When The Person Who Abandons You The Most is Yourself

…so worried about other people leaving me I didn’t realize I was the worst offender.

It was a no-brainer that after our cosmic intoxicating tryst together I wanted more. The high I felt before, during and after our first (and only) hook-up, was exhilarating. Actually it was much bigger than that, it was reminiscent of a craving, and boy-oh-boy was it intense. The lingering desire had completely taken me over. I hadn’t felt like this in a long time. He became the perfect, well-timed distraction for me. As my ex-boyfriend started staying out all night, I was busy obsessing over what our next physical interaction would entail and recalling how my soft, curvaceous body felt when it was tangled up in his strong and steady shape. Consumed with him, every single sign was telling me to slow down, even after a serious tumble off a chair I carelessly leapt on left me with a bum foot. Whatever. I would just limp, ok?

With a big gust of wind in my newly empowered sexual sails, I was very direct in what I wanted, to explore a purely physical relationship with him, honest about not being available for something more right now. I was only a few weeks post break-up and still casually and consciously cohabiting with my ex. I knew it wouldn’t be fair to either party involved to dive into anything deeper. After discussing the situation in detail with each other, he had decided that he was going to continue to pursue his other relationship and, no matter how intense the attraction was, we could not continue down the road our bodies were both craving right now. As he told me his decision, I gracefully (on the outside) and begrudgingly (on the inside) accepted it, trusting that if we were supposed to be together down the line, we would be. We sat on the grass in Dolores Park and agreed we would simply get to know each other better and set a few ground rules. The biggest being that we couldn’t be alone together at either of our houses. Oh great, now it’s officially forbidden. And that’s supposed to make him less desirable? If anything, it only amplified the intensity.

So what does “getting to know each other” look like exactly? Dropping random ego-stroking text missiles into each other’s phone, meeting up for tea and non-romantic conversation, gazing into his ridiculous blue eyes, running into each other on purpose at our normal haunts. Every interaction was laced with lust, no matter how innocent we tried to play it. After our boundary setting conversation, nothing had changed inside of me. What I wanted and what I was doing were in contrast. And there I was, again, playing the role of cool girl. Whatever you’re into, I’m into too. I was continuing to put myself out there with the hopes that he would change his mind and choose me. As I went along with my days, I would anxiously cruise Instagram for crumbs, awaiting a trace of him to pop up in my feed, hitting me with a quick fix.

Confused and conflicted in anticipation of seeing him again, I sat on my bed and called a trusted female friend. I began rambling, “So there’s this guy I’m into and it’s kinda complicated. I’ve had a crush on him for months and we have this crazy strong physical attraction but he’s currently involved with someone else and I’m not really in a place for anything serious. We keep hanging out and are getting to know each other but I just want to jump his bones.” I kept his identity intentionally vague to ensure a pure and unbiased opinion. After I laid out all the important self-delusional details, she succinctly told me that it wasn’t all that confusing. In a nutshell, he had told me within the first ten minutes of our initial conversation that he wasn’t available for the type of relationship that I was seeking and yet I continued to pursue it anyways. She said men will usually tell you who they are and what they want in the first few minutes of meeting them, and that it’s up to us to listen. Then she dropped the most major truth bomb ever. “You are abandoning yourself.” As the words came out of her mouth I almost dropped my cell phone. It shook me to my core. Truer words have never been spoken, I thought to myself. Why hadn’t I seen this? I was just leaving a significant long term relationship where I was unable to have my physical intimacy needs met and right out the gate, I jumped into a casual situation where I was 100% recreating that same reality. Man, here I am thinking I’m all powerful and empowered and shit. Yes, our first interaction was magic, there’s no denying that fact. But by hanging around him, hoping that he’ll change his mind and choose me, I am abandoning myself and again seeking (craving) intimacy from someone who is clearly not willing (or able) to give it to me. I can easily create all the stories I want in my head about specifically why he’s not choosing me (…and believe me I do) but the truth is that he did not, for whatever reason, and I need to accept that. It’s not personal. The funny thing is that I literally created a Spotify playlist called “Choose Yourself” over a year ago — so this is not brand new information.

When we saw each other later that evening, armed with this new emotional intelligence, as he was walking me home I interrupted him mid sentence to let him know we needed to talk about our “relationship” or whatever this is between us, pointing to our bodies. I then nervously opened up to him, appreciating how we’ve both been radically transparent with each other about what we wanted but that I wasn’t being completely honest with myself. That I wanted more than he was willing to give me and in the process I was abandoning myself and it really hurt. “What do you want to do?” He asked me. We needed to end it and couldn’t hang out anymore. We talked it out for a while outside and towards the end I gave him a hug and told him I needed to go inside because I wanted to cry. A single stream of warm salty tears rolled down my face. A concerned look on his face, he comfortingly told me not to cry. I brought my index fingers up to my eyes to wipe the tears away and went in for a hug. In his arms I said “It’s alright, I need to let it move through me.” He released me and stood against the wall as I walked away. I looked back, cracked a half smile and told him not to contact me but joked that I was still going to like his Instagram posts.

When I walked into my dark, empty house I was greeted with all the feelings. Grief. I was not just ending this short two week quasi-romance, I was grieving the fantasy, the spiritual energy I put into him from afar for months leading up to our interaction in the physical realm. Grateful. I was filled with gratitude for such a beautiful, liberating experience with a deep, trustworthy man who had integrity. Pride. I had proudly put myself out there, navigated some tricky obstacles, stood up for my heart, recalibrating around self-love in record time.

After all those feelings came up, what really needed to emerge came forward. Sadness. I began to allow the sadness of the loss of my relationship to be seen, felt and held by me. A woman who will absolutely not abandon herself anymore.