So let’s say SHE does show up. The uber woman. Arrives fully outfitted for your bullshit and dressed to the nines. She’s unafraid, but she has some demands she needs to lay down first. In my mind, Parker Posey has some of the best and worst qualities you’d want in a girlfriend. Of course, she doesn’t want to be your girlfriend, or even acknowledge the relationship, and that’s okay, if that’s how she wants it.
The woman shows up, she’s ready to load her bags on to your train… and… wait a minute? What am I supposed to do about losing my reclaimed alone time, I talk so much about? What ARE the parameters you’re willing to move and compromise on IF SHE DID SHOW UP.
Even after all the searching and fretting and imagining, she has not yet shown up. The near miss this week, still being slowly put back in the “friends” box, was the first wake up call I’ve had since divorce, that showed me a new problem.
I LOVE MY ALONE TIME.
I’m not afraid to say it. I’m not ready for someone to ask to be with me on every night I don’t have my kids. I flat out, can’t do that. I suppose eventually I’d live with someone again, and that would be the result, but that’s not a goal of mine. In fact, some of the struggle in my marriage was between me and the ex-y around how much time I could spend writing or playing music. It was WE time I was sacrificing to make ME time. Now, with the rules all TBD, I’d best be considering the best case scenario, so I can guide my wishes in that direction.
My friend said, “She has a rich and full life of her own.” And that has some resonance. But would a relationship with PP be any fun? And it hit me. For the first time in my post-marriage relationship experience, I actually had to say to someone, “You need to slow your roll.” (Not in those actual words.)
A full circle from the first CONNECT in an online dating session that ended with the woman giving me her number and suggesting we could just “hang out” some time. I was thrilled. She was so easy. We talked and gazed across the margaritas dreamily. I went home and wrote down what I was feeling.
And then I shared it. (Oops.) It freaked her out. And not just a little. It freaked her out a lot. And she never agreed to meet me again. Ever.
Today I sort of get it. This woman, KG (kissy girl) is ready to usurp all available bandwidth. And it’s up to me to draw that boundary. While I’ve already decided that KG is not the next relationship for me, it was quite an awareness to learn that IF SHE HAD BEEN, I would not have been prepared. If it had been Parker Posey and she had said, “So what are you doing with the rest of your life?” I’d a flipped out.
Walking my kissing relationship back to no relationship is going to be a bit of a trick. I don’t like to be mean or misleading. And I KNOW that she is not going to be right for me. (See: The Church of Kisses) But worse would be to try and limp along without letting her know it’s a MISS for me.
I did talk to her on the phone today. She had begun to freak a bit that I hadn’t called her back by 11:30 this Saturday morning. I didn’t want to call anyone back. I was here doing a project with my son. I felt a bit of an intrusion from a woman I met a week ago who was now demanding that I call her back so we can talk about “What’s up.” ACK.
The good news, the saving grace, I think in this case, was that she had slowed the runaway train that was heading towards sex. The kissing was great. The sex… well, that’s part of the problem. I have no intention of making love to this woman. And that’s the part I need to let her know.
The conversation this afternoon went something like, “Okay, what’s freaked you out?” and “We can talk about anything. If you just let me know what’s going on.”
Um, a rude me would’ve said, “It’s not me it’s you. I just don’t want to make love to you, ever.” But I didn’t. I set a parameter around my time. Giving us some cooling off time. (I didn’t see her yesterday and won’t see her today or tomorrow.) By Monday, my intention is to tell her, I’m not moving forward with an US in any shape or form. I don’t need a friend. I don’t need someone else who’s interested in my time. I need the ONE PERSON who I’m willing to give my most precious asset to, ME.
The poem from yesterday (travel together) came from a chance lunch meeting with an old acquaintance. And you know what… I almost sent it to her. Talk about SLOW YOUR FKIN ROLL! I am so glad I didnt’.
Bottom Line: It’s okay to have wildly romantic fantasies. And it’s okay to project some of those into the marketplace of relationships. That’s what keeps us going in spite of the failures and long odds. And it’s really okay to fall madly in love with someone, when you vetted out as many of the “must haves” as you can.
My new must have: “How much time is enough? How much time am I willing to give? How will I push back when I need time alone?”
So this idea of always leaving them wondering a bit, hungry for the next contact, sort of makes sense. While NG (new girl) and I have known each other for 15 years or so, we’ve never really been friends. She illuminated that yesterday when she said, “We’ve been acquaintances, but not friends. You’ve never shared with me like you did today.”
And so the spark is present. Great. Now it’s time to take it easy. Don’t press forward into sex, or trying to define what’s going to happen or how it should be. Let it be easy. (I’m repeating this so that it works like a mantra to soothe the excitement in me, about crossing paths with NG at just this moment.)
Slow your roll. There is no need, during this initialization phase, when projections should be measured against reality, to hurry things along. Savor each step. Stop occasionally and ask, “Is this enough?”
Then when you see Parker Posey again, you can tell her how you’ve missed her, craved her, and wished you could spend more time with her. And she is able to say or not say the same thing. And that’s the dance. When the other person begins unpacking their bags too soon, even if the bags have magical treasures, it’s scary. And it’s too soon. Let the mystery unfold in time. Don’t rip at each other at the first chance. There are too many subtleties that need to be addressed BEFORE you MAKE LOVE or HAVE SEX.
Too many fantasies to balance against reality. If you’re already deeply addicted to the sex juice it’s going to be hard to pull back. With KG I think I caught my error early enough. With NG I hope I have not already pressed to far with my outreach via txt. Thank god I kept my poem in my pants.
She’s waiting. She’s thinking. I am a mystery. Let’s slowly unpack some of our things and compare notes along the way. We are complex systems. And for our constellations to align, it will take some delicate maneuverings We don’t want to repeat the past mistakes. And in my case, I don’t want to let beauty overwhelm and bypass my fundamental requirements.
The Off Parent
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