For some reason I can't stop thinking about a dude I dated briefly while in Chicago several months ago. I had met him online and we hung out for about a month before things went south. In the grand scheme of things, a month is not a long time in the dating world. But for me, it was longer than I had allowed myself to date the same guy since my last relationship. Usually I'm quick to find something wrong with men so that I can have a reason to push them away.
I tried that in the beginning with this man. He said or did something I didn't like and my first impulse was to shut him out as I'm prone to do. Around the same time I was also dating another guy and remembered a text conversation where he called me "erratic because of my conscious decisions to shut people out." It hurt mainly because I knew it was true.
I decided to express my concerns to Guy #1 before completely breaking contact with him. He was extremely receptive and we agreed that if I was ever feeling like running away from him, I would try to talk with him about it first. I liked him and that's probably why I eventually did push him away for good.
He was the epitome of a southern gentleman. He opened doors, paid for everything and and pursued me; something I was not used to. We supported each other's goals and it wasn't unusual for me to get a text from him saying that he was proud of me for stepping outside of my comfort zone in a particular area. I did the same for him and we actually began talking about building and growing together. It was too much for me.
Our final conversation was an argument about me feeling uncomfortable about the fact he was starting to feel "too much like boyfriend". The boundaries (I had drawn) were being crossed and I was scared as shit. Instead of focusing on that fear, I flipped it around on him and dismissed him from my life for "not being able to validate my emotions." Even in the midst of my bitchiness and complete craziness, he still offered to drive me to my car and opened the car door for me. I gave him back the socks he had let me wear because my feet were cold and drove home.
In hindsight I realize that I didn't given him the chance to validate my feelings because I wasn't willing to admit them to myself let alone to him. Instead of admitting that I was afraid, I attacked him. His defensive response gave me the reason I needed to exit. Although I might not be meant to talk to him ever again, his memories have revealed a lesson and an area of myself that I need to heal.