Bruce’s eventual response to my text suggesting he stay overnight to avoid having to drive back and forth tonight:
I don’t know how to say this … so I’m just gonna say it
I can’t see anyone right now
I’m too stressed
I need to get my life together before I add people to it.
I am depressed … anxious… don’t feel like being around anyone right now.
I need to get my shit together
If I was forced to choose, I’d rather he set me free than keep trying, making promises, and consistently letting me down.
But I don’t want to be set free.
It’s difficult for me to relate to his situation. Yes, I’ve been in a place where I’m not ready for a relationship. I knew I needed some time to play around, figure out what I needed and what I liked.
But I’ve never been in the kind of survival mode Bruce is in. I’m exceedingly fortunate to not have money issues. I’ve had a six-figure income since I was thirty, so don’t live paycheck to paycheck. I don’t suffer from clinical depression or anxiety. My ex and I dealt with our separation insanely quickly and while we had our disagreements, we were both very over each other and our marriage.
Bruce is dealing with all three of those issues.
All that to say, I have no first-hand experience with being in survival mode and meeting a potentially “right” someone. I keep thinking Bruce’s inability to fit me into his life must be rooted in his not seeing me as someone with potential.
But I don’t think that’s the case. I’ve talked to a couple of people who have been in similar survival modes, and they tell me during that time, there was no way they could have made space for a relationship, even if they met someone amazing.
It’s admittedly hard for me to reconcile, but I’m working on it.
I haven’t spoken to him yet. I asked whether he’d consider seeing me in person so we could talk about it. But I guess there’s nothing more for him to say. I just wanted to see him and hug him and try to figure out whether we should just cease all communications or perhaps stay in loose contact.
I also suppose none of that matters.
He hasn’t replied to my texts, anyway.
I doubt he’d say “never contact me again”. Then again, I’m pretty sure he wants to avoid pressure and demands and the feeling of letting someone down. It would be admittedly hard for me to talk to him and not ask whether he’s making progress, constantly checking in on “ready yet?” Which wouldn’t be good for me (because this could take a while) or him (because who wants to be faced with that?).
I’ve hardly integrated myself into his life, I doubt he would even miss my virtual and aural presence.
It’s at this point I want to stomp my foot and yell “DON’T IGNORE ME”, but I have to appreciate he’s said what he needs to say. There’s no argument to come from me, no convincing. I do hope he will call, so I can tell him he can reach out anytime and I wish him the best. I do want to ask if he’d be open to me reaching out now and then.
If he doesn’t call, I will send it by text.
… and will wonder if one day he comes back into my life in any meaningful way.