Brass Tacks

When it comes down to it, I think the frustration for me is that it never felt casual. It never felt all that serious either. And I liked it. Just the way it was, before the past few weeks when you were abnormally less communicative and I saw you twice in what, a month and a half? Leave me alone with my thoughts for that long without any acknowledgement that I am on your mind, that I matter to you, and I will pull that string until it unravels us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d have been happy if it were more “serious” or whatever but that conversation four months ago kept things in perspective. Maybe that is more problematic than I’m giving credence to; did it give me perspective because I had to continually acknowledge it or did it prevent me from accepting what didn’t serve me? Unclear. It’s not the first time I’ve pondered that. The point remains though that wherever it was on the casual-serious spectrum, it was working for me.

But I mean what I say: it didn’t feel casual. And, by the flip side of the same coin, I wonder if that “serious” conversation months ago didn’t do the same for you. You had to continually acknowledge that this was less casual than you wanted because it’s what I was comfortable with but that maybe you also chose to be somewhat blind to where on the spectrum we fell. I don’t think I imagined that we click, that you feel something for me that is more than casual sex and that whatever was going on was nice. But four months went by since that talk, John, so again, after maybe some initial weirdness on my part masking an internal battle for trust to prevail, whatever was going on was good for both of us. What I don’t know is whether something recently changed for you. And that is my brass tacks … it’s at the root of what I can’t make sense of.

I didn’t call you my boyfriend because you are a grown ass man but, if I’m being honest, I considered you my guy and I hoped you considered me your girl. But recently I started to wonder if anyone in your life even know about my existence. Several people in mine know of you, even if they didn’t know many details. I feel like I know the people in your life even though I haven’t yet met them. I like talking about you. I like having you in my life. I like our banter, our texts, our time together and, really, our friendship. I don’t even care that much that we rarely do anything outside of my house. I like us just fine.

In recent weeks though, it felt like I wasn’t even on your radar. It hurt. I worried if you were okay dealing with the winter blues or if something had happened with your mom. I sent up a smoke signal in the form of a text last week though and, even then, it wasn’t clear whether you had even noticed I’d gone missing for an entire week. That is the primary source of frustration, ultimately. No one wants to feel like they don’t matter. I feel like I do a good job of making sure you know you matter. Maybe it actually makes you uncomfortable? I never considered that. Is it just because it’s so close to Christmas and you are way more social than me (even though you don’t think you are)? Or do the holidays make all men feel imaginary pressure?

On Friday night, after not seeing you for two weeks, I wanted you to show up at my house after your work holiday thing (as you said you would) and I wanted you to say it was good to see me, that you’d missed me, that you missed sex, that I mattered. That didn’t happen and it was disappointing. But it also made me feel … unwanted. Unimportant. Desperate? That might not be the word but I felt like it was emblematic of a larger problem when you said “sorry to disappoint.” What does that even mean? You could accurately recognize that I would be disappointed but it was the first time that I questioned the sincerity of your words.

You saw and talked to one of my friends at that work party and even that feels weird. That she talks to you, adores you, and tells me this during and after the party. But I have to send up a smoke signal to know if you’re coming over or heading home. It’s honestly just weird.

I don’t want to throw in the towel here but if you are sleeping with other women or have started seeing someone else and that’s why you’ve stopped being as into me, then I need to know that now. I worry about that only because I truly do not understand why anyone would go so long without sex. Two weeks? Sex is so much better the more you’re having it with someone. How else do you ever learn what works? So if you’ve just lost interest in me period, you really should tell me that too.

If this moves forward, I don’t want to have to put effort into making sure we are talking. That’s silly. It wasn’t like that until the past two weeks and I don’t know what changed or why. I also don’t want to have to schedule time to be together. That’s so dumb. We are not an agenda item but I also recognize that you have a very busy social life. I have never asked you to give up one practice or open gym or game though you have skipped those things many times to hang with me. I always appreciated that and it did make me feel special (and also a little guilty). Maybe you don’t have time for any someone in your world and it has nothing to do with me? In my world (and I would argue anyone’s world), I make time for what matters and the message I have received recently from you is that I no longer matter. I did matter more but, at some unknown time, I ceased to do so? And maybe you just thought I was fine and I didn’t do a good job of telling you I felt neglected because I fear being perceived as anything less than fiercely independent.

Our thing always felt pretty equal and, at the end of the day, regardless of how you want to define or label it, that’s all I really need. I want to be part of a relationship that I enjoy, that I feel part of but also where any effort required is equal.

So, how do we move forward from here? What do you want, what do you need, and can both of our needs be met?

Music for the Mood: This Year’s Love – David Gray

Author: tigerlilyvegas

Former high school counselor, left of center, lover of grilled cheese, black coffee & IPAs. Equal affinity for turquoise water & white sands and the quiet, calm, green & wooded heaven that is western PA. Passionate about equity, justice, and requited love. And crucifying cheaters.

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