Only after a few short magical weeks together, things were going along great. The rules I’ve read about dating and love faded away as an effortless-ness seemed to comfort us both in what felt like unbelievable intimacy. Walks along the beach, long talks over our shared dreams, hopes and fantasies coupled with a sexual connection of oneness (see post) that was toe curling. Yes, it was a sappy novel in the making!
I mean, who doesn’t love romance? The tricky subject of the souls, the state of ecstatic connection where we feel like we’ve completed a long solo journey to unite with that one special creature that has made the same trek in a parallel existence. Our union erupts in explosive sexual gratification, adoring affection and a glow that beams from our being, whitening our eyes and making our gold halo just a little straighter.
The boundaries of non-negotiables were set. The emotional contract was drafted and agreed upon to set us up to go the distance together while protecting our dignities and securing our hearts against the dreaded Let Down. “This is healthy boundaries and communication!” I thought to myself, breaking my arm to pat myself on the back in an effort to actually apply the hundreds of self-help, no-codependence books consumed line by line, highlighted and coffee stained.
The mornings were met with the sweet texts filled with emoticons resembling joy and acceptance. The strategies to be a “power couple” were discussed in all the ways we would support each other’s dreams while maintaining an independent life balance as though the great poets themselves were drafting our story.
Then, bits of reality set in. Uncertain if it was the entropy of life or our individual past stories being replayed on a massive outside inflatable movie screens, our collective dysfunction in full view of each other. The realness of who she really was began to ring like distant church bells and what was lovely from a distance became deafening on approach.
As a man, it feels SO good to be adored and cherished. We are doers and have a deep-seated desire to be affirmed in who we are from our women, perhaps this natural desire went wrong in my wiring. The dopamine was spiking! Like a crack addict, I was attached. Oh sure, codependent too, looking for validation and affirmation outside of myself. To see the love in another's eyes was intoxicating and I fed the addiction in the most high-minded of ways.
Things quickly eroded. From bits of withheld truth, to other relationships she held near her heart that she couldn’t let go of for me, the new guy, I found myself fighting uphill, involved in a battle that skipped enlistment, bypassed bootcamp and went straight to ninja-like warfare.
I ducked, weaved, bobbed and cajoled…anything I could do to hold on loosely to a woman not intended to be held, was slipping through my fingers.
I didn’t want the connection to end. I don’t think she wanted it to ever begin. I was a number in her phone, one of the men only distinguished by a unique flavor that my charming personality added to the mix, one she even began to question as ways to further distance me.
She was a projection on a screen, never really seeing the other person, only mere reflections of each other experiencing a collage of light and shadows with some affection thrown in. Like one of those dancing carnival chickens, I found myself eagerly waiting for her to pull me off the shelf and offer love, even if inconsistently, until the pain of reliving old patterns fueled a righteous indignation from deep within a healed place to actually stand up and declare, enough is enough!
So now I sit here in what feels like settled dust fragments of my heart. Disillusioned mainly. Did I love enough? Perhaps I loved too much, too quickly, too intensely. “Fuck! Maybe it was me, I’m the screwed up one!” that inner voice of reflection checks me like a toothless hockey player mercilessly throwing me into the rails, feet in air, gear flying.
The brakes got slammed and I found myself without my seat belt firmly buckled, through the windshield I dove head first leaving me picking the pieces of glass and asphalt from skin that was permeable and ready to love after a long year of soul growing and character work. The narcissism was finally over and I could return to peace.
She pushed me away, into her unknown because it was what she could handle at the time. Flight. Fight. Freeze. The prehistoric reptilian inside us all knows only three responses to these fear impulses that rip through us when we’re challenged to expand, release and be more than we imagine. Love…it is the greatest force of creation and knows only purity. It’s a gift in itself that the state of love protects its precious mine of richness from the bullshit we bring it. Like a mother scolding us for wanting cookies before dinner, love sends us back to do our homework, wash our hands and come to it’s rich table ready to be served, offering us nourishment we long for.
In the end, I do believe she was emotionally unavailable and, sadly in many ways, reflecting back to me the ways that I too was not available. Eager to form a ten point bullet list to help my fellow travelers, this writing takes on a somber air of responsibility that I was a willing participant in something divine and to thank the universe for sending me a beautiful creature to nurture and participate in love's epic bond, even if it was sabotaged.
Now, I’ll begin again because that’s what intense lovers do, we individually return to yourself and choose to love again. We become more available, to ourselves and others, we learn the importance of boundaries and grow strong by loving without reserve, without rules and without fear of loss…we. just. love.
We’re all, on some level…emotionally unavailable in an area in need of light and this epic universe of grand intelligence sends us those people to tap that small reserve inside us where we’re too scared to feel and bursts us wide open into a heaping mess of emotions and battlefield scars.
Just love. It’s a choice we make every day and to not choose, is to choose in itself. Don't give up on love, it is seeking you always.