It’s been months since I’ve written and rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. I haven’t fallen off the wagon or joined a cult…life just got in the way. There were family illnesses and weddings and a new job to start. There were relationships that ended, attempts to rekindle old relationships, and attempts to start new ones. This post is about two of those attempts. I bring this to you tonight, not only because I have love on the brain, but because when you’re not entirely (or even close to) satisfied with your weight or the shape of your body, it can create some ugly thoughts (ie: “I’ll never find anyone”) and major roadblocks to finding love.
About two years ago I was still participating in a relationship that had run its course and, when I least expected it I met someone new at work. He was funny and sexy and handsome and…well, a true man’s man. For some reason he found me attractive and, because we’re both decent people with morals and I was in a relationship, we kept our relationship to wild flirting. He gave me time to sort out my feelings, extract myself from the relationship, and check in with myself to make sure I was ready to jump into something else. His reassurance that I would get used to being treated well helped that happen fairly quickly.
Once we were free to be more involved I found myself in a very exciting, very charged, very undefined relationship. True to his word, he treated me well, was the consummate gentleman, and made me feel so appreciated for the first time in 5 years. Our time together was…highly charged…the attraction palpable. Until it wasn’t.
I could never bring myself to ask what he was thinking about our relationship, where it was going, whether it was exclusive, but I wondered about it. As I wondered he disappeared. Dates got cancelled – always with good reason – months went by with our only time together being through Facebook chat. When I suggested that maybe things had just died out between us he said it was just bad timing, that he was just plain busy. It was true. I knew it he WAS busy. But something else had happened – I had fallen in love with him…and I was WAY ahead of him.
He really was a mensch. He took me to my brother’s wedding, was amazing to my family, took care of me in every moment of need, but the truth was that we weren’t meeting each other’s needs. So I ended it…sort of. Even though I said the words and started dating someone else, I kept talking to him.
Fast forward to this Spring. In a moment of startling clarity, I realized that I had screwed everything up. When he and I were together I missed all the signs that he had really cared about me, worried the relationship out of existence. So I took a deep breath and asked him if he’d be willing to try again. He was.
We made two dates that didn’t happen. And then he became a father. 4 days before my birthday. And I didn’t know it was coming. I was heartbroken..chiefly because I never stopped loving him and I was feeling hopeful that the second time was a charm. I’ll spare you all the ins and outs of the situation, but he’s not a heartless bastard and we’ve talked our way through it. What I learned from this experience is that I have an ENORMOUS capacity for love. Whether it’s healthy for me or not, my desire to care for people and to show that love FAR overshadows other less happy feelings. He’s still one of the first people I call when things go wrong and I believe him when he tells me it’s all going to be ok. I still love him and probably always will.
Which brings me to my second tale and the title of this post. Having learned, as I did, that I have a great capacity for love, and knowing, as I do, that I want a relationship and, ultimately, a marriage, I decided to date again. Inspired by so many friends who have met husbands and boyfriends online, I set aside my trepidation and essential dislike of the medium, and wrote up my product description (profile, whatever), picked a few pictures, and put myself on the auction block.
While I could share horror stories with the best of ’em, within 3 days of entering myself into inventory, I received a message from a man with an amazing sense of humor, a quick wit, and the Semitic looks that this daughter of a Jewish father has always liked. We corresponded for 2 weeks before we actually met. Our emails and text messages were a source of endless amusement to both of us. We share a frame of reference and inherent geekiness that made me wonder if I had found the male version of myself. And then came the first date.
I worried that, despite having shared recent and accurate pictures and having told my new beau that I am, in fact, a big girl (though a recently 25 lb. lighter big girl), that he wouldn’t find me attractive. I sweated and fretted and changed my outfit about a million times. At last he arrived and…he was everything I hoped he’d be….and he liked me…and we were so incredibly attracted to each other. We had a fantastic, fun evening together and agreed that we wanted to see each other again.
I spent the next morning volunteering at a local triathlon as a human traffic cone, texting him, thinking about him, and smiling. The kicker is that my buddy from story #1 was also volunteering. It was great to see him. I missed him more seeing him…but I was also happy with the potential of this new relationship. So new guy and I continued to text and talk all day about how much we’d enjoyed the night before and couldn’t wait to see each other again…and then….
And then came the text message that said he was worried that it would be hard for us to date with an hour and change-worth of distance between us. I immediately thought that this wasn’t about distance but that he wasn’t all that interested. I picked up the phone and dialed – preferring to address it head on. We talked, he reassured me that I was everything he had expected, that he liked me, that he found me incredibly attractive, but that his adorably OCD self was truly concerned about how it was going to work.
We left it largely unresolved until the next day when his worry got the best of him – the idea of me traveling so far alone to see him bothered him too when I offered to do the bulk of the driving. I was perfect for him in all ways but one – I was geographically undesirable.
We’ve continued to talk daily. He sent his most recent message to me just an hour ago when heading to bed to say goodnight, that he still likes me, and that he’ll be thinking of me.
I’m a writer by trade and although I’m a marketer, I’m known for my creativity. I like the stories I make up about my own life. In the past two months I’ve made up some doozies. I reframe the events of my life to construct a storyline that doesn’t offend my delicate sensibilities…I ascribe motives to others that make the stories heartwarming and kind rather than catastrophic. I told my almost-beau that despite the distance and his OCD that he is literally everything I’m looking for – which is true…at least so far – and so I’ve made up a story about him that we’ve been acting out together. While initially the distance seemed insurmountable we continue to talk, and have bad dates with other people, and look far and wide to find our “one.” In not so very long, he realizes that he’s already met his…and she’s only an hour away. I let him in on it a bit today by telling him that I’m plotting to get him to fall madly in love with me. He wrote back “You’re smart.”
Maybe this time I am.