The Pedant is still silent. Unless his dad died or some other huge catastrophe, he’s ignoring/avoiding me. And given that he knows I’m prone to anxiety attacks and that sudden silence from a partner is a huge trigger for me, this feels like a pretty big “fuck you.” I mean, I’ve told him several times that if he’s gonna go silent on me I just need a heads up so AssholeBrain doesn’t start with the wild speculations as to why. And he’s been good about it. Until now.
Here’s the thing, though. I really think this whole recent kerfuffle is just him becoming really attached to me and suddenly getting scared/trying to poke holes in it/worrying that I’m gonna bail. So he’s doing exactly the same thing that made me break up with him the first time, to try to make me leave and get it over with so he won’t have to sit around wondering when I’ll drop the hammer.
But I was never going to drop the hammer, is the thing. I had reached a point where I was totally happy and secure with him – as secure as I ever get, anyway – and as long as he basically kept on treating me well, I fully planned on sticking around. I am firmly committed to him. I was wanting this to go long term.
And I feel like if we can get past this little freakout he’s having, the relationship will be stronger than ever and we hopefully won’t have any drama like this again – presuming I’m right about his motivations, of course.
So I need to figure out what to do next.
Any variation of “WHY ARE YOU BEING SO QUIET YOU KNOW THAT MAKES ME INSANE” is out. He’d probably use that as evidence that my anxiety is too much for him to deal with and he should break up with me.
I could just be totally, totally silent and not say anything else until he does. However: 1) he might start believing that I’m angry with him or avoiding him, especially because 2) his birthday is next week. So being silent all through that would be…weird. He picked a really awkward time to be a dumb-ass drama llama.
I’ve come up with two possible next moves that I think could be good.
- Wait another few days (so that it’s been at least a week since his last text to me; I want it to be obvious I’m trying to give him space). Then call him and act like nothing weird even happened. Just be light and casual, make small talk, ask him if he’s having a big bday get-together this year or what and tell him I have a present to give him and blah blah blah. If I get his voicemail I can just leave a message inquiring about birthday plans.
Tina Fey’s autobiography has an anecdote about her walking away from work one day. There was an anthrax scare in her building and she just snapped and went home. And a few hours later Lorne Michaels called her like “Did you wanna come back in? We ordered pizza.” Not berating her, not making a big thing out of her inappropriate behaviour. Just giving her an opportunity to come back in without feeling too stupid. This is basically what I’d be going for with the “so what are we doing for your birthday?” gambit.
Probably I’d wanna have the “so WTF just happened?” talk eventually. But for the time being I just want things to get back to normal. I want to be with him; last I heard, he wants to be with me; we don’t have to hash out that pointless fight right away.
But maybe it would piss him off that I’m ignoring the elephant in the room? I don’t know. So my other idea is:
2. Give things another few days and if I still haven’t heard from him, text him (or should I call him, so he can hear my voice? My worry is that he’ll ignore a voicemail, though. With a short text message he’ll see it in the preview window even if he refuses to open it) saying something like “Okay, well, I love you and I trust you to talk to me when you’re ready.” Thereby giving him space and reassuring him that I’m not gonna freak out and break up with him.
What do y’all think I should do? (More weight given to the opinions of my longtime commenters, but I’ll give due consideration to any reasonable-sounding advice from someone who seems to have read my last few posts about the situation)