Tuesday, May 27, 2008

therapy (by Marcia)

I’ve always thought anyone could benefit from therapy, but after this past week I’m convinced I definitely could use a session or two (maybe three).

So I met this guy literally 3 days after breaking up with BH. We met at one of those gut-wrenching modified speed-dating dinners. Don (aka Don) and I went together and we had a code-word pact. If either of us said the words “Niagara Falls” we were out-of-there-no-questions-asked. Amazingly, I had a decent time – mostly because a guy there seemed to think I was interesting. And something happened that hasn’t happened in awhile…he asked for my number.

As we were driving home I told Don he should always ask for a girl’s number – if for no other reason than to make her feel good. Even if this guy never called I would be grateful to him for just making me think he was even remotely interested in me. So imagine my surprise when he called a couple of DAYS – not weeks – later. One week after BH and I broke up, I had a date with Clue (not his real name). There was still hope in my world.

A few months later, Clue and I are still dating. Here’s where I self-diagnose…

While I was still trying to get over BH (it takes me a long time to get over someone – especially when he still calls every few days), there was a lot about Clue that I found intriguing. He’s intelligent. He reads. He’s a writer. He has a fascinating conversion story. While he doesn’t water ski, he is willing to learn. He’s outdoorsy and active. All of which weighed heavily in the plus column. Still, I was taking this relationship very slow and my “here a week / gone a week” travel schedule both helped and hurt the relationship. How it helped: If it had progressed quickly, I think it would have been over just as quick because I really wasn’t ready to be in another relationship – the slow pace enabled us to get to know one another. However, there were a lot of starts & stops and it took a lot longer to get to that stage where you feel really comfortable around each other.

So last weekend we had “the date.” The one where instead of going out, you stay at home. The one where he makes dinner and then you watch a video and snuggle on the sofa. I have to say, it was nice.

One of the dating patterns I’ve discovered in myself over the last decade is I usually date a guy who has the traits that my last boyfriend was missing. Such is the case with Clue. He is very attentive. He tells me how great I am, how pretty I am, how smart I am, how refreshing I am. I’ve always thought myself to be a low-maintenance kind of girl who doesn’t need this kind of fluff, but even a low-maintenance girl likes a bit of fluff now and then.

Anyway, since last week, I’ve been thinking about Clue more. And coincidentally, since last week, his work has been really busy and we haven’t been able to see each other which does nothing but increase my desire to see him – which by the way, is another one of my patterns. I find myself missing Clue and I think I’m turning the corner in this relationship. I start to think about spending more time together – and then bam, I get an email from him that says he’s thinking of going to Moab this weekend and can we postpone our date from Friday to Sunday?

The speed in which my feelings flat-lined amazed even me. This is where therapy should step in. I mean, my feelings stopped on a dime. Even when Clue sent another email a few hours later and said he wasn’t going to go to Moab after all and asked if I was still available for the date, my feelings were still in halt mode. I didn’t even know I could do that. Is that normal?

Honestly, what is wrong with me? Am I really that insecure, that afraid to get hurt, that afraid to be rejected, that I can’t handle a little postponement of a date? I mean he wasn’t cancelling forever. He just wanted to postpone it for two days for Pete’s sake. Did I interpret this to mean he would rather go to Moab than be with me? Wow. Insecurity, fear, rejection. Yes, therapy would do me good.

So our Friday night on/off date is on again. Any guesses what the after-date-emotion will be come Saturday? Your guess is as good as mine.

I might as well add that I also told him that I couldn’t go hiking with him on Saturday because I wanted to run a 5k that morning. Oh, and I might as well add that I told him I was busy on Saturday night because Don and I MIGHT do something if he’s not too exhausted from his Italy trip and if he gets his lawn mowed. So yes, in one breath I’m flipping out because of a postponed date and in the next I’m telling him I can’t see him because I have tentative plans with another guy.

Luckily for me, Clue is more than patient with me. Although he corrected me when I used the term “patient.”
He said, “Patience implies that I have a claim to your feelings and actions, which I don’t think I have.”
He said, “Relax and don’t worry about it.”
He said, “I’m just enjoying getting to know you.”

When I heard all that, I thought, “Are you for real?” I mean, really. How can a girl resist that?

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