In the meantime, another friend asked, "What do you want?" He wasn't making a judgment about D's choice, but let me know I needed to take care of my needs, as D. was taking care of his. Then another man friend asked, "How does he treat you?" I liked that response also. D. has always treated me very well. I have felt respected, unconditionally accepted as I am, listened to, supported in my goals. The more I sat with "What do I want?" and "How does he treat me?", the more I realized there didn't have to be only one way to react to his decision.
So I chose to float downstream on this boat. A week after his choice, I was feeling unmotivated, uninspired, sorry for myself, wronged, and lonely. That morning, I placed personal ads in the Seattle Times and The Stranger, both free. Then, to my surprise, when we got together, I felt like things hadn't changed. I know he wants to see other women. I know I don't want to stay in a committed relationship with someone who is not committed to me. Still, we've gotten together a few times since the end of February. We ushered at ACT and saw Power Plays. We went to a class on Conversations with God.
To my surprise, when I wasn't in resistance to the change happening in our relationship, I felt okay about still spending time with him. The good thing that has come out of this is that we are still friends and still love each other. I don't know if he will act differently
toward me when he is seeing other women. Maybe I will be meeting other men through the ads by then. As I am writing this in mid-March, I am looking forward to new men less than I expected. I am awed over and over by how much I love this man, perhaps as
unconditionally as I have loved anyone. Over our six months, we have talked a lot, been silent together, danced, had picnics on my bedroom floor, supported each other's To Do goals.
We had perhaps the best week of our lives in October traveling through Vermont and the East, taking in fall colors. The second week I was sick, but I got to experience him as loving and helpful rather than frustrated.
One of the sadder things to me in all this was that he told me he had held back part of himself, "ten percent", so he'd be less likely to be hurt. I had gone through several weeks of ambivalence in November, wondering if we had enough together. I didn't have the intellectual challenge I wanted, but realized there were only about three people in my life who offered that probing, confrontive, in-yourface dialogue with me. When I figured that out, I made a commitment to who he was, not to who I wanted him to be. I had dived in, and was swimming into the deep, and now he was telling me he had stopped short of that. So yes, I did feel a bit cheated.