Myself, a newly single woman ready to enter the world of dating after ending a six-year relationship, decided to give Tinder a shot. I found myself surprised with one man in particular. We “matched” and did the whole dinner and drinks while making small talk. We fucked at the end of the night as most of those encounters conclude. He was a nice man with nice smile. From the moment we met I felt like he was a breath of fresh air from my past of overcast skies and a choking fog. We dated for a bit and I soon started believing I could have a relationship with him. We decided to be mutually exclusive. There was a small catch – he did a lot of traveling for his job and would be returning overseas in a couple of months to finish a job for a shipbuilding company. I was not really afraid to accept this fact.
During our time together, we laughed a lot. I felt like I my soul was finally opening up again and I began to feel like I had the optimism of a child. He was familiar, but brand new in every way, like how I had smelled his cologne before, but never on him. Eventually the time came when he went back to work and left the country. For the two months, we remained faithful to one another. I sent him a care package of my panties and some videos of myself masturbating. We talked almost everyday on FaceTime. The time came toward the end of his job, just about as he was preparing to come back to the States, when he found out his next contract would be in Texas and last upwards of 10 months, maybe more. This was a huge disappointment and brought a lot of stress into our new relationship. There was a point where we started questioning the future of us before we even reconnected from his first trip. I started second guessing everything and let me be clear, I am not one to second guess. I expressed my feelings regarding my doubt and my lack of emotional strength; sadly, almost to no surprise, they were mutual on his end.
Leading up to the days to his return to America we discussed all of the “what ifs” and how ultimately he was the one who needed to think it all over. I sarcastically said to him one evening over FaceTime, “Maybe you’re just not ready for me.”
There was a silence. He replied, “Maybe I’m not.”
My heart, already hanging on by threads in my chest, sank down past my gut. I had thought when you tell someone you love them you are ready to take chances. He had told me he loved me, as I loved him. I was prepared to make the necessary steps to try and keep building our relationship. I wanted to be on his team. I was ready to get out my frequent flyer credit card and visit Texas. I was ready to dive in head first into the deep ocean of the unknown with our hands held together; I had made the assumption he was ready too.
The words, “Maybe I’m not” continued to echo in my head for the duration of our conversation. At one point he explained his reasoning, which was that he wanted to do what was best for him and missing me would only be a distraction and cause too much pain during the time he was gone. I internally scoffed at his words. I felt like I was suddenly talking to a stranger who was giving me the most bullshit excuse I have ever heard in my life. My eyes and lips remained silent until we said goodbye.
It was there in the moment after ending the FaceTime call I realized he would be the one to terminate our relationship. I thought about my last relationship and how the tables had turned. My ex had wanted the world for us and expressed his desire to fight through the fire which is inevitable in every relationship. Now I was the one who wanted it all and it was like leading a horse to water when it doesn’t want to drink- or however the saying goes.
Karma is truly a bitch.
I am writing this is past tense like there is an ending. But the man I speak of, the man who went to Korea, is still there for the next three days.
I told him the other night over iMessage that if he was going to break up with me then to accomplish it swiftly. I related the scenario to the Japanese ritual called seppuku. I told him I didn’t want to bleed out all over the place. A little dramatic, yes, but I believe the point was made. He told me he wouldn’t drag it out. I thought, oh, how nice of him.
I do not know how to enjoy his arrival or even to entertain his return back home when I feel all of the signals are pointing to the inevitable, the demise of this relationship. I remind myself I have carried through the motions of my last relationship for six years with the optimism it will work out. Surely I can do it this time around for a couple of days if I chose to, right? Sadly, my optimism has faded, my walls of defense are slowly rising back up. I do not know if I can stomach smelling his cologne on him again.