there is a guy who i've known for a long time. i call him the ghost, in part because he is like a ghost of my past who keeps popping up in my head and sometimes in my life, and also because he is very pale.
we first met about eight years ago i think. we started hanging out and i found that we had amazing body chemistry. it was just something about how he smelled, the softness of his skin, the way our bodies fit together. we made out endlessly, had deep conversations, listened to music and ate pancakes. good times. but even though i had feelings for him i knew i didn't want to be in a "relationship" with him. i think i had a very clear idea of what a relationship should be and i couldn't see myself having that with him. i was still seeing other people. i always told him that i didn't want a relationship right now and he never pushed me although i'm pretty sure he was in love with me. then another guy i was seeing told me he was in love with me and he seemed like a safer bet so i stopped seeing the ghost and started a relationship with the other guy. but through the years the ghost never left my mind completely. always when i came out of a relationship i would contact him. sometimes we would hook up, sometimes not. i wondered about him, how he was doing, what was going on in his life. the connection was still there in some way.
when my boyfriend and i opened up our relationship to seeing other people, guess who i contected? yup, the ghost. we went out for dinner, talked and flirted a bit but nothing happened. a few days later, he invited me to come along with him to a concert. the concert was really good and it felt nice to experience it with him since we are both people who like to really get into music, like listening with eyes closed and a furrowed brow. then we kissed. and it was lovely. and he said it was "like coming home" which was cheesy but also melted my heart. so i was happy that he might be back in my life in some way, but it had happened so fast and i had not yet told him about my relationship status. he just assumed that i had broken up with my boyfriend i think. hmm complicated.
we walked from the concert venue to the tram stop, since we were taking the same tram. when it pulled in, who did i see on the tram, snuggling up to a familiar looking girl? my boyfriend! what are the odds? i sat down with the ghost and told him that i would just go say hello, then went over to my boyfriend and his date. the look on his face when he saw me was very amusing! everyone was friendly, i said hello to him and his date and they told me that they had been to the cinema. it was a brief conversation but it felt good. i was all giggly because i was kind of nervous and surprised that i had met them but also relieved that i felt so good about it. it actually felt like the best scenario possible at that time, since i wanted to meet the other girl, say hello and let her know there were no hard feelings, but my boyfriend was nervous about having us in the same room. this way, it was over quickly! i talked about it with my boyfriend later on and he agreed that it had felt really good. i was proud of myself.
this was on a monday.that thursday, i had made plans to see my boyfriend, he was coming over to my place to hang out so we could see each other before i went away for the weekend. now, i feel that i should give some background here. we did not want to "forbid" each other to do anything. but at this point we had two agreements
1) tell the other when something new "happened" with someone else
, like something physical or when feelings developed.
2) safe sex
(including oral). we had discussed that if later on one of us was dating someone where it felt serious enough to want to go into another phase and start having unprotected sex, everyone should get tested first so that we would know everything was ok. also, if an accident was to happen (i was thinking like if a condom were to break) then just tell the other person and don't try to pretend like nothing happened just because you were embarrassed.
that evening, my boyfriend told me he had something to tell me. apparently, he and this girl had had some unprotected sex, and also unprotected oral sex.
i was really disappointed, angry and sad. at first i didn't know how upset i was. i was just kind of sulking, trying to wrap my head around it. he said that she would be ok with getting tested, and that he thought that she had been really careful to use protection before (i was thinking "yeah, right, except with you? yeah, i'm sure you're just the only exception..."). later on, we were making out and it felt like we might have sex but i...just couldn't. i was so not in the mood after what he had told me. i had to stop and just became more and more angry. i think i managed to identify a few reasons why i was so upset:
* this whole thing has been very challenging for me. in a short time i had gone from a monogamous relationship with a live-in boyfriend, to him moving out and both of us seeing other people while trying to keep the closeness in our relationship. i felt proud of how far i had come, but like i said it had not been easy. we did not have any rules, just these two agreements and now he broke one of them just because he felt like it? i felt very disrespected. again, like he was not being a good friend to me by making it more difficult for me to cope.
* he couldn't really explain why he had done it (horny and stupid i guess), just that he "wanted to have that experience". but what about me? i had also wanted to have that experience! i love performing oral sex but when seeing other people i had to do it with a condom on, which was kind of disappointing. why should he have that fun and not me? i felt he was being very selfish.
* i felt like intimacy was taken away from me, from us, and moved to their relationship. my boyfriend had been the only person in this scenario that i could have unprotected oral sex with, and now i couldn't have it with anyone, not before everyone was tested and got their results back (which would take several weeks). but they could still have it.
* again, i had thoughts of "why is he making this so difficult for me? does he not want me to handle this? is he doing this to make me end it between us so he won't have to do it himself?"
over the next few days we talked and texted some more about it. he understood completely why i was so upset and apologized profusely. i think he had known that i would be disappointed but had rationalized it in his head so that he could do what he wanted. things like "well, we don't have oral sex that often anyway, the test result will not take long and after that it will be business as usual". eeer...no. he said that he needed to think about how he was handling this situation because he did not really recognize himself. neither did i. he is such a sweet caring guy, and like i said his biggest fear is to hurt someone he cares about. so the fact that he was being so careless now really puzzled me. that's why i was wondering if he was subconsciously trying to sabotage the situation so he could end it with me and not feel so guilty. he was also confused and didn't know what was going on.
we met a few days after. i was not as upset anymore which was nice (it's so exhausting!) but did not feel very warm feelings towards him. i didn't know if i could trust him. also, both this time and the other time i got upset (when she was sleeping in his bed) he had said that i had every right to be angry and sad and it was good that i expressed my emotions. but it was also followed by saying something along the lines of "maybe if this is too difficult for you, for us, it's better if we don't do this anymore" (i.e = just become friends instead). i felt very frustrated by this, like he was saying it's good that you express your emotions but when i did the result was that he took his love away from me. so i did not feel really free in expressing my disappointment, with the threat of him leaving hanging over me. on my end though, i was scared to be in love with him and stay close because i did not feel safe. like he told me one thing and did something else. so when we met we agreed that for the time being we should have more of a friend-type relationship instead. we needed to cool down and not try to force our relationship to be something that it maybe couldn't at the time.
so, that was a couple of weeks ago. i miss him and i think my heart is opening up to romantic feelings for him again but i don't know how he feels, i think we need some more time. we met the other night for a drink and he told me i looked nice and gave me "those looks". but i had to go home early and the girl he is sleeping with was standing at a table nearby (a lot of people from his work were there, including her) so it felt kind of weird. like they were both waiting for me to leave so they could go home together. he said that it wasn't like that, that his focus was on me now that i was there. and when i left we hugged for a long time. but it was still a strange situation for me. i am grieving that we no longer have that kind of connection. but maybe we'll have it again some day, when the time is right.
if anyone has any feedback or advice i would most appreciate it! specifically how to handle when boundaries have been crossed. if you have been in a similar situation for instance and what your view is.