Emotionally Withdrawing From Me

What I’ll never get is why you could open your heart to someone who broke it into pieces but you couldn’t open it to someone who just wanted to heal it.-Marin, Men in Trees

I love how lately when I get home from work Match Guy is there waiting for me with a warm smile and a big hug. It is such a great end to a long day. Yesterday when I came home he grabbed me and said, “Do you know you’re amazing and that every day I like you more and more?” He always does that, with the sweet things to say. 🙂

Since I’ve been over here on Cloud 9 with lilies and happy thoughts abounding, I got to thinking about my past. As bad as guys have been before Match, without them I would never have fully understood just how great this guy really is. I know most of my readers seem to enjoy my sappy gushings about how great Match Guy is, I’m sure a little spice won’t hurt either. So for today’s entry, I think I’ll take a little trip down memory lane.

I’ll start with the last real boyfriend before I started this diary. I wrote about him briefly in an earlier entry but I didn’t tell all the lovely (aka horrid) details about our trist, if you could call it that. So without further ado I give you the story of the Unemployed Guy.

It all started back when I was 12 I guess. I was a little country girl at the fair and I met this boy. We had one of those nights where the two of us talked until the wee hours and it seemed like we really clicked. Of course we were little kids so nothing ever happened beyond that talk. Fast forward two years later to the summer before my Sophomore year, and a chance meeting with that same boy. We began dating and at first it all seemed so wonderful. We talked late into the night like teenagers do, about anything and everything. We were always great on the phone. He lived half an hour from me, in the next town, so our relationship was technically long distance, especially since neither of us could drive. Because it was long distance I built him up in my head and I made him out to be this great guy. I was a pretty innocent kid back then. I didn’t party, I had never even been drunk or high. Unemployed Guy on the other hand was an avid pot smoker and drank every weekend with his friends. Needless to say my parents loathed him. Even my friends warned me about him, and worried that I was getting involved with a guy who was going nowhere.

To his credit, he never let me party with him, and when he smoked he wouldn’t let me go near it. He was very protective, and it was like he held me to a higher standard. We never did more than kiss and cuddle, and he was an absolute gentleman. Those were definitely his strengths. But the above mentioned weaknesses eventually drove a wedge between us, until one day I asked him which he’d rather do, party and smoke or be with me. On my 15th birthday, he told me he would rather party, and he broke up with me. On my birthday. From that day on my parents went from loathing to boiling hatred of this boy.

That wasn’t the end of him of course. For years later, he’d pop back into my life. I was devastated after our breakup, and I didn’t date for a really long time after that. For 15, I was pretty brokenhearted. Months later I found out that my parents had been blocking calls that Unemployed Guy was leaving me. Apparently he’d called over and over again, usually drunk, to tell me how sorry he was and how much he cared. The only reason I found out about these things was one night I happened to come home right when he called and I got to the call first. In typical teen rage I freaked out on my parents for keeping him from me, but looking back I realized they were just trying to help. This guy was no good, and they knew it. They forbid me to see him, which of course made him all the more irresistible. I snuck phone calls with him back and forth, but I eventually got sick of him only calling drunk and I ended communication. I moved on and started dating my High School Sweetheart. But Unemployed Guy kept coming back into the picture. All through high school I would hear from him, and he’d come in and out of my life. Finally my senior year after not seeing him for two years, he met with me in person. He asked me to choose between him and High School Sweetheart. I was torn, but ultimately I said no.

Later on, in college, he contacted me again. We started talking every night and had our great phone conversations again. Just when I let my guard down, and came home to see him in person that Christmas, he of course had changed his mind and was cold and withdrawn again. I vowed then and there that I would never talk to him again and I told him to stay out of my life for good.

I got a drunken phone call from him a year and a half later. I found out this happened to be a month before he got married. A lovely little detail don’t you think? So I gave him a good and proper go Fuck yourself and ended that conversation real quick.

I thought that was the end of him, until November of 07. I hadn’t heard anything from him, but I kept in touch with his cousin who had always been a good friend. He gave me updates from time to time on Unemployed Guy. One update he told me that Unemployed Guy had hurt his wrist in a bad welding accident on the job, and was disabled and unable to work as a welder. I felt sorry for him, but didn’t think much else about it. Then I got a myspace message with his full name as the subject, from an unknown contact. It turns out it was his roommate, and the message was from Unemployed Guy. He gave me his phone number and asked that I call him. This was right when Coast Guard Guy was off in boot camp, and I was lonely and confused. I ended up caving and calling him. I heard UG’s sob story of how he couldn’t work, and he’d been on disability for a year. He also told me that his wife had left him when he became disabled. I’m a big ol’ softy and that really hit home with me. I couldn’t believe that this woman would leave him in his time of need.

We talked as friends for a month or so after that, and when CG did the awful thing he did, UG was there for me, via phone. He told me how he had changed over the years, and he wasn’t the same guy he had been when we’d dated. He said I never left his thoughts, and he always cared deeply about me. He ended up driving the 8 hours distance we lived apart to see me for New Year’s Eve. It was incredible, and I got completely swept up in the idea of him. Here was a romance, with a man I had known for 12 years of my life, and I thought finally we could have our happy ending. We talked about him moving to California and starting new with me. We talked about how he could get a job here, and go to school and get his life together. So much talk.

I won’t bore you with more of the details, but I’m sure you’ve already guessed what happened next. Unemployed Guy did what he does best. He started withdrawing from me emotionally, and our phone calls became fewer and fewer. He started talking about his ex, and almost sounded wistful. I reminded him that he was better off, because now he had me. He would say things that made it seem like he would have been happier if she would just take him back. I couldn’t believe it! I shelled out a lot of cash to fly home to see him for a weekend where we went to a cabin in the snow, and before that I drove 4 hours to meet him halfway for a romantic weekend getaway in a nice suite, in which I paid for everything. When we went to the cabin in the snow, he chose that time to tell me that he had a lot of his life he still needed to figure out, and even though he loved me, he needed to be selfish right now. Sound familiar? The same words Coast Guard Guy had used on me.

I remember just sitting there like I’d been slapped in the face. I told him I was helping him get his life back together. I had researched schools, grands and disability loans he could qualify for. I had even offered him my place to stay, rent free. I looked into his eyes and realized that even though this guy sitting in front of me was older than the guy I had dated when I was 14, he was still deep down that selfish, confused boy that had dumped me on my birthday.

I packed my bags that weekend and flew home, knowing that was officially the end of us, even though we didn’t admit it. We talked a few more times, had a few more awkward conversations. Eventually those faded and I was alone as I had been when Coast Guard Guy left. Still, I felt stronger because I had finally kicked a bad habit.

So last night, while snuggling up to Match Guy when he got home from a 15 hour work day, he told me he was going to have to work a few more late nights this month. He’s working at the oh so famous Bohemian Grove for July. He kissed my neck and said, “Well just look at it as more money for fun and trips for you and me.” I couldn’t help but think of how it was like night and day comparing him to the Unemployed Guy. Here’s a man who works hard so he can take me out. And I’ve never met a guy who is more emotionally there for me. And that friends is why I am thankful for the guy who emotionally withdrew from me. Look at what was waiting for me just around the corner.

9 Comments

    Brittany E.

    Even though I’m a sucker for the “he is the only guy I ever dated or kissed” love stories, I think they are pretty rare. Because the wrong boys really do help you weed out what you want, what you don’t want, and the faults you can live with.

    Mama Drama

    I totally agree with Brittany. And, believe me, I’ve had my share of bad relationships.

    Iris

    I think bad relationships are nature’s way of making sure that we do appreciate the good ones that come along. This is the perfect example. 🙂

    Jen

    Everything happens for a reason. While most young twenty somethings are miserable now in the world of dating, we know that when “Mr. Right” comes along, you’ll just know. And appreciate the good things since you’ve experienced all the bad. Hopefully. (Keyword here is hopefully lol).

    Khristine

    I’m in the same situation. I am dating an awesome guy that gave me his key to his apartment after dating him for 2 weeks. He tells me he is falling for me more and more every day. He has said the I love you already and freaked out because he thought he was scaring me off. I told him that I won’t stop him from loving me. All in all, I started going on awesome dates after a hurtful relationship to a guy who couldn’t commit to me and now dating a guy that only wants to give me his best and commit to me. He is going to take my family out to dinner and meet them for the first time. I’m totally thrilled. So this happened as I decided to reinvent myself. Its attractive! So point is… to keep men continue to reinvent yourself all the time. Love your blog!

    Brittany E.

    I just wanted to let you know I have something for you at my blog 🙂

    Candy Girl

    “And that friends is why I am thankful for the guy who emotionally withdrew from me. Look at what was waiting for me just around the corner.”

    brilliant! and really, isn’t that what life is all about? just when you think things are all wrong, you find something great you never expected. sounds like it was certainly your time to find something great. good for you!

    BreatheWithMe

    Brittany said it perfectly with “Because the wrong boys really do help you weed out what you want, what you don’t want, and the faults you can live with.”

    I dont think i could say it any better!

    It’s sad the roller coaster our hearts go through but when you find the right one the feeling is unmatched!!

    Import from China

    Nice post, you got some good points there – thank you.

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