I started thinking about other men from my past that have looked me up.
I was talking to an old friend last night; let’s call him Jerry*, since using only initials will get confusing very quickly here.
Jerry and I didn’t really interact that much in high school. He was a close friend of my boyfriend back then. Funny thing is at this point in our lives, I have much more in common with him than I do with the high school boyfriend. . . It was kind of fun to remember that time. I was all of a size 10 (thought I was fat!)**, I was one of the cutest girls in our group of misfits, I was happy most of the time.
The high school boyfriend, A, has looked me up several times. He’s happily married to the girl he started dating after we broke up, and he proudly refers to her as “his high school sweetheart”. (We dated for almost 2 school years, and he only dated her for the last 4 months of his senior year, but, whatever. . . )
Jerry says, “I think he is generally concerned with your well-being. I dunno, maybe he wants to see if he missed out on something.”
But, that aside, after I stopped talking to Jerry, I started thinking about another ex, M.
M was probably the biggest ex-bf before THE ex discussed before.
M and I had a very passionate on-again-off-again affair for quite some time. We stayed in touch and on the periphery of each other’s lives for several years. I even invited him (and his then-wife) to my wedding. (They didn’t come.)
M has also looked me up several times over the years. The last time, he spent months trying to find me on the internet. There are literally hundreds of people in the country with my first name/last name combination, and he combed the ‘net looking for me in a time when I had virtually no web presence. The last couple of times, it was very easy for me to realize that he doesn’t hold that big a part of me any more. He did, for a long time, but now he’s pretty much a stranger.
There was a point in my life when I never thought I’d feel that way about him. I thought he was The One, until I fell for THE ex.
A brief aside here, as someone with bipolar disorder who wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30 years old, I had several years that were. . . adventurous. I often had more than one romance going on at a time. I slept with a lot of people.
The number of times I’ve been in love can fit on one hand, but I don’t know the number of men I’ve had sex with. I know that I have broken a few hearts, especially my first husband (I had two marriages end before I was 25).
My first husband looked me up a couple of times, but I felt so bad about how I treated him, that I didn’t even respond.
So, J is not the only ex to locate and contact me. He’s not the only ex that sometimes thinks of me. All of them are married to other people.
On the one hand, it’s nice to know that some of the people that meant a lot to me at one point think of me.
On another, I can’t help feeling like they think of me as a crazy bullet they dodged.
My friend synchronicity says you should always sleep with someone crazier than you.
I think I’m the crazier one for quite a few people.
That’s a little sobering.
Anyway, as I was reminiscing, I recall a time when a girlfriend and I discussed a group of friends. If girlfriend 1, girlfriend 2 and I were in the same room and a guy walked in, the guy would want to sleep with me, marry GF 2, and be a big brother to GF 1. No idea why, but that is the way men acted around us. Something about how we presented ourselves, I guess.
And I realized. . .
I’ve always been the one that guys wanted to sleep with, not the one they marry. The one they have an affair with, but not leave their wives/girlfriends for.
At one point, I liked that, even needed it in a sick sort of way.
But by the time I was with husband 2, I didn’t want to be that one any more. I really was ready to settle down and grow up and be the married one. But I had trouble making the transition from superficial relationships to a real, intimate relationship.
I think the reason his betrayal cut so deep was that I was ready for that, and desperately wanted it.
I also realized that part of what I wanted from him was for us to. . . grow up together. You know, all that stuff you learn in your 20s about being independent, living away from parents, taking care of yourself, learning each other’s quirks and compromising. . . I wanted someone to grow with while learning those things together. I wanted to raise kids with him, to share all those little moments of babyhood, toddler years and school years that you go through with kids.
And since I cannot go back and relive these last twenty years, I will never have that.
My reunion fantasies?
Can’t ever happen.
Because we can’t go back and do those things together.
Even if, by some miracle, he was suddenly single, neither one of us is who we were.
I’ve said that before, many times.
But I don’t think I really internalized it, really believed it, until I went through it from this direction.
I also think part of the reason I’ve stayed alone this long is that I don’t want to play the same role I did before, as the one men want to have sex with. For one thing, I don’t channel my manic energy in that way any more. I want more respect than that. But I’ve never really learned how to act with men when I’m not manic.
This seems to be my next challenge.
And it’s scary.
** I know, I know! Jerry said he remembers me as ” you looked soft, for lack of a better word. but that was a good thing. ”