Here are two conversations Minx and I had while we were still living together.
Conversation #1 (while we prepared dinner together):
Minx: so today my [all male] coworkers and I got on the subject of art modelling and Bob was like “I couldn’t imagine being naked in front of people like that. I mean, what if, y’know, a guy started…getting aroused?” And I was like “Well, women have to worry about sliding off the chair” and you should’ve seen the looks I got. Man, I love doing that to people…taking the conversation further than they expect.
Me: I like doing that, too. Incidentally, I’m not worried about sliding off the chair when I model.
Me: No, I worry that one day I’ll be doing a seated pose right around ovulation time and when I go to get up, a thick cable of mucous will bungee me back down to the seat.
Minx: … [Jaw drops, head implodes]
Me: Never get into a verbal gross-out contest with me because YOU. WILL. LOSE. [Victory dance]
Minx: You’re awesome.
Conversation #2 (while lying in bed):
Me: So, I guess I’m an artists’ model now. You can officially tell people that your girlfriend is a model. You think that’s totally cool and badass, don’t you? Admit it.
Minx: It is badass that you’re an artists’ model.
Minx: …But I fell in love with you before that.
During the final months of our relationship, I began to wonder whether there was any spark left between Minx and I at all. I felt comfortable around him and enjoyed the food he cooked and the massages he gave me, but I wasn’t feeling much in love. I even began to wonder if I’d ever been in love with him at all. I met him at a time when I was really wanting a long-term relationship, and he was really cute…could I have, on some level, just decided to glom on to him, and told myself it was love?
But now, of course, the poignant memories are trickling back. Also, I keep having stuff I want to share with him and then realizing I can’t and it makes me all sad.
I do think I genuinely loved him. I do think our personalities had clickage and sparkage together. It’s just that there were incompatibilities, too, and they got in the way.
Minx is the first partner I’ve ever had who believed (as I do) in making the conscious decision to be in a relationship for the long haul. Not just saying “Okay, we’re officially dating now!” and then passively drifting along until the relationship is no fun anymore, but actually working at keeping the relationship strong and stable. Arguably he fell down on the job at the end there, but still…I believe that the attitude of “we’re in this together now, and we’ll work like hell to keep things good between us” is one of the most important factors in making a relationship work. Possibly more important than attraction or love or anything else. And this, combined with all the fond Minx memories that are resurfacing, makes me think I might want to get back together with him (not live together, just be in a relationship) somewhere down the line.
But at other times, I feel like we’re just…doomed. I have a temper, which triggers a bunch of Minx’s childhood issues. Minx has a tendency to not listen/interrupt me/finish my sentences, which triggers a bunch of my childhood issues. Neither of us is consistently able to give the other an orgasm, except for Minx having them during intercourse, but his penis is uncomfortably large for me so I don’t enjoy intercourse with him all that much. Our similar anxiety issues mean that we act as each other’s enablers, talking each other out of doing rewarding-but-scary things. This is not just a matter of “you prefer sex in the morning and I prefer it in the evening so let’s alternate” – these are pretty fundamental traits and issues that can only be changed so much. Or maybe they can be changed a whole damn lot but it would take years and years of intensive work. Either way, it’s not looking good.
And I’m wondering whether we just used up whatever was between us and now there’s no going back. Like that nine-month stretch where we were both home all day just burned us out, forever. I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but at one point Minx actually told me, outright, that he’d gotten kind of sick of having me around and that this – more than anything I was actually doing – is what made him keep demanding that I talk to him less and less. Which pisses me right the fuck off because I repeatedly asked him to go places more often specifically so we wouldn’t get sick of each other and he didn’t do it. I would attend to my booth over at the arts and crafts store and go out with friends and stuff but he…sat around the apartment on the internet. FOR NINE MOTHERFUCKING MONTHS. Seriously, he gave me the apartment to myself maybe ten times in the entire time he was unemployed. So he brought the stir-craziness on himself and then decided to fix it by acting like a dick to me. Awesome.
There is one thing that could be a pretty huge game-changer: Minx going on ADD meds. Imagine: a Minx who actually heard what I said to him the first time! Who didn’t irritably shush me all the time because he couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying! A Minx I could give a relationship-help book to and he could actually read it! And more than that: one of my Facebook acquaintances talked about dating a guy on ADD who then went on meds, and she said the difference was like night and day – one of the biggest things she mentioned was that her boy finished what he started instead of endlessly talking about his big plans but never actually making good on them. Maybe meds would allow Minx to actually complete one of the five or six comic book ideas he’s been tossing around since college! He could actually live up to his potential! My heart would explode with joy.
Even if he’s taken the necessary steps to get on meds by the time we start speaking again (which I seriously doubt he’ll do), I strongly suspect that neither of us will want to revisit the relationship. It seems like a compelling idea now, when the psychological wounds from being severed from each other are fresh, but by the end of our hiatus things will probably have scabbed over to a point where we can’t graft him back onto me. If you’ll excuse the laboured metaphor.
I hate the idea of things with Minx becoming distant and awkward. I hate the fact that we’ll probably have coffee or something in three months and not even know what to say to each other, when I used to feel closer to him than to anyone else in the world. I hate the fact that by the time this hypothetical future coffee-meeting actually comes to pass, I likely won’t be bothered that much by my lack of strong feelings.