friend lover NIM, as I’ve said, is consistently lacking the “being there for me” category.
I try not to be a nagging harpy because a) it will have the opposite impact, b) he is who he is, and c) I should accept what I can get from him.
One night, a couple of months ago, he asked me “what can I do differently for you”? I told him I needed him to communicate with me more. I noticed a very minor uptick in the volume of his email and text messages to me. At a later discussion, I told him I felt like I was bugging him because I was the one who constantly initiating text exchanges each day. He told me that he’s like that with everyone…he feels (ironically) that he is bugging people when he reaches out. I said, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to hear from him. I said:
“It makes me feel like I’m not on your mind, when I never hear from you. I’m convinced if I never contact you again, I will never hear from you again. If you think about me when you wake up in the morning [which he had said happened regularly], even a simple “good morning Ann” would make me outrageously happy”.
He said he would try.
Since then, I haven’t always been the one to say hello first…I deliberately don’t text, just to see what happens. Not every day, but most days, I get a lovely “good morning Ann” from him. I guess my expectations have successfully plummeted because something so simple makes me happy.
I told him via text that I was meeting Colleen, and that I was worried it would be difficult. Most people in my life who knew about this followed up with me proactively to see how it went.
I heard nothing from him. I was peeved. I was thinking…how could I be wrong to think he cared about me? Isn’t this normal human behavior to reach out, even just a friend? I got more and more steamed as the morning wore on (it was a slow day in the office). Then – ping! – I get: “Good morning Ann. Hopefully yesterday wasn’t too bad for you.” I immediately felt great – then realized how stupid that was. That I deserve more than that.
Upon reflection, I realize it would be much easier for me if he was a jerk. If I believed he didn’t care. Because then I could deal with it and move on (or not), like some of the other douchbags that have graced these pages. I’m in a more comfortable mental place when I’m being mistreated…it’s familiar, and therefore comfortable. God, those are hard words to write and to stare at. But it’s true.
Ultimately, he’s not the one for me. I do know this to be true. As much as I try to be all chill about the whole thing, it simply doesn’t feel great to have someone who could be with me – but chooses not to be. The (other) sad thing is that I’m keeping him around in the absence of having something that feels better (recognizing the very high sexual bar that’s been set).
I know how I want to feel. I know how I want to be treated. But when I feel that way, or am treated that way, I’m not quite sure what to do with that. Someone else has come into my life – and is doing all those great things that make me feel terrific – and it’s scary as hell.
More to come.