I Still Want What I Can’t Have
It’s a feeling that’s not going away any time soon
My love life makes me feel like a toddler. I want to throw myself on the ground and pound my fists on the floor and scream that it’s not fair.
Pitch an epic fit.
But I don’t. Because I’m an adult. And because life is hard. It’s not meant to be fair.
There’s a man in my life I adore. When I say that, I mean I completely adore him.
He’s not perfect. He has his flaws. I adore him still.
A while ago, a friend of mine made me make a list of everything that I wanted in a partner. Call it manifesting. Call it putting it out there. Doesn’t matter.
She had a friend that made her do the same thing and she convinced me it was a worthwhile venture. I was hesitant. I don’t believe in manifesting what you want.
I kept that list in my phone for a long time. This man hits every single thing on the list save two items — he’s never sent me flowers and I don’t know if my parents like him because he’s never met them. I’m sure they would be over the moon about him.
I haven’t met many men to even come close to that list, let alone make me realize things I want that I never knew mattered to me.
I know he adores me as well. I can see it. I feel it.
The issue is that he lives in another state. We see each other when we can. We don’t call ourselves anything. We don’t define ourselves. There are boundaries in place. We are not connected on social media. It’s too much. We both know it would hamper our ability to live separate lives in a healthy manner.
I saw him this past weekend. The last day I spend at his house I always sit with my morning coffee and a small dose of anxiety. My quiet fantasy life has run its course and I have to go back to reality. I never want to. I want to stay curled up on the couch with him talking about anything and everything. It feels like home.
The time we spent together feels good and it feels special. I enjoy being cared for in a way that no one’s ever cared for me. I keep going to see him because I don’t want to live without that. I will trade in all of the other lonely weekends for that one beautiful one. It’s completely worth it.
I can’t have him. And I have to go back to a life that doesn’t feel like mine. That doesn’t quite feel right. And leave him to live a life that he knows isn’t his. That doesn’t feel quite right for him either.
It would be over three years before we could feasibly make an actual go of this. He’ll be in another state for a year and a half and then, when he leaves, he wants to spend six months hiking the Appalachian Trail. After that, he has plans to move back to his home state to spend some time with his aging parents.
I completely support him in all of this. To my own credit, I don’t know a lot of women that would be willing to do this. Women that would be willing to tell a man that he’s welcome to live his life in a manner that he feels he needs to.
I’ll be here. I have every intention of living a great life while he does this. The only thing I ask of him is that he doesn’t give up on me.
I really hate dating. I force myself to do it from time to time. I go on a few dates with a few guys and then write it off for another couple of months.
The problem is that I have a standard to which I compare all men. They don’t hold a candle and I know that to spend empty time with a man that doesn’t stack up against him is time wasted that runs the risk of people being hurt. It means I’m settling for something less than I want.
I’m not sacrificing any of my life in return for the hope that someday there’s a place for him in my future.
On a particularly bad day when life was getting the best of me, he challenged me to write out a plan for my life that spans five years and to start doing work toward having the life I truly want.
It was an amazing exercise and we sat on his patio yesterday morning drinking our coffee going over my plan. My plan involves three different outcomes based upon how outside influences may affect my plan so that no matter what happens in my life my five-year outcome is beautiful.
On my way home, I sent him a text to tell him what I didn’t that morning: that I would be extremely excited if any of those three options for my life involved him. There is welcome space for him to occupy.
But for now, it’s more of the waiting game that I’ve grown so accustomed to now. Wait and see what happens. It doesn’t bother me. I’m trying as hard as I can to enjoy the here and now. I try to live in the present because the life I have right now is pretty beautiful.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong or unhealthy about longing for something I don’t have. It’s an exercise in hope. Hope to me has been off-limits in my life because hope frequently leads to disappointment.
But hope is beautiful. Hope is vulnerable. Hope is risk and hope is fraught with uncertainty. But, it’s what I have right now. And it’s enough.