Scaring 'em off left and right
Ahh- hey everybody, thanks for being out there to listen. Writing on here is a really welcome outlet for the successes, failures, and quandaries alike. Sitting down to write this story, I feel relief already, knowing that I'll receive another perspective, knowing that people care.
One of the most liberating things about D and I talking about poly is that I have had many friends over the years that I've crushed out on, and have felt pretty tortured and alone with my secret desires, and being able to talk to D about them has been a great relief.
In the past, at a certain point where the crush started to be unhealthy, or take up too much head space and I wasn't free to pursue it for one reason or another, I have had to step off of those friendships because I saw no way out of being torn up when I was around these people, and didn't like the stress and pitiful state of secret attraction pounding around in my head and journals when I tried to "just be friends." I felt foolish, awkward, didn't trust myself not to act on my attraction and screw things up with whomever I was seeing at the time and whomever the crush was involved with. So I have just stayed away.
I went to see such a person, J, about a week ago, after not having seen him in five years( the time I've known D) for this very set of reasons. I told D all about him, about how we had always come just shy of being together, about how we'd talked about one of us being ready when the other was involved the last time we spent time alone together. I also told him about how great this guy is, how much I wanted him for a friend, how rare our connection was, and now that I didn't have to be afraid of appearances, how I'd like to finally go see him again, after knowing J for eight years, and the last five years only the occasional phone call and e-mail.
I had a feeling J was just as excited, just as conflicted as I about seeing me. I knew he had a girlfriend and children, and I didn't plan on making any sort of move on him, just wanted to see his face and hear him laugh and catch up.
He picked me up from my mother's house where I was staying overnight. We had talked earlier in the day, and I was getting a very sexual vibe from him, which of course, I totally contributed to. I called D and made sure to explain everything again, including this vibe, and we discussed what I would do if he came on to me. We agreed that there would be no physical contact, and I would make sure that he was either unattached or being honest with his girlfriend before anything (second date, etc., as this was turning out to be more of a date than a friendly reunion) else happened.
We hugged hard and got in his truck. He was going on about how he couldn't believe I was there with him, and we could do anything I wanted to do, he was just so happy to see me. We sat in the truck, driving towards town, just glowing and talking and enjoying seeing one another again immensely.
I swear I wasn't going to say anything about exploring poly or anything even similar on this first encounter after such a long stretch, I wanted very much to just enjoy being near him without guilt and feel things out.
We stopped at a red light about 10 minutes into the drive, and he turned to me and said he was going to be straight, he had to tell me something. he said if he didn't get to see me for another five years, he had to tell me how he felt (his words were "Fuck not saying how you feel"),- he had always respected me, been attracted to me, thought I was beautiful and liked the way I carried myself, how I think and speak, and had a lot of love for me, so if I ever needed anything, anything from him, that I should call and he would be there.
Oh my. You can bet this felt good after eight years of caginess and restraint, but now I had to respond, divert from my plan, be as open with him as he was being with me and right away.
I told him I knew this, and thank you, and that I felt the same way about him. I said it felt good to finally say it.
Then I said my life had really changed recently, and that D and I had come to a beautiful place that allowed me to be open and honest about my feelings for J. I told J that D knew I was here with him, on a date, knew I was attracted to him, that we had talked about it, and that D was 100% fine with me reconnecting on whatever level was natural, and supported me as long as I was honest and did what was right for myself and those involved.
That took J by surprise. he said, "Really!!??" and smiled (which I took to mean he thought I wasn't with D or was lying about being with J), and we talked about it some more, talked about his relationship with his girlfriend, more about where I was in my marriage, and then we got where we were going- to J's friend's house, and we had to stop discussing it.
After the visit to the friend's house, he took me out to dinner, and this uncomfortable, nervous thing had started happening. I felt we had both burst open with each other, and then withdrawn. I couldn't eat, partially due to the sushi I'd had for lunch, but mostly due to butterflies, and not knowing what to say next. I drank coffee and watched him eat, which didn't make things any more comfortable, and we had short bursts of conversations about this and that, but we were both obviously mostly lost in our own thoughts.
We said goodnight early, as I was heading back home an hour away, and had to pick up D at 10p.m. from work.
When I got home, I sent off an e-mail after thinking about the night on the hour drive home, and said I'd like to fill in the blanks to our conversation, there was much to say, did he want to hear?
Waited a week. Called him. He said "Hi, can I call you back?" and didn't.
That was a couple of days ago. I am not a patient woman. D thinks he got in trouble with his girl, was lying to her, she saw my e-mail- something like that. D's words were "Forgive me, but I think he thought you were a booty call."
I know that J and I are more deeply connected than that, and it would be totally fine with me to just be friends as we have been, or to just hear what is happening so I don't have to imagine. I'm confused because J initiated the conversation and now I feel ignored.
I know I have to let things happen naturally, and that this type of relating with people is very hard to get the mind around, so perhaps he is just processing. The worst thing would be that our beautiful, honest, exciting conversation about how we feel about each other is the very thing that ends the relationship completely.
I don't want to push, but I feel I deserve to know what's going on.
I am trying to keep in mind that this experience has given me more intimacy with D, and a chance to test myself in uncharted territory, and also it just felt good to tell the truth, to have a conversation that I never could have had before- that is beautiful in itself, fresh, liberating.
But I also got my hopes up, and it's so hard to keep myself from demanding more contact, even though it's been made clear that J is not ready to. So hard not to write an e-mail or call again, so I'm writing it all out here. Dammit.
Thanks for reading.
"Rocks will open and make a way for the lover."
~Hazrat Inayat Khan
I love Catfish and Charlie.