I want to warn my readers now, this post might get deep and heavy at times. I have had this post weighing on me lately (hence not posting in the last 10 days) and I wasn’t sure when the best time was to let it all out.
I think my regular readers might remember me talking heavily a few months back about a guy I dated on and off, The Sailor. The Sailor continued to be in and out of the picture for a few months after I stopped talking about him on my blog. The thing was with him, we stayed friends, good friends. As much as I felt a connection with him, I knew based on the on-and-off-again history a realtionship would never materialize. Part of this kind of broke my heart, but it did give me time to figure a few things out about what I am looking for in a relationship. Before I get into that, I wanted to get a few things off my chest about The Sailor.
My relationship with The Sailor was very brief. There were a few circumstances that came up that seemed to make a relationship with him very challenging. To me he was a very special guy, one that just felt like I had known for ages. We could sit and chat about anything for hours, all while he played with my hair. Conversations flowed topic to topic, often times we could finish each other sentences. We spent many nights drinking beer or wine over a movie. I really felt like myself around him, even more so to be around him without make-up on (which is HUGE deal for me). Romantically everything just felt so comforting, so natural, like time stood still. Even though we couldn’t get a relationship to stay, I couldn’t help but feel some deep connection with him. The problem I think was that he never shared that connection with me. It really hurt to hear him say that, but he still had some feelings for me and those feelings fueled the platonic friendship we had.
About a month ago The Sailor was offered a job opportunity near his hometown. A week later, he told me he had made the arrangements and obtained a lease for an apartment in Houston. Part of me nearly cried. I knew we weren’t a couple, a relationship would never happen, but he was still very special to me. After he told me all I could say was “I’m going to really miss you”, to which he replied “I know, I am going to miss you too”. I respected him and loved him all at the same time.
The month is over and he leaves for Houston on Saturday. I haven’t seen him in 2 weeks and knowing how much work packing a house is I know I won’t be able to see him off. The last time we got together we did say some good byes. I think that moment is how I want to remember him the most. We parted on good terms with no messy tears of good bye, I even gave him a small gift for good luck. I had been dreading this week for a while now, but this time I know his ship is leaving port and will not be returning. Part of me is happy he is moving home, I know he missed it, the other part is sad that another good guy has slipped through my fingers. I think I have descended the widow’s walk for the last time, not to mention I should probably call someone to take it down completely. I only want to have happy memories and remembrances of The Sailor.
Now that I have finally let go of The Sailor I began to reflect on how my relationship with him (non-romantic as it ended up in the end there). With him I noticed I started a turning point in my dating game. When I met him I wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship, and dated guys who wanted casual friendships or ones that were open to a full relationship, but not in any rush. I got burned a few times by this lot of guys, but after each date, I started to be more and more selective on responding to offers of a date. I was still friends with The Sailor when I started to dip my toe back in the dating pool. At first I felt really really guilty going on dates in between hanging out with him. I know he didn’t mind, but part of me still felt strange about it. Along the way I met a few guys who I just ended up comparing to The Sailor. I noticed I scrutinized the personalities and interests of my dates a little more than I used to. I noticed I compared them to The Sailor. In many cases I only let the dates go as far as first or second dates, keeping a slight distance. Subconsciously I also noticed I started to scrutinize The Sailor and started to see a side of our friendship I never saw before. When he first told me he didn’t feel a deep connection I admit I felt a small tinge of a broken heart. However, as I started to scrutinize my dates, I started to realize that The Sailor was really no different from the rest of the guys I was meeting that didn’t want a relationship. I kept thinking he was afraid to be in a relationship with me, or he wasn’t ready for a relationship, but all along he just wanted to be a free guy with a steady “friend”. The fact that we got along so well, just made it an easy friendship. When I realized this it was like I saw him in a different way. In no way was I pissed, but I finally stopped blaming myself for not being better girlfriend material. All in all I still have a soft spot in my heart for the guy, but I no longer get sad about him leaving. This realization as been a bit liberating.
There were three guys that I met since I started to date over two years ago that have touched my life. JS was the first one, and my relationship with him helped me discover that my ex-husband was wrong, I was a loving and caring person. The Scientist was another guy, who taught me that just because a guy doles out the affection, he’s not always honest with himself on who he really feels that affection for. Lastly, The Sailor has made a huge impact in my life as a single woman. Because of him I stepped up my game a bit. He has opened my eyes a little more to guys who express an interest in dating me. Not all guys are sure what they want out of dating, some want companionship, some want a girlfriend, and some want to open their hearts in a relationship. The tricky part is not finding out which of those relationships a guy is looking for from you, but finding out if they really understand themselves. Until a person truly knows what they want themself, they won’t ever be able to find a compatible match. The Sailor and I might have been matched so well on many levels, but he and I were looking for two different things. We weren’t on the same page and maybe if we met at a different point in our lives it would have worked out. Sad as I am that it didn’t work out for us, I am very grateful that he came into my life. I learned a lot about myself that I don’t think I could have clearly seen otherwise.