I had made so many bad choices in my past that I wasn't sure if I could trust any decision I made. It took me over 16 years to finally trust my heart, and allow myself to love...... Really love. It was love at first sight when I first met him 3 years ago. I never fully understood that silly saying, "love at first sight" until I met him. I opened my door to an infectious smile, and eyes that danced. He captured my heart. And once we started seeing each other on a regular basis I could not ever picture my life without him in it. I had never met a man who had every quality that I wanted in a mate. I didn't even believe that was possible.
I met him in an unconventional way. I won't go into detail. But we hit it off immediately. Which set the course for the next 3 years of our lives. I still remember the first time I fell in love with him, and every other time I fell in love with him after that. I didn't know it was possible to fall in love with the same person over and over again. I remember asking one of my girlfriends if that were possible. I can't even remember her response now. I keep thinking.... It doesn't get any better than this. We didn't argue, but debated some. At least that was what I called it. About 2 months into the relationship, I learned that he had a definite fear of commitment. We had just gotten back to my house from dinner with Ryan. We had this amazingly fun dinner, and it just all came together and felt so right. But that night he told me that he didn't want to get married again (he had been married and divorced 3 times like I had) and he said he knew I wanted that. I asked him where that had come from. He said the first date we went on I told him at dinner that I wanted to get married again. I had to think for a minute back to that first date, and what we had talked about. Then I remembered him asking that night if I wanted to marry again. I remembered thinking at the time....GREAT......this has got to be a trick question. You're not suppose to talk about marriage on a first date. Besides joking around with my family and friends, I really hadn't put a lot of thought into marriage. I mean there was this one guy I met, and he wanted to marry me. I didn't even like him. I thought about it for a minute, and it scared me that I might actually do it just to avoid being alone. Thank God that never materialized. But as I sat there with this person, I remember telling him that IF I fell in love, and was absolutely sure about it, yes, I would like to get married again. That's a little different than, yes, I want to get married again. After he said that after we got back from dinner, I reminded him of what our conversation was that first night. He fought me on it, and scrambled for words to make sense of what he was saying. Nothing he was saying made sense. His words and actions contradicted themselves. He left my house that night with a very deep hug. One that felt like he didn't want to let go. As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, everytime he has ended things with me, his hugs have been like that. I feel them, and it's like he is trying to push us into one being. That time it took us only a few days, and we were talking again, and seeing each other again. But I noticed a pattern over the next 3 years. Everytime we were getting along, spending a lot of time together, no problems, he would pull away. It became a joke with my girlfriends. They would laugh, and tell me not to use commitment or any words that came close. I started noticing that it wasn't me who brought it up, but I always got drawn into the conversation with it always ending up as me being the bad guy. My initial instinct was that he was more afraid than I am to take a step in the direction we were going. Unlike me, the free spirit.......he was the disciplined, ex-military, focussed judo expert. Talk about the cards stacked against me. I guess I didn't stand a chance from the get go. But he kept coming back. My friends would say he is was using me, but I didn't see it. He is a very good looking man, educated, financially secure. All the things that didn't add up to using me. The sex was over the top. At least for me. We never had issues there. But I know he didn't use me for that. He could have anyone he wanted. I joked with my friends and said I used him for that! LOL!!! It just didn't feel like that was all it was about. We shared so much of our lives with each other.
Things were not perfect by no means. I didn't need perfect, because our relationship was real. We faced everyday problems in our lives and with our children. He dabbles in real estate, and goes to seminars and workshops all over. He would never tell me when he was going or anything like that. That puzzled me. I had never tried to control anything he did. I never tried to hold him back from anything. That's not me. I never thought he was seeing someone else, and that was the reason. Maybe I was looking at things through rose colored glasses, but the feeling that he was doing that just wasn't there. Not to mention I had been cheated on before, and I had become an expert at recognizing those signs. I also always had that feeling those other times. Just not with him. Eventually he opened up a little more, and would let me know in broader terms. I took that as a small step toward making progress. For all the things that I thought needed work or attention in our relationship, there were just as many good things going on. He had asked me on one occasion to go with him to Costa Rica. He threw it out there, and I would have gone. I didn't have a Passport because I had never traveled out of the country. I was rushing around to find all of the necessary items I needed to obtain a Passport. The plans fell through or he decided not to go. After that he never asked me to go away anywhere with him. He likes sports.......he never asked if I wanted to go to a ball game. We watched them on tv. He liked to do a lot of things, but when I suggested that we do something he would never make plans with me. We would talk about things, but nothing ever happened. He promised me a ride on his bike. He never took me on that ride. I did start feeling like he was embarrassed to be seen out with me. Then I would think, we go out to dinner. If that were the case we wouldn't do that. It always seemed to be he knew just what the limit was with me. I don't know....... I was probably wrong in my perception. I remember last year on our 2nd anniversary of seeing each other. A couple of months leading up to it, I tried to make plans for us to do something special. He would never commit to it. I was afraid to make any plans for fear that he would disappear, and it would be a waste of money and time. So I dropped hints and would ask. One night as I was leaving his place I asked him again. He asked me what it was about. I told him it was the 2 year anniversary of us meeting. He said, oh okay. Yeah that's fine. So as it got closer I would remind him, and asked him to put it on his calendar or something. Then about a week before, he said he didn't know what he had going on, and he would let me know. Hurt and trying not to cry, I reminded him that he had plans with me. He then tried to make things right. I was literally exhausted. I gave up on even entertaining the thought that we could actually have a fun weekend together without his drama. So when I contacted him a few days before, he would not respond to me. I finally heard from him at 11 p.m. the night before we were supposed to get together. He called and I wouldn't answer my phone. He left a message. I called him back, and he asked me what was the plan. Yeah, I know. I should have given up right then, but I didn't. I told him that I didn't have any plans. He seemed shocked. He said that he told me he was going to do something with me, and he thought I would have made plans. It was very cold. Almost like he made plans alright, but only to hurt me. We got into an argument that night. I think it was the next morning that he suggested we go get some lunch and go to the beach. At this point, I didn't want to go to the beach. I had asked for the full Saturday and Sunday. So he told me to just come over and we would decide. I took my time, and actually was a little late. That did not go over well with him. So when I got there he asked once again what the plan was. I told him there was no plan. He said, I thought you were taking care of that. It was almost like he had slapped me in the face. So he said let's go. He took me to this little barbeque place near where he lived. It was great and we had great conversation. It was all good. When we left there, he started driving. I had no idea where we were going. He drove to Channelside in Tampa. It's a place that has different restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment. I had only been there once before for a friend's bachelorette party at one of the clubs. So we walked around, and then went into a bowling alley/sports bar type place. We watched college football and drank beer. We had a lot of fun there too. Then we went back out, and it was dark out. There was an artist in the courtyard, and we watched him paint several pictures. After that we went back to his car and he started driving again. He went clear across town, and I had no idea what he had in mind. That's when he pulled into a little "dive" icecream shop. It reminded me of the Tastey Freeze that we always went to down on the Dunedin Causeway. We got icecream cones and sat at a table outside of the place. We laughed and joked and just had fun. Then we went back to his place. It was different that night. We went to breakfast at IHop in the wee hours of the morning, came back and slept some more, and other stuff. We went later to get burgers and it was going so well........ Then when I went to leave, he told me it was over. I had this flashback of my 3rd husband telling me the day after our 4 year anniversary that he wanted a divorce. I could not understand why after two amazing days, he was ending things with me. Nothing made sense. He tried to make that weekend bad, but he couldn't. There was nothing bad about it. We had fun, a great time, amazing sex, and other than leading up to it, there was nothing wrong about our time together. But some how he was able to make me feel bad about it. We lasted less than a week apart that time. Now that I think about it, the most we had spent apart during one of our down times was 2 weeks. The most we had ever been apart in almost 3 years was 2-1/2 weeks when he went to visit his son a couple of years ago. That was up until now.
For the past year since our anniversary weekend, he has told me periodically that we were over. That our relationship had reached a dead end and could go no further. Still not making any sense, I pushed. Finally he told me he did not love me. Not like "that". But when I said certain things to him, I could see his body tense and the veins in his neck pop out. He would not look me in the eye when he said he did not love me. He just would not look me in the eye. This from a man who always makes eye contact. I would look at him, and he would look up at me real quick and look back down. I could see him taking deep breaths. I saw tears in his eyes. I asked him one time to look me in the eye and tell me he didn't love me. He looked up and said, I care a lot about you. He pulled me into a hug. One of those deep hugs. One like he didn't want to ever let go. So we have continually seen each other off and on. The last time he was ending things with me a couple of months ago, he said he was going to spend a couple of months with his son. We talked about it, and decided that we would use that as our time to end things. He told me he wanted Ryan to know that if he ever needed to talk or anything like that he could call him. I asked him to go to lunch or dinner with us, and he could tell him. Well that of course didn't come without him creating drama, and Ryan had a hard time dealing with it. We ended up meeting for lunch on Mother's Day. He shocked me when he came up behind me in Panera Bread, pressing his body against my back, and whispering into my ear Happy Mother's Day. Lunch was fun, but he never mentioned anything to Ryan about mine and his relationship ending. We saw each other later that night. Ryan had asked him that day about when he was leaving for his son's house. He said he wasn't sure, and he wasn't sure if he was going to spend 2 months there either. We saw each other regularly. The those Toronadoes came through his home state. I texted him that morning to see if his family there were okay. He responded that they were, and that he was leaving now to go there. It made sense, and I wished him a safe trip, and asked that he let me know he made it okay. He said he would, but he didn't. A day or so later he did respond with he made it okay and everything was fine there. In the beginning I would send a text here and there to let him know I was thinking about him, and hoped he was having a good time. Sometimes he would respond and sometimes he wouldn't. I didn't think it was any big deal. But about a month into his trip he would respond more frequently. I thought that was good. We chatted some on the computer and exchanged text messages. Then we got into some playful texting. One night he made a comment saying he thought I would have had sex with someone while he was gone. I told him no, I have no desire to be with anyone else, that I love him, and he holds my heart. I made some comment back because I was nervous. I was getting that feeling a little bit. I asked him if he really wanted me to be with someone else and doing that with someone else. I asked that he be honest when answering me. He said no, I guess not. I did ask him if he a tentative return date yet. He was vague, but gave me a time frame. Then one night we were texting and he was more specific on a return date. I didn't think anymore about it. The next evening Ryan and I were out and about, and I had text him earlier in the day. As I was driving home, I received a text from him. He let me know he was on his way home. This was almost two weeks earlier than he said he would be home. I was like, why? He said, he was thinking of going to a judo tournament in Miami. I said, oh okay. Then he text me that he was entering Tampa. I did not realize he was that close. Then he texted that he was home. I said welcome home you were missed very much. He said thanks. I told him we would have to get together soon. He said I could come over then. I was shocked by that. He had just driven hundreds of miles, and I didn't expect him to see me that night. I went over....... We talked for a long time when I got there. We talked about his trip, my life, Ryan's life, etc. When I went to leave I asked him I was going to see him again. He said, I don't know........... Then with a slow grin he said, of course I'll see you again! He had this huge grin on his face and asked me to call him when I got home to let him know I made it safely. That had become routine for us. Then days went by and I barely heard from him. We were up to the 4th of July and I asked if he wanted to do something. He would not respond. Finally when he did, he told me he had plans already, and he MIGHT call me later that night. I was upset, and said some things that I'm sure I shouldn't have. It just seemed that he could make plans for and with everybody but me. So then I called him a couple of days later and asked if we could get together. I got his voicemail and asked him to call me when he got a chance. He called me that night and told me it was over, and this time he was not giving in to me. I asked that he see me one more time. He said no....... After a lot of yelling and his drama, he agreed to meet me in a mall parking lot. He said we could not get out of our cars and so on. I agreed. At this point my heart was breaking, and I felt like I needed him to look me in the face to tell me we were over. Doing it on the phone to me is a coward's way out. I'm sorry, but it is. He had told me that it was a mistake contacting me as he got into town, and a bigger mistake seeing me. He said he thought about it and changed his mind. Then he said we agreed to end things while he was away. We had at some point, but then we had started back seeing each other. He left with no warning to me that he was leaving, and we had just seen each other a couple of nights before he left. Everything was fine between us. While meeting at the mall, I started to get out of my car. He freaked out and asked me if I had a gun. That threw me off and hurt really bad. Never once had our relationship been agressive, mean or anything like that. He accused me a stalking him. I have never stalked him. My mind was going crazy. I didn't know where this stuff was coming from. As usual he was trying to make me out to be the bad guy. I told him he knew better than that. I said, I don't have a guns, I'm afraid of guns. He said people who don't have them still get them and do crazy stuff. I said something like don't flatter yourself. I reminded him my goal is to get into law school, and I don't plan to screw my chances of that happening on him, so not to flatter himself. I eventually did get out of my car. I stood there talking to him with my back against my car and him still sitting in his. Finally when we were going to part I asked him for a hug. At first he refused, but then he got out of his car and hugged me. It was a long deep hug.........lingering. When I tried to pull away, he pulled me closer to him. Eventually some touching happened. When he "realized" what he was doing, he backed off and got into his car. We parted again. We talked and argued some more on the phone. It's not been easy. He did meet me for dinner on my birthday last week. He also picked up the tab. He would not hug me when we left the restaurant. But the look he gave me was that same look he gave me the first time we met. He has told me I need to move on with my life. He doesn't understand why I can't. Hell, I don't know why I can't. Other than I'm in love for real for the first time in my life. I don't know how to let go. I don't know how to walk away from my heart.
I have sensed fear in him everytime he pushes me away. He spends more time focussing on what shouldn't be happening, instead of enjoying what is happening. I don't think you ever stop loving when you truly love someone. I don't believe you give up over every little thing. I don't know if I will ever trust another man. I don't know if I can love another man. That is where my thoughts are at this time. Things may change. I try not to predict my future. We'll just have to see.