Sometimes, he redeems himself. But then I hope.

So my 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.

0 thoughts on “Sometimes, he redeems himself. But then I hope.

  1. Found your blog through The Hook and it’s so much fun. I love reading about your adventures! I look forward to the, “more to come.”

  2. Do you see that second paragraph of yours? That should be required reading for all women under the age of 24. Not only is that the blueprint for a successful relationship, that’s the secret of LIFE ITSELF.

    This is so funny because, as I’m sure you’re aware, he is totally unaware that all this is going on. It reminds me of a great cartoon from years ago. In one panel, a guy is laying in bed thinking, “I hope she’s thinking about me. I’d love to see her tomorrow. I wonder what she’s doing right now? Should I call her? I can’t stop thinking about her…” etc. In the next panel, the girl is lying in bed thinking, “I really like vanilla.” the caption reads:

    SAME PLANET. DIFFERENT WORLD.

    • Thanks for that…I also think it should be required reading for women over 24 as well. I’ve heard so many of my single friends (even those that have gotten divorced) talk about what they wish they could change about a guy they are dating. Even yesterday my friend Katharine was talking about this great guy but he needed a bit of “styling”. I told her she needed to be ready to be with him EXACTLY as he is today.

      I would argue that usually the reverse to that cartoon is true – it’s often the woman who is pulling everything apart, thinking about each word said and not said, and what it means. I’m writing posts like this, and I’m sure NIM is just thinking “I like Ann”.

      Don’t you think?

  3. I really like the last line, scary as hell. So, true. You do an excellent job exploring the complexity of relationships, all the nuances. It’s very honest and I really appreciate your perspective.

  4. That may have been hard for you to write, but it was also hard for me to read. I can relate.

    Also, one time my sister was seriously dating a guy. He never initiated conversations either. So she decided to wait and see how long it would take him to contact her. Three weeks later he sent her an email asking if they were still dating. They weren’t.

    • It’s difficult when you know something is ultimately bad for you, but it’s comfortable because if its familiarity. I find it very difficult to break this cycle, but I’m trying. Writing helps 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the story about your sister. That totally sucks and I’m convinced it would be like that with NIM. I really don’t want to find out…because I don’t think I’m ready to give him up yet.

  5. You know what you like, how you want to be treated, how you want to feel, etc. But very few men can offer that because most are broken. When I tell my friends or people I work with stories about dating, they are horrified. And the fact that I tell them with humor, they look at me as though I were an alien from another planet. The world of dating is like one I have never seen, and despite being single for a very long time, I have yet to lose the ideal of what I consider a “normal” courtship. It has to still exist.

    • I have to believe it exists…but I’m pretty cynical already and it’s only been 8 months of dating. I think I’ve met about 40 men in that time and only one (the Giant) came close. That’s a shit track record! And I don’t think my expectations are crazy…I don’t care about how much money they make or the car they drive or if they are movie star handsome. But…still elusive 🙂

What do you think?