“When she thought it over afterwards it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural”
—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
Boy, I’d forgotten just how difficult being in a relationship is. My plan was to stay single for awhile and just date some interesting men. I’d been on my own and enjoying things, then a year ago I meet this guy who turns it all inside out. Before I know it, I’ve committed myself to monogamy to a man who actually wants to work on the relationship. This is a new world for me, and there are plenty of issues to be worked on.
Recently, the issue about spending more time together with Drummer Boy once again cropped up. I’ve been really trying to open up time for him, but for some reason, my heart’s not in it. Between being extra busy at work with a high profile project, and dealing with some issues my kids were having was just wearing me out. I wanted to be by myself at least once during the week and it wasn’t happening. This is becoming a problem for me and for the relationship. One Saturday night, Drummer Boy is again being distant and I asked him about it on the way to meet my brother and his husband for dinner.
Me: So what’s up—is there someone else? (My own insecurity peeking its ugly head out)
Drummer Boy: —No!
Me: Have you lost interest?
He didn’t, or rather couldn’t, answer that. I took it as a break up sign. (In hindsight, it was his surprise at the question that had him tongue-tied.)
He looked shocked when I said,
…then maybe we should end it. (Was I feeding an unconscious wish?)
His answer: So this is it?? Just like that???
We arrived at the restaurant and went in, and since we were early, talked a little more over drinks. It was pretty difficult. The boiled-down gist of it was this:
Me: So apparently you’re no longer interested. Do you want to go home? My brother can drive me back.
Him: I can’t just leave you here like that.
At that point our dinner companions arrived and we had to put our game faces on and try to maintain a pleasant conversation. Boy, was that evening freaking hard. And I could see my brother and his husband glancing at each other every now and then. We weren’t fooling them one bit. Needless to say, I could barely swallow my food I was so hurt and upset. Drummer Boy kept up his end of the conversation at dinner way better than I.
After what seemed like hours, we all finally got up to leave. I was also feeling badly about ruining dinner with my brother who I totally enjoy being with. We got into the car and I sat in stunned silence. As he drove out of the parking lot, I could feel my eyes welling up with tears.
Once on the highway, he turned to me and again said,
—So this is it?
Me: I don’t want it to be.
Him: Shit, neither do I.
Me: Well then, what’s the matter? Why are you ignoring my texts and being so cold? If something is bothering you, please tell me, you know I’m bad at reading people—don’t shut me out.
Him: It always seems to me that you don’t make me a priority in your life. I just get what time you have left over. Sure, every Saturday night is great, but I need to be with you more than that. How will we ever get to know each other fully?
Me: You’re right. But you know how I’ve been working late on this project and it really wears me out. It has nothing to do with you—you know I’m kind of a hermit. You’ve been the only one who’s really broken through.
At this point, my eyes were tearing and my voice was breaking. Apparently that got through to him.
Him: You know how much I care about you—let’s not let this misunderstanding ruin things. If anything, I feel closer to you seeing how emotional this makes you. We can work it out.
After getting home and shutting down the house, we got into bed and he held me all night.