Hmm. So what happened between you and Ashley, Adam?
We meet three weeks ago and instantly click. Kick it on Valentine’s Day as each other’s Valentine. Spontaneous, light-hearted Valentines, but Valentines all the same. Later that day she shares she’s not ready for a relationship.
Mixed signals ensue over the next couple of weeks. We spend a lot of time talking and texting, at least five hours a week. I am flirtatious, complimentary and charming. She is cautiously receptive. We inspire each other and share our gifts.
Earlier this week, Monday I believe, I bring these mixed signals up. She says I have a good point.
Distress is triggered for each of us but more so for her. We decide to cancel our Friday plans. I apologize for putting pressure on her; in hindsight I realize I was attempting to define our relationship, subtly undermining her own honest expression that she is not ready for one. Nevertheless, she says I have nothing to apologize for.
Later that night/morning, we end up texting for 4-5 hours, all through the morning. Intimate but almost entirely non-sexual texting.
Later that day she re-instates our Friday plans.
Later that night she confesses that she likes me, but that it makes her feel unsafe to do so. She mentions various issues she has. I calmly and reasonably agree. I say no matter what happens — being careful not to say “relationship” or anything like that — we need to go very slowly.
She is admittedly moody during this exchange, saying a number of odd things: she’s jealous, possessive, insecure, and distrustful of men; she has a secret means of income. I don’t overreact and go with the flow. Yes, I’m aware you have issues; I’m not naive. I accept your flaws. I’m not asking you to tell me about your finances; tell me when/if you’re ready to.
The implications of a relationship are there — I am excessively affectionate, sending a “thinking of you =p” before heading to bed — but I am doing my best to show restraint. I’m uneasy about us hanging out on Friday; I’m also uneasy about her total about face. I expect her to push me away soon.
The next day (Wednesday) I wake up and feel uneasy. This soon grows into intense anxiety. Ashley later texts me and says we just need to be friends, but refuses to go into much detail or talk on the phone. I tell her, “Hmm. I feel like you’re pushing me away.” I agree that we need to just be friends; I don’t like the direction this is going, either. I am nonetheless hurt, however, and I feel like she is being insensitive.
After a bit of touch-and-go, she says she needs space. Works for me. I assume this means we’re not going to hang out Friday.
On Thursday I tell her I’m ready to push the reset button and start over as friends. We chat astrology and things seem pretty normal. We talk later and decide we will go through with our Friday plans. We’re both pretty excited.
We meet in Long Beach on Friday and head to the beach for yoga. The energy is awkward and I am admittedly moody, feeling pensive, contemplative and introverted. I am disturbed because there are underlying issues I want to address. I feel it is important to have an open, honest and vulnerable talk about what went down this week. But I can feel that she has no interest in that, so I suppress my feelings and emotions and live up to our promise to be friends.
I lead us through an hour long yoga and meditation session. We chill at the beach and the energy seems good. I’m perking up but am still a little moody.
We drive to get something to eat and stop at Whole Foods. Now my energy is back and I feel like myself again!
We park at the strip mall in the restaurant. I make a flippant comment that offends her. At first I laugh it off, but she is seriously offended, so I stop, apologize and ask if she wants to talk about it. Things quickly escalate: she says she’s been annoyed by me all day, that she can’t tolerate my volatile mood swings. I correct her and call her out on her own moody behavior this week. She storms out of the car and walks away. I am wondering what the hell is going on; should I leave? I feel my emotions exploding but I calm myself down and approach her. I ask if she’d like to get dropped off; she agrees.
Before we leave, I attempt to talk about things one last time. She blames me for lingering, for not walking promptly or briskly enough to whatever it is we’re going to do (in this case, eat at the restaurant). It is obvious there are much bigger issues at play.
I finally come clean and tell her that I’m upset that we haven’t talked about our unresolved issues. I lay out her own moodiness and ask if she wants to have a conversation about it. She says no. I give up and ask her how to get to her house. She curtly tells me to drop her off at her friend’s house. I say I’m not going to get ordered around, and politely ask her to rephrase it and ask for permission. She refuses and volunteers to get out on the side of the road; I oh-so-happily acquiesce. Before she leaves I hold her drink hostage and tell her she will need to apologize for her behavior before we have anything to do with each other.
I drop her things off at her house and send her a couple of text messages. Yes, I am intensely attracted to you. That said, I only wanted what was best for you. I am hurt that it looks like we won’t even get to be friends, but I will heal. You’re obviously going through a lot and I wish you the best. I forgive you and don’t take your actions personally. Whenever, however, you want me in your life — even if it’s not at all — I’ll be here for you. Until then, I’ll give you space. Peace.
My biggest mistake was flirting and inserting any hint of romance into our relationship once she made it clear she was not ready for a relationship. To that end I take most of the responsibility and I will never make that mistake again.
We still could have worked through these issues, and who knows, maybe we will. Obviously with her unstable behavior I am not interested in any kind of relationship with her at the time. Maybe one day we can be friends, however.
I suspect she was threatened by unexpectedly finding a man she really liked. But she knew the timing was wrong and was having trouble coming to grips with everything. I don’t particularly understand her behavior on Friday; I exercised much restraint and just tried to have a good time. I did not flirt at all. I was platonic and friendly.
It’s not like we ever had sex. We never even held hands. Physically we were never intimate. Not sure what the big deal was.
It’s unfortunate because we would have made excellent friends. I would teach her yoga and meditation; she would teach me astrology and Tarot. We inspired each other and brought out a lot of the best in each.
It’s hard not to blame myself for being too impatient and looking for a romantic relationship when one wasn’t there. I am regrouping, taking my lessons on the chin, and moving on stronger and wiser. I hope she does the same.
Ashley, if you read this, I hope I’ll see you at the Meetup next month. We’ll be cordial and polite and that will be that. It would be a shame we allowed any residual tension or anxiety to impinge on our shared passions.
I apologize. I realize my mistakes and lessons. I moved way too fast and, despite my best efforts to avoid controlling and manipulating you, I unconsciously acted these dramas out by inserting subtle romantic and sexual tension.
It won’t happen again, either with you or the next one. Wish you the best.