We are stuck. I can’t stop loving him and he seems to feel the same. He almost called me sweetheart the other morning. We talk about everything but our feelings for each other. He does not seem to be dating anyone though he does still flirt around a bit. I do the same I suppose. Where does this go? How will it end? If he starts dating someone that will kill it for me and I’m sure he knows this. Likewise I feel it would be awful to date someone right now and have no desire to do so. So we go through the weeks enjoying each other and keeping busy with exercising and hobbies. We don’t see each other over the weekend unless we can swing a non-date in somehow. It’s fun during the week but sad and lonely on the weekends. How long will this last? Right now he is on travel for work. I was away before he left so it will be about two weeks since I have seen him. I’m obviously missing him or I wouldn’t be writing this post. Is he missing me or someone else? I see no end in sight. We are at a deadlock, stalemate, flat seas, whatever, the fact is we are going no where.
1. You don’t. Your terrified. You resent the control he has over you and you which he wasn’t there.
2. He makes you laugh and seems genuine. What color are his eyes? You don’t know because you have been afraid to look.
3. You both have a lot of questions and are in each other’s office, a lot. He is new so it seems reasonable but did he really need to ask you that or did he just want to visit? His eyes are blue.
4. Stop thinking about him. I’m mean it. Stop. Okay stop now. Can’t stop thinking about him.
5. This will pass. It’s because he is new. Give it time and the day will come when you wonder what the hell you were thinking.
6. It’s not going away so what exactly is the attraction? You make a list of likes and don’t likes and the like list is huge.
7. Jealously kicks in. What is he doing over the weekend? Who is that calling him or texting him. You start to imagine the worst and it makes you cry.
8. Acceptance that this is love. Years have gone by and it’s not going away, in fact it’s stronger. That list of likes doesn’t shrink, it grows, and the dislikes get smaller.
9. Acceptance that there is nothing you can do about it that doesn’t turn into you losing your job. This equals sadness.
10. ? I don’t know. I am stuck at 9.
I’m at the gym running on the treadmill. I am training for a triathlon so I have to run for 36 minutes. I have my tunes on high and I am lost in my music and thoughts. A sad song comes on and I think of him without me. With someone else. This makes me so sad I start to loose my breath. It’s emotional asthma. I stop it from happening by changing my thoughts or I would have to stop running to catch my breath. I calm down and a happier song comes on. I rock out the rest of the run. When I am done I turn around and he is on the machine right behind me. How long was he there? Did I almost come unglued right in front of him? I get so horribly sad at just the thought of us not ending up together and I am ridiculously jealous over the smallest things. I think I know why.
At this point we are so close. We are like a married couple who don’t live together. We cohabitate at work. We share a kitchen, we share our thoughts feelings, talk about our kids our Families . We don’t manage a household but we do manage an office and a complex program together instead, just the two of us, we are a team. When two people this attracted to each other get this close, the relationship progresses into something more. They become intimate. They make a commitment to each other. We have the closeness, the togetherness, the progression, without the intimacy or commitment. This kind of closeness is so risky without that commitment. It feels like my husband could walk out on me at any moment. He could show up with another wife and I would have to smile and introduce myself. It would be horrible. That’s why I panic and think the worst and have emotional asthma. I am preparing myself for what really could happen. I have nothing from him that says it won’t.
Did I get my Christmas hug, you might ask? Yes I did, but not the way I wanted. It has to be on his terms.
Here is how I wanted it to go: We are saying goodbye. I won’t see him for a week. It will be after Christmas before I see him again. So I say good bye and merry Christmas and then I ask, “is a Christmas hug against the rules?” And he says no, it isn’t and moves closer and embraces me in his arms. I melt in his large chest and forget to breath. It’s only for a moment but I forget everything for that moment. Then we let go and I say oh my goodness and he looks in my eyes and I say maybe it should be and he laughs.
Here is how it actually went:
We are saying goodbye. I won’t see him for a week. It will be after Christmas before I see him again. He steps out of the kitchen in the office and I say I’m off and merry Christmas and then I ask, “is a Christmas hug against the rules?” And he says “yes”. I’m sure I looked disappointed but said “okay then have a nice Christmas see you sometime” and walk away to gather my things and leave. He follows me, stands next to me and before I know it he grabs me with one giant arm and pulls me in for a hug into his chest like I’m a football. I hug him back. He feels warm and soft and safe. I want to stay there. I say thank you, it’s been a tough year. He says something, I don’t know what so I say “what” and he says “what” and I say “what?”back. So know we are standing there looking at each other saying “what” to each other. That really happened. Ugh! Then he asks about what is going on over the next few days and drags the conversation on for a while over nothing we haven’t said before so we can look at each other a little longer but not have to say anything real. Then I say merry Christmas and travel safe and we say see you in a later or something I don’t know what. I’m so upset he said a hug was against the rules that I almost forget he hugged me anyways.
It’s such a struggle. I think he feels he has to manage the situation completely on his own. He’s the supervisor. It’s his responsibility. I get that but it’s more than that. He acts like I can’t be trusted. Or maybe he thinks he can’t be trusted if we get too close, I don’t know, but his first response was no hugs. Then he regretted it and hugged me anyways. Looking back now, I think I will treasure that stupid football hug forever. He could have easily left it at no hugs allowed. But he didn’t.
I think about this time last year and how far we have come. How far I have come. Last year I was lost as to how our relationship would go. We were still recovering from our Alaska event and not sure how to feel. I was terrified we had ruined everything and he was still pushing back. Last year I had decided to get a divorce but my family didn’t know.
Now I am living on my own and happy. I am closer to him than ever before. We are comfortable together. He tells me things and I tell him things that we don’t tell others. We know each other’s flaws and laugh about them, or cry. Either way, it’s okay. I feel he loves me and it feels deeper than any love I have experienced before. Wether we end up together or not, he loves me. And I love him.
Today he gave me personal advice about how I need to move on, to let go, to rid myself of personal bias based on the past. Then he said I see it in you because it is something I do myself. It was a very kind and thoughtful conversation. I don’t know how to explain how beautiful it was that we can talk about things like that. He makes things right for me, even when he is telling me I’m doing something wrong. Sigh.
So in getting through this year’s holidays, I would like to get a Christmas hug before we part for Christmas. How do accomplish this? Just ask if it’s okay? Do I have the nerve to do that? And if I get a hug will I melt in his gigantic manly arms or panic? Gosh I really don’t know. I’ll keep you posted…
We travel together to a trade show. The same one we went to a year ago. We laugh about many things, including old times. It’s nice to have old times with him. We arrive early to the hotel and go for food late in the afternoon. It’s happy hour in fact. Unlike him, we partake in food and drink. He has two martinis and I have two mohitos. I show him the pictures from our last trip that I posted on Facebook. He hasn’t friended me. He doesn’t use Fb much. So I pull them up on my phone with my account. Once he gets through the trip pictures he keeps on going. Who is this? Where is that? Is this your mom? Etc… He goes through my entire life sitting there at the bar.
For the rest of the show we connect constantly. Hanging out together, acting like a couple. He points out a bowl of resses cups, knowing they are my favorite. I grab two and hand him one, knowing he wants one too. We are a couple. He leaves early and txts me goodbye from the airport. We stay in slow txting contact while we are apart. Something fun happens to me at my moms and I txt him a picture. He has good luck (a rare event for him) and txts me about it. We are a couple, except we are not.
Back at work today he tries to be all business but that doesn’t last long. He comes into my office and sits down and doesn’t remember why he came in. We distract each other.
I ride home with him to pick up my car. We talk about very personal things. We stop for pizza. We go to his home and I have to remember it’s time to leave. So I grab my stuff and go.
Its a strange thing to be so close to someone then suddenly not. To feel a deeper and deeper connection. To share personal feelings about everyone but each other. It’s a very strange thing.
He took me with him to see a house he wanted to buy. We looked at it together. He clearly intends to live alone. It’s small. It’s all he needs since it’s just him he says. There is a lighted corner in a room downstairs. He says a nice chair and you can have a perfect reading nook. He catches himself and says “or me, but I’d have to take up reading.”
Back at the office he is showing me pictures on his phone of the outside of the house that he took the night before. As I scroll back to the beginning I go one too far and there she is. I immediately go forward again. He is watching me look at the pictures but I realize he can’t see what I am looking at, so I go back again. She is very pretty. I go one further back and it is a picture of him. They are exchanging pictures, this “old friend”. She is the one who called him at the airport. Her picture came up when she called so they talk often enough he has a picture assigned to her. He said to her in the airport “I have it buried here in my bag” so she gave him something to travel with. She texted him a picture of herself while we were away. And did it again just the other day. She sounds high maintenance to me. I’m sick about it and try not to dwell on it. He doesn’t treat me any differently. We still act like a couple most of the time. We still talk about personal things. We seem closer than ever. Yet we can’t offer each other anything at all. I am in complete despair over this entire situation.
Do I try to date? He clearly is. Where will that lead us? Away from each other. Do I not try to date and be the patient one who is still here when the time comes? Whenever that might be and if that might be. If that never happens, I will have wasted a lot of time. Does dating means giving up on us? I am lost and confused.
The weekend after our trip I’m at my house all alone. It’s weird being alone after weeks with him. He’s out sailing with the guys. I am going through the pictures on my phone of our travels to post and in the middle of them is a female face. It looks like a manikin. I’m wondering how this picture of a manikin got there. I look closer and it’s not s manikin at all. It’s a woman with overly smooth face and big hair. She’s cute and wearing lots of makeup. It looks like a selfie a woman would send to someone she likes. I freak out. I text it to him. “do u know her?” “Yes” he says. “Where did u get that?” I explain and get silence…half hour later I txt “girlfriend?” Silence…
I am now going through hell. I’m freaking out that he is getting txts from some chick and she’s pretty. I look at the picture and it’s creepy. She’s too young I think. If he wants to date a young manikin then let him. I activate my okcupid account. I cry in the bathtub. I delete the picture of her as well as some pictures of him. I change the photo for his contact info to a closeup of his fat belly and man boobs. I cry some more. I run 4 miles each day. Still silence from him.
It’s a three day weekend and on Monday work needs his attention so I txt him about it. Later he txts back “I’m trying, spotty connection.” And I forgive him. I’m such an idiot. Who am I to say he can’t date? If I want to date or flirt or txt a man I sure will.
Tuesday morning I get to work and kill him with kindness. He asks again how I got the picture. Did he think I was up to something? I tell him. There were two pics of him and his son on my phone too. He says it is just an old friend and the picture doesn’t even look like her, he’s not sure why she sent it to him. I know why but don’t comment.
I still don’t know how those photos got there, gods will? Says the athiest. His phone was getting constant txts for a while but that seems to have died down. A female called him in the airport on way down. Maybe they were flirting a bit and it has passed. Or maybe it hasn’t passed. He tends to keep things from me that would upset me. I am so sick of this roller coaster ride but I can’t get off. The truth is, I don’t want to get off.
If I was religious I would have to think we were being pushed on each other from above. First he comes into my life, exactly what I need when I am at rock bottom. little by little he makes things right, at work and personally. Second, he’s divorced. Third, we work closely together.
But that didn’t work so now we share an office together, all alone, just the two of us. We share a kitchen and pick out furniture, just the two of us. What next? A week on a small island in the carribean? Oh yeah, that actually happened.
Surely we won’t be alone there, that never happens. It’s a 1/2 acre research station filled with researchers. If we somehow ended up there alone, that would be a sign, I thought as I packed my gear, god’s will.
Guess what? After the first night we were there everyone went to the mainland and left us alone for a night. They had to give a talk to the local community. So there we were, alone on an island. We spent the evening on the balcony overlooking the reef. There was a nice breeze and the moon rose beautifully over the water. He had a beer, I had a ginger ale. I did not trust myself. I was terrified. We talked and we didn’t. We just enjoyed the breeze and the company. Then I went to bed early. Did I say terrified? I want this man like there is no tomorrow.
At 4:00 am I woke him up. I saw something off the outhouse pier that I couldn’t explain. He got up and saw it too. He likes to solve problems so he had fun figuring it out. Then I got scared again and mumbled something about going to bed. He said there are only 2 reasons he gets up this time of night. I mumbled something again and went back to bed. The next morning he explained that he thought his comment sounded wrong and thought about coming to my room to explain. OMG I would have I don’t even know what if he had come to my room. Bathroom and fishing are the two reasons he gets up at that time. That’s what he wanted to explain. Adorable dork. Fishing. Really?
It is now one year since Alaska and we are heading back to the same meeting. I reflect over the year with an ache that won’t go away. Jealously has consumed me ridiculously and still does. I think it is because I don’t have any reassurance on how he feels or what he plans. We don’t talk about it. His attempt to back up the relationship failed and we are much closer now than we were then. Highlights over the year include meeting his sons over the holidays, going to pick up my laptop at his house wearing a dress and seeing that loving look on his adoring face. Seeing the way he consumed my face after being away for 10 days, it was a look of love. He missed me. That is the look I will see when he first kisses me, one million years from now.
I feel like we are stuck. He is my supervisor so he can’t even say how he feels. Might all of this exist only in my head? I don’t think so but that is a possibility. How long will this go on? I can see working for him for three more years. Will we last that long? I see no way out. My therapist says I should try dating. I have no interest in doing this so I am not going to try. He does not seem to be dating either. If he did, my heart would be ripped apart. He reassures me when something comes up that smacks at all of another woman, by telling about whatever it was and adding in the information I need to know. What is he thinking? Some days he talks to me about very personal things, like his insecurities, his problems with his family. Other days he’s all business or downright aggressive. This comes when he feels he is not getting enough done at work and blames it partially on me, I think. He is religious so I can see him putting our fate in the hands of God. I don’t have that faith. Faith might carry him through but it won’t help me. At this point I feel like it is going to go on like this until one of us quits, which is years from now. Every day is unbearable, every weekend is a heart ached. How can I last that long? Advice anyone?
Follow this epic tale of finding love over 50, based on a true story. The story is ongoing so the end is TBD. Follow, comment, and provide support to the main character as she finds herself in love all over again in her 50s, this time with her boss. Updates will be posted every Friday at 5:00.
Next week: Who knows? Anything could happen.