I don’t want to run away but I can’t take it. I don’t understand. If I’m not made for you then why does my heart tell me that I am? Is there any way that I can stay in your arms? – “If You’re Not The One,” Daniel Bedingfield
Today has really challenged my beliefs. Not in a spiritual or moral way, but the things I believe about myself – what I deserve, if I’ll end up with a partner, little things like that… I find I often put myself out there far more than the person I care about. Maybe not at first, but once I have a relative grasp on their feelings. Or think I do. With My First Girlfriend, I had a hunch she was involved with someone else, but she so openly admitted to feelings for me that I fought for her. To the point of quitting a job and moving. With The Ex, we flirted and played each other until it was obvious how we felt. I left My First Girlfriend. I came out to my friends and family. And I said the “L” word first. With Poly Girl, she relentlessly pursued me, even when I was broken and could barely function. I felt guilty for the gifts and declarations of love because I couldn’t freely give them back. Not until it was too late. By then she didn’t believe me. And then Farm Girl. In the beginning we talked until all hours of the night, we shared openly, we told each other our mutual feelings of admiration and interest. And we both worked toward meeting. Went on a date and talked until all hours of the night, shared openly, told each other our mutual feelings of admiration and interest. And we complimented ourselves on having an adult date and planned a second one. And that was about the end of it for her.
“If you’re not the one then why does my soul feel glad today? If you’re not the one then why does my hand fit yours this way? If you are not mine then why does your heart return my call? If you are not mine would I have the strength to stand at all?”
To hear her side of it, depending on if she’s drunk or not, she was romantically interested in me early on, and the things between us were very real, but she shut them off or changed or stopped feeling them or something. For multiple reasons that, again, change depending on what day I ask her. Red flags to my secret emotional unavailability, realizing she wasn’t ready, realizing she was trying too hard to manifest a romantic relationship because we had connected so easily… there are more. Unfortunately, and yes I mean unfortunately, those feelings never eased up for me. Well, they did for a few days, but this girl has like a sixth sense about when I’m pulling away and she makes a lunge to keep me around and says all the right things, even if they turn out later to be something she said just to get me to stick around. I’m still wildly attracted to her; her thoughts, her eyes, her view of life, her goals, her skin, her pattern of speech. It’s crazy. And annoying. And relentless. I have put myself and my heart and my feelings on the line many times, far more than she has and far more than she even responds to. I spent an hour buying and putting together a road trip bag for her before she moved, and we chatted for thirty minutes before she made it clear she had more important things to do and I should go. I drove two hours out of my way to take her boxes, knowing I would get to see her for about 45 minutes and then have to go. I have sent her numerous texts of encouragement and praise and openness that I just don’t normally do. And I keep showing up when she pushes and makes me feel unimportant and tests me and is flakey and leads me on. I just don’t stop. Every time I am part disappointed part hurt, but I don’t walk. Because I don’t leave people? Because I don’t give up? Because this is legit and could be the real deal? I don’t know. But I don’t usually leave people and I don’t give up and I do think this is the real deal. I would have stayed with The Ex forever, I never gave up on her, and I thought we were forever. She was miserable and I was angry, but I didn’t give up. I didn’t walk away. Regardless of if it was the right move, I just couldn’t do it. My belief that we were meant to be was too strong. Obviously that belief wasn’t strong concerning My First Girlfriend or Poly Girl. Although I tried to go back to Poly Girl a second time and was pushed away again. Had she taken me back that second time I would have stayed. I would have given her and the kids everything I had. I don’t think she believes that, though. But I would have.
“I don’t know why you’re so far away, but I know that this much is true, we’ll make it through. And I hope you are the one I share my life with. And I wish that you could be the one I die with. And I’m praying you’re the one I build my home with. I hope I love you all my life.”
So what do I believe about myself? That I don’t deserve someone? That’s tricky, because I don’t necessarily believe myself to be a good person, but I know I’m a giver and provider. I also know I tend to either show love by overcompensating with those two things, or hiding behind them so I don’t have to show love any other way. With The Ex there was no doubt we loved each other – we were both mushy and giving and showed PDA and whatever. For a few months, anyway. With Farm Girl, she does nearly nothing but say “thank you” and tell me how much she appreciates me, even on a friendship level. I know she doesn’t feel the same about me, but she bails on plans and responds to texts 14 hours later and does things that would probably make normal people consider not even being close friends with her. But I see through those things. I see past the flakey, the non-committal, the pushing away, the testing. I’ve done all that. I get it. And I still think she’s beautiful, inside and out.
Which is worse – having someone who feels the same about me and we fall hopelessly in love for a few months but eventually she walks away like it never happened, or loving someone who is totally in love with me but I am too hurt and scarred to appreciate it and don’t fully want to give up my life to take the life she is offering, or to have such deep feelings and communicate them over and over through words and actions to someone who either doesn’t feel them back or won’t respond in remotely the same way? See how this affects my thoughts about myself and what I deserve? I would LIKE to have a partner, but will I? Can I? Should I? Do I wait for her to realize what a catch I am, how much I give to her without expecting anything in return? Do I expect her to figure herself out and find out what she wants and then make my case again? Do I give up and wait for someone else to appear in my life? I don’t believe I’m a catch, so why should she? Why would anyone? So why do I keep giving and trying and treating her better than she treats me?
“‘Cause I miss you body and soul so strong that it takes my breath away. And I breathe you into my heart and pray for the strength to stand today. ‘Cause I love you, whether it’s wrong or right. And though I can’t be with you tonight you know my heart is by your side.”
I’m finding myself lonelier now. I’m still good with my own company, but I’m lonely. And, for whatever reason, I still hope it’s she and I in the end.