Dating, rejection, abandonment

I write, often, about themes relating to rejection and abandonment. It’s not hot. I know that.

And yet, there’s something about courting those experiences that draws me, inexorably.

The other night, I had a date. It was a great date. It didn’t end in sex – it ended in two chaste kisses, one, on the cheeks, and one, just on the edge of the lips. We said good-bye, having planned a much less chaste date in the very near future.

I won’t go into the details of the woman, or the date. One day soon, maybe I’ll share what I’ve written on those subjects. For now, though, what I want to explore is my relationship to the aftermath of the date.

For reasons that have nothing to do with me, she says, my date changed her mind. Twelve hours after our date ended, she was in a different place than she’d been when we said good-bye. She took longer than I might have liked to tell me that, and her communication with me since then has been… limited. (Though she took longer than I might have liked, she did nothing wrong.)

She’s not ghosting on me (I think). She’s working through some shit. Maybe one day, I can be helpful in that project. Maybe not today. If I had my druthers, she would say that a little more forthrightly: “I’m so sorry,” she might say. “I need to work through some shit, and I’ll be back with you in a week’s time, either to reengage, or to tell you I need some more time.” Or, simply, “It was fun meeting, but I’m not in a place to proceed right now. I’m sorry.”

What she said, though, was, essentially, “I’m sorry – I’m stuck in my head, doing a lot of thinking.” She pointedly did not promise anything about the future. But neither did she foreclose anything. And so here I am, stuck in my head, wondering, “SO?????????”

I’m not complaining about her behavior. I’m observing my response to it. I’m observing how much I hate this open-ended, ambiguous, uncertain, unknown zone. She might resurface. She might not. I don’t want her to reject me, but part of me would prefer rejection to limbo.

And I’m struck by my desperation. I’m fighting my urge to write her. I want clarity. I want to medicate my anxiety in the moment by prompting something, anything from her.

Desperation isn’t sexy, and I want to be clear: my desperation isn’t about her. It’s about something primal, something early. It’s about something that happened, most likely, long before she was even born (she’s a bit younger than I am).

Anyway: I expect I most likely will hear from her again. I have no way of predicting what, or when. And that sucks. Mostly, it sucks because of that shit that happened decades ago.

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