A. Pain. In. The. Butt... Exclamation mark!
You know why? Because hindsight is 20/20, and even worse, because "I knew it all along." FML, amiright?
So here is my big internet confession: Every few years I pick up a new hobby. For example, going to punk rock concerts (2000-2001), LOVING New York (2004-2006) and traveling the planet (duh, always) topped my list, but a few years back in my global jauntings, I encountered a fellow whose reaction made me go...
WHOOOAAAAA super magnetic pull and at the same time an echoing, reverberating, booming, "NO!" He was from the nation of Wales, which for a brief blip in time was on my radar for the simple reason that said Welshman grabbed me, kissed me, said if he didn't "he'd never see me again" (which I took dramatically and he meant just literally) and invited me on a trans-Atlantic journey into the future. And despite the "NO!", I got involved. He was cute, but he wasn't young Brad Pitt cute or anything. He was just a guy with a sweet face, a bad accent and a mouth that continuously spilled out musings that echoed my own thoughts, which at first I thought was brilliant, then later, I thought was idiotic. (Note to self: Hearing one's own thoughts out loud has a shelf life). Long story short: Should've listened to the "No." Not only did I get the "No" once, but I viewed some photos that tipped me off to the "No" a second go-round. But I thought my intuition was crazy, pushed it away, and BOOM.
Well, anyhoo, after this brief experience, I took to Google to research what the freaking hooha that strange pull was and two answers came up: "karmic debt" and / or "soul mates". Down the rabbit hole went I into a whole new world with a whole new hobby: metaphysics, spirituality, and other new age nonsense (2010-present, and no I don't need you to buy me crystals, thanks). BUT (and the big 'but' that it is) is that soul mates show you your true self. They are a mirror. They teach you lessons.
Lesson from Soul Mate #1: "My thought process is incorrect." (DAMMIT!)
So, I started listening to the whispers of the universe and now, in not-so-subtle hints, a direct command told me: "Move to LA. He's there." It was James Earl Jones in "Field of Dreams." (I'm serious, and yes, I think people who quote "the universe" are weirdo hippies as well, but I'm the exception, not the rule). LA was always high on my list of places to move anyways, so I thought, "Ok, universe, show me what's up."
I began opening myself up for this alleged "he" to find me: Online dating profiles, talking to strangers at bus stops, meeting friends and their friends and their friends, then seven months later, I made my way to the barbecue.
And I felt That Freaking Magnetism again. (This time without the "NO!") But the barbecue ended, and he didn't get my number, and I went home scheming up ways to see him again and I thought of friending him on Facebook and eventually I thought "If he wanted my number, he would've asked for my number" and I gave up... and then, he found me. And a date for drinks was set.
"Is it weird that I feel like I already kissed him before?" I asked my friends. "Yes," they said. "I feel like I've known him for a million years" and they said, "Well, you've known him for a couple of hours" and I don't remember how we started kissing on the first date, but by the time we made it back to my apartment (hey, nothing happened, busy-bodies) he pulled back, looked me in the eyes and said "I feel like this could be something really serious..." and then on the second date, "Hey, have you ever read 'The Five Love Languages'?" (because that's a second date question, but "Yes", for the record).
Things came up in conversation as the days and weeks and months passed, and eventually I learned of his previous long-term girlfriend of six years, a relationship that started in high school.
"Six years? Why'd you break up?"
"I moved to LA. I thought of moving out here with her, but realized we had changed. A lot of it was long distance," he said. And the break up was years ago. In the early months, I asked most of my important relationship questions and moved ahead trusting this was a man-with-no-issues-and-no-baggage. But every now and then he'd mention her, the ex, and how he had to have a rebound or how she was a "bad girlfriend" and I'd ask "Are you over her?"
It's not that ever, once, I doubted he had feelings for me. He'd email photographs home to his mother of us kissing (tres embarrassing!), gush about me to his very best friends, and get tipsy and coo into my ear "You're so pretty". It was hard for him to sit in the same room and not tumble into my arms, to sleep in a bed and not wind his long arms around me, and when I asked him to describe our relationship, he'd stated "satisfied", "content" and most of all, "happy". And if I had to tell you who liked who more, I'd say him by a millimeter. He loved our relationship, thought the world of me, but...
"Are you SURE you're over her?" I'd ask, on the rare occasion he'd talk about her bad girlfriending or say but not say that the emotions he had for her were stronger than the emotions he had for me, that those emotions were the "real love" though he loved being a part of us much more then he loved being a part of them.
My instincts said he wasn't over her, but his mouth insisted that he was (and it wasn't a lie, because his mind seemed to believe it), and I thought "If you can't trust your partner, who can you trust?" I took his word for it.
And then, one night, he climbed into my bed, wrapped his arms around me in a suffocating spoon. I asked several times if he was ok. He said yes, and I thought "Well, he doesn't want to tell me" and I dozed off, crushed by the embrace. There was no reason to suspect his problems were with me or the relationship, and in the weeks before he'd voxed kisses at me and took screencaps of me dozing off while on Skype and he lamented that an adorable photograph of us hugging was not on display to the world on Facebook, and there was no worry that I was anything less than the apple of his eye.
But, in the morning he woke, and said "Babe, I have to tell you something and you're not gonna like it..."
I forgot how he said we should stop dating, but I remember everything else.
"I don't know what's wrong with me. You are the sweetest, nicest person..." (Note to breaker-uppers: Never say "I don't know what's wrong with me." It begs an answer. A very long answer.)
"I know someday I might regret this," he said. ("You will," I thought.)
"If you get a new boyfriend, I will be jealous, the way I was with her when she got a new boyfriend." ("Was this while we were dating?"... Oh my God, this was while we were dating). And then, he told me that it wasn't he who had left her, but she who had left him. Over and over, six times before he waved the white flag, and in the time they were together, she'd only see him a few times a year, more often than not, blowing him off.
That isn't LOVE, I thought. And... YOU AREN'T FREAKING OVER HER!!!!
But then, I put that thought away. I asked "Are you attracted to me?" He looked at me like I was crazy. I asked if there was something he didn't like. "No," he liked it all. He cried on me for 10 hours, and I cried on him 10 hours right back. I went to a free tarot card reading. I told him what she said: that we are soul mates. "Well what do we do?" he said, but he had already broken up with me. And we talked, and we said our "feelings" for eachother were the same, but it was his "thoughts" that were different, and yet, he insisted that it was his feelings that were wrong.
Cue... Life Meltdown #47. The headache long outlasted the heartache, and my physical reaction to the "lies" long outlasted them both.
And his thoughts were wrong.
It's not that I don't believe him when he said he is "over" her. I just don't think he knows what it is to be over someone.
I told him all my exes are married.
"Oh my, does that bother you?" he asked.
"No. Sometimes, I'm curious, but no more than I am with random people I went to high school with."
And had he told me, I would have worked with him to get over her, but he lacks the communication skills to do so, or the ability to think of me as an individual outside of the relationship enough to do so... Not because he doesn't "love" me, but because his primary care was preserving my love for him, not rocking the boat, not making waves, instead of caring about the health of our relationship. Or, I would've known he wasn't ready to love again, wasn't healthy and wasn't introspective, and taken my love away.
In fact, I've been her before, in a previous relationship. Years past that relationship's expiration, I told that ex he needed to move on. I had told him while we were dating that I wasn't serious, that I couldn't see myself marrying him, but the fact was that I was young and hedonistic and had no future and wasn't that attracted to that particular ex myself. I bet money on the fact that she wasn't that attracted either, but who knows those things when they are young? Not everyone. Or I would have facilitated some kind of inquiry or asked her myself, if he really wanted to move past her.
I thought, for the longest time, that the lesson was "Have patience", but as is my nature, I fight for explanations and "Have patience" didn't cut it. It wasn't the lesson.
I felt his energy nuzzle into my back a few weeks ago, for days on end. I had written him off, but his energy was pressed into my back. I was weirded out, but of course an internet forum (you hear that? an internet forum; it must be true) affirmed this can happen.
And so, he will move forward until he moves on, someday crashing into a wall at a million miles an hour and he will see himself.
But then, it dawned on me. My anxiety isn't from heartache or needing answers or being unable to move on.
It's simply, I saw this coming. I didn't know the answers but my gut knew something was there. Something with her. Something he wasn't even admitting to himself. And I stood there, on the tracks, watching the train barrel towards me and failed to move. I stood there, knowing the train was coming, but deciding that it wasn't.
"Trust your gut." Oh, dear soul mate, that is the lesson. I missed it the first time and the second time and you came across space and time to show me and that's the lesson.
"Trust your gut."
And now, I wish for you, sweet soul mate, self love and self esteem and send you well wishes that someday you may know the love that I know, which isn't obsessive or addictive or fantasy. It's just simply wishing the best for the other person's life, but you'll get there. "Be patient" isn't the lesson, but you'll get there.
And perhaps, even better, you will learn the lesson that I learned from that Welshman: Your thoughts aren't always correct.
There's always next lifetime!