all that I cannot see, do nothing, email relationships, expect less, power in silence, respect and acceptance, respecting people's idea and opinions, still believing in fairy-tales, trying to be understanding, trying to be understood, unicorns, zero expectations
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” – Jonathan Safran Foer
To continue my previous post. The following is another factor that contributed to my feeling very down in the dumps the week before last:
- S and I were having many miscommunication issues. It seemed we were not even speaking the same language. This was disheartening after we were getting along so well.
We had been exchanging messages for over 2 months. We got very close in such a short time. We looked forward to each other’s emails.
At times I told myself I had no intention of meeting him and taking the relationship out of cyberspace; but more often than not I thought about meeting and all the possibilities. Often I wanted him to ask me out. I wanted him to want to meet me. I wondered why was taking him so long to ask.
I understand I could have stepped up and ask him out myself, but in this case I thought was up to him. He knew I wanted to meet, all he had to do was ask.
We really knew nothing about each other. I knew that his first name started with the letter S. He was in a profession related to technology and was 41 years old. He knew a bit more about me. He knew my first name started with A. I am 51 years old, from Brazil and have an identical twin sister.
At times I resented not knowing more about him and not being asked out. I think he sensed my frustration in my words.
“Lingerer, my brain is on fire with impatience; and you tarry so long!” – Charlotte Bronte
Last week I said something about the fact that he should have asked me out on a certain week that I had nothing keeping me busy (I have had family visiting me non-stop this year). At that moment he was at a work event that he said was boring. He then said I should go and meet him right then and there. After being in Manhattan the whole day I was now at home and I wasn’t about to jump in a train and then a subway to get back to Manhattan at 9 pm for that kind of invitation.
I didn’t go. We exchanged more emails that night and then I didn’t hear from him for over 24 hours. That was odd. In the past he said that I needed to stop being paranoid and think that he disappeared if he went silent for several hours.
A day later I emailed him and said I missed him. He sent me a long reply saying there was no point in continuing to email since I would always want something he didn’t have or was not willing to give. He said I would always revert to wanting more. I am not sure what he meant by that.
His email upset me. It was not a mean email but he seemed to have misunderstood all I had been saying. I also didn’t like the fact that he was just going to ghost me and not even bother writing ever again if were not for my reaching out.
But what I disliked the most was that he seemed to all of sudden not like the one aspect of me that I like most about myself and that he had commented on as being a good thing: my very positive hopeful attitude and my belief in fairy-tales.
I now had a choice, reply or just let go. My first inclination would have been to reply and try to make him understand my side. I wanted to clear up the miscommunication. I wanted to understand what he meant by “you would always want more”. I guess I also wanted him to change his mind. I wanted to continue.
It took all my will power not to do it. I realized I would just be prolonging the obvious ending. I realized he was right, even if he misunderstood all I was trying to say. I do want more then what he was willing to give.
I realized that this relationship was doomed, as he had pointed out. It seemed we no longer could go back to the “let’s just be email buddies” thing. We had gotten too close. I now had expectations.
“Peace begins when expectation ends.” – Sri Chinmoy
I have been here before. I have felt misunderstood before. Many times. Does it really matter if someone understands me or not? I realize I don’t need everyone to see my side of the story, and to understand it for that matter. Normally I would try and try to make myself understood only to complicate things even more, and grow more frustrated.
Respect and acceptance are words that came to mind at that moment. I need to learn to respect and accept people’s truth. People have their own perception and understanding of facts and situation. It doesn’t make them wrong or right, especially when it comes to such subjective matters. He was a good person, I know that. We just disagreed on certain things.
Another idea came to mind: Do I just want to have the last word? I will always and forever have something else to say. I am one of those people that have long explanations to everything. But do I really need to verbalize everything that comes into my mind?
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
It feels very empowering to not have emailed him. It feels freeing not to need to have the last word. I don’t need to be understood and accepted. I aim to understand, or at least respect and accept.
There is that side of me that will always mourn that little friendship we had. A part of me will always be sad for what could have been. A side of me will every now and then think “what if”? Didn’t he see all the potential? Was I just imagining things?
Sometimes it is okay to let things go. Sometimes it is okay to give up. The dreamer side of me feels the need to clarify things because I think that things can still work out.
If I reached out nothing would change. He would definitely reply but I would just prolong the situation. He would still not be asking me out or telling me anything about himself. I would have grown even more frustrated and he would probably do too.
I feel the best thing I could have done was to let go and let him be.
This is a major shift for me. I found strength in restraint. Not doing anything is not easy for me, but it proved so powerful and rewarding. After a week of feeling lost and weak, I now feel grounded and powerful. I now will choose silence more often.
Then there is also the issue of refusing to accept to be treated less then what you think you deserve for fear that the person will leave and you will end up alone. In the end you are only delaying the inevitable. It is not being demanding or difficult, it is being yourself. But I will leave that thought for the next post…
and also coming up, my online dating adventures re-start…well, it is like they never stopped 😉
“He who is silent is forgotten; he who does not advance falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed; out distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the condition of standing still is the beginning of the end.”
― Henri-Frédéric Amiel