The Pedant has recently gotten his security guard license and said that he will likely be able to find employment very quickly now. I decided I’d probably better claim some of his time before a job does, and asked if he’s free Monday/Tuesday. He said definitely not Monday because that’s the day he’s going to the security company and “demanding a job.” And that for all he knows they’ll have him start somewhere immediately, so he doesn’t know yet what the rest of this week is looking like, either.
I’m less pissed off at the delayed sexual gratification than at the perceived loss of face. I’ve been feeling as though The Pedant has been just kinda “coasting” in this relationship lately while I do all the work; this past Monday I decided to back off so he’d be forced to initiate our next get-together*. When he sent me a random “how’s it going” text message in accordance with my recent request that he contact me more, I was pleased and texted him back and everything, but I still planned to continue my test of how long he’d take to ask for my company.
Then yesterday I decided not to cut off my nose to spite my face, and I asked about Monday/Tuesday. And he shot me down.
I’ve had a bunch of times when I planned to get important art-related stuff done – stuff that is somewhat time-sensitive and pertains to how I make my living – but The Pedant wanted to see me during that time and I caved and hung out with him instead. I hate that he won’t do the same for me. Hate it.**
And I hate that I feel like I’m available just about every time he asks (and that on some of those occasions it’s because I compromised my schedule for him!) but the reverse is not true. And I wonder if I somehow caused this imbalance like I did in my marriage. It’s so hard to break that cycle once it starts…with my ex-husband, it got to a point where he was just always busy and I felt like if I didn’t drop everything and come running the moment he said he wanted to hang out with me, we’d just…never see each other. And I was in love with him (or thought I was, or whatever) so obviously I really wanted to see him, so I did drop everything and come running. I didn’t have the willpower to stubbornly stick to my own plans for however long it would take for Ex to recalibrate himself. I wonder if I can cultivate that willpower now, with The Pedant?
This is like the umpteenth time I swore I’d stop asking him over and then caved, btw. And I’ve always framed it as something I’m doing for his sake – to teach him a lesson or give him some space or help him realize how much he misses me. But actually, I think these hiatuses have been more for my sake. It’s fucking tiring, obsessing on him as I do. I’ve been trying to wrest myself away from the obsessive thoughts and have a break!
And, ignoring the anxiety-based voices in my head for a moment, I don’t think The Pedant acts the way he does in a conscious attempt to manipulate me, or even an unconscious attempt. I believe that he genuinely cares about me but expresses those feelings differently than I do: he remains more practical and grounded; he craves contact less often than I do; he doesn’t get a warm glow from chatty texting or emailing and so he doesn’t initiate it with others.
I feel like if I could just get my anxiety to shut the fuck up, I could chill out and maybe just take things with The Pedant as they come. He makes me really happy when he’s here, and I don’t think he’s planning on bailing on me any time soon; under the right circumstances, that could be enough.
Huh. I didn’t respond to his initial flurry of texts explaining that he doesn’t know his schedule yet, and after a few minutes of silence he added “Sorry I can’t be more precise at the moment” [acknowledgement that I hate vague plans!] and “How’s your day going?” [because I said I like it when he expresses interest in my well-being!]
See? He’s a good boy. He’s not perfect (perfect would have been if he’d made sure to initiate plans with me before this whole job hunt thing) but he’s obviously trying.
I still want to tell him I love him and am terrified of doing so, which is also adding to my angst here.
*And if I ended up going more than two weeks without hearing from him, I’d have good recent proof that I do all the work, and I could call him out on it.
**It’s not that I want him to screw up his life for my benefit, just for the record. It’s that I feel even more stupid now about screwing up my own.