I had a difficult time with the breakup.

Why? Well within a matter of days of us meeting, he told me he loved me and mentioned marriage. I was initially guarded about things but I decided that I’d take a chance. So I gave it my all. After a month the cracks started to show but I was still caught up in the fantasy of the happily ever after that it took another ten months to pull the trigger. It was the first relationship I ever ended.

Since then, he has made a number of reappearances to try and rekindle the relationship. Heck, a month ago via Facebook, he told me I was still the love of his life and he wanted us to get back together. Considering all the broken promises during and after the relationship ended, I didn’t take him seriously. I never will.

RacquetballGuy has also made a number of reappearances. Heck, it’s been on and off since I left Chicago nearly five years ago. The most recent reappearance happened at the beginning of the year. He was in the final stages of applying for a job in London and he wanted my blessings to move here. I had mixed feelings. After all the false restarts, I just didn’t have the energy anymore, but I thought hey – perhaps it would be different if he lived here.

Fortunately (unfortunately) he didn’t get the job and while we still talked about getting back together (marriage was even discussed), it all went nowhere. I got so frustrated that I gave him a deadline to pull his finger out and take some definite action or just go away and leave me alone. I gave him a month to think through it all.

I told him that if after the month he didn’t re-engage, while I’d be sad it would finally bring closure. We both needed to forward either together or apart. Furthermore, it was all or nothing. We could never be just friends. We were too emotionally attached to one another.

A month came and went and nothing. I was sad but also relieved. I could finally move forward.
Shortly thereafter, I met someone – MrFixItGuy! Before I talk about him though, I should say that RacquetballGuy made another appearance. He called me early one Friday morning pretending as if nothing had happened. He then proceeded to drop the ultimate bombshell – the stomach cancer that had stalled our relationship almost from the beginning (mainly because of him!), had come roaring back and the doctors only gave him six months to live. I was shocked; dumbfounded actually but it finally explained why one minute he wanted to get back together and the other he was pulling away. He wanted to spear me the pain of becoming a young widow, but at the same time, the bond was great that he couldn’t (wouldn’t) stay away.

Anyway, during the call, my initial reaction was to encourage him to go through more treatments but he wasn’t having any of it. He’d had enough. Thus, I suggested that he spend the remanding time enjoying life to the fullest. That’s when things got awkward. He wanted to see me. I just didn’t think that was a good idea. While it might help bring about the ultimate closure, I just didn’t need to get myself in a situation where all the emotions would come flooding back again. Plus having just met MrFixItGuy, I wanted to focus on the new relationship. Basically, RacquetballGuy was my past, not my future and so needed to move forward, not backward. So that was that; the end. Finally!

Time for new beginnings with MrFixItGuy! We’d known each as children but had lost contact over the years. Then through the magic of Facebook, we reconnected two years ago when I friended someone who I thought was related to my father (more on that separately). Then this past Christmas, he told me that he fancied me. Now he wasn’t the first Facebook connection to make that declaration, but it was the first one I seriously considered — perhaps because I’d gotten to know him reasonably well during our phone and Facebook chats. Surprisingly during that time he gave no hint that he liked me romantically.

Anyway, things didn’t exactly progress as we lived in different cities and he was out of the country on an extended holiday. Then, we randomly met face to face for the first time in almost 20something years at a friend’s 40th birthday party.

After that, things intensified. We spoke daily and made plans to see each other again. I was nervous about it all, but decided to just go with the flow. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – right? Right!
So the weekend of the visit, he came to London and partied with some friends on Friday night. I was invited but as I’m not really a club person, decided to take a pass. The plan was then for us to meet at the National Gallery, lunch at a restaurant near Camden Market and then hang out in Central London. However, none of that happened as his friend was dropping another friend at the airport early Saturday morning and it was then just easier to drop off MrFixItGuy at my house. I was disappointed about the plans changing, but again, decided to go with the flow.

So how did the weekend go? Well swell actually. Our bond intensified. Oh yeah, did I mention that he told me he loved me on the phone before we actually saw each other? I was shocked and in all honesty didn’t handle the disclosure well. However, I was able to recover (well that’s what I thought anyway) and we continued getting to know one another.

Plans were made to get together again but they had to be deferred as he had to go out of town on training for 10 days. While at training he got sick and as the weekend of our next visit approached, I foolishly suggested that if he wasn’t better by the time the weekend came around he should stay home and recover.

Oh how I regretted that. He got better but didn’t come down because of what I’d said. In my defence, I made the statement as when you are self employed, you just can’t risk getting sick.

Luckily, we then made plans to see each other the following weekend. I was excited but reserved at the same time. Why? Well since he told me he loved me, he’d pushed to define the relationship. But having two major relationships fail, I just wanted to take it slow and let things develop. This caused a strain as after a 3rd or 4th attempt on his part to clarify things; he said ok, we’ll do it your way.

Thus, this next visit was really important. I decided that instead of him coming down, I’d make the effort and go up to visit him. Also, I’d try and be more expressive with regards to my feelings.

No question, I liked him, but with the failed relationships behind me (both of which at one point I thought would result in marriage), I didn’t want to build up expectations. Plus, if I’m completely honest, I was concerned about whether or not we had enough in common to go the distance. Our lives over the years had been so different.

If we hadn’t known each other as children, we never would have met. We walk in completely different circles. Truthfully, five years ago (heck even two years ago), I wouldn’t have gone out with him. Why? Let’s just say that a few key boxes on my list were unchecked. But as obsessing about the list hadn’t really served me well over the years, I threw caution to the wind.

Anyway, back to the second weekend visit. Again, we didn’t go out. Sure we visited the town centre, but there were no concrete plans. And in that I spend a lot of time on my own, I was looking for a more structured outing – I wanted to have a proper Saturday night date but that didn’t happen.

That said, I did enjoy our time together even thought it was very low key. He did cook me lunch! But things got a bit awkward on Monday morning shortly before my departure. Somehow we – well I asked – about his motivations, goals, dreams, etc.

He indicated that everything he did now was motivated by his desire to give his daughter a better life. I couldn’t really fault him for that. In fact, it was one of the qualities I admired about him and drew me closer. Considering she was so important to him, I looked forward to getting to know her.

However, it all fell apart when we talked about the future; he said that having lived a full life (at the age of 41), he now just wanted to relax. Furthermore, he made mention of the fact (I still haven’t verified this) that the life expectancy for a black man was 55 years, so he just wanted to enjoy life.

Now considering that I want to get married and have children, this was a major turnoff and stunned me into silence. I now wondered if he was capable (or even willing) to step up and be a provider should things get that far. Oh and let’s not talk about me once again wondering if I was destined to be a young widow.

All of it was just too much and clarifying questions that might have helped to alleviate my fears went unasked and unanswered. There was also potential conflict on where we’d live (Europe verses North America).

The uncertainty intensified as we really didn’t really speak much that week. Then the following Saturday, I decided to call. No point wondering about the status of the relationship, I just needed to confront things head on. The conversation was lukewarm at best and at one point, I heard myself say, let’s just be friends then. Now, that’s not really what I wanted, but I was feeling extremely frustrated. I wanted to talk things through but he was shutting down. So that was that.

A week later, I decided to try again. I sent a note via Skype asking for us to get together and talk things through. I didn’t want any misunderstandings so I suggested a face to face meeting. I really needed/wanted to explain why I’d been so guarded and initially responded negatively to his I love you declaration. I should have mentioned that I missed him terrible, but I didn’t. The request was perhaps a bit devoid of the real emotion I was feeling.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not) a response never came and so 24 hours later, I decided to phone. He confirmed receipt of the Skype message and indicated he was still thinking about it. It wasn’t what I was hoping to hear and so tried to ask a few probative questions. However, mid conversation we got cut off. I tried to call back and got no answer.

Immediately, I thought the worst. Meaning, I thought he had hung up on me. So I sent a Skype message calling him out and basically, telling him to forget things. I then proceeded to delete him as a friend on Facebook. I also said a few things on Facebook that I really should have kept to myself. I was angry and hurting and so I lashed out.

Then on Sunday, he called. He indicated that the phone went dead as it hadn’t been charged. Then my snippy Skype message that followed had angered him. I felt terrible. I wanted to take it all back, but it was too late. And in that he didn’t really want to talk further, so much has been left unsaid.

Nearly a week on, I still feel awful and want the opportunity to explain my actions during our courtship but I’m not sure that opportunity will come anytime soon; so I’m letting it all hang out here.

No question I was ready for a new relationship, but I was completely unaware that I had certain triggers that left me rigid and closed off. The “I love you” declaration was definitely a trigger. Both RacquetballGuy & AirportGuy did so within a month of us dating. That led to emotional manipulation. It also got me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do (lend money; make certain purchases, compromise on things that are important to me, etc.).

So while MrFixItGuy was not like the other two (one of the reasons I was open to dating him), I was guarded as I kept waiting for the demands to come. They never did but I was perhaps a bit more uptight about things as whereas before I had lots of money and didn’t mind being generous, now being self employed, things are a lot tighter.

Also, hearing those words so early in the relationship brought on thoughts of abandonment. No they weren’t logical but every guy who has ever told me they loved me has walked away in the end. So it spurred on negative thoughts which in the end became a self fulfilling prophecy.

So where do we go from here? Well I’m just going to let it be. No question I miss him, but have to own up to the fact that I did have concerns about our compatibility. Furthermore, communication is a two street and so while I should have perhaps been more open at the beginning, he should have been more open to hearing my side of things once I was finally ready to let it all out.

Furthermore, he should have asked me more questions about myself to really understand my wants, desires, needs in the relationship. Sure I said a lot things, but I’m sure (I know) that led to a lot of assumptions which really should have been clarified.

Interestingly (or perhaps not), he was full on and when I didn’t reciprocate, he pulled back. During this time I got more emotionally attached to him and so tried to get to grips with things and sort it out, but it was too late. Ce la vie – because really, if it was meant to be, it still can be. If not, onwards and upwards! There will be other opportunities.

I am destined to be someone’s wife and mother. I am worthy of having the family I desire so just need to be patient that I’ll find the man who is willing to love and accept me just as I am. I am a work in progress.

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