Soon, I will stop scrutinizing my breakup with M and just let it be. After our dinner together Sunday, a lot more of the whole ordeal makes sense to me. I realize that there were incompatibilities I didn’t see, or maybe that I ignored or denied. And I know now that M was frustrated for longer than I knew, and I understand why. I understand better why things went south for him. Now that we are in contact again and will, I hope, have a friendship that endures this episode, I want to think about the future.
But there’s one point I get stuck on. Let me try to articulate it:
I don’t get how his feelings changed so quickly. Or why it seemed to me that they changed quickly. What made him so sure so fast that he wanted out?
I think I understood him to say that the differences in our lifestyles, our philosophies regarding financial security, etc., were possibly negotiable but the fact that he didn’t want to have sex with me made it impossible for him to want to be boyfriends.
We didn’t have sex every day, but when we did he was … good to go. We had great sex. You can tell when a man is turned on, and M was, until a few weeks ago, turned on. It wasn’t like he had to work up the enthusiasm. So, from my point of view, what it looked like is that less than a couple weeks after we were having great sex, he told me that he didn’t feel attracted to me anymore and didn’t want to be together. That’s an awfully short period of decreased interest to base such an irrevocable decision on, isn’t it?
He suggested that his frustrations with my life, my way of getting along in the world, may have contributed to the waning of his interest in sex with me – maybe that’s the key. Maybe that’s why he’s so sure the change in his sexual response to me is more than temporary. He said that when he started to feel like he had to take care of me (because of my stressful, insecure life), his sexual interest waned. This is fascinating and heartbreaking to know, because I’ve recently started to realize that I have always used my insecurity, my vulnerability as a way of attracting men. I’m like the woman who acts all hapless and girly to get the big man to change her tire. And that’s exactly what turned M off. Maybe.
I wonder if I’m trying too hard to connect the sex with the other problems he had with the relationship. Or maybe I’m trying too hard to separate them.
So … I just needed to get these thoughts down.
I will probably never have an answer to this question, and I’m almost ready to drop it. That’s the hardest thing about love for me, the fact that I will never know what’s in his head. We all have things we don’t tell or can’t tell, things we lie about with various degrees of self-consciousness and intentionality. I’m not likely to change that. Life and love certainly don’t depend on my understanding them. Every day is a mystery.