Since the very beginning of our relationship, I’ve always known J would leave.
The reality of his leaving has always been on our minds, sometimes more prominently and sometimes less. I’ve never been in denial, nor have I ever been anything but supportive. While I’ll be incredibly sad to see him go, I know that leaving is what’s best for him and I want him to be happy. To that end, I’ve helped him with his materials. I’ve digitized some of his works, and did some graphic design and desktop publishing magic on his portfolio. I helped him with his resume and did some research on a few of the more promising opportunities.
There have been a few opportunities, but none of them looked promising enough. There was always something that wasn’t quite right — something I suspected might throw a wrench in the gears. For that reason, I was able to help with his materials, be hopeful and encouraging, and be happy for him without ever really feeling the threat that he would leave.
This most recent possibility feels different (for a number of reasons I won’t get into). For the first time, an opportunity (for him) feels like a threat (to me). This is the first time I’m starting to feel the impending loss.
While I’ve always been aware of the consequences of falling in love with a man who has one foot on another coast, being aware of the consequences and actually feeling them are two different things. Heck, I can’t say I’m really feeling any consequences because he hasn’t left yet, and we aren’t even sure he’s leaving. I guess I’m feeling pre-consequences?
I anticipated some of the emotions and impulses I’m experiencing, but some are new and unexpected.
(Reader beware… naval-gazing ahead…)
Since getting the news about this most recent job opportunity, I’ve been vacillating between four feelings (attitudes? impulses?) about the possibility of J leaving.
1. Maintain the Status Quo
We aren’t yet sure if J is leaving soon or staying put, so part of me wants to continue with our relationship exactly as it is. We still have issues to work on, problems we should talk about, and a couple of things we want to improve in our relationship. If he ends up staying for a while, we should do those things. But, if he’s leaving in a couple of weeks, there’s no point in working on a relationship that’s about to end. If he’s leaving, our time together would be much better spent happily fucking until we’re both too exhausted to feel anything else.
I wrote about the potential costs and benefits of working on relationship issues a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t repeat myself here.
I anticipated sadness (of course), and I’m self-aware enough to know my own potential for handling sadness badly. For that reason, I’ve been mindful of how I allow my attitude, words, and actions to reflect that feeling.
It’s probably a meaningless distinction to most people, but it’s important for me to separate ‘hurt’ (wronged by someone or some thing) from ‘sad’ (no one’s at fault; the situation just sucks). If I’m genuinely hurt by someone or some thing, anger follows, and a lot of time, that anger is justified and (somewhat) productive. But if I’m just sad, then anger isn’t warranted and doesn’t do any good. If I don’t separate the two — hurt and sadness — I end up angry at situations or people that don’t deserve it, and often, that anger is destructive — both to me and to those around me.
3. Fuck it
Is ‘fuck it’ an emotion? Is it an impulse? For the sake of my navel gazing, let’s assume it’s both. My ‘fuck it’ urge is to enjoy what I have while I have it… without ruining it with sadness (see #2, above). If I’ve got J for another day/week/month/?, I should enjoy him for the time I have him. Specifically, the ‘fuck it’ impulse drives me to think we should probably fuck a lot more… who knows if we’ll ever get the chance to fuck each other again, right? :)
‘Fuck it’ and accompanying urge to fuck (as much as possible, as many ways as possible, and to try new things with J while I still have the time) is pretty strong and I’m enjoying it as much as I can. It contributed to a very interesting weekend we had recently. :) I’m working on writing it up… so expect that sometime soon.
But, while the desperation to fuck (and say ‘fuck it!’) is great, it’s also fleeting. Unless J is actually here with me, the beautiful desperation and sex obsession is too easily replaced with sadness or with the urge to make some sort of preparations (see #4, below).
4. Preparations & (Contingency) Plans
This is the something I didn’t expect and never thought about. While I did anticipate the possibility we’d break up well before he left (and made ‘plans’ to help mediate that — the ‘breakup rules’), what I didn’t anticipate was what might happen if he leaves while we’re still happy and in love. I know the break will be permanent, but will it be immediate? Will there be some sort of transition time to help us both adjust? I know we both want to remain friends, but how do we do that? How do we move from D/s into a vanilla friendship? What might that friendship look like?
Recently, I’ve been struck with the impulse to figure out what our expectations are for the relationship (friendship) after he leaves. I’d like to think about what we can do to make the transition as smooth as possible and minimize the potential for hurting each others’ feelings after he’s gone.
I’m thinking about it now, and I’m sure I’ll write about it soon… just as soon as I figure it out.