The last time I had something to say, it was something along the lines of catching feelings. Don’t do it folks. Just don’t.
The cliftsnotes version of this story is that I got too excited too early and it blew up in my face. I didn’t heed warnings of any of my friends, because apparently I’m either too hard headed or just flat out stupid. I thought I knew what I was doing, because after all, it is suuuuuper easy to manage your feelings, right?
Wrong. Donald Trump wrong.
Against my better judgement, after it becoming very clear that nothing was going to come from whatever friendship was growing, I didn’t cut him off. Rather, I tried to. Deleted the number (which doesn’t work so well when that person is the only one you know with that area code), met other people, and tried to do everything in my power to forget this person. I figured it would be easy, as so many guys before this one were just disposable to me. I had no problem being selfish and looking out for only myself, kicking them to the curb. Until now. And I hated it. I don’t exactly like that someone had such a hold on me, for no good reason. On a date with another guy, I actually had to leave his apartment because I had a panic attack in the middle of our dinner. Why? Because this guy who was so excited about getting to spend time with me, and cooked me some badass Italian dinner, was not who I wanted him to be. And I don’t mean it in the “his eyes weren’t the right shade of blue” or “he’s too short for me”. I mean quite literally, I couldn’t look this guy in the eyes because he wasn’t the one who had been occupying my mind since the first time I met him. Well, more so the second time, since I blacked out on our first date. The point being, I was so wrapped up in this guy that it was actually impacting my search for anything with some meaning. It was the next day at work, when I was telling my coworker about this, that he told me I really should just delete the dude (literally and figuratively) and be done. So, I did. No more phone number, no text message threads, not in my recent contacts. He even made me delete the screenshot of his contact in case I had a moment of weakness. As much as it sucked, I was done.
Until the next day, during the Super Bowl, I got a text from this guy. Kind of expected it honestly, being that we are both die hard Patriots fans. I had to reply. I am so bad at this kind of stuff it is not even funny. A few messages exchanged, and he told me that he was moving back to Connecticut. I swear to god my heart dropped more than it did when the Falcons scored their 3rd touchdown in the first half. I was totally caught off guard. It seems so much easier to be done when things are on your terms. But now, things were actually going to be done. And I couldn’t handle it.
I cried. Not just a soft sob, a full on Kim K ugly cry, into my pillow, for a few nights in a row. I was hurting so bad, and I’m still trying to figure out why. I know we weren’t really anything. I knew we weren’t going to become anything. So why was I so upset by this? I couldn’t figure it out. There are few things I hate more than someone else impacting my mood so much. I’m relatively even keel, and not much can alter my generally happy disposition. It got so bad even my boss noticed. What the HELL was wrong with me?!
So I picked him up from the airport when he got back to Charlotte. He was sick, so I couldn’t even kiss him, and that really sucked. At this point I’m just being a sensitive baby, but given how tough I usually am, this should get a pass. We decided we would hang out the next day, kind of a final hurrah. We got tacos, we watched sports, we just got to be with each other. I feel so corny and lame saying how great it was. We were up until about 6 am, with me knowing full well I had to be at work for 1 pm. I didn’t care. I knew that this would be the last time I would see him, most likely ever. I walked out of his apartment, made it to the elevator and immediately burst into tears. I called my best friend, and of course she made sure I knew that I was allowed to be sad. But was I really? You can’t lose something you never had, yet I felt as if the happiness was ripped right out of my chest. I went to work looking shambly as ever, and barring a few breakdowns throughout the day, I thought maybe I was already over it. Miracles do happen!
Yeah that was so not the case. The next day it had actually hit me. The Duke/Carolina game was on, and I got where I needed to be just in time for the last ten seconds of the game. I really could not have cared less about Duke games before this, but here I was, invested and excited they had won after a pretty rough stretch of games. Oh hell. More rushes of emotion. Can this please just end?
Friday night I went to dinner with some coworkers. I needed to be around people who made me feel worthwhile. After a few too many drinks, I made my way home. I put on my sweatpants, climbed into bed, and I’ll never know if it was the vodka or the fact that I did have feelings about this, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I tossed and turned all night. The next day after work I texted him (hello, desperate) and said we should grab a drink as a way to have him take a break from packing. Aaaaaaand he wasn’t able to. At that point I was like ooookay we’re done here. I drove for hours. Listened to every kind of music imaginable. Sang at the top of my lungs. Got lost. Got home, went to bed. Woke up with the most “screw it” attitude I had all week. I went to work, killed it, and then went to Target. My plans were to watch Pretty Woman until I passed out and hopefully drink enough wine to forget he was leaving the next day.
Again, your resident idiot (me) texts him something like “good luck with everything” and somehow that turned into me coming over for the last time. And per usual, it was great. I don’t know why but I feel great around him. And for someone who constantly is struggling with major anxiety/depression, it is such a nice vacation from the norm. I helped him pack. We listened to old school warped tour type songs and played air guitar on a tennis racquet. We drank wine. It was as good as every time I had seen him before, but at the back of my mind there was that grey cloud reminding me that I shouldn’t have too much fun, as it would only hurt me more in the long run. Minimal sleep and some pizza later, I helped him carry his last bit of things to his car. That was it. He was about to walk me out and I would have to relive the whole “goodbye” thing again… as if it didn’t suck enough the first time. I put my bag in my car and turned around for a final hug and kiss. That turned into the construction workers on a scaffold above us yelling for us to get a room. Trust me, I’d love to. Goodbye’s are awful. They make you feel things you didn’t know you were capable of feeling. I hope this goodbye was easy for him because I truly would not wish this feeling on my worst enemy. It is not ideal.
So now I’ve had some time to reflect on things. When I tried (and failed) to DTR, he had said he wasn’t sure about what he was doing with his life and he wasn’t looking for anything serious. I immediately called it a cop out. And now, I’m really feeling bad about that. Maybe I’m reaching here, but I have to believe he was a semi decent guy if he was willing to be honest about that, maybe to protect me? Maybe that wasn’t his intent, but I’m going to keep my blissful ignorance for now.
Things hardly work out the way you hope for, but right now I’m just putting my faith in that it’s all for the best. Sometimes the best thing to do is just to fold and play the next hand.