Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Story of Jack Daniels

So I've been avoiding this post, but to understand me and my story, I'll have to introduce you to Jack Daniels.

In October 2008, Jack Daniels broke my heart. For years I'd kept my heart protected; locked behind barriers and walls. Finally, I'd started to let someone in...and he crushed me.

Jack Daniels was a high school friend - a guy I'd never dated, but had always wondered why I didn't. We were never super close back then, but were part of a larger friend group. And there had always been something... a connection unexplored. After high school we lost touch. It wasn't until our 10 year reunion that we once again became a part of each others' lives. I felt it all over again...something drawing me to him. But sadly, I didn't act upon it. Instead we started to slowly reconnect. We emailed regularly, hung out with friends when he was in town, and talked - just really talked. He wasn't living in the area so we'd mostly email. We'd both dated other people. Slowly it grew to be more regular, talking almost everyday. Something was happening between us. We both realized there was a connection we couldn't deny. At the time, I was single...he'd been dating a woman for about 2 years. He told me his relationship wasn't going well but he was seeing if there was anything to salvage it - he said he felt he needed to give it his best effort so he would know he tried everything before moving on. I respected that, told him I'd tread lightly, and asked him to just be honest with me through things. It all went wrong.

In the next few months he told me how much he thought about me, how he wanted to be with me, and I really believed that they were ending. He was exactly what I'd wanted - he was engaging in my life, helping me through the daily challenges, waking me up with messages of "I can't stop thinking of you, beautiful", and ending my day with "I hope you dream of the day we can fall asleep together every night". It felt so right. Growing up he had been one of the most honest, trustworthy people I'd known. No one had a bad word to say about him. So I trusted. I believed what I wanted to believe. I believed he was torn between going after what he wanted (me) and knowing that he'd hurt her. He'd always cared so much about protecting others from pain. I was wrong.

One morning last October, I woke up to find his engagement pictures plastered all over a social networking site. A site where we were "friends". I was crushed. I spent weeks crying. I'd believed in our future. I asked for an explanation. He swore that he was a coward and he didn't know how to tell me. He said he was torn because he truly cared about me but felt he had to do this. He tried to spin it to save himself - he knew he'd screwed up, been selfish, and hurt me. I didn't understand. I felt naive, confused, used & broken.

I walked away, erased him from my life, and tried to move on. But I was weakened by my encounter with him. I'd never felt so intensely for someone before - not even my ex-fiance. How could I feel so deeply for someone and be so wrong?

*There will be other back story posts on Jack Daniels because I'm sure other aspects will be relevant to my continued story.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can I Get Some YELLOW, Please?

I feel like lately my heart has been stuck in a game of red light, green light.

Proceed with caution - that's always been my mantra. In relationships, I've been the queen of moving slow. It's incredibly hard for me to let someone in and so I've pretty much always been the one to set the pace of a relationship. I guess you can say my love life traffic light was always stuck on yellow.

I'm quite confident that has hindered many of my relationships (or potential relationships)*. Over the past year and a half I've actively tried to stop this pattern. I realize that when it comes to love, sometimes you need to actually "Go". So I've been trying to just take things as they come and let the pace of them happen on it's own. I've been marginally successful.

About 4 months ago, I met a new guy - Mr. Biz. Unfortunately, he has had the challenge of having come into my life not long after I got really hurt by another guy who I'll call Jack Daniels.** Mr. Biz and I seemed to instantly have a good connection. He's sweet, mature, and pretty good at communication.

So back to red light, green light...

I don't know what it is with him, but I'm caught in this cycle of stop and go. Honestly, I'm not really sure if it's me or him who keeps instantly throwing on the emotional breaks. One minute I'm with him and I feel like things are going wonderfully. Whenever we see each other I'm in it... it's all green lights. Then all of a sudden, I come screeching to a stop. For no particular reason (or is there?), I'm distant, angry, hurt. Next thing you know, I'm full speed ahead again. Then slam - I'm stopped once more. I'm not sure what's bringing this on.

Am I just scared of getting attached to this guy? Am I taking out my issues from the abrupt stop with Jack Daniels on him?*** Or am I unconsciously picking up on something going on with him? Why is it that when it comes to him, I can't seem to find the yellow?

* I've tended to end things before they become full blown committed relationships
**I will get into the details of Jack Daniels in a future post but suffice it to say he's the first guy to break my heart in a LONG time.
***Forget a red light... think slamming head first into a brick wall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Between The Lines

I'm usually pretty good at reading people. I generally know their intentions without them saying it, I can typically tell if they're being insincere or selfish right away, and I have a knack for reading someone's body language. I notice people...really notice them. It's part of my job actually, and it's why I'm good at poker (that and my willingness to endlessly flirt at poker table!). Yet for some reason with the past few guys in my life, I suck at it. Not just suck a little bit, I'm down right awful at it.

I don't know what's wrong with me. (Did I suddenly start responding to some new kind of pheromones that makes my brain go dead? And how did all these guys get the same ones? Ugh!) Whatever the case, I seem to be investing my time/heart in the wrong people - which I'm sure you'll hear about in other posts. I've always been able to somewhat keep my head in matters of the heart. It takes me a while to let people in (aka China would be in awe of my walls). So by the time a guy gets close, I've already learned his communication style, I know the twitch he does when he's holding something back, and that when he says "um" three times in a row with a two second pause between the 2nd and 3rd "um's" he's about to confess something I probably don't want to hear. Beyond this, I've never had a problem understanding guy-speak... until recently.

With the most recent guys (which include an old high school friend, a single father with no time, and a murse in med school, etc.), a guy says something and I apparently hear something completely different. Even with body language I couldn't be more off! In the past I could tell the difference between a we'll-be-a-couple-by-next-week touch and a I-just-want-to-bone-you brush against my leg from a million miles away. Now I seem to be misreading them on a daily basis. wtf? Have I somehow switched the kind of guys I date without knowing it? Did I end up in some alternate universe where guys who want to cuddle and tell you their feelings now = "let's be friends with beni's"? How is it that when I read between the lines now, one of us seems to be reading a children's fairytale and the other is reading Playboy?