Somewhere in the last year, I met someone who genuinely valued me. Who supported me. Who seemed to enjoy my oddities and find a simple pleasure in my presence. Someone who shared my interests, and who could handle defeat of various kinds with grace and kindness and an odd sort of self-confidence that was dashingly attractive.
Tonight, I realized our relationship was lopsided. That I look at a deepening relationship with as much fear as he does eagerness.
Someone in a group made a comment about his wife, and I felt the brush of Guy’s fingers, and felt as much as saw the warm glance he turned my way.
There is one problem, however.
I am not ready.
This realization has been hovering at the edges of my awareness for a few weeks now, though I think a part of me had mistaken it for other anxieties.
My career is taking off, I’m reconsidering spending any further effort on my degree, I’m looking forward to living on my own next year.
In short, I am beginning to resent the ties of a relationship. The expectations of time and other commitments. I want to write, to game, to stay home and be lazy. Life with anxiety is an exhausting place sometimes, and I find myself growing selfish.
One of the ideals of a romantic relationship is spending time with one another, growing closer. Wanting the best for the other person, and investing in them. Yet as time passes, I find myself longing for more time by myself. For the pleasure of solitude, and quiet, and freedom from any expectations but my own.
You should care about the expectations that others have, in a relationship. I find that I do care, but that it takes a lot of effort that I’m not sure I am ready to invest right now.
These are the hard thoughts I have, feeling like what I am willing to offer is less than what someone desires.
He is eager for all the anniversaries, all the important dates, shared holidays.
He is eager for a long-term, deepening relationship.
I am not.
There, I finally admitted it straight out.
This weekend there is too much going on, but next week I feel that we need to sit down and clarify some things. The hard thing is that I so enjoy his company, but I don’t feel like we are equal emotionally in this and that makes me nervous. I can’t give more than I have in me to offer, no matter how much I might wish it differently.
I struggle – because I don’t want to cause a good, honest and sweet man any pain or harm. But there is no point in pursuing a relationship if I cannot be me… well… authentically me.
How have you navigated the world of dating and relationships after divorce? After abuse? Any lessons you have learned? Advice you have to share?