Man, two posts about my brain chemistry and I go and turn into one of those confessional type bloggers who pours their entire private life on the Internet. Watch out, here I go again.
VERY IMPORTANT WARNING: If you are part of my immediate or extended family, you will most likely want to skip this post. I’m about to say some things about myself that are definitely less than flattering.
So, when The Guy and I broke up, I was… not very nice about it. I didn’t handle it well, and I said a lot of very mean things about him (mostly on Twitter). I was hurt and angry. But there’s been a pretty major shift in the last couple of days, and I’m starting to recognize some of my own shortcomings.
Way back in March 2012, when The Guy and I first started dating, it was the beginning of what I can only refer to as my “Post-Divorce Slut Phase.” I’m not sugarcoating it, that’s what it was, really. I’m not particularly proud of my behavior, but I’ll own it. (And, well, ok, I admit that it was a lot of fun.) I think that my ego and my self-esteem had been so damaged by the end of my marriage, that I actively sought out positive reinforcement from other men. Lots of them. As in, I’d have to sit down and write out a list and think really hard to even try to remember exactly how many guys I slept with last year.
(See why I said my relatives should skip this post?)
I will say, because I feel like I need to, that the girls were never exposed to any of my behavior. The things I did only occurred when they were with a baby-sitter or Dave or my parents or whoever. And I’ve thought about how odd it might be for them when they’re older, if they find this blog and read this particular entry. All I can hope is that they’ll be old enough to understand.
So, The Guy? He knew that I was dating – and sleeping with – a lot of other guys at the same time that I was dating/sleeping with him. And he was ok with that. He had separated from his ex right around the same time that Dave and I split, so he wasn’t ready to jump into a serious relationship, just like I wasn’t.
(Random aside: I should have blogged a lot of this stuff as it happened last year. I probably could’ve gotten a major sponsorship from a condom company.)
But there was this weird chemical attraction that he and I had to each other. With other guys, I’d go out with/have sex with them a couple of times and then drop them like a hot potato for some reason or other. But I always came back to him. He just “got me,” in a way that nobody else I dated really seemed to get me.
At some point last fall, I decided that I was done with all of the other guys, and I only wanted to be with him. I realized that I had fallen in love with him – HARD – and that was that.
The problem was, while I was slutting it up all over town, he had been dating one other person besides me. So, basically, I was asking him to dump this other person and only focus on me. And when he hesitated, I interpreted that to mean that he didn’t really want me that much, and I ended it.
And that was that.
Fast-forward a few months. We haven’t talked since right after Christmas, and I saw that he clicked on my online dating profile. I saw that picture of his face and I burst into tears. I wasn’t expecting that – either seeing him or my reaction.
I tried to ignore it. Then, a few days later, I saw he clicked on it again.
I messaged him and said, “I’m genuinely curious: are you trying to torture me or yourself?”
That opened the floodgates. He told me he missed me, he still loves me, he called me Sweetie…
Then he said something to me that kind of struck a chord: I never once flat-out told him that I wanted a monogamous relationship.
I mean, I thought I did. I implied it. But I never actually said the words out loud.
And it brought home something that I learned during my divorce: I really and truly suck when it comes to communicating my needs in a relationship.
So. Huh. Whaddya know. Apparently that is not exclusive to the dynamic between Dave and me, it’s just how I am when I’m dating someone.
Basically, his version of the story is that I dropped a few hints, he didn’t immediately pick up on it, and when he couldn’t read my mind, I bolted.
I told this to a friend of mine, and his response was, “Wait. You’ve been miserable and in pain all this time, and it turns out it was self-inflicted?” And, yeah. It would seem that way, at least partially.
We’ve been talking and texting pretty much constantly over the past couple of days. We’ve agreed to meet for lunch – in a public place, no chance of any funny business happening – and sit down and really talk about what each of our needs/wants/expectations are, and see if there’s a chance we could work things out.
(I’m planning to write my stuff down in advance, since, you know, see above re: not being able to say that kind of thing out loud.)
Because lord help me, I do still love him. And I have missed him so, so much.
I don’t know where this is going. I guess I just have to wait and see. And I have to start forcing myself to work a lot harder on what I tell my kindergartner all the time: use your words.
Wish me luck, y’all. I think I’m going to need it.