Here's what I understand so far: All he wanted was affection from an older man. Unfortunately for me, he used sexiness to get my attention, and once secured, he then had to manage me, fend off my advances while maintaining my interest. How stressful for him. But he's been here before. He was able to predict that he would break my heart, and was right. I don't think he's at all malicious, but he does not seem to see how he creates this scenario. He's doing it now in fact, with a mutual friend.
He did. He did. He did. I’m tired of hearing myself blame him. I did. I did. I did. I ignored the red flags. I swung hot and cold, in and out of my shell. I scolded him when I should have told him what I wanted. I ignored my own better judgment, saw only my need.
Here's what I understand about me: I don't know how to separate affection from love. I'm not talking about sex and love. They're too easy to separate. But affection... I can relate to his need for affection from an older man. I think most American men walk around starved for affection from their fathers, spilling over into our adult relationships. If I'm already sexually interested in a man, and I believe I have a chance at romance, add affection to the mix, and I'm lost.
I do believe I had a narrow window of opportunity. We might have connected. He was considering it, but then I dropped the ball or he changed his mind. Regardless, the rules changed, and that messed me up. Now I'm trying to reprogram my beliefs to "I’ll never have a satisfying relationship with this guy." That's difficult for me to accept. Honestly, I really don’t accept it, not emotionally. The soul knows only that it is hungry. The danger is, lest by a lie, we convince ourselves we are not. But intellectually I see the pattern and can prognosticate the future. We won’t be together.
In the short term I have a lot more heartache ahead of me because I don’t want to lose his friendship. In part, because I love him and want him in my life. But also out of pride. I’m embarrassed at the way I mishandled a very similar situation a few years ago. I am glad that particular young man is gone from my life, but that whole melodrama is an object lesson for me this time around. I’d rather not be so reactive and irrational. I’d rather not lose this friendship.
What to do? Can I be near him, love him, suffer the rejection, know the irrationality of the whole situation, and be ok? I guess I have to, since this is the path I’ve chosen. What are my other choices? Get drunk, seek dangerous sex that fails to comfort me, cling to the next guy in the line-up? Swallow my hurt, and then lash out?
Or just let it wash over me...