Monday, 15 December 2014

Middle of the bed

I've spent a lot of time over the last few years getting used to being ok by myself.

And by this, I don't mean tolerating singledom until the next bloke comes along - I mean actually, genuinely thinking "if it ended up being just me, that would be ok".

Some people get a bit weird hearing that; you can tell because nearly all of them see it as a cue to reassure me that this won't be the case, as if the single alternative to life would be a bad thing, or breakups never happen.

But if becoming ok on my own was difficult and took time, then blimey, learning to be with someone else again is another task entirely.

Over the last almost-four-years, I've honed the art of being self-sufficient, relying on myself and a brilliant group of friends for most things.

And now, little by little, I'm having to adjust to trusting someone else.

When will this end? I think to myself on a near weekly basis, when the text reply is a little late in coming and my mind jumps to the worst case scenario: he's lost interest, he's found someone else, he would rather not see me, he's going to cancel, he's going to let me down.

At times like that, there's no reassurance you can give me, because this is how it goes.

Or rather: it's how it's gone before. It's happened. And it's happened after one month, two, six, 18, it's happened after years with someone, it's happened after five dates or eight.

That's my experience, and as much as you always have to take people at face value, not let the past make you paranoid about what's coming up, and definitely not trot out that tired "I've been hurt before" line (everyone has by now, we're not 20 any more) - experience is what you tend to go on.

I expect to be let down by him in the same way that I expect phone calls or texts saying "Call me when you can" from my mother to bring bad, sometimes devestating news: because at one point, it seemed like they always did.

(The fact that she usually just wants someone to look after the dogs at the weekend is neither here nor there. I'm still like. "So, just the dogs? No one's died?" while relief settles across my chest.)

And I reassure myself with "whatever happens, you'll be alright anyway, you idiot", then he's at my door, or there at the station, or the reply comes and it's asking when he can see me again - and then all the panic goes away and I tell myself not to be a dick next time - and besides, I sort of knew all along that he would be there; there's a little hope I can't let myself assume to be fact quite yet, but I just need to see it for myself.

I'm having to get used to the fact that even something as simple as a bad night's sleep at my house doesn't mean he won't want to come back.

"I didn't sleep too well last time I was at yours" he said, "you like to get in the middle of the bed."

"That's because I'm not used to sharing it," I reply, "I'm sure I'll adapt..."

Like everything else, it'll probably just take a bit of time.


Breeza said...

I was just thinking this on Saturday night. xo

NK said...

This post resonates a lot. More than you know. Learning to trust is a hard thing, and the basic expectation always is that it'll go to hell.

But sometimes, you just need to talk it out, calm yourself down, talk some more. Sleep on it.

And sometimes, it's just sleeping in different beds, after having cuddled bunches. :-)


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