About three weeks ago I gathered up the courage to tell RJ how I felt about him. We were laying in bed and reading when I playfully put down my book and snuggled closer behind him. I looked at him peaking around his shoulder and said, "You know, RJ, I'm crazy about you." I told him that I was thinking about the saying that life happens while you plan it--and that I was ready for more. He asked me if it was because I was over my ex and I said yes, but it was more than that. I told him that I know it might sound a bit premature, especially not having a job yet, but that I didn't want to wait to tell him how I felt. He smiled and asked, "So, when did you decide this?" I cocked my head to the side with a pause and said, "I don't know. It just sort of happened." I told him that I loved him and he said it back as we turned off the light and cuddled up to sleep for the night.
I thought of RJ's question as odd and it has been lurking in my brain. I also didn't think that he really got fully what I was trying to say either. So when I was on the phone the next day, and somewhat against better judgement because I would rather be face to face with this kind of conversation, I revisited what I said because I loved RJ so much and I just did not want to keep it in any longer. I wanted no regret in having waited to tell him how I felt. So I clarified that what I was saying the night before was not about my past relationship and getting over my ex. It was about having that space in between to build that knowing and trust and confidence that I really loved him and that I was really ready for more and that I wanted more with him. It was about being future oriented, or more accurately present oriented. With getting as close to saying that I was finally ready to start thinking about marriage again, I asked RJ if he understood what I was trying to say. He said yes with a slight knowing laugh as I probably sounded a bit like a school girl trying to admit a crush.
There was a pause in the conversation with that feeling of "Aaaand?" But he did not say anything. I nervously changed the subject as I did not want to pressure him. We made plans that I was going to pick up some sushi as I was leaving from the gym and he had just missed his turn to go to the grocery store on his way home from tennis.
"So, when did you decide this?"
It kept floating in the air.
Today I reread the journal entry and where something small shifted inside of me to build the momentum of a large change within me.
Then I had a weird dream with A~ in it. It was a gray kind of day that was seeming to wait to rain but it never does. He was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt and a tan spring coat--like our sophomore year in college. Suddenly, we were kind of polka dancing side by side down the sidewalk of Woodstock by Surrey Lane--the path I took when walking to high school. It was a weird, kind-of-happy-to-see-each-other feeling, although happy is too strong of a word. It was distantly pleasant and somewhat reminiscent. But we could not keep a beat together. We kind of lightly laughed it off and continued to drift apart in our own separate dances. It was somewhat peaceful and somewhat sad.
Then later this evening, I sat in the car as a song came on the radio by Adele--Someone Like You, while also remembering the dream as I woke in the morning. Sometimes I cannot make up my mind if I like the song or if I hate it. It is like the song has a new twist of sadness or relief each time I hear it. This time was sad. I sat and cried because all of a sudden I just really missed the old A~. It was a sadness that runs along with distance. It was not a longing to want him back. Just a plain old, I miss him. I miss the good times we had. I miss the old, lighthearted A~ with almost not a care in the world--relaxed--with a boyish innocence.
The dream seemed to represent a final, peaceful good-bye--the one I did not get to have. There was no bitterness or anger in the dream. It just was. It was a good-bye to what I held close to my heart, the good part of what I had loved about him. And in the dream we could not make it work, but somehow it was okay. And I was okay--and I was freed.
Something was lifted and a new calmness, certainty and confidence began to grow inside of me. I was finally building towards the readiness of truly wanting to marry someone again. And I didn't want it to be just anyone. I told RJ I was ready for more with him. I did not define it or put a timeline on it or a request for details--just a signal to let him know I was ready if he was ready to maybe explore or consider the possibilities--whatever those may be.
And so I waited for his response.
I waited patiently for almost two weeks--not pushing, just waiting.
On Tuesday morning, RJ told me he feels badly because he feels that I am more invested in the relationship than he is and he feels guilty because he does not want to waste any more of my time. He feels that he should be wanting to put a ring on my finger and move in together, but for some reason those feelings are not there. He says he has doubts he cannot put into words and he cannot ignore them. He asked me twice, "You know that I love you, right?" I did not answer him, I could not answer him. He said he loved me to pieces and wished he felt differently in wanting something more. I wanted to ask, can't you nurture love? But it escaped me and I felt like it could be viewed as a desperate response to an unfair question.
I told him that my confidence was shaken when he started to question the relationship in the fall, but that I still loved him so very much even though I was afraid to fully admit it. I told him if he would have asked me to marry him before all of the questioning, I would have said yes. It was always yes, even when it took time to rebuild the confidence to be able to admit my feelings again.
RJ did not outright say it was over. But he did not want to have this conversation four months from now. He said you are never ready for it to be over. With tears, he left for work.
On Wednesday he went to Florida to visit his parents at their winter home. He hasn't called me or talked to me since Tuesday morning.
I am sad and disappointed and will miss him terribly--because it seems that it is over and it is really hard for me to admit it. There is so much that I could write here, but I am still taking it in and sorting it out. I don't think this break up was planned and in someways there were clues and in someways I was not prepared for such a stark change in direction. What makes this difficult is that I still have feelings for him and I am not sure what will happen next. There was no closure in how he left.
But I still have that strength and trust in myself from the turning point from that day of the dream in that I am ready--ready and wanting to take the risk in experiencing a greater intimacy with someone special again--and perhaps more fully. It may not be with RJ and I will need a bit of time to heal, but in many ways I am much more open to love.