A couple of months ago I’d connected with Bruce again. Probably because I’d texted to see how he was doing. He suggested we get together and then cancelled that day due to a change in his child schedule. It told me nothing had changed with him and there was no point in trying.
We exchanged no texts afterwards. But feeling magnanimous, I sent him a Merry Christmas and happy holidays text. He didn’t reply. Ever.
So in the last purge I sent him a goodbye text. I said I wasn’t sure why he didn’t reply, but I didn’t want to bother him and guessed he may be seeing someone else (it didn’t fit for me that he didn’t reply at all and realized perhaps he didn’t want to tell me).
I told him I had a dating story about us published in a local newspaper and would share it if he wanted to read it. It was the story of me mistakenly calling his wife. I said I wished him the best. Did I need to send it? Nope. But I did.
I then deleted him from my address book, my recents (sidebar: I found men in my recents I haven’t been in touch with for over four years. Recent, my ass!), and WhatsApp. It took a few tries to completely get him out of my phone. I didn’t want to have a weak moment again and reach out – I figured he’d made his lack of interest very clear.
I moved on.
At work yesterday I noticed a bunch of WhatsApp notifications. It didn’t say who they were from, because my phone didn’t know. I figured it was the group chat I have with my brother and others where it’s common for me to have 47 unread messages if they’ve been debating the merits of a certain restaurants saag paneer.
Later when I opened it I saw the following:
Hey Ann sorry
No you’re not bothering me
I would block you if that was the case
Just been dealing with a lot of shit …
I’ve been really …. I don’t know
Depressed I guess is the best way to put it
I mean just being brought to tears for …. no real reason… while at work
Laying in bed at home …
Try to put on a good face for the kids but …. it’s been tough
And …. I don’t know I became a recluse.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Ps it always make me feel horrible when we try to get together and something always comes up… like seriously
I hate that
You have been nothing short of wonderful
And I feel like shit and end up ignoring people because I have nothing positive going on so it’s easier to keep that to myself.
Hope you are well sweetie
And yes if you send me the link to your story …
I’d love to read it
Can’t imagine it’s too positive lol
That was the first ” booty call” I was ever offered
And yet couldn’t man up
It was Bruce.
I responded that it was nice to hear from him and I was sorry he was going through such a rough time. I knew from prior discussions he suffered from anxiety and depression, and I know how debilitating it can be from my relationship with Will.
He said he’d like to see me. He’s been the funny and sarcastic guy I liked so much. We have plans set for later this week and I’m not holding my breath. Even if we do see each other, I have no illusions it will be anything more than a one-time thing.
But at least it’s nice to know it wasn’t about me, at all.
I’m so bad at this part, I know it: dating communication gaps. I do a good job of leaving my anxiety where it belongs – on this blog and with my close girlfriends – but it exists and it drives me bananas. It’s not logical, it’s not really reflective of how I think about things, but it’s definitely a deep-seated trigger. I’m reading about attachment styles to understand it better.
A new commenter said – unfairly, in my opinion – that things are always the man’s fault with me. This is a case where I would argue Gregory has done nothing wrong. We’ve had one date and a bunch of communication since. He doesn’t have to reach out every day and I would never request it at this point. Hell, if there’s one thing I understand, it’s being busy.
But it doesn’t change the fact that a gap in communication triggers me.
I got a few of those knocked off the list pretty early.
How you handle things when you’re angry with someone is very telling. Bruce and I had two conversations about “the incident”. His ex had stormed over the first night, and continued the barrage the next morning when they saw each other during the school drop off. He was really shaken up about the whole thing. Continue reading →
Whether I thought she was being reasonable was irrelevant. It was also not the time for me to give Bruce a hard time about not looking harder for his phone. It was my time to apologize and to listen.
And talk, Bruce did.
He told me more about the breakdown of their marriage. How he left after years of asking for intimacy. They didn’t have sex the last two years. They didn’t talk about anything other than her work and the kids. He said all she did in the evenings was sit on the couch and drink wine. He says he wants to be with someone who is as interested in him as he is in them, and who does more with their life. Continue reading →
Thankfully, it wasn’t over after sex with Bruce on the second date. We exchanged a few texts as he drove home – an almost hour-long drive – and he called me “sweetie” when he texted goodnight. But I still had dating anxiety.
The next morning I sent a good morning text and we had a brief exchange. Mid-morning he checked in to say he hoped I was having a good day. We had another exchange at the end of the day. All consistent with the days prior.
That night I was at a sporting event with a close friend. A man who reminds me a bit of Bruce, actually, and Bruce and I bantered off and on throughout the game. I asked whether he was used to a woman squirting since he seemed pretty chill about it. Continue reading →
Is it normal to have relationship hiccups so early? Misaligned behaviors or communication styles which cause friction? I’m hard-pressed to think of men it hasn’t happened with. Leo, perhaps… but only because he was a very responsive communicator and generous with his time and attention.
It’s the stage of dating that can really suck – when you know enough about someone that you know you want to spend more time with them, but you aren’t secure enough in how they feel about you, and how you are with each other, and you aren’t a priority in each other’s lives yet.
If communication styles between two people aren’t perfectly aligned, as someone highly attuned to it, in the early days of dating it can cause doubts and anxiety until I get comfortable with patterns and see an alignment between words and actions.
Jack was saying all of the right things. He was clear from the start he preferred the more traditional form of dating – just one woman at a time. He explicitly said and wrote I was that woman. He complimented me in his texts about the things he liked about me.
But I’ve been fooled before. I’ve had great first sexual experiences just to have someone disappear. Shit happens. Continue reading →
I chose to do a fair amount of mental processing before I decided to treat him as something other than a temporary physical distraction. It did help, even if it’s painful for some of you to watch it via my posts.
My resolution is to not over think things constantly. To focus on what I have other than Tony and any men on the periphery (which amounts solely to Jason and a couple others who text occasionally; it’s sex-club-only interests which I’m not acting on). And with Tony, to enjoy what I get from him – which is companionship and passion.
It’s taken me a few days but I’ve presently worked any anxiety out of my system. Continue reading →