It was the first Monday in May, and today should have been the fashion event of the year- The Met Gala Exhibition. Instead it was pushed to September, as it and I were feeling rather the same- tired.
More tired than usual, if we were being honest, and a little sad.
I was trying not to be which seemed to make it worst.
I had a bad night sleep. It felt like the world was coming apart in my mind. And I was being hugged too tightly by M.
I found him too hot and too on top of me, in every way of late.
You could say, my behaviour while in this relationship was rather shocking, even to me.
The warmth had evaporated and the affection seemed to be no where that I was.
Like we had been separated in two Ubers, on the way to a party, never to meet again.
“It’s like you’re a robot,” he told me last night.
Fear covered me. I wish it was only because my stomach felt off from the amount of noodles I ate that night. And then alcohol, and the ice-cream; I felt so bloated.
Even after telling him I felt super uncomfortable and needed space he still held me like he was the answer to me feeling better.
Earlier that night we went out with his friends on a kind of double date which I wasn’t at all in the mood for. I was in the final assessment period for my subject, and I was exhausted.
Of late I survived on caffeine, sugar, sewing, cutting a billion squares out of felt and listening to podcast after podcast, to keep my mind occupied.
Even sleep looked like something I couldn’t afford. My boyfriend was taking a break from being a lawyer, and enjoying partying, the beach and feeding this extroverted self in ways that his job didn’t allow.
I said yes to tonight, coming straight from uni across the road. He kept hounding me to come each week, and so I gave in, reminding myself “ relationships are about compromise. “
When we got there,
I quickly realised I was watching the adult sequel to Dora the Explorer, where Dora and Diego hit adulthood and find each other in a Chinese food mall.
So entwined and deliciously happy, the honey-moon phase drew a perfect bubble around his friends in the shape of a love-heart.
As the night went on, I noticed M’s behaviour changed and he suddenly needed to keep his arm around my neck, then my head and then we needed to have the same food, the same drinks. It was all too much.
I couldn’t help but wonder if M had lied to me, and really just wanted to be apart of his friend’s relationship circle having been on the outs for so long. The night was about feeling included, not about decent chat or reasons people actually go out together.
Despite this, I couldn’t help but watch M, watching them, and feel bad. Our relationship wasn’t based on romance, sex or chemistry that squeezes you at the knees.
And to be honest, that’s why I liked it. I didn’t want it to feel like my first love, where I was blinded and then when I woke up, I was confused by why I was there with someone I had nothing in common with. We were friends first and there was respect there, companionship, laughter and feelings that felt warm. Not like love just yet but progressing. I liked he took care of me and we could talk for hours. This relationship felt mature and relaxed.
Later that night I asked if it bothered him we weren’t like that. He said no, but I don’t think he’s as convincing a liar as what he thinks.
In bed, at 1 something that night, I snapped. I hated how he would take it personally when I said I wanted to not cuddle and just sleep. Sometimes I didn’t want to be touched, I just wanted space. And being a lawyer meant whatever I said, he took as a jumping off block for negotiations.
After a while I would give in as I was too tired to argue, but tonight I didn’t really have a choice. Something inside me had enough.
The word “STOP” rushed out of my mouth, causing my body to roll up into a ball. I think he was asleep and just rolled over, however I stayed awake for the rest of the night wondering if this was the end to more than us sleeping together.
It was odd, in the past I was always the affectionate one. Most guys I dated were not into PDA, and affection didn’t come easily unless we were in the bedroom or on the couch. Now I had that and more and it felt just too much.
Looking at him, I wanted it to be. I wanted to be excited and happy. With him, there wasn’t the usual anxieties when dating of what shall we be, does he want a relationship, is he having sex with everyone, will I wake up with a STI, does he like me for more than just what I look like?
With M, I had someone to call whenever, share my thoughts and be listened to. He would even take my calls when he was playing FIFA.
But there was also things I didn’t really understand or think I’d grow to like. Like his need to show off and need for me to validate him all the time. I didn’t like how he talked to people sometimes, me included. I didn’t like how he never seemed to show any passion for what he did, and how entitled he could behave.
On a bad day I felt like it was a drunken hook-up that we shouldn’t have carried on. And on a good day, I felt myself watching him. Perhaps even loving him, silently from across the dinner table.
And with all these things in mind, I had no idea which way I would go. Why did things feel good and bad? Reasons to stay and reasons to go. The truth about this whole thing, was I wasn’t certain. And I didn’t really feel certain ever. I had moments, but peace never really arrived for me in this relationship.
A dark part of me wondered if having the wrong person next to me was the problem or if it was just me. The me that existed towards the end of my last big relationship. And I was revisiting her now, and slowly patching her up, piece by piece. Hoping the other person laying next to me wouldn’t mind me being so distant, and fighting myself into a shape that was edible enough to like. Maybe even love.
A relationship pretzel to savour, with less salt and no bitter taste at the end.
Now wouldn’t that be delicious….