The heart’s a lonely hunter

I met Dru, a charming, attractive young woman, when i was living in Sarasota in May 2007. We dated for a year, and things seemed to be going well. She moved to Tampa to finish pre-med classes on her path to med school. Shortly after that, i moved to Tampa for a new job, and we continued to date for another year. Then, she moved in with me in May 2009, and i felt very positive that things were going well for us. I was happy, and i thought she was happy as well.

Several times over the course of our relationship, she broke up with me only to return a week or two later. In each instance, my attitude was one of openness and willingness to discuss the situation, while hers was cold and distant. Each time, i felt confused because her actions conveyed affection and interest in continuing our relationship, yet her words expressed adamant certainty that she was no longer interested in staying together, but she valued my company highly and wanted to remain friends. I approached the situation by asking her what was on her mind that would lead her to this conclusion. She simply restated her certainty and claimed that it was pointless for me to try to change her mind. Since my intent was not to change her mind but to understand her reasons and reconcile her behavior with her words, I found myself reassuring her that I wanted her to be happy, even if it meant breaking up. After i was able to convince her that i was not simply begging her to reconsider, her cold defensive exterior softened a bit, and we could discuss her feelings more openly.

The first time this happened, she confessed to me that she had a crush on another man. When i told her it was completely acceptable and even healthy to be attracted to another guy, she seemed relieved. We talked about the features of this other guy that were attractive to her. We talked about how he made her feel. In the end, we agreed that the emotional investment we had made in the relationship was valuable enough to continue and that her feelings were caused by some unmet need she had not communicated to me. We both felt reinvigorated and positive about our future together.

The second time, it was much like the first time. She met someone else and felt attracted enough to question her interest in our relationship. Again, she changed overnight from being happy, affectionate, and excited to be around me to being cold and distant. I felt disappointed, having already been through this situation once before. I thought we might achieve a similar result as before by following the same approach as before. We talked. She told me she was no longer in love with me, and she wanted to see other people. Then, after two weeks or so, she called and said she missed me and she had changed her mind. I told her i would take her back, but this was the last time.

When it happened again, i laughed in her face and told her i didn’t believe she was serious. I told her she was welcome to leave, but if she did, it would be for good. This seemed to be enough to persuade her to stay. I told her i would happily discuss her feelings with her, and that clearly something was going on that she was not communicating to me. I encouraged her to open up to me, but she mostly repeated the same old story. She could not explain it to me, but something was missing, and she wanted more from the relationship than she was getting. Despite my best efforts to foster a safe and nurturing environment for her to share her feelings with me, this conflict went largely unresolved, and i grew more and more suspicious that she had one foot out the door.

When she was accepted to a med school in Arizona, i was uncertain whether i would move with her. I was relieved when she was accepted to her first choice med school in Bradenton because it meant she would not be moving across the country. This simplified things considerably. She expressed interest in moving out to be closer to school, which i completely supported. I wanted to be sure she had everything she needed to be successful in her studies. I helped her move, paint her new house, and get settled in. About two weeks after we were finished with her house, she dropped me like a stone. She said she felt trapped and needed space. I felt used, betrayed, and confused. I tried to communicate with her to understand how she could be so affectionate in person, calling me “honey” and “baby” and kissing and hugging me, yet be so cold and distant on the phone. It just didn’t make sense.

Shortly after that, she stopped calling me and removed me from her friends list on Facebook. That was it. After all that, she was done with me and had no further use for me.

A few months went by, and i moved on. Then, last night, i was thinking of her, and I decided to write an email to her, thanking her for all the good times we had over the years. I wrote an emotional heartfelt email that genuinely conveyed my gratitude for the positive role she has played in my life. She replied with callous accusations and a generally offensive “fuck off, I’m over you” sentiment. I’m left with the feeling that the woman i love died and was somehow replaced by a narrow-minded self-important bitch with no capacity for love in her heart. I don’t know what caused her to change, nor how she could change so quickly into someone i don’t even like. I guess i never will.

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