After I’ve read a bit more about commitment phobia and a little water’s passed under the bridge I wanted to send you a few more thoughts. They might be tough for you to read.
It’s pretty clear you have some serious issues with commitment. From the research I’ve been reading you appear to be a classic commitment phobic. I very much doubt this is something you don’t already know. And I feel sad for you that’s the case as I can see the decent person underneath and I know that struggle. I’ve been there and done that and it isn’t a nice place. Always on the outside looking in at other people getting on with their lives, building loving relationships whilst you can’t figure out how they do it.
I didn’t really settle until I met F. Of course I’d had longish relationships before but F has been by far the most significant of my life. She was the first and only woman I have ever lived with. It took me until my late 30s to do that and I’d been working on my “shit” almost continually for 12years before that. Therapists and counsellors coming out of my butt.
I also think if me and you had continued you’d have found another reason further down the line. It would’ve been worse for me – and I felt hurt anyway – if we’d carried on. So I am now glad it ended when it did.
The point is that relationships need work, take time. As i told you it took me ages to make any kind of commitment to . And I waited until she left and moved to California before I did so. She must’ve felt really torn by this but stuck around and I knew – in my heart – that she was worth it. We weren’t even sure if it would work out. Of course there will always be doubts. But we acted, took a risk. It ended, as you know, but so much of it was great and I wouldn’t hear a bad word said about her. From where I come from that relationship was a towering success. An incredible gift where I learned so much. Thanks F.
Yet, I had to go through all the feelings of ambivalence, distance, “she’s not the one”, there’s no buzz kind of shit stuff en route. The fear I would be hurt, be rejected, be abandoned, be let down. That I would lose my freedom, my independence, would have to compromise. They were my feelings and were what pushed me to not committing. Nothing to do with her. I had to act differently. Really tough. But I owned my shit. Made it mine.
You won’t figure this out until you do stick it out and learn to act differently even though every part of your being is saying run. And I mean really stick it out. Don’t withdraw. Don’t make excuses – and I could see you making them from the off (good friends of mine told me to get out of it the moment I described you to them and quite a bit before you went to New York) – as there are always excuses. See it through. Sit with your difficult feelings. Learn to respond. Learn to be there. Be unafraid.
And don’t pick men who clearly can’t commit or treat you like shit. It does seem that that kind of thing gives you a certain strange thrill but you’re really worth far more than that. Your four course meal story really fucking infuriated me. The guy who treated you well (me) gets dumped very quickly. The guy who treats you like a total asshole gets a four course dinner. What the fuck is that about??? Ultimately what do you want? The guy who is willing to walk alongside you with all of you but whose (healthy) availability freaks you out or the distant unavailable guy who gives you a thrill yet you bump into them on the street draped around another woman? What are you worth to yourself??
There’s an old saying that is very useful. We can’t think our way into acting differently, we can only act our way into thinking differently.
I hope you find a way. I really do. You’re a very special person and character with a lot to give. I do worry you’ll get too cranky and too used to being alone to change that and end up feeling very sad. I sensed a mounting anger in you. But, that’s not my problem even though i would’ve been willing at one point to help you get through some of that.
What has been strangest and sobering for me is that I could see so much of me in you. You were treating me as I’d treated others before. Get very close and intense and then pull away. It made me sad to realise how my own conduct had affected others. It’s not nice to hurt people you like particularly when you’re a fully grown, mature adult who is empathetic and who is responsible in so many other areas of their life. As you clearly are. It’s very destructive for everyone.
Despite what you might think I write all this with compassion and understanding. It might’ve been tough for you to read and I don’t like the thought it might upset you. Some home truths. And it goes back to “why can;t you let someone love you, J?”
I should put it on the record I felt myself falling for you, J. I really did. I know myself, know my feelings know how I operate. Sure, I’ve been in a slightly tricky place of late after years of great career success etc, I was so very happy I’d met you. Blown away, wanted to take risks, do stuff that made me feel uncomfortable. I thought you were that special, that sexy, that much fun. Yet, very sadly, I am glad I didn’t fully fall for you as it would’ve been agony when you finally ran away. As you were always going to do. That I now feel glad I never fell in love with someone who I knew I was going to fall in love with has it’s own special taste I’ve not experienced before.
I don’t want a reply either. If you send one I will delete it without reading it. And please don’t think this is an attempt to ignore my stuff and my behaviour in what went down. I’ve owned that already in our final phone call.
But i still send you genuine hugs and lots of warmth regardless and the love of a friend even though it’s very likely we will never see each other again. Hold that warmth/hugs/love for a moment. Know that it comes completely unconditionally with no cost and with no expectation. Just from someone who cares about you and wants absolutely nothing in return. Can you handle that? I am always out here and will always remember our few weekends together as something very special.
Good luck out there. Avoid the four course meal guys.