Samuel + Realistic Expectations

Last night I spent the evening with Samuel.

I met him on an online dating website about 5 months ago. I saw his profile, and even though he was 8 years old than me, I decided to message him. Looking at his pictures I thought that he was the most gorgeous person I’d ever laid eyes on. The first thing I sent to him was a little joke, and from then on we sent long, beautiful messages to each other. On our first date, we met at a local brewery and then ate Indian food from a food truck on the street. We bar hopped, making our way back to his place.

We dated for about a month, having sex prematurely (yeah, I know). I could tell after that first time that it was probably a mistake. Samuel grew distant soon after that. He told me he was feeling depressed. Eventually (after what felt like endless prying on my part) he sent me a text message that said he would like to be friends. I was completely crushed, crying like a blubbering mess in my office at work.

I agreed to his friendship and we started doing things with each other: watching movies, making dinner, hiking. And then one night we got drunk and he said I could sleep at his place. He put me to bed (in his bed) and joined me later. We had sex that night. And then it happened a few more times after that. Initially, the sex gave me hope. I thought it meant that we had a chance.

But then I came to a realization during this “friends with benefits” period.

I deserved more.

I had sex with him for the last time on November 14th, felt super shitty after, made the decision I wasn’t going to keep hurting myself, and then started this blog.

So here I am. One month and one day since I was with Samuel. We still see each other constantly, and the chemistry is rich, fiery. Last night, walking around outside, surrounded by Christmas lights, the heat between us was intense. We bumped into each other; playfully pushed each other around; he rested his hand on my back; he got so close to my face, I was certain he was going to kiss me.

The intensity of my feelings for him has only increased the more I get to know him.

But here’s where I need to be realistic and stop kidding myself.

  1. The commitment that I made to myself one month and one day ago is still important to me. Yes, I’ve slipped up. But I haven’t had sex (or anything close to it). I haven’t put myself in a position where I feel guilt or shame in over one month.
  2. If Samuel really wanted to be with me, I don’t believe that many things would get in the way of that. He hasn’t made any overtures to express that he wants a relationship. I feel like I’m a good friend that he occasionally sleeps with. Nothing more.
  3. I believe my feelings for him will pass eventually. Sure, many people would say that if I didn’t spend time with him it would probably be a lot easier. And they are probably right. But I also know that friends aren’t exactly falling off trees at the moment. Genuinely I do enjoy his friendship, and it has been important to me over the past month.
  4. Since November 14th, my feelings about my value and worth have increased. I judged myself so harshly for sleeping with four men in total. In reality, there are women (and men) who have slept with many more men than I have. Not only that, there are people that kill and steal and cheat. I am NO saint, but I need to be a bit easier on myself.

So that’s where I am right now. I realize this is long and rambling, but it helps to get it off my chest.

A Change of Perspective

Recently I chatted with some friends about my “guyatus”.

I was explaining to my friends why I chose a one year break from men, what my goals are, etc.

It was actually really nice to share my thoughts with these lovely ladies because it allowed me to hear some other perspectives about my goal.

From: http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/atlas-mobile-calendar/
From: http://mashable.com/2013/05/07/atlas-mobile-calendar/

One of my friends said that while a year was a great goal, it may be more important/realistic to just gauge my feelings (instead of a time limit) to determine when I was ready. If I say that I don’t want to try anything romantic for an entire year, I may miss out on something special. Conversely, I may not even be ready by the year’s end, and it’s possible I may throw myself into dating when I shouldn’t.

This really made me think about my goal, and I think my perspective of it has changed. I’m going to stay with the general concept of a guyatus; but instead, I’m going to check in with myself regularly and determine when I feel ready. I’m going to try not to put a time limit on my life, I’d prefer it to be more organic.

After going to rehab for my eating disorder, I realized I wasn’t “fixed” the moment I actively stopped going to therapy. It has been a process and it would have been unfair to myself if I had the expectation that I would be okay after a few months or a year. To be honest, I actually don’t remember the specific period of time when I actually felt okay with myself. A year after rehab, I felt much better; two years after I felt even better.

So if it takes me five months or a year or three years to feel okay with dating again, that’s what it will be.

And the loneliness hits…

Loneliness.

I knew it would come sooner or later. It tends to come pretty frequently for me.

I suppose I’m feeling extra lonely today because two friends bailed on me today. I guess it just makes me feel sad because I feel so low their list of priorities.

These two girls aren’t close friends. I work with one of them, Molly; the other girl, Teresa, used to be my best friend. Teresa and I were like glue. We would spend the entire day together, and go home only to call each other and talk more. We talked about opening up a business together and what it would be like to grow old as friends.

Then I went to rehab for my eating disorder and she told me she couldn’t take the pressure of being my friend. So she left, and I was devastated. We barely spoke for the next two years.

I texted Teresa about a month ago asking her if she’d like to catch up over coffee. It went really well, almost as if nothing had ever changed. We met up again for coffee, and once again if felt so natural. Teresa and I made plans this Friday for dinner, which turns out to also be my birthday. While she probably doesn’t even remember the significance of the day, about an hour ago she texted me to tell me she wouldn’t be able to do dinner. Another friend of hers will be coming into town, and she agreed to put him up in her apartment.

When I read the text message, I felt this profound sadness. This year has probably been one of the loneliest for me, and now I fear I’ll have to spend my birthday dinner alone.

Writing it out, I feel so silly that I am sad about my birthday when there are problems so much greater in the world. There are people who won’t ever have another birthday because they are battling an illness or fighting in a war. There are other people that can’t afford to pay the bills, let alone buy a birthday cake for themselves. It really could be a lot worse for me.

Still, I had such high expectations for my birthday week, and now I just feel incredibly let down. I wonder if my emotions are realistic, or if I am being overly sensitive.

I guess I’m also sad because I was speaking with my counselor yesterday and I talked about how I thought that Glen and I would still have been together at this point. At the time we broke up, I was honestly completely shocked. I could see us together pursuing a future. I remember thinking about what we would do for the holidays, dreaming about kissing him on the brink of the New Year, planning our one year anniversary in February. I was so deliriously, crazy about him that the “problems” didn’t seem so problematic. My counselor asked me why we broke up. I really wish I had a clear answer/understanding, but I don’t.

So, essentially I’m having a pity party today and thinking way too much again. I’m trying to get myself out of it by doing some of the things I enjoy. I plan to go to a running group this evening, maybe do a little reading after.

Most of all, I’m going to try to be a bit easier on myself today.