After The Safe One and I broke up, I stepped away from dating for a bit. When I dove back into the pool I went on a couple of dates here and there. My heart was still healing and I was still feeling guilt over not being able to love my previous guy like he wanted or deserved. I believe in karma and I believe karma was out to teach me a very hard lesson when I met the next love in my life.
Of all the chapters in my book of relationships, this one has been the most difficult story to write so far. I struggled with what to call him, but decided on The Complicated One. After recently watching some Sex and the City reruns I found many parallels that were all too familiar and not in a good way. He was Mr. Big to my Carrie. I longed for Aiden in my life and hated how Big treated Carrie and especially how she kept going back to him. I fell for The Complicated One, hard, after everything in my gut told me I shouldn’t. But something about him drew me to him, I still can’t to this day explain it. Part of me will always love him and know that he is good, no matter how much he hurt me.
I met The Complicated One late summer after The Safe One and I broke up. He lived nearby and was handsome, very handsome. We talked quite a bit before we met. Well, I should correct that, we texted quite a bit before we met. Finally one Sunday afternoon I agreed to meet for a drink at a local watering hole. He smiled a devilish grin as he waited outside and I knew he was trouble.
Our first date was uneventful. We talked a little, drank a little, and then went our separate ways. I liked him but wasn’t overly impressed. In fact, I think he scared me a bit. He was older and talked about how he loved to go into NYC all the time. I grew up 15 minutes from Manhattan and I wasn’t really impressed, or was I? I went there a lot too, just not to events and parties as he did. We didn’t talk much after our first date until three weeks later when I ran into him out in the town we live in. I was having dinner with two of my friends and still had on the heels and orange dress, that hugs every curve, from work. He was on his phone outside the place where we had our first date and as I walked by I casually said hello and kept going. The next day we texted each other again with him asking “Why didn’t you stop and say hello?” “You were on the phone” was my response. Little did I know how much that damn phone would play into the demise of our relationship.
Our relationship began as purely sexual. We would see each other, hook up and go our separate ways. Yes there was some talking, lots of texting, but mostly sex. Lots of it. I am not good at casual sex, or casual relationships either. But this one was really only that, at least that is what I tried to convince myself. I joked all the time that I would probably be the last girl voted off his island of women. Little did I know that would eventually ring true. You know how they say watch for red flags – well the amount of red flags could cover the Great Wall of China. Still, it did not stop me from letting him into my life.
I was in my third Saturday class for a post-master’s certificate I was pursuing when I got the text that changed everything in this non-relationship. “Can I store some stuff at your place?” asked The Complicated One. “Sure” I texted back. Confused? Yes, to say the least. If I had a crystal ball and could see in the future I would have taken that ball, smashed it and ran away from him as fast as I could. Now, I believe myself to be a smart woman but when it comes to matters of the heart, I probably could use a little more input from my brain. I trust easily and have a compassionate heart. If I could save the world I would. Unfortunately, I also believed that I could save this person too. The only person you can save in this world is yourself, but I wanted to help him and I am not one to turn my back on anyone when they need me.
Well let’s just say he stored more than just “stuff” at my place. He also stored himself. I had offered. It was a whirlwind decision, not well thought out, but hey what’s the worst that could happen? He needed a temporary place to stay and I had available space. Plus the man could cook, really well and I enjoyed his company, when he was home. Well, one month turned into two, two into three, three into eighteen months.
In the beginning we agreed to keep it casual. We were living together but weren’t really together. Oh, I am sure you can imagine how well that plays out as time goes on. Yes, there was sex, cooking, talking, Netflix and some of the best sleep cuddling ever. I still miss how he held me every night. But there was also fights, many, volatile fights that increased in frequency over time. I hate to fight, really hate it. I don’t mind disagreeing, but true blow out fights is not for me. Why all the fighting you may ask? There is an old saying “There is always one person in the relationship who loves more, cares more, cries more, gets hurt most and even forgives more.” In this scenario that person was me. I struggled to keep it casual but how is that possible when you sleep next to the person every night and wake up next to him every morning? When I learned his back story I should have run, and even though I am a very slow runner, I should have thrown on my superhero cape, rubbed some Ben Gay on my knees and ran as fast as my creaky knees would allow. Instead I put on my superhero cape and tried to help him. I accepted him for all his flaws and did not let any of that cloud how I thought of him. He needed my help and I obliged.
It’s amazing how lust and longing can cloud your vision. But it does. I am still asked to this day why on earth did you stay with him? Honestly, I don’t know. Something about him kept pulling me back in. I believed him when he said he cared and wanted to be with me. Maybe it is just what I wanted to hear, or needed to hear. But whatever the case I should have stuffed my ears with cotton and drowned out the noise. It was as if I was in a cult and couldn’t get myself out of it. I kept thinking it would get better, he would want only me and sometimes I think he struggled with choosing me, but in the end, he didn’t.
It wasn’t all bad with The Complicated One. There were some really good times too and to this day I still believe that I am the only genuine person in his very complicated life. But when you measure your life in the number of Facebook friends and parties that you are invited to, is it really a life, or a life that you wish it to be? I would never be part of his world. He didn’t ask nor want me to be, but still I remained hopeful that he eventually would, but he never did. Ironically, I know the real guy, the one that no one else sees and that is the man I fell in love with, not the facade that he tries so hard to project to everyone else.
I still consider him an important person in my life and I have since forgiven him for all he has done to me. It’s been a long, difficult path for me to get to the relationship we have today and it is still a work in progress. I can’t get into too many details but there is a reason we have to still see each other, at least for a while. Even though there are times he lets me down and makes me very upset, I do not believe in hating someone just because they were not right for you. Forgiving him has been so very hard and it has taken everything in me to forgive what many would say is unforgivable.
After exactly one and a half years of living together The Complicated One moved out. The relationship ended way before our living arrangement did. And once again, I was devastated. I felt that I had failed at another relationship, but in hindsight, I had become so numb to the fighting that I didn’t realize that I needed to live my life in peace again and so did he. I put myself and my mental health on the back burner and tried so hard to make it work. I realize now it wasn’t a failure on my part, I did what I could. I just could not compete with the noise in his head, his female contacts in his cellphone and Facebook. I would never be enough and in any relationship that is not enough. I will always love him and he will always be special to me, a friend, perhaps, for life. We are still working on that part, and I think it’s achievable. I know him like most others don’t, he has issues which he has to work through but unfortunately he hasn’t and I’m not sure he ever will.
As for me, I am still working on some of the damage that my heart incurred and the emotional toll the relationship took on me. I have tried my hardest to not let it infiltrate any current relationship but it has, sometimes in small doses, but lethal ones.
A psychic (don’t judge) told me that he is my soulmate. She actually said his name and knew details without knowing anything about me or my story with him. I smile when I think of her saying that, because in many ways we are but I know I can’t ever be with him until he heals himself. It also makes me laugh because of all the loves I’ve had the pleasure of knowing in my life, he would not be my first pick for soulmate. But who knows? Maybe when we are both senior citizens and are in need of some great cuddling and companionship it could work. I know there are so many people in my life that would slap me for saying that, after witnessing my past pain and at times, my continued hurt as he still lets me down at times. And I understand their concern. As for me, I held onto so much anger for months after we ended that I needed to release it and let it go. I have arrived at a place in my heart that accepts him and most of all forgives him. And I really do forgive him, as hard as that may seem to everyone else. But it’s easy to hate when you are looking from the outside in and you see your friend in pain, and that I understand as well.