As expected, a woman I had been dating recently decided not to continue dating me. I'd been anticipating that to occur all day (courtesy of her tipping me off, a la "I was hoping we could talk"), and I prepared myself, so it wasn't a surprise.
While she said it was a tough decision and she lost a lot of sleep making her choice (perhaps she really liked me, who knows), I had no idea what her experience was, how attracted she was to me, to what extent she enjoyed the dates. I really like feedback, but I don't often get much. I'd just started to get to know her, and had begun to find myself really liking her.
Everything seemed fine. I didn't personalize it. My ego didn't crumble. I didn't feel any negative intent. That's just where she is, and that's okay.
But then I realized that my mind wanders off when I'm not noticing. She'll pop into my mind, and I think about her, wondering. I ask myself if I should have just accepted it, or maybe I should have pulled out some of my shiny newly-acquired psychological skills to listen better and address her feelings on the issue. Maybe I simply let her go too easily. I know it hasn't been particularly long since splitsville, but I didn't expect those thoughts and feelings; I seemed fine.
I put it out of my mind by telling myself that it wasn't a particularly electric experience, no sparks flying, no intense feelings. It's not so bad. I'll move on. Plus, there's plenty of opportunity, courtesy of my being a worthwhile guy. Countered by my wondering what the electric sparks really contribute or if they are really necessary... and dismissed with the recognition of reality -that time won't turn itself back and that I can't fabricate fireworks from nothing.
There are moments -I had one earlier tonight during havdalah -when some music or a stray feeling catches me. I feel alone; my heart bleeds, and it hurts. It's not rejection, it's not an issue of my self-worth and it may not even be this particular woman, but it hurts.
For a moment, I wanted to resist, to fight the pain, to push it away. That's not my way, though, so I accepted it, and allowed my heart to bleed, because it needed to. I lay my head against a wall, wishing for a human contact to end my loneliness, to bridge between myself and everyone else, to connect me with another. A longing, in some ways ancient and overwhelming yet vividly painful as a fresh cut. Tears formed in my mind and in my heart, but my male anatomy isn't always equipped to give them to me.
I had a feeling, and I chose to honor and cherish that feeling, because it's important to me. Being alone may feel hurtful, and my heart will bleed. I will accept and honor that pain, because it is a part of me.