Friday, January 2, 2015

Let's "Slow Down", aka the death of a relationship?

Family relationships. Dating relationships. Roommate relationships. Ahh, the joy of human interactions. Yes, this is one of the topics that has been ruminating in my mind that I've been considering blogging about for a few days.

Let go of the past.
As if dating isn't hard enough on it's own or the holidays aren't stressful enough on their own, combine dating during the holidays and what do you get? A few more gray hairs to hide, I think. Oh, the joys of memories of relationships past: he cheated on me and dumped me over Christmas/New Years. Is the current guy seeing someone else? Will he dump me, too, when I start acting crazy because of old memories, family stress, and sugar crazies? It's enough to make me want to crawl under a rock and hide for two weeks. What do I do instead? Open my big mouth and send a text message.

Yah, we're in this awkward stage where we've been seeing each other regularly now for a few months. I'm not dating anyone else, and I'm pretty sure he's not either. He's my steady guy. I'm not interested in seeing anyone else. I'm pretty sure he likes me a lot. Though he's not good at telling me, he's really good at showing me. He takes me to nice dinners, treats me like a lady, cheers me up when I'm upset or stressed. He's pretty freakin' wonderful.

So, going home for the holidays, when people ask if I'm seeing anyone I say I've got a boyfriend. He's not officially, but it's easier to say that than try to explain all of the above. Back in Seattle I ran into an old (male) acquaintance that I knew from my dance school. We ran into each other twice at different dance events. The second night he tried to kiss me as I left. I saw him coming in and so I turned my head and he got my cheek. I'd previously told him I had a boyfriend. I did later that week tell him that I was angry at him for trying to kiss me when he knew I was seeing someone else. He apologized, sort of. He says he was tipsy from drinking and got carried away because of my pretty smile. (I think it's BS, but decided it wasn't worth calling him on it because I was only in town for a few days and won't likely see him again, at least not for another several months.)

Well, I'd had sugar earlier that day. And I'd had a drink at the dance, so needless to say I was feeling not quite myself. I got home a little after midnight amped up from dancing, my mind turning from the attempted kiss, and my body feeling funny from the sugar. Sleep was not going to come easily.

After tossing and turning for a few hours, I grabbed my phone and texted my steady guy. I confessed the attempted kiss and how I diverted it. And then I told him my desire to be his girlfriend and for him to be my boyfriend because I didn't want anyone else kissing me but him and I didn't want anyone else kissing him but me, and what did he think of that. And then I hit send. Holy crap, what did I just do!?! I turned my phone off, now chicken and afraid of his response, because "what if" all my fears about him cheating on me and dumping me on New Years just like the past relationship guy came true all because I had a freak out at 5 am. I turned my phone back off and tried to go back to sleep.

A few hours later I woke up and turned my phone back on. There was a reply, of course. He said I'm a special woman to him, but he's not ready for that relationship status. In the light of day, maybe I'm not either, but now what? How do I act? How do we go forward? I start freaking out again and send him another text. I should have just left it alone, but in typical girl (or just me) fashion, I text back. After a couple messages back and forth he sends the dreaded "maybe we should slow down". Holy crap, what have I done!?

I replied, of course, not smart enough yet, or awake enough yet, to realize I should have stopped several messages ago, in fact probably should never have replied to his response in the first place. After a couple more messages I stop and turn my phone off. His last words to me "Don't worry about it. Enjoy your vacation." And in the back of my mind his words keep swirling around "maybe we should slow down."

How can I not  worry about it and enjoy my vacation now after the stupid things I just said in texts? In my mind I start thinking "that's it, this relationship is over, and I've killed it. This is all my fault. I should never have messaged him at 5 am; I'm an idiot." Thankfully my mother and a good friend talk me down and support my decision to not message him. They help me stay strong and wait.

I try to go forward to enjoy the last few days of my vacation. It's not easy. I keep finding occasions when I want to text him something funny, ask him a question, share a picture, but I don't. Saturday and Sunday were long days of waiting. Monday I wake up to a text from him. Nothing terribly exciting, just a comment about the weather in SLC, but the best news from him after a few days of radio silence.

The relationship did not die. I gave him some space; he gave me some in return. And he picked me up on New Years Eve for dinner followed by a quiet evening watching the ball drop on TV. Not a break-up. He's not the guy I dated in the past. He likes me and he has never lied to me. This guy is different and he'll move at his own pace. We'll move at our own pace. And I'm learning to be ok with that.

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