Sunday, September 25, 2011
I Met a Man
I met a man and I fell in love with him.
Doesn't Cher have a song with that title?
No, it's I Saw a Man and He Danced With His Wife.
Anyway, we met online, and on our profiles we both were insistent, "Friendships, no hookups." I was looking to expand my gay social circle.
Over the course of the last few months, we texted, IM'd each other online, Facebooked, and saw each other four times. I thought God/Fate/the Universe was intervening to keep us from going too fast. I didn't want to make the same mistake I made with the ex by going too fast. I was determined to take the next relationship slow.
The new man was kind, generous (he did the AIDS ride), supportive (he let me vent about my ex and talk out my emotions regarding the divorce), he listened, and he had a gentle spirit. Plus, he was very handsome with a kind of Robert Downey, Jr./Patrick Dempsey look. We spoke on the phone twice before actually meeting and through it all he became a friend.
Meeting people online and then in person carries an instant "blind date" quality and the subsequent nervousness. Well, for me, anyway. But, God/Fate/the Universe intervened and we met in an extremely non-threatening way. He had finished the AIDS ride and his prearranged ride home had to work. I found out via Facebook, and offered to take him and his gear down to his home for which he wanted to thank me by taking me to dinner. On the ride down to his house, the conversation flowed freely, comfortably, naturally. We talked of our exes, and he told me of his annual party and I'd be getting an invitation. I could go on with the details of the conversation, but that's not important. It was during the dinner where I realized I could really end up liking him. The evening had suddenly turned into a date, and the nervousness began to set in. But, a different kind of nervousness. I had already realized I had been myself, not someone who just acquiesces to please his date. I was assertive. I was proud of myself. Normally, I'm not. Assertive, that is. Proud of myself, yes.
As time wore on, I slowly fell in love with him through the texts and Facebook messages. It surprised me, as I wasn't looking for a relationship because I had learned earlier on in my life, the more you look for a relationship the less you find one. I was determined to let one find me this time. Plus, I certainly didn't expect to find one so soon after my divorce. And with someone so nice, and from an online source. He even appeared in one of my guided meditations. He was the special friend who handed me "The Box."
I began to feel we were destined to be more than friends. I had had a friend before my first partner and I fell in love with him and I knew the relationship would be wonderful. So did he. After all, we were both struggling with being gay and our Christianity.Plus, we were both Aquarians, and who better to understand our craziness than another one. But, he still had coming out issues, so he couldn't return my love to the extent I deserved (his words). So, we parted ways, never to see each other again.
I was attracted more to the new man's soul, than to his handsomeness. I felt our relationship would be just as wonderful as the other one. We both had a Christian background to compound our coming out and shape our character of today. I am an Aquarian with Libra rising, and he is a Libra, and since Aquarius and Libra are naturally compatible (according to astrologers) I felt we had a very strong connection. It was just something innate with me.
Plus, he was my intellectual, chronological, educational and emotional contemporary. And very good looking, did I say that?
But, it doesn't end well, unlike the song. I wanted to move the relationship forward, and we were having difficulty finding alone time. Aside from the night we met, we had only seen each other in social settings. I gathered God/Fate/the Universe was intervening again to keep us going slow, to just let it unfold. But, how could it unfold if we weren't getting to spend time alone to get to know one another? Maybe that was part of it. By not having alone time, it would unfold very slowly. But, I was getting confused. I felt he liked me too, from things he said. I also felt he needed to know my feelings. After all, honesty is the best policy. Maybe he was holding back out of respect for me, as I was the most newly divorced, and was I ready to move forward into a new relationship? So, I told him. And he loved me, too. As a friend.
That hurt. Deeply. Just as it did barely a year ago when my ex-husband told me he no longer loved me as a husband but as a friend.
Do I regret telling him? No. For I now know what I felt for him would not be returned equally. And it's best to find out early than go on wanting what I may never have with him. He was truly sorry if he sent me mixed signals. And I have no reason to believe he did it deliberately, to play me. That does not fit his personality. He is a genuine, nice man, perhaps one of the few remaining ones out there.
I consider myself fortunate to have met him, to have learned from him and to have had his friendship for the short time we knew each other. He was very sincere in wanting me to stay in his life as a friend. But, he genuinely understood if I could not. As he possesses the qualities I want in my next husband; supportive, generous of self, nurturing, creative, a good listener, I can't stay. I can't risk falling in love with him again, only to end up with the same result. Besides, could I keep myself from feeling those same emotions again? I don't know. So, for now it's best we part ways, perhaps never to see each other again, which truly saddens me. But, closed doors sometimes reopen.
As I have blogged before about lessons learned in relationships, I ask myself what have I learned here? First, I am capable of falling in love. And falling deeply, though perhaps too quickly. I learned I have a very strong tendency to be analytical of what people say to and do for me, to question what they said and why they said it. It's the Aquarius/Libra thing in me, two very intellectual signs who very often spend more time in their heads than in their hearts. We Aquarians have the tendency to be overly analytical of situations, and particularly of our own emotions; we are therefore guarded, but when we fall, we fall hard. And Libras have the tendency to vacillate, to weigh each option carefully before deciding, "What should I do? What should I do?" So, I have the double whammy; first, of analyzing my own emotions and what was said to me, and then weighing my options trying to decide; follow my head? follow my heart? head? heart? That's going to be hard to do, to just let go and follow my heart. I have also learned I like to know almost from the beginning where the relationship might be heading. I'm impatient that way. I don't enjoy wasting my time. But, my counselor suggested I learn to relax and enjoy "the dance" that people do when they first meet. After all, you don't go to the symphony just to hear the last note.
People enter and exit our lives for a reason. I will remember the lessons I learned with him and because of him. It was because of this relationship I learned so much more of myself. As you can see, he touched me deeply. I only hope that I touched him half as much.