I’m looking for love. Real love, ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. -Carrie, Sex and the City
Last night I went out with Personality Twin for our last night out together. She graduated from college and is leaving to start her grown up life. It was a bittersweet night, but also a great eye opener. For the first time in a very long time I went out and didn’t look around for guys. We hung out just the two of us, dancing and singing along to karaoke songs. We talked about how both of us tend to look for attention from men as a way to feel better about ourselves. We talked about how we both want to turn over a new leaf and just enjoy the people we’re around, our friends and our loved ones. I really want to do that, but it can be rough when a lot of the people closest to me have a special someone to share their life with. That’s why I’m going to miss Personality Twin so much. We’re in the same boat, and she’s been my plus one a lot of the time.
The rest of the weekend was spent with family until Sunday night. Since it was the holiday I knew I’d have all Monday to sleep in. Birthday Twin and I had plans to hang out that night and I was excited because I knew we’d get to sleep in. But again in true BT fashion, he flaked on me. For some reason it really got to me this time. I think because I had made the decision to talk to him that night about our situation. Reality Check pointed out to me that because I have Birthday Twin, I don’t have to be emotionally available for the real thing. She said that I’m going to keep getting more and more attached and he’s going to break my heart. She also pointed out that even though I pretend I’m ok with it, secretly I’m putting expectations and hopes on him, even though I know he’s not going to change his mind.
So I was so frustrated on Sunday, and I cried myself to sleep. Monday morning I woke up to Birthday Twin calling me. He apologized over and over again, and we talked about why he flaked. He said he had another of his anxiety attacks, and he just couldn’t cope with seeing anyone. I’m beginning to think some of his anxiety is a sort of social anxiety disorder. Ironically I tend to get anxious when I’m lonely, or when I get rejected, so we are quite the pair. He asked me to come over and said he felt terrible about how he’d been, and he wanted me to know I wasn’t the reason he canceled on hanging out. We went to the store and grabbed some breakfast and then went for a long walk. We talked about his anxiety and we talked about our situation. We made a real decision to stop sleeping together, because I said for as fun as it can be at the time, I spend the rest of the week wishing for more. I don’t want to lose him as a friend, or worse yet, end up hating him because I feel rejected. We ended up going to the park and playing a game of basketball. It was nice being with him in that way. Just two friends hanging out.
We shot hoops and talked about our feelings. It was funny-we were partly palling around, and partly really serious. I guess playing basketball took the edge off. He told me that he’s less anxious when he’s with me, and he loves that he can talk so openly to me. He said he feels so bad when he flakes on me, but he needs me to understand that it’s this anxiety he has, and nothing personal. He asked if I would feel better now that we’re not having sex, if he flaked on me. I said I would feel better, but I warned him it would be rough sometimes too.
I told him the key to sticking to our word is him. I told him that I have trouble staying strong, especially when I get lonely. I said we need to start hanging out during the day, not always at night in each other’s beds. It’s just too tempting to be close. He said that he knows I would be a great girlfriend and part of him really wishes we could give it a try, but he knows he’s not capable. I also know I deserve more. I want that all consuming I can’t stop grinning because I’m so in love with this person kind of love. I want the kind of love that my grandparents have: they’ve been married almost 55 years and my grandpa still blushes and grins when she kisses him. It’s adorable, and it’s out there. I’ve been in love like that before, and I know I’ll have it again someday. Maybe when I stop looking, and as Reality Check says, actually let myself be open to it. It’s terrifying, but this may be the first step.