I never thought I’d love again

If you think a man sincerely repents on what he done wrong, and he might get to go back to the time that was happiest for him – live there forever. Would that what heaven be like?

Or, rather, I set myself up to never put myself in that position.

After 2013, I made an unrecognized vow to never put myself in a position to be that vulnerable again. That whole ordeal had killed a part of me that I thought would never come back. There was no way I was going to open myself emotionally like that again. There was no way I would ever be able to trust someone like that again. Because to do so would mean that I would I have to lower my guard, open myself up, trust someone, and then I would be once again vulnerable to have to go the same process. Who the hell wants that?

This is not a mindset to have when trying to date again. And yet…

This is how I met M. Even after viewing her profile and chatting online, I was thinking this was a situation of ‘being-to-good-to-be-true.’ We met and then history remains.

I wouldn’t call myself a good boyfriend. I should have been over the moon that this beautiful woman had taken a profound interest in my damaged self, but yet I used so many excuses to keep whatever feelings I had for her at bay; the parking in her neighborhood sucked, the jealous overprotective dog, and preference to head home immediately after work to partake of my bad habits instead of seeing her during the week.

And yet… there were good things I will miss; making a weekend breakfast for her, taking the long walk in Rock Creek, the delicious ‘Burrata di Bufala with prosciutto’ at Red Rocks, that midnight showing of the Force Awakens in Georgetown in a theater full of kids young enough to be our own, and those lazy mornings with dogs and us on the couch where little in the world mattered except for that little, crowded space where everyone was happy and comfortable.

And yet… trust.

I suppose trust and love walk hand in hand: You can not love someone whom you do not trust. You can not trust someone whom you do not love.

This was my mindset after my divorce. Don’t put myself out there. Don’t become vulnerable again. Don’t trust. Don’t get too close. Don’t open yourself up again. Protect yourself. Don’t put yourself in a position to ever get hurt like that again. Don’t you remember how bad 2013 was? Living in a friend’s spare room and drinking myself into a stupor every night.

Somehow after going through all that, seemingly losing everything, I bought a house, I found a girlfriend, and adopted Bea. I went to Italy for my 40th birthday. I began volunteering with the rescue and many of them became part of my family.

But I didn’t trust. I didn’t WANT to. I couldn’t put myself in that position again. And it showed. It affected the way I could present myself in a relationship. THIS was a thing when M and I were together and she made it very apparent this was an issue. I suppose I was EXPECTING it. I couldn’t let the ghosts of my history go. You can’t be in a normal relationship when you constantly accuse your partner of infidelity.

Even after we were broken up, but still hanging out as friends, I was mis-trustful. I remember one day, after a weekend hike, she was in the shower and I opened her phone, checking her messages and emails. It was like this was to be expected for me. No matter what kind of person I was, this would always be my fate, and I became obsessed with trying to prove it.

This was how it was in my brain. I couldn’t let me past go and it proved to be a significant issue.

And now she is gone. Gone from my life. Now I miss my friend. We were boyfriend and girlfriend. We were friends. We were lovers. And now it’s all over. The worst part I  miss my friend. I miss the person that knew me best. I miss the person that allowed me into her life. I miss my friend who I could talk to. I miss my friend whom I didn’t need to talk to. I miss my friend that would just be at my side when I didn’t feel like talking. Mostly, as someone who has few friends, I just miss her.

The thought of her with someone else burns in me. It is something I try not to dwell on, but sometimes my mind refuses my wishes. It is not just the thought of her being with someone else sexually or kissing someone else, what is worse is thinking about someone else making her laugh or making her smile. That was my role. All of it was my role and I screwed it up. I miss that job. Now I feel like I took it for granted.

I do wonder if she actually ever really loved me. She said it. She wrote it. But actions speak louder than words. She didn’t acknowledge the coffee I sent her from Kona. She never came here to this blog to read my words or thoughts. She never checked up on me in my progress to do better. Is this how you treat someone whom you claim to love? I thought about her every single day in this time. I thought about J, the croissants at the bake shop near her, and I thought about her awesome bathroom.

Now I am left the impression, just like A, she never really did love me. I don’t blame her. I blame myself for actually believing it. I feel like a fool.

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