Someone rather than no one

When a man wraps his arms around you, pulls you in and drowns you in kisses, after months or years of barrenness....you can't help but want him to be right. Your skin is so starved for touch that his hands feel like the warmest softest electric casmere. Your body and then your soul wants him to be good for you, wants him to be the one to end your lonely nights. You long for him to be the one to give you comfort, love, and affection. You want this because he is the one who is there. Because, you believe someone is better than no one.

But then it becomes a contest between your rationality and your starving desire. Your desire clings to the good things in him and tries to explain away the bad. 'He didn't mean it because...It's not his fault because...' and your tired mind, which just wants someone to love her, gives in. It fills in the explanatory blanks with something acceptable. And the self-deception begins.
Having cranked myself up with caffeine all day today, I am wide awake. There will be no sleep tonight. My body is tired but my brain will have none of it. Because, now that my mind is freed from the fight against itself, I can devote my reasoning skills to my life instead of the uncontrollable horrible thoughts in my head. That renewed capacity and a revealing conversation with another woman has finally broken me out of his spell.

For the last few months, even though I broke up with him, I have not been able to let go. We broke up and then the cat died. So I plunged into grief and instability. And surprisingly, he was still there. He was a voice on the phone still calling me almost every night. Just like before. I needed the caring voice, like a lifeline to reality. Then one night in July we had an intense post-break up smooch session, that also added to my confusion. It felt like we hadn't even broken up. It felt like a long distance relationship because we talked on the phone but almost never saw each other. Because we weren't in a romantic relationship, I didn't have any reason to be frustrated or hurt by him. He was so sweet. He seemed so concerned about my well-being. And he acted like someone who still had feelings for me. Why did he call me from Miami as soon as he got back from South America? That's what a boyfriend does. Why did he call me as soon as he had some exciting news about his work? And why was he still calling me before he went to sleep?

Then I began to doubt what I had done. Maybe I imagined the meanness. Maybe I was delusional with fears about his intentions. Maybe it was all my fault because I didn't know how to communicate with him....etc, etc ,etc. So I decided that if something started up again I'd go with it. When he stopped calling me I started calling him instead. I'd invite him to see a movie with me or to lunch but he always declined. Then when I decided to write him off and started pulling away, he'd do something else to reel me back in. He'd start calling again, giving just enough to keep me around and wondering. Exactly like he did when we dated. Back then, everytime I got convinced that he was only using me, he'd suddenly be all up in my grill. Like he had some supernatural sensors attuned to his fleeting prey. Why does someone with a brain and 13 years of dating experience fall for that game? Because...

It felt so good to be with him. Being in his arms felt like falling into creamy velvet. Maybe it only felt so good because I needed the affection so desperately. But I went with it. I convinced myself that something good was happening. My life did seem better with him in it. So I told myself he was relationship retarded, I needed to explain away things that seemed weird. I believed that he was actually worse at this than I was! He communicated even less than I did. He had greater intimacy issues than my own. And because of this, he would force me to strengthen my weaknesses so I could deal with him. He would be good for me. Ha! HA! HA! HA!!!

Now I know this for the fairy tale it is. Pure fiction. Last week I spoke to our mutual friend Bianca. They dated a few years ago. I suspected they had, but he never told. I asked if they used to go out and he said, "sort of" with a wince to imply that he'd rather not say what they were really doing rather than 'going out.' Fine. So he made it sound like they just had sex but it wasn't serious Ha! Ha! Ha!

She told me they were together for 2 years! Not only that, but Bianca was going to convert to Judaism so they could get married. He wanted to marry her! He wouldn't even call me his girlfriend!! He went overseas to spend a summer with her. He didn't want to come to New Jersey to see me. After the first month they were together, HE was the one who wanted to define the relationship. After 7 months with me, we had no such thing. Of course, she was having sex with him. And we know what a massive difference that makes. harumph.

I also found out his college girlfriend I thought he dated for 3 years, it was 6!

Initially this information made me incensed and ill. Now with a few days to digest it, I'm still incensed. And still a little ill. But the important thing here is that I can finally see what fiction I wove. I wanted to hold on to him emotionally. Because he was someone rather than no one. And I did care about him. He cared about me too but...clearly, he is not relationship retarded nor afraid of commitment. He just didn't want anything serious with me. We weren't in a relationship, we were just messing around so there was no point in actually talking to me about anything. I had to guess that he was in the Army Reserves after 4 months with him. He was beyond stingy with personal information. I thought he might have Asperger's Syndrome. (Which is social autism.) He just didn't want to get too involved with me. I was nothing but his toy. Which he actually told me one night. I thought he was being playful when he said it. *shiver*. No, he really meant it.

I knew all this at the time. I feared it. I never wanted to define the relationship because I knew he didn't want to commit to someone who didn't put out. Because a girlfriend who gives him sex is better than one who doesn't. So it would be irrational to cut himself off from finding a better girlfriend by committing to the worse one. But I didn't want to believe that.

This all vindicates the insecurities I had while we dated. But I wanted it to work so much. I wanted for him to be the one to rescue me from the hell of dating. So I tried not to see what was happening, until my reason won out. Hooray for me. I'm never dating again.

Here's the moral of the story: While complaining about this to my friend, I told her it made me feel like garbage. My friend replied, "Because the only thing different is the girl, right?" I said, "the girl and the fact I wouldn't have sex with him. I know that made a big difference." My friend said, "Yeah but if you had this would have lasted a lot longer and ended the same way only you'd be a lot worse off." When she said it I knew it for truth. Had we been having sex then I would be the one to go through two brutal years and come out damaged instead of bruised. This way, I got out after only 7 months, and the emotional damage is minimal. Hooray for me again.

I return to being my own woman. Knowing I am better off with no one rather than someone like him. I only wish it didn't have to feel so bad.

**I don't feel bad for bad mouthing him because everytime our friend asked if we were dating, more than once, he flatly denied it. What kind of person does that?


Sarebear said...

I am sorry you are suffering so.

I am sorry you are feeling so lonesome, as well.

I sympathize so much with your struggles; I've been lurking for awhile. 

Left by sarebear

redlaw said...

What an ass! If I were there in NYC with you, I'd offer to go break his legs....not really, because I'm a pacifist (usually) but I'd definitely egg his car or do something juvenile and horrible to him. I'm sorry, JL. I won't say that I feel your pain because I can't - but I can feel my pain from some lousy break-ups and that sucks pretty bad so I can assume that yours is a similar feeling. At least you can see things clearly at this point - it may not help initially with all the emotions, but in the long run, at least for me, knowing the cold hard truth saved me a lot of unnecessary anquish. I hope that otherwise things are well - have a good holiday season. (as good as it can get, ya know?)


Left by redlaw

ilongga70 said...

Sometimes you're loved because of your weakness ... What you can't do is sometimes more compelling than what you can do. For a second, I felt hope for myself. But loving for weakness, seemed like a weakness itself.
- Melissa Banks, The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing 

Left by ilongga70

Stephen said...

Bless your heart. I'm glad you escaped being someone's toy.  

Left by Stephen M (Ethesis)

Ann said...

Have hope. Someday, the someone who is better than no one will be someone for whom you are the only one. 

Left by Ann

Anonymous said...

Remember: Anger bad, Peace good. If you NCMO with someone else, his memory will leave you. I will be in the Atlanta Airport tomorrow morning connecting to a major western city, so if you would like, I can help you with that.

Peace be unto you. 

Left by Anonymous

Mattso said...

Finally something new to read to shake up my horribly redundant internet life. Blog away, NYer, blog away.

-Newb from LA 

Left by Mattso

Anonymous said...

What a jerk. Some men seriously need to die... painfully. You were his "toy?" What an ass! 

Left by leah

Stephen said...

Just stopping by to wish you happy holidays (since I'm a little late for Merry Christmas and too early for Happy New Year!). ;)

Left by Stephen M (Ethesis)

ilongga70 said...

Hope the New Year brings more mature men or a realization that we didn't really want the jerks we met in 2005 - :) God bless JL!

Stephen said...

Hey, happy new year! I was going to wait for your next post, but decided to go ahead and say something before the day was over. 

Left by Stephen M (Ethesis)

JL said...

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy New Year!

This year I will not waste anytime on unworthy men. You can hold me to that and remind me if it becomes necessary. This is no empty resolution, it's a promise.

I've been very busy giving exams and grading and paperwork and then I went to Florida. I got back last week but I felt really bad so I haven't been able to post. I'll try to do something soon.

Love y'all! 

Left by JL

Gayle said...

Wow! You have blown my mind away! I had no idea that I could see me in someone else so CLEARLY!!!!!
Yes, of course we are all sorry for what you have been through, but, more importantly "we" need to realize our "needs" and "wants." Then take life Seriously (our goals & dreams) and take our dating (love life) Very Slow!!!!!!! Being tasteful isn't bad!! Only if we hand out to Many SAMPLES!! LOL


Left by Gayle

Adam said...

I admire you for sticking to your values even though you feel that it cost you the relationship. I went the other way a long time ago and it wasn't worth it. It does get better....promise. 

Left by Adam