I was single for a year and a half. The longest I had ever been single for in my entire life. I loved to be in relationships, and they always just seemed to be there, waiting for me. Being that I hadn’t been single since I was 14, it was difficult to say the least. It was a horrible break-up that seemingly came out of nowhere, blindsided me. Those are the worst kind aren’t they? You feel happy, everything seems to be going well, and then your whole world falls apart in an instant. But this entry is not about him. He made room for a man that fits in my life, and makes me feel things I don’t know that I ever have.
But before I met him, there was a series of decent, mediocre and catastrophic dates. Online dating was the equivalent of torture when I look back at it now. On several occasions I would think a date went well and would be excited to see where the relationship would go, but I would never hear from them again. One man in particular took me on three lovely dates, and even brought me a rose on the second date. After the third, which went particularly well, he became too busy to see me. Making excuses left and right, until finally I gave up, stopped taking initiative, and never heard from him again. Other times, I would have one great date and never hear from them again. It was really destructive to my already fragile self-esteem, and made me wonder: what is wrong with me? Why does no one like me? Will I be alone forever?
I started thinking that maybe I was going for all the wrong men. None of them seemed to want commitment, however, I didn’t know if this was down to the type of men I was choosing, or just the nature of relationships in today’s day. It seemed that men didn’t want a commitment, they just wanted ‘flings’. They were easy enough to come across, what with women being the ones pursuing men. When had the roles changed? What happened to men courting women? It seemed they didn’t need to put in any of the effort anymore. “Netflix and chill” seemed to be what the dating game had become. But I was never one of those women who would accept that. It was either they take me on a proper date or nothing. Maybe the disappointment of me not sleeping with them on the first date was what lead to so many first and second dates, that lead nowhere. So I started trying to date guys I would not usually have given the chance. This lead to me meeting some nice guys, but unfortunately none that I actually felt a connection with. They seemed like they could be great friends, but not much more.
I was starting to feel hopeless. Looking around at so many of my friends finding their husbands, and having children. They all had what I wanted. Have you ever asked yourself why the things that you yearn for so desperately, come to others so easily? Early in life I had so many boyfriends, and had some friends be jealous of this fact. But here we were later in life, and they were now the ones in serious relationships, or getting married, and I was back at square one. Wading through the cesspool that online dating was.
I remained good friends with an ex, which is usually a difficult thing to do. We started dating when I was 16 and it ended four years later. We’ve been friends for over 6 years now. He was there for me through so much, and put up with so much, I am ashamed to admit. Somewhere along the way in our relationship my romantic feelings for him transformed into platonic ones. I don’t know why, but I just started to view him as more of a brother than a lover. Unfortunately he still loves me, and I know it is unfair of me to keep him in my life in this capacity. But something in me, just cannot let him go. He is like a rock, and constant source of support for me. That is until recently.
A year ago we went out, and met up with some of his friends. On that fateful night I met “J”. I felt an instant connection with him. There was something about him that just drew me in, and I knew I wanted to know him better. But my ‘introverted-ness’ only allowed to me to cast side ways glances at him. He showed no real interest, and did not initiate any conversation beyond the initial introductions. I would later come to find out that he felt the exact same way I did, but for fear of rejection and offending my ex, he did not approach me. I thought nothing of the encounter except that he was a good looking man, not very interested in me, and that was that.
A few months later we met at another outing. Again I was accompanied by my ex, but on this particular night we were not getting along so well. I do not like the person he becomes when he drinks, so I distanced myself from him. I, also intoxicated, got up the courage to engage J a little bit more this time. Again, thought he was not that interested, but was up for some fun. We danced that night, and the attraction was undeniable. Our chemistry was so electric (sorry for the cheesy line, but there really is no other way to describe it), that my ex became extremely agitated and what I can only assume was jealous. From then on I was not invited to any more of these outings, and my ex did all he could to keep me from seeing J again.
After several months of not seeing me, J found me on facebook and contacted me. He professed that he had feelings for me from the first night he saw me, but was unable to tell me. The night that we danced however, he could not get out of his mind. He decided he needed to pursue something with me. To this I replied that I could not do this to my ex, and that we would just have to remain friends. Several of these conversations occurred with me resisting, until 6 months later when I finally saw him again. That night he kissed me for the first time, and I knew in that moment that I could no longer deny my feelings for him.
Other than the fact that I met him through an ex/best friend, our relationship has had other issues. I come from a traditional European family. They all married spouses from the same culture, and I am the first ever to date outside of it. He is black, and I am white. This is something I know my family will never accept. This was also another one of the issues that prevented me from entering this relationship at the beginning. My mother is the only one who knows about our relationship, and refuses to speak about it. She pretends like it is not happening, and hopes that it will end, and soon. I however do not see that happening. He makes me so happy, and I love him so much that it scares me sometimes.
I have tried to sabotage this relationship consciously or subconsciously (I don’t know, maybe both), but he has stood by me. He accepts me for who I am and makes me a better person. He balances me out, he is the yin to my yang. This brings us to today, when he has had to return to his home country because of visa issues. He could be gone for up to 6 weeks, and who knows, may never even return. The thought of this rips my heart out, and all I can feel is physical and emotional pain. It is like a sinking in my stomach. A constant anxiety and sadness that pervades everything. I am not myself, and don’t know how I will survive these next months. Without him I feel lost and incomplete. I know I should not place this much importance on one person, but he is my everything at this point in my life. My job and school are unfulfilling, and in general I feel like my life is a boring one that is the same day in and day out. I am not the type of person that thrives on schedules, and routine. This 9-5 life does not excite me or fulfill me. He was the one bright spot I had in this all, and now it has been taken away from me. The next six weeks stretch out like a black abyss before me… who knows if it will even be 6 weeks. The unknown is what gives me anxiety and keeps me up at night. I cry sporadically, and uncontrollably. He tells me not to worry, that he will be home soon, but I cannot seem to deal with this as stoically as he is. I am an emotional person, passionate to a fault. Sometimes I think I feel things more intensely than others. But maybe I just dwell too much.