Last night I sat on the stoop outside the laundromat watching the cars go by and trying to write this post in my notebook. I started it two or three different ways but kept getting stuck, mostly because I wanted to be saying it to him and not the internet. So I tried to consolidate all of the emotions into a flirty text:
“Not getting over you very fast. Would rather be under you! ;)”
To which he wrote back:
“The fastest over a guy is to get under another one! ;)”
He was just being cute and encouraging, but that text just opened up a floodgates and let me go ahead and be heartbroken. It struck my frustration so perfectly: I don’t want some stranger, some random other guy, I want him.
When we were first breaking it off, I had faith that I would find someone who is actually what I’m looking for—available, open, willing to offer up the occasional “Good girl.” He believed in that guy for me and I appreciate that so much.
I was so proud of how well we broke up that I never let myself have the heartbreak. I think part of me was still trying to mitigate my emotions, to try and be cute for them so they wouldn’t go away, but they’re already gone, at least for the time being, so I have to figure out again how to stop censoring the feelings.
It may be less fighty, but it’s just like any other breakup. I’m hurt and sad and I wish that I could have found some way to make him see me, make him love me, make him actually clear the time out for me every other week. I have that awful feeling of not being good enough, even though that has nothing to do with it at all. I have that childish feeling of wishing I could be like the girls he loves, wishing I had whatever quality they have that made him go ahead and love them. It’s the thing that I’m still afraid I’m missing, the magical ability to be loved by men.
And yes, I see the pattern here; I see the futility I keep setting up for myself, choosing someone who doesn’t have enough attention and then being hurt that he didn’t have enough attention. Crazy, I know, and I’ll try not to do it again. Though of course I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on this time.
I’m still hurt that what ended up being so meaningful to me—all of those deep, transformative experiences were just sex to him, just something it was easy to scroll past once it was over. And I’m so angry with myself that I have so little experience that everything is still such a goddamned big deal.
I hate my stupid heart for taking away so much fun stuff, past and present. There’s so much shiny and good about the Steampunks that I just won’t be able to enjoy for a while and I feel left out. I feel like another way towards community and connection is cut off, and that makes me feel like I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I wanted it to be simple and fun. I wanted to go to their parties and be excited about all the possibilities there. The last thing I want to lose is more parties.
I’ve tried for years to accept the fact that I fall for people so easily but it just seems to cost so much. I didn’t want to love him, I wanted to accept and enjoy what he had to give and keep looking for the one who’s right for loving. Why does that make so much sense on paper but not translate to real life? It irks me to no end.
I know I’m not going to get significantly less lovey-dovey any time soon. I need somebody that I can just go ahead and be bonkers about. It’s just torturing myself to try and fight the current of it. But if I can only have sex with people I can fall for, that feels so constricting. It feels like there’s going to be too much waiting around—maybe waiting around forever. There’s so much about bodies that I’ve just discovered, I don’t want to back away from them now.
Part of the reason I’m having trouble getting over him is that I can’t quite see the way forward—I can’t imagine finding the right guy and being adored when I don’t even know where I’ll work or live. I want to go back to the beginning of the summer when I had a job I loved, three snuggle pals, and a wife with whom things might work out. Or I want to go back to the immediate relief of the divorce decision, that floating, sunshiny powerful feeling that came just before I realized how much work and grief were ahead of me.
I still just really don’t understand why I had to give him up. So much of him (Ha. So very much of him.) was making me happy. I miss the spark of joy whenever I got a text from him, I miss the emphatic kisses, I miss just saying hi and taking off our clothes. It was only a few times. It shouldn’t be such a big deal. But it is.
I so badly miss the person I was at the beginning of the summer, or sometimes was, anyway. I feel a million miles away from the sparkly confidence it took to date him, from the simple faith of just going ahead and giving him my number.
I’m still sad and hurt that he wouldn’t go to the beach with me and didn’t play with me in public. On bad days I still wonder whether he was embarrassed by my age or body, but even if he was, it would just mean that he wasn’t the right person. It wouldn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with me.
One thing I know for sure is that these feelings won’t be solved by plowing ahead to the next partners. As not-romantic as it was supposed to be, the thing with Steampunk Guy was special and specific and I don’t want to move on from it by doing something that means less. With some possible special-occasion exceptions, I want to be really dating the next guy who puts his stuff in me, and I want to like him at least as much as I like Steampunk Guy. It’s such a vexing thing to decide, but I don’t think I can do the less-romantic kinds of sex until I have some basic needs met.
I have to give him credit for raising my standards in a lot of ways. He set the bar pretty high for how attracted I want to be to somebody, for how important chemistry is. In the past I’ve sometimes been able to talk myself into someone because he has nice qualities, but I’m a very sexed-up girl and I want someone I’m superhot for, and who’s just as hot for me. And I feel comfortable saying now that a nice, big, friendly dick is a star priority too. That particular part of him is especially difficult for all of my parts to let go of. Oh, it was a good one. If I were still a poet I would write it poems.
Being mad at myself for loving him doesn’t seem like a helpful emotion. It would be better to just accept it and let myself feel it until it changes into whatever friendly thing is next. Hating my heart is not going to get me where I need to go, that’s for sure. Better just to say thanks and let it do whatever it needs to do, impatient as that might make me.
So thanks, pal. I know you like changing lives and you did. You showed me what I should expect in a man and that it’s safe to trust someone enough to let down my guard. You pulled down a whole set of limits that I was using to keep the world at arm’s length. You showed me what I really want sex to be. And what’s wrong with falling for a really excellent penis? Nothing.
During that text exchange, it felt much better when I stopped trying to be cute about it and just went ahead and told him how I feel, making it clear that I didn’t expect him to do anything about it but still wanting him to know. So many guys would’ve just not written back, but he of course was magnanimous and kind. Knowing he’s rooting for me to find what I’m looking for helps so much even though it hurts too. Even if I love another guy I can’t have, at least this time it’s somebody who was worth it.