I am feeling bad that I’ve not said anything nice about my boyfriend. Nothing giving much hint as to why I was with him in the first place which in the end makes it seem like he was all bad and I was an idiot who just took the nearest available man for no real reason then tied myself up in knots over it instead of just ending it. As if I were that desperate to be in a relationship.
But also I am writing this now because I’m trying to delay. The next reviews are for March and, since the magazine ran two months after articles were written, I know what I’m going to have to be admitting to and reliving from Jan 2008 and I just don’t wanna’.
In fact, when I started this blog I’d already decided to gloss over and sanitise the particular point that I m going to have to make. Not because I thought anyone would read it that knew me, but because I wanted to allow myself the lie even here. The longer you tell yourself a certain version of events, the easier it is to mostly recast the scenario to yourself. Now I’ve decided to go full disclosure I need some time to psyche myself up for it.
So, a post with only good points about him.
But first, let me just say, I wasn’t dying to have a boyfriend. I’ve spent far more of my life single so am used to it; I grew up in a single parent family so see it as more normal even; I don’t meet that many men I like nor that are interested in me other than certain periods like first year teaching abroad, Australia and the last couple in Madrid maybe. I’ve never sought one out, never complained about being single or worried what will happen if I don’t find a man. Often that’s mean long, long stretches of boredom but it never made me feel like something was missing.
However, I used to compensate for that level headedness outside of relationships by being the exact opposite in them. For some reason, once in them I stopped considering if this was what I wanted and went into salvage mode at the first hint there was anything wrong. Even, once, with someone I was completely not into. I think I am much less like this now as the last two years have taught me a lot. But there was always a tendency to seek approval and that manifested itself in needing the other person to want to be in the relationship rather than asking myself what I wanted.
I’ve never finished with anyone. And as a result relationships are something that I’ve always associated with anxiety. Always worrying they were going to end, instead of just ending them for myself.
Anyway, him. In no particular order.
Generous with money and bought me little things which showed he was thinking of me. Never tight or made any decision based on money being an issue.
Affectionate, really really so, which I need a lot of because I can’t stand touching people unless I”m sharing bodily fluids with them. That means there’s a huge natural urge to touch and be touched that I’ve got to channel into one person and it can be really too much if the other person needs more personal space.
Open with his feelings and so attentive. I think I learned a lot there. To recognise I had feelings in the first place rather than just thoughts and observations of feelings. To express them and not be afraid to. I think a lot softer side of me opened up, even in the early good days. Later it was like I had had my skin stripped off and was lining up to have acid rubbed on it, but even that has left me with a much more flowing emotional state. I’m still very logical, and deal on that level first, but I can access the other plane and that’s a great thing. I believed with him that the affection and openness was something I couldn’t find in anyone else ever again and I thought it was worth giving up mental connection for.
Good looking and with an attractive confidence.
Own house and car. In a Bosphorus village I loved. Honestly, if he had lived somewhere I wanted to spend less time I think it might have affected the willingness I was to imagine a life there.
Sense of principle. For example, as a guide, he needed customers all the time as his income depended on his ability to charm often difficult customers. But if someone treated him with what he considered lack of trust or respect he would give them back their money and refuse the work. Of course that stubborness over principle and honour went too far and descended into pride, useless pride and inflexibility but there are good things about being principled.
Good dancer and attentive if we were out. My first boyfriend had been of the Anglosaxon type that recoils in horror over the word “we” and would drop me as soon as we got to a party. Also didn’t dance.
Valued relationships and being in one and putting it as a priority and a given in any situation. That said, there were a lot of expectations about what that role entailed and demanded of me but that’s not got a place in this positive piece.
Street smart intelligent. Not educated or very open minded but here I go again…
Actually I’m struggling now. That relationship was built on some very flimsy things that didn’t feed the parts of me that need most sustenance. But as a person he is honestly a good one. His lack of compatibility with me shouldn’t be mistaken for being a bad person. I hate the way I always end up on the negative. It makes me feel like I’m stamping on a kitten’s head. No-one deserves what I put him through, regardless of the fact he put me through the wringer and was totally wrong for me, and overly harsh and critical. He wasn’t criticising to be nasty, just because he didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Whereas I didn’t cheat on him to be nasty but I DID know what I was doing was wrong.
Last May I was in Istanbul and had a great time with old friends, the French guy and the American one, and reclaiming that city for myself. I didn’t see him nor tell him when I was going to be there mostly just because I had better things to do. On the last day I asked him to drop some stuff of mine with my friend at his hotel and he did but, long story short, I never received it due to a mess up with that friend’s new but soon to be ex girlfriend.
Then a few months later I had got in touch with him off the back of emotional surges writing this blog – one of which I’m going to clamp down on right now just in case recent starry eyedness is not enough immunity – and he asked me if I got my stuff and I said no and that it was gone. And he said it was a pity because I had a nice skirt and shoes in there. The skirt he had bought me two years before when we were still in touch all the time and all hope not lost. I tried to recall what shoes I had left behind that he’d not thrown out for being tainted by my infidelitous wearing of with someone else. But they were shoes he had bought me a few months previously because he saw them and thought I would like and then put them with the rest of my stuff even though we weren’t even in contact, he was practically engaged (to a 20 something Oxford graduate feminist who’s deluding herself the same way I was) and we had no plans to ever see each other.
Oh damn…same teary reaction as when he told me then.
That’s the kind of person you can want to be right for you and pretend in the face of all evidence.
Next post is one I wrote in the early summer and he actually read. It’s mostly based on good things and was me trying to convince myself all this mattered.