Mar 102013
 

Lately, J hasn’t been paying me as much attention as I’d like. He said as much without my prompting, so it’s not like he’s unaware.

It’s not uncommon for one of us to feel disconnected from the other. It’s the nature of a distance relationship (or perhaps, the nature of our distance relationship). Disconnect is just one of those cyclical issues that needs attending to, and for a number of reasons, I haven’t done due diligence in attending to it. In part, it’s because I’m stubborn and prideful, and in part, it’s because I’m not sure what to do.

This go around, I’ve felt the disconnect more than J — he’s been preoccupied with work. I’ve been busy too, but for whatever reason, it’s bothered me more than usual.

I understand I can’t always be his top priority. That’s part of our reality — we live separate lives at a considerable distance. But still, it hurts sometimes.

To keep my heart safe and to lessen the chance I’ll forget about reality long enough to let it sneak up and bite me in the ass, periodically I have to remind myself that J isn’t my top priority either. It’s not a tit for tat thing. It’s reality and self-preservation. Reminding myself he’s not my top priority means I’ll be less hurt when I can’t be his.

It stings a little, but I deal with it.

Early this past week, after being less than attentive, J asked if he could see me on the weekend.

I thought about it for a little while. I would have liked to reconnect, but I felt neglected and he felt farther away than usual. For those reasons, I wasn’t as eager to see him as I usually am. Besides that, I had work I wanted to get done over the weekend.

I said “no.”

I told him I wouldn’t see him and I explained my reasons.

After the conversation ended, I felt good about my decision and the way I handled it. I made a rational decision in my best interest and I gave my reasons without being dramatic, passive aggressive, or angry.

It felt pretty good.

As the weekend approached, he upped the sweetness and the attention and asked to see me again. I wavered… briefly. I thought about inviting him over, but then I remembered my reasons. Agreeing to see him would mean putting off my work, going back on my previous decision, and ignoring his prior inattentiveness.

I held firm.

While I was proud of myself for sticking to my decision, saying “no” didn’t feel as good the second time around. I explained my reasons again — not just for him, but for both of us. My decision wasn’t a punishment, it’s just that I wasn’t dying to see him. When he’s not as attentive, I don’t want him as much. When I don’t want him as much, I’m more willing to let an opportunity pass.

He understood and handled it well.

The weekend came.

And then it felt like a punishment… and it felt like I was the one being punished.

Sure, J was sad that he didn’t get to see me, but I imagine his sadness was tempered by my level-headed justifications and my assertions of logic and reality… those assertions I’m fantastic at making, but shit at believing. I felt no such comfort. All I had was sadness with an added layer of “kick myself” because all of it was my decision. Being sad was my own fault.

J makes me happy. Seeing him makes me happy. I refused to see him, and so, I missed an opportunity to be happy. That’s my fault.

I never intended for any of this to teach J a lesson, but I certainly didn’t expect to learn one of my own.

I know letting things slide won’t make for long term happiness. I get that. But I’m not interested in long term happiness — I’m interested in being happy now. Right now, dammit. And this? This didn’t make me happy.

I learned my lesson.

I won’t make the same mistake again.

 

  12 Responses to “lesson learned”

  1. God our brains are funny and frustrating things aren’t they?

    I get your reasoning it through and I get your resolve and I get your disappointment. It all makes sense.

    I also understand the cyclical thing, the drifting, but isn’t when you are drifting *exactly* the time to grab some togetherness and remind each other what you have and how great it is, specifically to reconnect? But but… you don’t feel like all that keen because he is way over *there* and you don’t feel all that strongly about it. But if you don’t feel connected you *need* some sweetness to rebuild that coupledom and loveliness. But you don’t even really *want* it that much if you aren’t feeling all that connected in the first place anyway. But but…

    *head explodes*.

    I hope you get another chance to spend some time together soon.

    Ferns

    • But but… [. . .] But [. . .] But but…

      Exactly!

      I also understand the cyclical thing, the drifting, but isn’t when you are drifting *exactly* the time to grab some togetherness and remind each other what you have and how great it is, specifically to reconnect?

      Probably. But (but!) I have to watch that sort of thing… it could very easily turn into something else entirely. No sweetness with occasional fucking on the weekends means we’re fuck buddies, and that’s not what I want. I need more from him than that.

      GIVE UP THE SWEETNESS, DAMMIT.

  2. I agree because life is too short.

    “There is no remedy for love but to love more.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    • @Roy: I find that hard liquor is also a remedy for the symptoms. It won’t cure you, but it temporarily gets rid of all those pesky feelings that accompany the disease. :)

  3. I’ve had issues with pride myself and I must say it didn’t turn out well. For two people full of pride, who didn’t want to admit the “missing” part. It ended up badly.

    Things didn’t have to go worse for a simple issue like this, but it did.

    I totally get what you mean D and hope that everything will go well between the two of you.

    “I know letting things slide won’t make for long term happiness. I get that. But I’m not interested in long term happiness — I’m interested in being happy now.” –this just hit me.

    I am glad that you were able to point out right away what caused your unhappiness and that you are able to learn from this lesson right away :)

    luise

    • Luise: Pride is a terrible thing, isn’t it? Even when you recognize it in yourself, it’s so difficult to let go of.

  4. I’ve done this and regretted it and try very hard to not make the same mistake again. It’s more punishing me, and I don’t like to punish myself. However, sometimes pride still makes me injure myself.

    Hope you are the wiser of us two.

    • Hope you are the wiser of us two.

      Unfortunately, any wisdom I have is generally only in hindsight. But, I guess I should be glad I have any wisdom at all. :)

  5. When you know it’s going to end somewhat abruptly it adds an element of desperation that doesn’t feel good. When I was reading this, I nodded my head, completely understanding you from beginning to end. My situation with The Neighbor is impermanent and I let things slide more often because I’m determined to enjoy the fuck out of this while I have it. I’d never allow some of the things I have if this were a long-term commitment kind of thing.

    But yes, enjoy the shit out of this while it’s here, within your grasp. Happiness is fleeting, regret sticks around much longer.

    • Hy,

      My situation with The Neighbor is impermanent and I let things slide more often because I’m determined to enjoy the fuck out of this while I have it. I’d never allow some of the things I have if this were a long-term commitment kind of thing.

      I’m curious, do you have any idea how impermanent your situation with TN might be? I ask because I have no idea how impermanent my situation is with J. He could be gone next week or next year. If I had a better idea of how long we potentially have together, I might be more sure of what decisions to make and more comfortable with them after they’re made.

      But yes, enjoy the shit out of this while it’s here, within your grasp. Happiness is fleeting, regret sticks around much longer.

      True that. Preach it, sister. :)

  6. Don’t you hate that? Don’t you just hate that? When you do the thing that you know is the right thing to do, for the right reasons, when you’re a big bad adult with rational thought processes, and, in the end, it’s not the thing you really want to do, but it’s the thing you do, then you realize you didn’t really WANT to do it at all.

    Hate it. Hate it hate it hate it.

    • @Constance: I do hate it! I find that I’m my biggest critic, most difficult opponent, and generally, my own best match when it comes to mental sparring. What I want to do and what I know I should do are often completely different things. At some point, I’ll learn to relax and just go with it. At some point… maybe… I hope… :)

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