So My Ex is Dating Someone New
It’s not the first time; he’s dated a handful of women since we broke up, it has been three years after all. The first time he told me he was in love with someone else, I missed work for a week, because I couldn’t stop crying. A broken heart is normal, it happens all the time, but to make you really understand why it hurt so much I’d have to write the whole story from beginning to end and that might take forever, so for now I’ll leave it at that. The first time he told me he loved someone else hurt like hell. The second time wasn’t as bad, although I pretty much forbade him to tell me anything about her.
It might not be cool to censor your friends like that, because that’s what we are, friends, but I didn’t want my mind to turn against me with thoughts of how amazing she was and how nice he was to her when I felt like I had never had that privilege.
We have a strange relationship this ex, this friend, and I. We live in different parts of the country, we haven’t seen each other in over three years, but yet we love each other and we communicate all the time. On a weekly basis. We send each other presents, spend hours on the phone, and tell each other how much we care all the time.
A few days ago, when he told me he was dating someone… I wasn’t sure how to react. I joked and said: “I guess that means we can’t have phone sex anymore.” He agreed, but when I started to moan on the phone he didn’t exactly tell me to stop. I don’t know why I did it… maybe my ego was hurt and I wanted to test his resolve. See if I could seduce him even though we were miles apart. He didn’t participate, not exactly, but he stayed on the phone. I asked him if his dick was hard, and he told me he wouldn’t say, because that would be participating, adding that I probably already knew the answer to that question anyhow.
I was touching myself all the while reminding him about all the times we had shared together. The way it felt when we first kissed, the thing he said to me the first time he smelt my hair. I felt guilty and a little foolish, but he did participate, at least a little, he asked if I had just taken a shower and if I was all groomed; my hair long and sleek the way he likes it. Then he said something, I’m not sure what, I can’t remember, but it upset me and stopped me in my tracks.
I was silent over the phone, wondering what the hell I was doing and how I could change my mood so we could have a normal conversation and move past it all. I prompted him to talk about something, anything else, so I could stop feeling like a rock, because that’s how I felt; closed-up and hard.
He started talking about the book he’s reading, and we laughed and regained some sort of flow in our conversation, but I couldn’t let it go, not really. You see, I want him to love me, to want me, even though we’re not together. It’s completely selfish, but it’s true. I don’t begrudge him his relationship, like he said he has needs and I’m happy for him, and I’m glad he’s with someone even though he likes her music just to be nice and he hates the way she talks during movies. I just want him to like me more. How sad, how fucked up?
It’s completely selfish, and vain, and fucked up that I derive pleasure out of the fact that I think I’m more attractive than her (because of course I’ve seen her Facebook profile) and I feel like a wretched person for even thinking that. I’m sure she’s a nice person, that’s she’s great, and amazing, and nice and all that, but I don’t want to lose my place in his heart.
When we got off the phone, everything was cool. We were both in a good mood. He was going to take a shower and I told him he could think of me moaning while he was in there and since he was going to be alone it wouldn’t be “participating” as he put it. Clearly, it was an attempt on my part to stay on his mind, but didn’t mind, he laughed and said he would think about it.
It’s confusing, because he’s dating someone else and he loves her, I assume, but then some days he sends me an email out of the blue telling me he hasn’t had a good laugh since he’s talked to me, or that I’m the person in the world who knows him the best and how special that is, etc.
I fell asleep after our phone conversation and woke up around 6am feeling wretched. All these emotions came up, I was practically crafting a novel in my head, so I got up and started writing him an email.
You know how they say you should never drunk dial? Well, I think you should never cry and press send. Anything you write in that state is bound to be over-dramatic and barely makes any sense. I feel like posting it here for you guys, but I’ve already written so much and I kid you not my email was basically a novella.
I did however forward a copy to my friend L., I’m not sure why, maybe because I wanted a witness to all my crazy and I knew that she would understand. Among all her good advice and commiseration, she threw in a little tough love (none of which I begrudge her):
Here’s a moment of a little tough love: he’s using you and has been for a long time. I think he’s an addiction for you.
It might seem like an odd thing to do, compare your feelings to an addiction, but I have yet to see anything that XXXXX offers you in return that remotely resembles what you offer him. In point form you offer him:
- complete and total understanding, even if it’s at your expense
- unconditional love
- constant support for absolutely nothing in return
- accepting his love life, even if it goes beyond you and to another woman
And he offers you:
- conditional love, when it suits him
- whatever is left behind after he gives himself to other women
- a lack of compassion for your feelings
- no support
- sexual romantic feelings that are not supported by real-relationship things, like a physical presence, understanding, patience, sacrifice, pain, commitment, loyalty
Olga, you deserve so much more!
Her email was much longer than that, but in this context, I think those are the most salient points. I deserve more, that’s for sure. Not that I deserve more than him per se, because I maintain that we are good friends and he’s a great guy, but I do deserve to be in a relationship with someone who will give back what I’m so willing to give, which to put it plainly is unconditional love.
For those of you who are interested and have read this far (haha), my ex, my friend, responded to my long emotional tirade with the following email (again edited for length):
I’m not upset about your emotional tirade, it’s important to me. You totally do have a special place in my heart that no one else has, it’s true. It makes me sad when I read about how I disappointed you and hurt your feelings and confused you. I was confused too. It makes me sad…. all I can do is tell you that I will never let you go, and that our friendship means a hell of a lot to me. Sometimes I think that I made a bad choice and things would have been great for us, sometimes I think that our relationship now is something even more than what it would have been if I hadn’t made that choice….
Maybe that’s all I was looking for, some affirmation of my worth in his eyes, and maybe that’s enough, but I can’t help wondering how someone, anyone, manages this kind of friendship, where you’re so close to someone you’re friends and more than that all at the same time. It’s a strange relationship, and difficult to manage at times, especially when my ego and insecurities gets in the way, but I’m determined to figure it all out. Who knows what the future holds for any of us. You can’t just give up on someone because it’s hard sometimes. Like he said in his email, I hold a special place in his heart that no one else has and so does he in mine (it doesn’t have to mean anything beyond that). I just wish I didn’t need to be reminded of that quite so often.