After SG and I agreed to take a week out last Sunday, I spent the whole week with my head in a spin: he’s so nice…is that enough?…looking at him makes me smile…but it doesn’t give me butterflies…he’s kind and sweet…and passive and utterly unassertive…he’s got beautiful eyes…he lives in suburbia and likes it…he’s utterly unadventurous…but totally reliable… On Thursday, I was convinced we’d have to split up and I experimented flirting with someone else to see what I felt (not very much). Yet, when I went to the cinema with my sister yesterday, I wished it were SG sitting next to me, that I could lean against him and put my hand on his knee.
I woke up this morning still not sure what I’d say to him. We hadn’t sorted out when and where we were meeting and I decided I’d leave it to him to take the initiative. I’m not normally one for being passive, and it was difficult, but one of my major issues with him is that he never takes the lead in our relationship. He took his time, but eventually at around 2pm (after a morning of constant phone checking on my part), I got a message asking me what I was up to today.
We met at Greenwich and went for a walk in the park. It was obvious fairly quickly that he didn’t want to split up. He’s normally very diffident, but he put his arm around me at one point, and stood close to me – brushing his coat against mine – on several occasions, and was clearly disappointed when I didn’t respond. Inside the Observatory exhition, he kept his distance, standing behind me, I think trying to hide how upset he was. But I hadn’t responded because, even with him in front of me, I didn’t know what I wanted.
The whole time we were wondering around the park, we didn’t mention the elephant in the room. Then we went to the pub and he was clearly nervous – he does this thing where he covers his mouth when he speaks when he’s nervous – but two drinks in, I realized that he was never going to bring it up and it was going to have to be me.
When I did, he straightaway asked me what I wanted and I was honest. I told him that I’d been thinking about it all week and I was just going around in circles in my head. He clearly took this as the introduction to a breakup speech and replied that every time I’d written to him this week (we’d messaged a bit), he’s been expecting it to be a Dear John message. He’d sent me a message yesterday telling me he missed me and I realized how difficult that must have been for him to send when he was expecting me to break up with him. He looked so sad and hurt and alone and my heart just melted. Whether I’d been going to break up with him or not, I don’t know, but looking across at him just then, I wanted to hug him and stop him hurting.
So I switched tack and instead we started talking about what was difficult for us in this relationship. Strangely, we both have a problem with the opposite sides of the same coin – for me, that he never takes the lead, that he’s totally unassertive and too reserved; for him, it’s that I come across as a force of nature and totally invulnerable, always pushing for what I want. He said that being with me is like he’s a surfer riding a wave and he’s worried that at some point he’s going to crash into the shore.
Seeing him hurting and being so open with me (and on a practical note, with the fact that we’ve got a holiday booked in two weeks’ time in mind!), whatever I’d wanted before just gave way to us agreeing to give it another go with him promising to be more assertive and me promising not to be so bossy.
I’m not sure if it will work – I’m not sure these are easy things to change about ourselves, and they are not the only problems we have in this relationship, but I feel a lot of tenderness and affection towards him and I think it’s worth trying a bit longer at least.