Hi <sweet, chaotic guy>,
I’m not sure why or what I am writing, but I know it is necessary. This means that whatever follows below…is purposefully unedited.
I deeply dislike how things played out, and quite honestly, am a bit perplexed by our reactions and the resulting lack of resolution.
I’m not sure how something so beautiful, pure and vulnerable (i.e., opening up to you about how my feelings had evolved over the past few months) turned out to be so contentious (?), antagonistic (?) and just generally unpleasant.
I have been on your end of things, and have had guys open up to me about their feelings. Even when I can’t reciprocate the feeling, I always feel flattered and go to great lengths to not hurt them in such a vulnerable moment. It’s worked sometimes, and other times…well…it’s a matter of time. I am still great friends with every one of them.
On the topic of keeping the friendship, I will correct myself. I obviously want to keep our friendship. I think it is really special when you find somebody whose interests, dreams, perspectives and many other things resonate with your own, despite the healthy/constructive differences. I don’t take it for granted. I don’t take you for granted. I don’t take our friendship for granted.
When I impulsively said I didn’t think a friendship with you was realistic, I was referring to my reservation to continue being hurt, even if inadvertently, by you. I don’t like being hurt. In fact, nobody should like or tolerate being hurt.
I feel that you had some things to tell me that you had not shared previously. And you made those things the focus of our conversation (asking me what I do for work/school, revisiting things that happened months ago, etc). You said I was raising “all these walls” and acting standoffish. Paradoxically, I was feeling completely bare, vulnerable and open. I was confused by the way you were reacting. It’s almost as if you were in disbelief that I had just shared those feelings with you.
I must admit that I may have given you the impression that “anything goes” with me. Possibly even that I’m “too understanding”, but I was counting on you knowing I’m human, and as a human being…well… have feelings. At the end of the day, people are not that different from one another at the most fundamental level (for as much as we’d like to believe we are).
Sex in the beginning was just that…sex. But I’ve always taken sex a bit more “deeply” (?) I guess. And over the months, it became an extension of our friendship, another way to share intimacy, to share affection. But that’s on me and I take full responsibility for it.
For me, hearing you talk, at length, about your ongoing “obsession” and struggles with your ex, and your ongoing pursuits of other girls, just felt straight up shitty. I urge you to please put yourself in my shoes. Imagine a girl you’re interested in (and having sex with) describe to you how many guys she’s been sleeping with (while sleeping with you), etc…how would that make you feel? Maybe, it wouldn’t affect you at all…but for some reason, I doubt that.
I also feel the need to elaborate on calling you “self-absorbed” and saying that I am not your “psychiatrist”. Ugh…this actually made me feel horrible. While many of the things I told you are true, and by true I mean, how I perceive you, I also think that a bit more context would help you understand that I didn’t mean to hurt you, or point the obvious.
<sweet, chaotic guy>, I feel very honored that you trust me enough and feel comfortable to share all the things you have shared with me. Some of them were very intimate and sensitive things. Thank you. I was always a bit confused with whether you shared all those things with me because you trusted me, or just because you do that with everyone regardless of trust.
I also know that because of your childhood and the way you were raised (sometimes I feel like I could sit your dad down and tell him….”WTF?!”), you have a deeply rooted need for attention that escapes your conscious control (right now anyways). Well…because you had to fight so hard to get your parents attention and love. Especially your dad’s, and that’s a major caveat to your personality today.
In some of your “hyper-focus, hyper-sensitive” moments, you also told me “Yeah <sassi the spider>, I used to be picked on a lot when I was younger. So I can be a bit over-reactive and defensive at times.” Or in talking about girls you’ve dated you said, “I used to always go for the low-hanging fruit.”
I’m bringing all of this up because I want to reassure you that I was always actively listening and present in the moment with you, <sweet, chaotic guy>. And based on all the great moments that we shared, whether we were climbing, biking, eating, or just being…combined with all these subtleties of your personality, and non-verbal cues that I actively observed, I do truly understand where all of this seeming “self-absorption” comes from. However, the word “self-absorbed” does have its negative connotations, so I need to find a better word to describe it.
So I felt REALLY shitty for pointing out something that you must already be painfully aware of. And I know I can be very strong and assertive when I talk, which can “hurt” even more. IT WAS NOT MY INTENTION. I truly find GREAT pleasure in making people feel loved and happy.
I never had a problem listening to your “dramatic adventures”. I actually thoroughly enjoyed them. Some were interesting, some not so much, some were funny, or serious, or really not a big deal at all.
But in all of this, I also think that you can be more self-aware, so that you also allow others to share their stories with you. This shouldn’t happen only when you are working with a subject to get their stories. That focus should be there for people who are special and part of your daily life. This is NOT advice. This is just constructive feedback. Please believe me.
I’m writing all of this to say that, if I do really have feelings for you, then it’s natural and obvious that I would still like to keep the friendship. It’s silly, and quite childish, to wish otherwise. We all have our kinks to work through.
There are quite a lot of things we’d like to change about our pasts huh? But the beauty is in embracing everything and finding resilience despite the adversity. It’s what makes us pretty awesomely textured human beings. The rest is just trying to figure out as we go, making gradual progress towards a better us. I am probably better, because of your presence in my life. It is very likely. Who knows…?
Finally, I must really thank you for this major milestone in my progress in “openness”, in re-learning to just let go and feeling comfortable in vulnerability. I’ve always been open, loving, caring, sweet (and a pain in the ass sometimes J). I think somewhere along the way, after my last relationship, things changed and unfortunately, I wasn’t fully aware of it. I guess I still had much to process from my 7-year relationship, and virtually blocked people out. By people I mean guys with the potential for a relationship. So I may have hurt others inadvertently as well.
I feel like most things in life are all just a fleeting reality. You live in the present, embrace the learning experiences and continue to push forward. Hopefully, as you push forward, you are a slightly improved version of your “yesterday” self. That’s all you can hope for. I feel that’s precisely what’s happening here, and it feels quite great.
<sassi the spider>