All week I’ve been wrangling with why I don’t feel fulfilled in this relationship with mystery man. He puts in effort, he’s nice to me, he spends time with me, he texts me… but I just feel like it’s not enough effort, not enough niceness, not enough time and not enough texting. Something just falls short of what I’m looking for. And I thought I was looking for some kind of grand gesture (as per my previous post), but I think I figured it out. I’m not looking for a grand gesture, rather, I’m looking for a deeper emotional bond.
I realized this when speaking to a co-worker of mine, who is a bit frazzled around the edges but at times he just gets exactly what I am thinking about even though I, myself don’t know what I’m trying to say. He spoke about his ex-girlfriend who was not emotionally mature and was not able to express herself in a socially acceptable manner. Her many temper tantrums had him wondering and curious about this subject. He said to me that sometimes people’s emotional growth just becomes stunted or they choose to close themselves off because of a traumatic time in their lives.
I thought about this and initially concluded that mystery man is just not emotionally mature and is just not emotionally available. He doesn’t seem to understand some thoughtful gestures such as buying flowers as gifts, and he doesn’t seem to talk much about his past. He is very closed off. I ran down this train of thought and everything seemed to lead me to the conclusion that he is not ready to open himself up and experience a real relationship. I even thought about whether this means I should end things with him and whether I’m wasting my time with this man.
However, as I thought about what it would take him to be more open or how I can get him to be more open with me, I came to realize that I am really not an open person either. My feelings for him are embedded in our flirtatious behaviours, my little joking stabs at him, and my gestures of kindness and generosity… much like his behaviour towards me. We are actually very alike in this respect. In fact, his closeness with me may just be a reflection of my own closeness. I haven’t really expressed feelings of how much I care about him, how much I like him and how much I’d like to know him better. Sure, I express feelings but really, I’m just spewing out monologues about myself in a jumbled story at inappropriate times.
I realized that I really haven’t tried to get to know him. I probably don’t listen to him enough and it’s not like I’m disinterested in his career, but I initially thought it would be best to shut that out of our personal lives. I now realize that his career really is his life and so I think I’d be more open to hearing more about it so that I can be supportive of it. Afterall, he did show interest in my career and wanted to know what I did.
Rather than focusing on his downfalls, I really should be focusing on my short-comings and how I can be a better partner. I make jokes sometimes about him being too non-emotional and robotic and I think he takes some of this to heart.
I do feel scared of putting myself out there, especially with a man that I perceive as being closed, mysterious, and at times devious. But I do really like him and I care about him, and I see him as someone that I could make a great duo team with.
Rather than playing games and seeing what would happen if I did that “do nothing” test, maybe I should just be my most genuine and loving self. If I want to have him over, I’ll ask him to come over. If I want to tell him that I care about him, I will do that. I’m not asking him for anything, but I will be appreciative of the things that he does for me. Maybe my aim could just to be this wonderful person that would be a great addition to his life and then it’s up to him whether he wants me or not. I have to put myself out there, and if I don’t then this chance that I am giving this man would just not be worthwhile.
Am I crazy?