I slept terribly the last few nights. Normally I’m asleep not five minutes after my head hits the pillow, and I sleep through the night. Issues with relationships fill my mind.
Last night I woke up multiple times. My head was spinning. I’m cycling through so many emotions. Being familiar with the change curve intellectually only helps me to recognize what I’m going through. It doesn’t make going through it any easier.
I think y’all have figured out I have a big brain so I won’t be modest in this moment. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have the capacity to think the way I do. It’s not always a blessing.
This isn’t all about Gregory. Dude, if you’re reading, don’t flatter yourself.
I’m frustrated, sad, lonely, and angry.
Here’s what went down on the Gregory front. I wrote him an email shortly after he called it off, telling him I’d like to talk to him about what happened when he was ready. I said pretty much what I said here: that I was confused about what the root cause of his issue was, and felt if we could better understand each other’s perspectives, maybe there would be a chance to move forward.
He took days to reply. When he did, he said his big issue was that a third party could identify him from what I wrote. He said he had no issue with my journey (which he said was amazing) or my history and wasn’t at all intimidated by it. He also told me he hadn’t shared my identity with the reader we both knew.
It gave me hope, to be honest. He said he didn’t hold grudges. He provided some detail about what was happening in his life at the moment and apologized for taking so long to reply. He said if he’d missed addressing anything in my note, I should let him know. It seemed to go past someone simply being polite.
I sent him a long email in response, that described how careful I am to keep my identity and location confidential – and by extension, those I write about. I explained I never thought it would be possible that a reader would recognize someone I was dating. I wanted to impress upon him that I wasn’t careless. I was hoping he could forgive my errors. I bastardized a quote I love from Voltaire. I apologized profusely for what happened.
He didn’t reply.
Meanwhile, lots of dialogue here had me thinking about what was really going on. It would seem if it was “only” about his being outed, that surely he could forgive and move on. Yet he left me hanging.
It didn’t sit right.
By Sunday, I couldn’t take it anymore. I could feel myself getting angry at what I felt was a lack of basic courtesy. He could have said “Ann I simply can’t do it – I’m sorry” or something. I was worried about the possible scenario that the blogger who outed me may not have had great intentions when it came to me.
So I texted “good morning” Sunday morning. He replied right away. I said I knew I had a lot in my email to him and understood if he needed more time to think, but was hoping he could spare a few minutes to let me know where his head was at.
He gave me details about where he was at the moment and why he couldn’t talk but asked if it was okay if we connected later that morning. I wasn’t able to do so but said I understood and would connect later.
Over the course of the day it occurred to me I was probably addressing the wrong problem. I’d assumed his issue was being outed – because that’s what he told me. But that’s a simple out – and it didn’t jive with the other things he’d said. Upon reflection, and with some advice from friends, it seemed perhaps it was more about where he was in his life, versus mine. He’d read a number of posts articulating how excited I was to have met him, and about our potential.
I think I freaked him out.
When I got back home I texted to see if it was a good time to connect. It wasn’t, and he didn’t offer another time. I decided to send another email. Less intrusive and more time for me to reflect and get my words right.
I explained exactly what I was excited about (someone who seemed to have the qualities I was looking for) and that I wasn’t quick to get on a relationship train. My readers know this – you’ve seen the stories of the men who are too intense, too fast – but Gregory didn’t. As excited as I was for the potential, it didn’t mean I assumed anything about moving to anything exclusive or a relationship with him. I know in my heart of hearts, I hadn’t gotten ahead of myself.
It was brilliantly written.
So that’s where it stands. I haven’t heard back. I don’t think I will, to be honest. I don’t think he cares enough and don’t think he saw the same rare connection I did. We had SO MUCH in common. I suspect he’s approaching this from a different frame of reference and has likely chalked me up as some crazy bitch. I’ve love to be wrong, for what its worth.
And what woke me up is the cycling through of emotions. I’ve reached the angry stage. I was beating myself up for misinterpreting his intentions. But then I went back and looked, and realized I wasn’t wrong. I was misled.
My first question to him was whether he was ready for a relationship. He said yes, with the right person. My answer is exactly the same. When he was away for the weekend with his children, he sent me several pictures of them. He told me that weekend he’d just informed them he was dating. He and I talked about having a deeper connection than sex. We described the relationships we were seeking in exactly the same way. He told me what had eluded him in a partner so far.
I didn’t suffer from confirmation bias.
I don’t want to label Gregory as a common douchebag, but it would seem – in the absence of evidence to the contrary – that like others, he was unable to be honest about what he truly was seeking for fear a woman would have no interest. Even with me, after he knew who he was dealing with.
So yeah. Waking up with that anger in the middle of the night is probably good for me.
I’m also frustrated. When I reflect on the men this past year I’ve actually been excited about, here’s how it went down:
- Jack, who locked me down for exclusivity right away, pursued me hard like only a professional salesman could, then dumped me saying he wasn’t over his ex-girlfriend when in fact it was that he never liked me all that much in the first place.
- Bruce, who kept me laughing and had a magic penis. And a really jealous not-as-ex-as-she-should-be wife. He thought he was ready to date, but just couldn’t get boundaries established and his life sorted out.
- The high-end tradesman who was a great conversationalist and a terrific mix of dominant and respectful, who similarly to Bruce hasn’t gotten his life sorted with his ex and doesn’t have the emotional or practical energy to date.
- My first offline setup; one of the best first dates I’ve ever had, with a guy who ended up making out on the same day with the friend who introduced us, and then couldn’t deal with the aftermath. Ruined a friendship and any potential he and I had.
Not a big surprise I’m a little fed up. Yes, there are men who would love to be with me. But they aren’t right for me and I refuse to settle. I did it for my marriage and won’t do it again. I’ve ended far more relationships than the reverse. I know I am making the right choices for me, but it’s difficult to be romantically alone as a result. Especially over the holidays; the only time I am so viscerally aware of being single.
Negative thoughts twist through my brain; they are unwelcome but I try to feel them, honor them, then tell them to get the fuck out of my head.
Thoughts like “none of the men I want, want me back” or “I’m too much for any man to handle; too intense and too invested” or “I’m doing this all wrong” or “there won’t be anyone who will accept me for who I am”.
It’s not only about men. I’m also feeling vulnerable about my friendships. I’ve reached out to a couple of people these past weeks, who haven’t made time for me. I have close friends but sometimes feel like I’m the one driving those friendships forward. I know it’s temporary.
I feel like I’m nobody’s primary. It’s one of the benefits of being married – perhaps the only thing I miss. That no matter what, you are somebody’s primary relationship. I don’t have it anymore. Most times, I don’t miss it. But this isn’t one of those times. Perhaps irrationally, I feel if I stopped texting everyone, it would be weeks before most notice.
Don’t worry; it’s starting to turn around in my head. I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. There is much I am grateful for – I have so many blessings in my life. Instead of worrying about whether some dude saw my worth, I’m going to focus on all the things I have to be thankful for and what I can give to others.
And I’ve decided to write my first book.