Last night was a bust. It was all me – and yet, really, it wasn’t. I don’t even think it was really an argument. I was just so tired, so done, with everything that doesn’t work for me in this relationship. And I drank too much, and I cried and said I couldn’t do it anymore the way it is: our time restricted arbitrarily, no control or say in that; him making excuses and rationalizing.
And in the morning, he acted like none of those words had been said. We went to breakfast, me confused, him forcing cheerfulness and acting like it was the end of any other date night.
We talked – somewhat – at breakfast. I’m still confused by his ability to gloss over everything, as though there was no moment in which I had said, “I can’t. I can’t do this anymore.”
“I heard you,” he said at breakfast. “I’m going to make changes.” These words without once saying to me, “Can we fix this? I want to fix this. Will you let me try?” He just…moved on as though I had never spoken. “Of course I want to make it better, that’s why I’m here,” he said in response to my confusion. It felt, instead, like what I had said, what I felt, was ignored. Of course I couldn’t have been serious about leaving. Because I never do. I always come back.
And in spite of his words later, I’m still confused, feeling wrong-footed. I wasn’t saying, “I’m sad, here’s why.” Or not just that. I was saying “I can’t do this anymore.” I love him, I love the times that we are together that we aren’t fighting over scheduling, or her control over our relationship, or the way that the issues in their relationship affect us. But those are the exceptions.
I had a first date the other night. I admit that I went in to that date with “maybe he will be the things that V isn’t”, and, “maybe he can also do the things he does, so I can leave this relationship behind.” I felt an enormous guilt that I thought that. But it was what I was thinking. I don’t have time or energy to devote to another relationship. Poly is this wonderful thing that says that you can have multiple partners that each meet individual needs – but there is a finite amount of “self” to each of us, and I don’t have anymore self to give. I tried that with the Romantic Guy from my work, and it didn’t work. I’ll own that failure. Damn how I’ll own it, and will have to live with the guilt of it – of the pain it caused him – for a long time. I thought I did, but I just don’t have the emotional bandwidth necessary.
So I went into this date clear-minded. I want someone that can give me what V does – and what he can’t, or won’t. Yes, I was shopping for a replacement.
The gentleman, although nice, wasn’t one. And placing those kind of expectations wasn’t fair to him. I’m aware of this. So I feel doubly shitty. Shitty for looking, shitty for being unfair to this otherwise very nice person.
I don’t know how to reconcile what I want and need with what I have.