Continued from last night, my thoughts and musings on past relationships. Going over the good and the bad things that have happened over the years, learning from past mistakes, and realizing that without the bad things that have happened I would not be where I am today. These 6-part postings are to make the point that even through the toughest situations, when you feel like giving up the most, there is always a shining light at the end of the gloomy tunnel, if you just let yourself believe in it.
Again, this is not meant to slander anyone’s reputation or hurt anyone’s feelings, as I’ve experienced some very beautiful things with all of these people. So if you do read these, please don’t go ganging up on any of the folks I mention here. These are just my own personal thoughts and feelings that I felt the need to share, as they've been a lot of personal baggage weighing me down for a good while, that I don't want to continue to keep all bottled up and carry around anymore.
Jay Naylor – My relationship with Jay was the shortest yet, and also the one in where I will admit to making a lot of mistakes. Jay and I got together a few months after my break-up with 2, and thinking back on the situation, I really probably should have held off, for Jay’s sake, as in the end our break-up affected him a lot more than it did me.
I had been talking with Jay for quite a few months, and getting to know him was an honor, as he’s not one to open up to people very easily. I found him to be very intelligent, mature, talented and responsible as he had set goals for his life and managed his own business. He was fun to talk with, and he was a big support to me when I started having rough spots with 2.
I should have seen the signs, as this was the same thing that had been a pattern before in my past involvements with potential partners, and again I was feeling vulnerable, and in no time had developed a huge crush on Jay. I found out that he had similar feelings towards me, which was a big deal for him, because he had been hurt by past relationships so much that not many people could breach through the fine wall he put up to keep others out. So I was touched that somehow he had a soft spot for me.
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but Jay and I ended up doing a “trial” dating thing for a while. I really liked him, and wanted someone to be with, but was also extremely gun-shy from previous relationships, and unsure if I was actually ready to make that plunge and try moving on.
But in pondering over my past relationships, and how things went, I also thought that very few of the guys I had ever dated were truly all-together. Jay was older, and more experienced, serious and responsible. He and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye on such things as, say, politics… but he had, for the most part, a lot of the same goals and ambitions that I did. He was sick of being involved with immature women who didn’t know what they wanted, and was surprised at how old I seemed for my age. He had a steady job, wanted to settle down and eventually buy a house. He had plans for a comfortable, calm lifestyle, with a partner that he could be committed to, which was exactly what I was looking for!
It seemed like it could be worth a shot at the time… and maybe this time would be different. Although I had my small doubts and paranoid ideas, and I was very afraid from the beginning that if I did end up dating Jay I might end up hurting him in the end, or treat him as if I were on a rebound, which I didn’t want to do, and I voiced these concerns to him quite a few times. He seemed very grateful that I would be concerned about that, and offered his own thoughts that even if things didn’t work out in the end, we’d still always have our friendship, and that if I did ever end up hurting him he’d know that I didn’t mean to do it intentionally.
So, completely ignoring the little red flags that were frantically waving around in my mind, I decided to give things a try with Jay, though I told him that I wanted to go _very_ slowly and cautiously at the beginning. I wanted to take my time, and not rush, and just see how things played out before seriously letting all of my guards down. He agreed, and the relationship started off well enough. We spent time at cons, and I visited him at home, (got to meet his mom, who was very nice… his cat, Fang… and his nephew’s little dog Snoopy, who was the _cutest_ thing ever!) and he also visited me at home. We did the typical things that a normal couple would do. I even gave him some ideas for a chapter he wrote in his online comic, “Better Days.” ;)
I think what may have changed things a bit was when I was finally starting to get a bit more comfortable being called “girlfriend” again. What stemmed it, I believe, was after Jay’s LJ had been trolled, and I had rushed to his defense, as I would do for anyone I really cared about. It’s why I’m a canine. ;) But after that, I started feeling a little bit better, and not quite as nervous about being someone’s “girlfriend” again. I thought, maybe this would all work out after all.
But, as has been the case often times in my past relationships, the moment I tend to finally get comfortable with things are when things start to go badly… >.<
Some of my friends had come to me, concerned about the current guy I was dating. Apparently, while Jay was visiting me, and I was introducing him to my friends here in Toronto, he had given them “dirty looks” and would come up behind me and wrap his arms around me possessively. At least, that’s the way they took it. I hadn’t really noticed. O.o But, I asked Jay nevertheless, because I just wanted everything to be out in the open, if there were any misunderstandings.
Jay seemed very surprised and a bit taken aback, as _he_ thought that he had gotten along with my friends just fine, and didn’t remember giving anyone any dirty looks, at least not intentionally. I cleared things up with my friends, and just kind of poked at Jay that maybe he could try to loosen up a bit, and not be quite so serious all of the time. He _did_ have a tendency to be very quiet and straight-faced, though he was polite, but many people tend to see that and get intimidated. I suggested that Jay smiled more, and try to be a bit more outgoing, but he explained that he had his reasons for keeping his guard up, and only felt comfortable enough to let-loose with friends and colleagues who he knew and trusted well enough. So I tried not to push him too much more on that issue.
But other issues came up at a time where I suddenly became spooked after a turn of events that lead me to start doubting the relationship, and what my true feelings for Jay were. I had told Jay that I wanted to move _slowly_, but it seemed (to me, anyway) that the moment I started acknowledging myself as his “official” girlfriend, Jay took that to suddenly mean that I wanted to jump head over heels into things. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I was _just_ starting to get comfortable, but the time we spent at last year’s Anthrocon really had me second-guessing things.
Cons aren’t really the best time for me to focus my attention on any single person at any given time. Jay was looking very forward to seeing me at the con, since we would be rooming together, and I had hoped that the two of us would have some alone time together, to just enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, this didn’t end up happening, due to other room-mates being in the room quite frequently, mixed with the fact that Jay wanted to spend some time with his other friends, and I also had some previous engagements with other people that I needed to take part in. I was running around like a mad hatter for most of the con, and any friend of mine will tell you what cons do to me, as far as my attention level goes.
Jay had actually later on told me that he felt very left out, and brushed off, which was honestly not my intention at all! :/ I just got sidetracked a lot… and maybe I took him for granted, thinking that, well, he was going to be visiting me for his birthday in a few months anyway, and then I had plans to go visit him again for Thanksgiving, so we’d have plenty of time to make up for the time we missed at the con!
(Thinking back on all of this now, I feel extremely bad and guilty, in feeling like I had done the same thing to Jay, that 2 did to me… without even realizing it. *ears flatten*)
I really shouldn’t have assumed that he’d not take it personally. I had no idea. I thought I had made it clear before the con that I’d probably be very busy and be running around a lot. But the way he took it, in my mind, seemed to be a bit harder than most people might have, since, well, we _did_ hang out at the con quite a bit! We shared a table in the Artists Ally together, we roamed the halls together, and we went out to eat together a couple of times. I tried introducing him to my friends… but afterwards I learned that he felt awkward when people would constantly run up and talk with me, and he’d just kind of stand there off to the side and look on. I did try to get him involved with people a few times, but it’s just Jay’s way to be quiet and nod politely.
He asked me what I saw in him, and why I even liked him at all, as we’re so very different, and he didn’t have anything in common with any of my friends. I asked him why I had to have a reason for liking him? Some things just stand out to me in certain people that I like. Mostly I just thought he had a nice personality, and I liked spending time with him, which a lot of people couldn’t quite seem to understand. I often times found myself telling people, “He’s really a very sweet guy, honest! You just have to get to know him!” Unfortunately, most people don’t want to bother, because of the hard exterior that Jay often showed, which sometimes made me very sad, because I wished that others could know the side of him that I did. But I realize now that he only shares that side with very few people.
And the more I got to know Jay, the more I _did_ start to see that he and I weren’t quite as similar as I had thought. I mean, what we wanted out of life was very close to the same… but there were many differences in the way that we saw certain things. Things that were important to me seemed a bit less important to him. And I’m not talking about things like the fact that he just happens to be a Christian Republican, who likes to collect guns, (though to this day I will never understand what’s with Americans and guns…) or the fact that he was antisocial. Hell, I go through antisocial periods a lot, myself. O.o He had his differences, but they were minute, and I could overlook a lot of them… or at least I tried very hard to. :/
But there were some things that did disappoint me. One was the fact that Jay was sometimes a bit too serious and overly analytical about certain things. One thing being the fact that I feel I’m a wolf spirit. It’s something that I take quite seriously, but was one thing that he always tried to find a reason for why I felt that way, and break it down into little psychological explanations, which offended me just a bit…
Another thing was that we saw Love, and Being in Love as two completely different things. Jay believed in levels of love and commitment, and while I shared a lot of those same values, it was also very important for me to be _in love_ with the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
But Jay didn’t feel that being “in love” with a person was very valid, and that being “in love” was basically just a nice idea that people try to believe so that they don’t have to deal with the reality of things when something in a relationship goes badly. In fact, one major difference between us was the fact that Jay based most things strictly by being analytical, doing research and using logic, while I used logic in combination with my own personal feelings on things. Jay wasn’t one to let his feelings decide how he would come to a conclusion about just about any given topic, and that included feelings of being in love. Jay believed that many people start off “being in love,” but when those happy, floaty feelings go away, often times people will get board of their partner until they find someone else that they feel that they’re “in love” with, and who suits their needs better.
Jay firmly stated that a relationship is based more on commitment, and then when a problem comes up, you don’t just give up and run away to whatever’s better. You stick it out, and work through it, and keep going on. And while I agree with the fact that a relationship takes commitment and work, and you should be able to work through any problems if you feel for the other person… I also strongly feel that there’s more to it than just that.
_I_ do believe that there needs to be a greater love for your partner. No, it’s not about what’s “perfect,” but it is about what’s “perfect for you” to a degree. It’s who you share a matching bond with that you simply couldn’t find in any other being. I _need_ to be truly in love with the person I’m with… and I soon realized that as much as I did have strong feelings for Jay – I did love him, and care about him, and like him – but I wasn’t in love with him.
We had the same ideals as far as family life, and commitment to a relationship, and future goals went… but I soon realized that I was thinking more along the lines of material things that I was looking for in a partner, and not how I truly felt about my partner, as a person. How could I simply “settle” with someone who I had doubts about my feelings for? I’m sure that Jay and I could have had a very nice life together, but would it be worth spending the rest of my life feeling like there was something… missing from the relationship?
I told him that I couldn’t continue with things any longer… and he cried, and I cried… and he said that he didn’t want to lose me… not now. I asked him if he thought it would be any easier later? It wouldn’t be fair for the both of us.
I’m sorry I let him down… I made a lot of mistakes, and I shouldn’t have got his hopes up. But in a way, I would hope that I had influenced his life for the better, in some small way. I remember a random guy who came up to me at the con one day and told me how amazing it was to see that Jay was actually happy. I was a bit surprised, and asked what he meant. He told me that since I came into Jay’s life, he was more positive about things. He actually _did_ go out, and meet some new friends. It was a nice thing to hear that the time I did spend with him at least affected him in a positive way.
I’m sorry that things had to end between us… In some ways, maybe it was my own self-sabotage that ruined things. But I would hope that maybe through his experience with me it might have at least shown him that he _can_ meet someone with similar ideals and a better personality match to settle down with. I just wasn’t the right person for him… but I believe that someone will come along for him, who will be ten times better than I could have ever been for him.
But that’s only what I believe. He has to believe it for himself.