Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do normal relationships exist?

I had my first big meltdown with Grey on Saturday. He was being a bit of a jerk, I was feeling fragile and all hell broke loose. I cried, I walked out, I came back. He was kind and gentle and quiet. I wish I hadn't cried. I was a mess. I bought him a Nerds Christmas ornament thingy from the grocery store to make it up to him. I hope he likes it. We've booked Thursday and Saturday nights for sex.

He's still a mystery. I don't know if he will ever let me in. I don't think we'll ever truly be in a relationship. I think that we'll continue to do this thing, whatever it is, company + sex, I guess, until he gets bored or I completely freak out and then it will be over and I will be a soggy, heartbroken mess. The truth is that I care about him a lot. I want to be his girlfriend. But every day, I remind myself to back off. I tell myself he is not the boyfriend and I am not his girlfriend. I remember that there is no commitment and that I am not equal in this thing.

I can't talk to him about stuff when I need to. I can't expect him to be there for me. I can't plan for a future beyond next weekend. I'm not allowed to be myself because I have to be careful and guarded and distant.

I have a list of questions I would love to ask, if we were in a relationship. I probably will never get the chance. Here is my list in the form of an email sitting in my gmail drafts:

There are so many things I would ask if I felt like I could. There are times when I could believe that he wants what I want. The comfort and security of knowing we have a future together. But then there are times when a distinctly cold wind blows and I'm reminded that I'm not the girlfriend. So I take a step back mentally and physically. But never emotionally. The emotional check consists of a looped statement in my brain: "You're not the girlfriend. He's not the boyfriend. This will end. And you won't see it coming. So don't think of preparing. Just be warned."

The list of ever-present, ever-growing questions:

1. What does "no commitment" mean, exactly?
2. Is it just sex and company or is there something else?
3. Why is he with me? Why did he keep calling in September? Did my facebook message change anything?
4. Sunday nights, family holidays, Christmas. And why I enjoy Sunday nights now.
5. X/Mr X/X's brother's girlfriend and why we're still close.
6. His relationship history.
7. Is he ever going to let me in?
8. Does he really want to get married and have kids or is that just the politically correct thing to say to women he's sleeping with?
9. If 8 is true, what does "marriage" mean?
10. And when asked if I can have kids, biologically, how significant is my answer and what happens if I can't?
11. Religious beliefs; practicing? "Born Catholic, raised atheist?" Does he see himself getting married in church? Will he raise his kids Catholic? Circumcision?
12. Political leanings. Thoughts on voting, citizenship, this country I call my home.
13. If I fall in love with him, and he finds out, will he run away?

It's hard to open up to someone and trust that person when he has told you that he probably won't ever open up and trust you. It's tough knowing that his history casts a shadow over the present and the future and realizing I'll never know where that shadow came from. It's hard to even have a serious conversation, or even fully be myself, knowing that any minute, he could walk away and he would be perfectly justified because he was clear all along that there was no commitment. Where is the off switch for my heart?

Right now, while I'm feeling tired and fragile, I wish I was in a normal relationship with someone who wanted this to go somewhere. I want it more than being with Grey. I know I won't feel that way when I see him. That makes me sad.

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