So…I screwed up. Kinda big.
Last night I knew I would see Jason in passing at kickboxing. We had sorta planned on that happening. I really didn’t want to get into anything right then and there and was trying to decide in my head if I wanted to put on a happy face and try and convince myself (and him) that I was doing fine or if it was okay to be honest. But honesty would probably lead into a difficult conversation, right?
So I started out good. We were just chatting – “new shorts work okay? Oh new shoes too”, etc. Just talking about whatever. Then he asked how I have been doing. I said “well…you know.” And he’s like “yeah, I know. It’s hard.” Then he gave me a hug and started to leave. And I started to cry. And I stopped him from leaving. And I kept crying saying “I hate this” and more that I don’t really remember right now.
We stood outside the kickboxing studio for 40 minutes talking (so I missed the class – arg) and it was the exact opposite of what I wanted. I backed him into a corner, he tried to offer up his thoughts, but I hadn’t/haven’t given him time to really figure out what those are, so things came out wrong and incomplete.
Bottom line of my train of thought for the last few days: I feel like I have blamed him for everything wrong with our relationship. When we’ve argued before it’s always been “okay, you fix ______ (whatever we’re arguing about – just don’t let it happen again type thing) and I’ll work on not yelling when I’m mad at you.” And – shocker – it’s not always his fault. I’m realizing that in life in general I’ve been really self-centered and arrogant and I don’t like that about myself. I complain about being tense and stressed all the time – it’s me causing it! So I told him that. I told him I wanted to work on looking at things differently. Instead of feeling like “I need this, I need that – why aren’t you giving it to me” start thinking about what he does give me and what I can give him in return. If I’m feeling like he’s not paying attention to me, stop looking at it as “how do I get him to pay attention” and start looking at it like “Maybe he needs guy time/space/think about himself right now – how do I get him happy right now?”
While these are all great thoughts, we just broke up/started the break on Saturday. We talked Saturday night. We talked Sunday morning. We talked Monday night. It’s been 2.5 days and I haven’t given him time to think. And that’s all he asked for – time and space.
Because he felt like I was bombarding him with all these “good intentions” I have – he tensed up. He started getting defensive saying he wasn’t even sure I was what he wanted and stuff like that. I think he saw the look in my eye when he said that and something in HIS eyes softened – I knew he didn’t mean that and in that moment I realized I was going about things utterly and completely wrong. At that second I think he saw me get uncomfortable and he just hugged me really big – I started to say “I’m really sorry” and he stopped me and said “No…just enjoy it for a minute.” And then we left.
We left on such an awkward note and we had both said “we’ll talk later” so I called him. (I know!!! I said I wouldn’t but just wait…it was a good thing…sorta)
“Let me just say 2 things:
1) I am so sorry that all of that just happened. You asked for time and space and I didn’t give you that.
2) I want you to feel like you get to figure things out. I want you to feel like if we do get back together, it was your choice – not because I talked a convincing game.”
Then we started really talking. He told me that the conversation we had earlier that night outside the studio made him want to run away. He feels like he’s continuing to have bad relationships and he doesn’t want that. He remembers how happy he was when we started dating – carefree, ridiculously positive about EVERYTHING and just content with life – and he wants that back. He doesn’t want to lose me in the meantime, but he has to be happy, even if it costs him a relationship he cares so much about.
I asked him if he really thought deep inside that it was me – afterall, I’d already told him I didn’t like how negative I am all the time and that I want to work on being a more positive person. Had I killed his spirit? – or could it be a combination of things – adjusting into a new job with a boss he hated, having to move back home, money being tight, realizing he couldn’t afford to live the life he really wanted to be living, etc. Or was it me? He said he didn’t know and that’s what he’s wanting to figure out in this time.
He told me that he doesn’t feel like he can focus on himself and figure out what went wrong with him (let alone how to fix it) until he starts to get over me, and he doesn’t want to get over me right now. He wants things to just be happy again and believe that we can fix what we’ve been doing wrong. But we can’t fool ourselves into thinking things will be perfect, and we both know that (we’d established that already) so he needs to make sure he’s at the right place before he can agree to get back together so that he knows deep inside he can get over the hurdles that may come up in the future.
I explained to him that all I want to do when I feel him stepping back or wanting space is to squeeze tighter, fight harder and argue more. I said that I’ve never understood running away from things because then the problem is still there, and now you’ve wasted time running and now you have to spend more time getting back to where you were before. To me it’s not logical, but that’s because I don’t like to feel alone when I’m struggling. To me it seems like it’d be way easier for us to try and help each other be more positive and that to realize the good things in our lives we don’t have to lose the thing that’s my favorite. But that’s me. And I’m not telling him to convince him my way is better – more just communicating the things I’m having a hard time understanding and my train of thought.
Evidently, that’s what he needed to hear – I’m not trying to convince him, I’m just trying to understand.
We talked about kickboxing – he said he didn’t want me to have to go by myself (it’s SO hard – seriously) and that since it takes a lot of concentration, I might as well go the same time as everyone so we don’t end up talking forever again. We talked about Valentine’s Day – that the reason he agreed it was a good idea was that we would get to see each other like we remember the good times – no strings, no deep conversations about our future – nothing. Simple, or not at all. I told him as much as I may want to pick his brain and figure out what he’s thinking, I want to be with him more. I want to prove to myself I can put my needs aside and give him what he’s asking for – time and space. I know it will be ridiculously hard and realistically it might really make things worse for me, but I need to try.
The last thing I asked was that in the bottom of his heart, deep down inside, was he thinking this would take weeks or months to figure out? I specified that I’m not asking for a date and it’s not “But you said you wanted 10 days!” more just a frame of reference for me. He told me that he wants to wait at least a week and maybe more, but that he wants to be able to talk like we were on the phone – speaking our piece, not necessarily coming to a grand conclusion, but just listening to each other. And I agree.
After I got off the phone I felt a weird peace about the whole thing. It’s as if it clicked in my head that I wanted to prove to myself that I would give him space –not just prove it to him. That I love this guy enough to let him think, at least! That it’s not always butterflies and roses and that since day one he’s waited longer for our first kiss, for me to meet his friends, to say I love you – everything! Because he wants to be 100% there before he does something. And I have to respect that. I do respect that.
I slept better last night than I have since Saturday. I didn’t cry myself to sleep and I didn’t cry on my way to work. I don’t really feel like crying right now, but I know I probably will soon. I miss him – my heart aches to know that he doesn’t like the person that I’m in love with, but I have to let him try and be better.
It’s frustrating that I feel I screwed up my first option to show him it wasn’t about winning or losing – it was about being with him, but I feel like we made more progress than I anticipated.
Definitely not talking about things again soon. I hope…