From the start Ridley had me in the mode of full disclosure and I knew not why. It didn't bother me. Actually it was rather refreshing. Usually my private self was well ... private but Ridley's demeanor just brought out that side. Anything he asked about my past I answered with more detail. There was this visceral sense of not wanting to hide a thing from him. I acted not out of fear but more from a feeling of respect. Sometimes how a person is "being" creates the psychological state of projected identification. This means they bring out aspects of you that resonates with how they think. Ironically, I had absolutely no idea how real the real deal was until Ridley and I met one night for dinner. We talked for at about two hours and when I learned why I was behaving the way I was with him, it all made sense. Joshua's deception had, for the most part, created a kind of unease that was inexplicable until the truth came out. Ridley had the opposite effect. I wanted to tell him everything even if it meant opening myself up to judgement. Instead of unease it was a feeling of safety that his behavior and mannerisms seemed to generate in me. There was something remarkably refreshing about being unable and unwilling to hide the honest truth from someone you just met.
So like Benjie's departure opened the door to Bode, Joshua's exclusion from my life created the space to meet Ridley. Unlike Bode, Ridley was a brief interaction, more by my choice in my perspective. He wanted to be friends but my gut instinct told me to decline. The reason was that he wasn't like the other male friends in my life. These are friendships whom I have a mutual sibling sentiment with. I said no to Ridley out of my gut reaction. How so? My gut instinct has steered me well since I was 16. I left home as a teenager and was far away from family early in life and whatever it tells me I follow. For a moment I ignored it with Joshua and it proved to have been a mistake but a good learning experience. My gut kept giving me a hunch that there was something off and it was true. The opposite end was true again with Ridley. He had me feeling the vibe of safety and protection right away but staying friends would have created a "Just Friends" situation just like the 2004 movie. So to protect against unnecessary eventual disappointment, I had to say nein (no) to guard myself from that. You don't fancy your friends ever because it's setting yourself up for avoidable time wasting letdown. I had to say "Auf Wiedersehen" (Good-Bye) because I simply needed to.
More from YourTango: Love Is A Religious Problem
If I had to guess, I am certain that Bode would have signaled two paws up if he had met Ridley. However, I am grateful for Ridley's appearance in my life. He reminded me that the genuine article (the real thing) is possible to meet so quickly after a counterfeit (an imitation or worse, a fraud). It was another good learning experience to be thankful for because it reinforced exactly why everyone should only want the real thing in their life, whether it be people, places, pets, and things. Now I am grateful in advance for who I will meet next.
Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, Bode and Ridley too.
More from YourTango: Every Year, My In-Laws Ruin Christmas
What's on your gratitude list this year?