“You just don’t flirt with members of the opposite sex when you’re in a relationship.”
Okay, you know what? That may be true for you. But for me? I flirt. I love it. Does it mean anything?
Dictionary.com describes in part “flirt” as: “to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions”.
Without serious intentions. Do you see how I highlighted that?
Without serious intentions.
Maybe, just maybe, your life experience has taught you that flirting is more serious. My experience has shown me that this is not so. That flirting is NOT serious.
We have just gone round and round about this. And yet you persist in the unyielding view that flirting equals intent. For you? Maybe it’s true. For me? It is not.
Honestly, the men I actively flirt with are the ones whom I have no ulterior motives about; the ones that I have absolutely no interest in. This is because they are safe. They know this, and I know this. Apparently, you don’t.
When I say I’m going out to dinner with a friend I mean just that – a friend. We have known each other for neigh on 17 years. I am sorry that you may feel that we are “on a date”, when in reality we met for pot stickers so that he could talk about his ex moving to some god forsaken state to live with her producer. And how that affected him.
If that is a “date”, then I’m dating every single person that I know who needs some time to just vent. To just talk.
You asked me to give specifics of when you put words in my mouth. I wish I could give them to you right now. I wish I could say that every time you accused me in surreptitious ways of still being in love with my ex, that I could shake you by the shoulders and say, “no. I am NOT in love with him. Yes, I did I spend my years between 16 and 29 either wanting, or being with, him. However, he cheated on me. He literally destroyed my childhood home, and then sold items of my fathers that were never his to sell! How does this not parse with you?”
How does me saying, “we were done months ago, but I just couldn’t tell you that because I wanted to make sure it was true, and not just fear speaking” … how does that say I was lying to you? Does this not show you that I wanted to MAKE SURE that I was making the right, and hard, decision about us? How does me, trying to work through some feelings so that I know that they are real, equate a lie? Yes, it IS true that I didn’t bring up these thoughts and fears to you. For that, I apologize. I fucked up, and I am sorry.
It is also true that I didn’t bring them up because I was afraid, yes, afraid, that you would take them very much to heart and then squash everything that you were feeling.
Those feelings? Those emotions? Those are what made me fall in love with you in the first place. And, you know what? Those feelings are still there. I loved you then, and I love you now. But …
… but …
But now I realize that, even though I DO love you, you aren’t “the one” for me. And I’m sorry I cannot give you some pat answer that will make it all be okay.
We are human.
We are fallible.
I am fallible.
And as fallible humans, we fuck up. We fuck up because of fear. Because of fear we don’t communicate in the moment, when we should. And for that, I am truly sorry. Mentally, I am groveling on my knees. (Physically, I am embracing my outer Ice Queen.)
I wish I could have verbalized my uncertainty about us earlier. But … but … I was terrified. TERR-I-FIED. Terrified that I would come home to find you gone. Not just gone, as in your stuff is no longer where I thought it would be, but gone as in, “I keep shaking him but he’s not waking up. No, I SWEAR I can see him breathing. I don’t care that his body is cold, he really isn’t gone” …
And yet you say that if I had only just talked to you, we could have worked things out. That you could have, or would have, changed.
And I don’t want that.
I want someone who I can love, withOUT the change. Someone that I can honestly embrace and welcome, warts and all. Your “warts” were also mine. And because of that, I realized that yes, there can be someone who accepts me. But at the same time … no … no, I cannot have your warts mix with mine. Because if they did? I would take too many steps backwards.
Did you understand and accept that? Yes. Yes you did. And for that? I love(d) you.
But now? Now it is not okay.
Because of the acceptance you showed me, I have truly realized that there honestly IS beauty in the flaws. And because of that, I have learned that my flaws cannot also be yours. Because if that is the case, my (and our) flaws create cracks. And those cracks create chasms. And those chasms create the deep dark places that I have already lived through, and cannot visit again. CAN-NOT.
You said you would be willing to change.
I don’t want that.
I want to love someone, warts and all, and be okay with it. And I want them to love me for the same reason. Down to my soul, down to his soul.
I want their crevices to balance out my peaks. And vice versa.
What I don’t want is for them to change solely for me. If they want to change for themselves, sure. Have at. If they want to change because it is something they want, and because of that, they know I will support them, please … knock yourself out.
But to say you would change because it makes *me* uncomfortable? Because by changing it would make things easier? No. No, no, no.
He was, and IS, a wonderful, kind, and caring man. Sadly, he wasn’t the wonderful, kind, and caring man for ME.
Could I have been more communicative about that? Yes. Of course. Did fear constrict my throat? Of course it did. Did I learn what to do, and more importantly, what not to do, in the future? You bet your ass I did.
If you read this, please know that I DO love you. But please realize that no matter how much you say that you aren’t my ex, that you aren’t the people in my past … please realize that those people still colour my present. And no matter how vehement your protestations are, those experiences I will still bring to the table. Is it fair to you, or to me? No, not really.
But it is all I know.
Am I running away?
Maybe I am.
But, if I stopped running, would I be settling?
Survey says … yes.
I am learning that sticking up for myself is hard. Damn hard.
And that when sticking up for yourself, you will never have the cut and dry answers that the other person wants.
Oh jeez. Fuck it.
To live a cliché, “It’s not you, it’s me. I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
Thus Spake Zarathustra.
Asking Too Much - Ani DiFranco
Maybe I am asking too much. But I don't think so.
Joyful Girl - Ani DiFranco
'cuz the bathroom mirror has not budged
and the woman who lives there can tell
the truth from the stuff that they say
and she looks me in the eye
and says would you prefer the easy way?
no, well o.k. then
It’s taken a while to look in the mirror. And now? Finally, I can look myself in the eye. The easy way really isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.
And I won’t cry.
So ... how're you? ;)