Whilst I sat on the train travelling back to London, watching the greenery zooming past me, the fresh air leaving my lungs and the sunshine battering my eyes, I had some kind of epiphany.
I felt like I finally understood why a relationship with SP
could not happen. Why it has taken me till now to fully accept and appreciate this I don’t know. But what I do know is that there was nothing I could have done to change how things have worked out between us, and I have come to terms with the knowledge that I must accept this.
It was SP’s birthday a little while ago; 3 months since we had last spoken, 4 months since we had last seen each other, 5 months since we were an ‘item’. I decided that I should give the ‘friends’ thing a try: I am an adult as is he, there was no animosity between us - surely with the time that had passed, we could now be friends?
So I posted him a birthday card. Inside there was no overt or covert sexual innuendo, no deep hidden meaning; just a friendly ‘hello’, ‘happy birthday’ and ‘lets catch up soon’. I figured maybe this would jump start things and get us back in contact again; I hoped that it would.
I didn’t hear back from him. Now, normally when I send someone a birthday card, I do not expect a response. The joy of sending a card to someone is to make them feel special and wanted and remembered, and it gives me pleasure to know that maybe, in some small way, my card has done that. But SP not contacting me struck me as odd: it was the first contact between us for months; surely he would want to respond?
So after a few weeks I got anxious: perhaps he had taken it the wrong way? Could he be angry with me for contacting him? Or maybe thought I was trying to get back with him?
After another week or so, I felt disappointed. Surely good mates who have been out of contact for months would reply back upon receiving a card? Why wouldn’t he respond? Was he really that thoughtless?
Another week passed. Then I got angry. What an immature thoughtless selfish fucker, I thought to myself. There I am, putting myself on the line, reaching out to him and he ignores me. And it’s not like he has to even call me, surely he could email or text me to just say ‘thanks’?
I was pretty mad. So mad that I erased him from my bank of play material: I ignored the heat emanating from between my legs when I remembered the first time I did anal
with him; I changed my train of thought when I recalled the night of endless orgasms
; I tried to think about someone else when using my vibrator the way he used to use it on me. Not thinking about him sexually was hard, because so many of my recent sexual discoveries had been with him. But I had to be able to masturbate not thinking about him
; to do so was my own private way of cutting off someone that’s hurt me.
And that’s when it struck me.
I felt hurt. Why?
I spent a lot of time pondering that and realised that it had nothing at all to do with my sending him a birthday card: it was instead about him not contacting me. That he didn’t want to speak to me. And that I wanted to speak with him.
I don’t know if it is because there is a part of me that still wants to be with him; or whether it’s because he was the last ‘meaningful’ person I was involved with; or just that I feel lonely sometimes and miss sharing myself with a partner, but I understood that all my feelings I had over sending the card were to do with me and my wants and wishes, and my unresolved feelings towards him, rather than anything about him not being in contact.
And I guess even with the months that have passed I have still been asking myself ‘why’? Why didn’t it work out? Why didn’t he want to be with me? What did I do wrong?
I have looked back at his alcoholism, his sleeping with someone else, his emotional distancing, my issues with intimacy, my anxieties, my demands; I have wracked my brain trying to understand what happened, but none of this explains why we didn’t and couldn’t work.
You see, even with our fantastic sexual connection, our chemistry, our intimacy and our feelings for each other, the one factor which prevented our being together was this: he didn’t want to be in a relationship.
I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out.
The one determining factor: he didn’t want to be in a relationship. It’s not like he didn’t tell me:
SP: You know I care about you
Me: I care about you too
SP: When I am with you, I feel so good, it reminds me…
SP: I just can’t… I’m sorry. I can’t be with anyone…
SP: I guess I am scared of getting hurt again…
Me: I can understand, but I am not like her…
SP: But being with you reminds me of what it was like to fall in love… I just can’t go through that again.
Me: But surely it’s worth it to fall in love? Don’t be scared of falling. I promise I’ll be here to catch you if you do.
SP: I just can’t. I don’t know when I can. But I can’t now. I’m sorry…
And I would cuddle him, and we would make love and I would convince myself that he was just scared, that given time he would be ready to try things again, that we could work.
And all that happened is that I ignored what was really happening: he didn’t want to be in a relationship with me.
Like seeing a flashing traffic light when you’re tired and can’t recall what colour it has changed to, I didn’t see what was before my eyes: he was saying one thing, meaning another, and I was hearing and seeing what I wanted to believe.
Now it all seems so clear – how could I have been so blind? But of course, I was clouded by my feelings; the time that has passed now has enabled me to see clearer now.
It has helped me to realise that sometimes people just aren’t ready to be involved in a meaningful way with another person – for whatever reason. And that that is ok. That although I may be gutted, or hurt, or frustrated by this, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. And now I can accept that.
I want to be with someone who wants to be with me; someone who wants to be in a relationship. Not someone who is trying to find himself through me. Or someone who is trying to fix my problems because he can’t fix himself. Or someone who wants to change me into being someone I am not.
I want a mature, adult partner; one who wants to take the plunge to be with me; one who will embrace my and his sexuality; and one that wants to be in a relationship with me because he feels both our lives would be enriched by our being together.
If I can just hold on to these thoughts – make sure that I hear, understand and remember when they have made it clear they don’t want to be in a relationship – then I reckon I’ll be in a much better position for when I do meet the person who is ready. For when that does happen, it won’t be about ‘falling’, more about rolling down the hill with them on a bright sunny day, landing on each other in fits of giggles and ripping each others’ clothes off to shag each other senseless.