I’m feeling better about the situation with Not-so-Nice Guy. Not better, exactly, because I still wish he wasn’t Not-so-Nice, but I don’t feel so wretched anymore. In part because of things the Wonder Therapist said; in part because of things you have all said; and probably in large part because my attention is diverted elsewhere for the moment, but more on that later.
I talked, and sobbed, with the Wonder Therapist. She said a couple of things that have really stuck with me. Not that I quite believe them yet, but at least they’re in my head:
- Why end my life over a guy I’ve really only known for a short time?
- Why does Not-so-Nice Guy’s “rejection” of me (which is how I see it) mean that I’m stupid, useless, worthless?
Of course, I couldn’t rationally answer either of these questions. She also said that what I’m feeling is completely normal. It’s the natural grief over a broken heart/broken relationship. It will pass. Rationally I knew this, but it certainly hasn’t felt like it.
I also talked to a friend. One of the women from The Group, who has also had some relationship issues lately. She suggested I think about what I can learn from this. Sounds clichéd, I know, but I think some of her questions are helping me process this.
- What would you differently next time? What would you do the same?
My instinctive reaction to this is that I wouldn’t open myself up so much next time. It only leads to hurt. But this is a double-edged sword, because if you don’t open yourself up, you potentially miss out on great things. I guess I need to learn how much to open that door – enough to enjoy the good, but not enough that I get sucked in to believing there’s hope and that I’m onto a good thing, when I might not be.
- What did you like about yourself in the situation? What didn’t you like that you can work on?
How’s this for confoozed? What I liked is that I was able to open myself up… aarrgghh!! Not completely, but I was able to walk some scary lines, share a little of myself without being rejected (initially at least) and be open to receiving something positive in return.
And now just to really mess with your heads, what I didn’t like is that I opened myself up; I let myself believe that this was a good thing (and it really was) … that only ended in tears.
- What didn’t you like about him? What are you looking for in a person that you can look out for next time?
This is really tough for me. It’s hard to name things I didn’t like, because there was so much that I did like.
What I’m looking for in a person, and what I largely got with Nice Guy, is someone who’s intelligent, funny, shares some of the same interests – particularly an interest in politics and current affairs (even if our views were almost polar opposites). I’ll never forget the night he said to me:
Nice Guy: “You might think this is really weird. Don’t think I’m nuts or anything, but on election night, I like to sit at home and watch the count.” Looking embarrassed.
Me: “Oh my god – me too!!!”
And then we talked about all the things we like about doing that, how it’s the highlight of our political cycle, and how it annoys us that other people think we’re nuts because, even if watching the count is a bit like watching grass grow, when you’re a political junkie, it’s awesome!!
I also want someone who’s sensitive, kind and compassionate. Nice Guy fit that bill, too. It shone through in spades in the way he talked about other people, especially those important to him – like his family, and even his ex-wife. He also showed an interest in me. He sensed that something “not quite right” had happened to me in the past, and he was patient, and caring and understanding about that. I never did disclose anything to him, but he was nothing but kind in wanting to understand and being patient with me.
I also want someone who understands the meaning of the word “no” when things get, ahem, hot and heavy. Simple, right? Apparently not with some men, though Nice Guy oozed respect in this regard.
I want someone who has a job and a life. It doesn’t matter what that is (within reason), but I don’t want someone who is struggling to set themselves up. This might sound horribly judgemental, but I figure at my age, being “set up” comes with the territory. If you’re not set up, either something terrible has happened or you just can’t get your sh*t together.
If I’m completely honest, I could have lived without a little of the passion he had about things that don’t interest me – like cars and military history. But I still loved that he was passionate about those things, even if the subjects themselves bored me to tears. 😉
I’m sure I could keep writing, but that will do for now. It’s something for me to think about anyway.
The other reason I think I’m doing better is that my brain is fairly full thinking about my health issues. I saw the specialist again today and I’m having surgery on Friday. Not the greatest news, but at least they can do it sooner rather than later. I’m hopeful that this will be the end of these troubles, but there’s no guarantee.
I’m also kind of proud of myself because I talked to the specialist about my gynaecological health, and fertility prospects. I was incredibly (and I mean INCREDIBLY) scared about asking those questions. Even though I really want a family, I’m not sure I want to hear some of the possible answers. He was fine about it – he always is. He’s a gentle, caring soul. We’re going to look into all that once the surgery is done with.
I expressed concern to the Wonder Therapist about the prospect of having another general anaesthetic. Here’s what she said:
The Wonder Therapist: “Sorry, a minute ago you were telling me you’re going to top yourself over a guy you hardly know, and now you’re worried about the health impacts of another general? That seriously doesn’t make sense.”
Me: laughing “I know. I never said it was rational!”
Both of us laughing.