Picking up from yesterday –
[This post has turned into more why I didn’t think to do something in this moment instead of why it didn’t matter. So, read on if you want, and/or skip to why it didn’t matter and/or why it felt like it did.]
So, sometimes I wonder, “What if I had just stopped sexual assault guy like the 3rd time he implied he [incredibly condescending voice] reeeeeeally had to have a talk with the weak little girl….] – which, by the way, not to just let my rage re: his condescension take over. But it was such an insanely ridiculous idea that he’d have to “let me down easy” or whatever to this idea that he had no idea what he wanted – I guess maybe making the assumption that I’d want to be his girlfriend(?) right away?
He knew me. We were friends first. I have been exclusive with a guy two times in my life. (I guess technically three, if you count a very short time of high school silliness of two people who had no idea what they were doing. But if you’re counting “real” relationships, I’d say two is more the correct number – no offense to that lovely guy from high school, whom I’m totally still friends with.) Either way, whether you want to count two or three (it doesn’t matter to me), the point is in every. single. one., I was the one who had to be asked/convinced to be exclusive. I was the one who took a little extra time to trust somebody and open my heart to this whole super scary [dum dum duuuuum] relationship.
I was the one who had to sleep on the couch sometimes because the whole sleeping in bed together, cuddling, it was just too scary and too much (in both situations).
Not to mention, in this particular case I was still totally in love with the California guy, whom it broke my heart a little to leave.. And while we weren’t “officially” together, so there was no cheating involved for us to try to move on, it didn’t stop the fact that we had a hard time moving on, and were texting and facetiming and all that jazz all the time…
So, it’s like, “Hey, sexual assault guy, I’m the one trying to leave your apartment after sex. You’re the one begging me to stay the weekend. I’m the one who’s only ever had a relationship because I (happily) made a concession for a man I adored who wanted that – not because I was chasing after that…
Hey sexual assault guy, I’m the one who’s been going to California nearly every chance I get in large part because I am head over heels deeply in love with the man who told me that he knew the very day he met me that he wanted to marry me. (And I told him I’m gonna use that in our vows. ;).) And you think that after one time of sleeping with you, I’m dying to being your ‘girlfriend’? Geez to goodness.”
Really quickly, in sexual assault guy’s defense, because we were friends (or at least, so I thought) and he did know about my life, he did also know that California guy and I had had a fight when I was there over the holidays. (Sorry. I feel bad even barely putting anything even remotely negative about California guy on here, as the internet is not the place to air the small bumps in the road with my prince.)
But the point is, we were just having a reeeeally tough time dealing with our new dynamic (California guy and I), and there became this tension when we were together – especially since we weren’t “really” together… We just kind of had some growing pains into this new thing of not being together (but also, barely being able to be apart – especially when I was in the same state again). So, he and I had a hurtful fight.
And sexual assault guy knew about it. So, maybe he thought California guy and I were really, really over, or that I didn’t love California guy anymore – that there was unlimited room for him to sweep in – that maybe I would be open to being his girlfriend.
…..And that’s the thing right there.
I truly thought that because sexual assault guy (supposedly) knew me, and he knew how generally terrified I was of intimacy and commitment (until I find the men who make those things feel safe), that when he said, “I have no idea what I want…” I genuinely thought he was telling me, “I (sexual assault guy) might want something more than merely fun and casual.”
I thought our default was going to be just fun and whatever, and when he said that, at the time, even though it felt very weird and I couldn’t totally put my finger on what was going on (which I see now means I really just should’ve asked), but anyway, in that moment… I more didn’t think he meant, “I might not want a relationship.” I thought he meant, “I might want one.” (After all, why else would he even mention the possibility of something other than the default?)
And that’s why I thought, “Okay, I’ll have to reopen this before my next trip to California, so I don’t accidentally upset him by sleeping with someone before I get the chance to hear if that will hurt his feelings.”
That’s partially why I didn’t ask him to elaborate on it, ’cause I thought, “Well, I guess if this is something he might want, I need a little time to ponder – to try to feel out if I could be down with that whole [dum dum duuuuum] relationship stuff, with this guy. If he were potentially wanting something more, I wanted to think about well, if he does, do I really want to enter an exclusive relationship with someone else so soon? I know California guy and I aren’t officially together anymore, but if I become someone else’s girlfriend, then I’m closing the door on getting to be with California guy, and to sleep with my face safely nestled in the special spot on his chest that’s just for me, while I sleep happily tucked in his arms on my side of the bed whenever I am back home…
And even though I know I can’t be California guy’s girlfriend while I’m a trillion miles away, I love being with him when I can. And if I commit exclusively to someone else, I truly close that door. And I maybe should, at some point, because, come on. What are we doing? I need to settle into my new life and not live with a foot over there… I just… my goodness, it seems so ridiculously hard to do that… So, if sexual assault guy is opening that up as a potential option, I wanna be prepared before that convo to think about what I would or would not be willing to do.”
Also in all my swirling thoughts, I wondered why would he be making a big deal out of having no idea what he wanted if all he wanted was to just have a bunch of fun and sex? If that’s what he wants, then that is wanting something. That’s not “no idea.” And he knows me. He was my friend. He knew I’d be down for that. He knew I’d be more comfortable doing that. If that was what he wanted, and he was trying to somehow secretly get that message across or “let a girl down easy” because he thought she wanted commitment, why beg me to stay in his bed and cuddle so much? Why be so intense with the intimacy? That’s a weird thing to do if you just want sex… (Or at least, I think so.)
I just really thought “I have no idea what I want” meant (in this case), “I might want a relationship,” – not that he definitely did, not that I had to worry about it that much, but that I had to at least prepare myself for the possibility, and that since I also didn’t know what I wanted if that was on the table – that seemed like a lot so soon… Why oh why would I press the issue right now? It just seemed crazy in the moment to do so…
I just thought, “He’s bringing this up a lot. Maybe we should talk about more. But if he has no idea – and I’m certainly fine without pressure of anything else yet – why belabor the point?” (And I know now I kind of belaboring my point in this post – my point which I seem to be having a hard time finding, actually…. I guess the point is, I just thought a bunch of things – including – “Try not to over-analyze the fact that he’s bringing it up over and over. Just let him have his nervousness of something new and not knowing what it is yet. If that’s how he deals with it, I’ll listen… Just give things time. See what happens. You’re certainly not in a rush.”
“And if he wants to ultimately talk more about what exactly he wants – as it becomes clearer to him – whether we talked about what he wanted right then, or in a few weeks before I left for Cali, what difference would a few weeks make?”
Little did I know, it seemingly made all the difference in the world. And this is where I’ll pick up next time.