It took me a long time to write this because I moved on a falsehood, ya’ll. So let me break this down.
I stared at her words for a long time, considering them. Flipping them over in my head and examining them as one would a rare coin in their hands.
After I’d cursed, screamed, cried, and had already accepted that I would have to get him out of my system, I found out that it was all a lie. After feeling humiliated that my deepest fear in my budding relationship had already come to pass, I discovered that it wasn’t even true. A young woman who was last linked to him before me had simply insinuated that they’d slept together. Then, in a white-hot rage, I said cruel things to him. And even after she confessed that she’d made it all up, I was in such shock that I didn’t trust myself to make a move in any direction. What I did do, was take some alone time to consider how fragile I actually was throughout the whole situation, and delve into why.
I didn’t have to dig too deep, though, because I already knew why.
I’ve only dated a few my whole life, but know that as a rule, taking a younger partner seriously has always been out of the question for me. So much so that my ex-husband lied about being a year older than me when we first met out of fear that him being even my same age would be a deal-breaker for me. Now, ten years and one divorce later, here I am with someone who’s way younger. And the crazy part about it is that I’m the only one who seems to care. What’s worse is, despite the fact that both our families and friends don’t give a shit about it, each time I let my mind dwell on the age gap between us for too long, I found myself needing validation or worse, picking fights.
Meanwhile, he just loved me through it. He put me on a pedestal and said that he’d always reach for me, even if it required the tallest ladder, shoulders of a titan, or a goddamn rocket ship. Even if it meant that he’d only crash in the ocean and die as he tried. Of course, I told him that I found that sentiment too beautiful to be true. Suspicious, even. But he says that’s fine with him.
It still wasn’t “fine with me” for a long while, though. I drove myself mad reading articles on signs that a younger partner is a user and decided to go hunting for them. I considered our financial standings and goals, then checked them against a list of red flags. Nothing. He never asked for anything and he’s actually the giving one.
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find an area of my life where we were incompatible. In fact, we’ve been passionate and connected in ways that I’ve only felt a few times in my life.
So, fuck it.
I finally stopped asking questions. Of course, the moment I did…friction. We’d just spent the day together at the Burning Man showing at the Renwick. It was a super romantic day date because we go to write our names and messages on plywood placards and place them inside the exhibit’s interactive wooden temple that was on display. I shared the moment to my feed, which is public, and all hell broke loose later that night after we’d parted ways. It started with a post I mentioned earlier–which was plastered under one of my Instagram pictures–and ended in a screaming match with him that left me in shambles for days. So, I broke it off with him and we were both despondent and bed-bound. Hell, I fucking blogged about it. My last post is actually about the peace I discovered only after I stopped sulking like a weak ass bitch.
Fast forward to a few days later and I found out (and confirmed), from onlookers and all parties involved, that there was no incident. No infidelity. The chic who left me the message admitted that she’d lied to break us up. My head was spinning. I literally never encountered such shit in my life, but I was relieved. He hadn’t, in fact, fucked his ex during my holy month of fasting; I was just quick to believe it because I’m still adjusting to being vulnerable. So, after accepting that truth, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I unblocked him.
This is significant because ya’ll already know I’m Block Queen.
Yet, I unblocked him and heard him out. I admitted any fears I had about us. Then, he did the same. After some deliberating, we came to a compromise: he’d stop downplaying my concerns if I’d stop using the age difference them as a sole means to sabotage our relationship. That was well-played on his part too, because the latter is something I definitely do.
I’ve definitely, without any shadow of a doubt, sabotaged all sorts of relationships out of paranoia, boredom, or both.
But even though my block list has begun to rival my contact list in length, I feel strongly about maintaining my practice of booting anyone whose behavior gives me too much pause. I may even relish in it, but I’m working on that. That’s a whole ‘nother post. My logic for now is, I didn’t start gutting people from my life until after I started therapy, so anyone who didn’t make the cut after that is gone for good reason. Tactfully sabotaged. Besides, having enough experience with those relationships has given me a wealth of internal data to explore. Like case studies, I’m able to look back and examine my own behavior through the scope each interaction, no matter how lengthy or short, and move differently. Lately, I feel like it’s working because there’s simply less drama in my life than there’s ever been because I fight to hold onto those I feel deserve it. Also, it’s a good space for me to be in romantically because it means two things for me.
If this thing falls apart, I’ll be alright.
If this thing thrives, I’ll be alright.
Lovely. And the mistake I mentioned in the title? On the surface, I’ll say that breaking things off with him without hearing him out was a pretty bad one. But it’s nothing compared to the one mistake I’ve been contending with for far longer. That is, stubbornly asserting–within myself and to the outside world–that any romantic situation that makes me feel safe and whole is somehow flawed because I’m engaging in it while still working through my own shit, is a huge mistake because everyone is working through their own shit.
Issues of abandonment.
Mental health issues, diagnosed or unacknowledged.
Championing apathy as the new normal.
As for me, at any given time I’ve got a mixed bag of things that I’ll probably always be working through, but that doesn’t make me any less worthy of love. With that said, I don’t let heaux look down on me about my shit. I’m not accepting their judgement or advice at all. In fact, two things I’ll never entertain again is judgement from broke, badly built bitches…and sex without orgasms. Both are cancelled.
What I will entertain is someone who’ll go to art galleries with me, write music with me, rub my feet, send money without me asking (because I won’t ever ask), play with the back of my hair until I fall asleep, and text me pushy-yet-sweet little reminders to finish the stories I’m writing. It’s refreshing to feel loved in a way that makes me feel like nothing is missing. I accept it for myself even as I acknowledge that it may be fleeting.
Further, I’m glad we had the hiccup that we did because I got to write something beautiful that I already plan to revisit no matter what happens between us because I’m fond of reading things that remind me to love myself first, even if they were written to my past or future self. Looking back at a past full of relationships that made me feel as if I was doing most of the heavy lifting, it’s clear to me that this one, one in which I’m taken care of in more ways than I could’ve imagined, definitely makes me feel like I’m light years ahead.
Or in an entirely different universe, parallel to this one.
Either way, I’m going to keep doing me, pole dancing, and writing in pen…even when I’m writing alternate outcomes. Lastly, I’m glad he knows he’s lucky that he caught up with me in this universe, because I’m sure I’m living a City Girls summer in another one. Hey, better that than a Golden Girls one–excluding Blanche, of course. That bitch was lit.