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Weekly Writing Challenge: 21st Century Love is…Dangerous

Relationship Status Update

Relationship Status Update (Photo credit: joelaz)

I have had an ‘isn’t it ironic’ post floating around my head about how we first got together, how we talked about everything and anything…how we got to know each other inside out…how we talked about our pasts, honesty, trust! Anyone whom knows my situation will see the irony in that alone SO…apologies for the negativity (and rambling) but this weeks writing challenge seemed like the perfect place to do it.

21st Century love is instant. It’s fast, its varied, it’s easy… But it’s also dangerous. It feels safer pouring your heart out from a distance, being braver than you would in real life but it also feels that way for whomever you’re talking to; while hiding behind a screen can protect you physically, it doesn’t stop you getting hurt emotionally.

If I had written this 6 months ago I probably would have swooned about the night we met and how it definitely wasn’t love at first sight.

I’d have cringed at the memory of getting his name wrong within minutes of him telling me what it was and how we parted ways thinking nothing more pf each other. I would have smiled thinking about how we got talking a day or so later; about how we fell in love with each others personalities before anything else – because we had spent an entire month talking for hours every day (and every night and every chance we could in between) before eventually meeting face to face again.

I would have reminisced about how we really got to know each other inside out during those talks and how great it felt to have someone who liked me for me… Rather than what they could get from me physically. How we would stay up till silly hours just talking on the phone about anything until our ears were hot. How my heart skipped a beat each time my phone vibrated with a new message from him and how I would look my best from the waist up for our video calls but would often get busted when the camera tipped to reveal my pyjama bottoms and fluffy slippers…but it didn’t matter to him.

I would have marvelled at the fact that I felt like I knew everything there was to know about him because all outside factors were removed, no date nights, no low cut tops… Just me and him talking about our lives- past and present, our wants for the future, our fears and secrets.

I would have raved about the power of the Internet -in particular Facebook chat which then progressed to Skype– and how it managed to connect 2 people (whom were a mere 77miles apart) in more ways than just the literal sense. It allowed us to be together, to talk, to hear…to see each other despite the physical distance. It provided comfort, excitement…But overall it produced love.

BUT

This isn’t 6 months ago… And now I know what those fond memories of mine really are… I know the truth behind the story of how “we” came to be. I know that all of those heart to hearts, all of those deep and meaningfuls… all of that “connecting”  was just an act. It was pretend, a virtual reality… perfect on screen but not much good in practice.

It was done for my benefit as well as his own with no intention to be malicious…but it still hurt in the long run and it was executed brilliantly. I mean acting and lying over a text is so much easier than face to face isn’t it? Which is the ironic thing in this…because I would store those texts, those emails, that chat thread. I would cherish them, I would re-read them if ever we couldn’t get time to talk to each other. I would use them to comfort me when I had a bad day, to encourage me when doubtful of the path ahead… To make me smile when I had nothing else to smile about. They were my modern day love letters – sent and received within seconds AND saving paper 😉 The written text felt so much stronger than just hearing it, more solid… So real!

But they weren’t, none of them were. They were just words formed in a way that he thought would have the greatest impact. Copied from past conversations, heard from TV shows, mimicked for years. Just words from someone who was hiding behind a screen. Like a firewall or an antivirus protecting himself; Testing it’s perimeter and managing to block out any threats… Until one slips through and the whole system fails. Well fuck the system, I’ve slipped through and I’m not going anywhere. I’ve thought about how easy it would be to just hit ‘delete’ on all of those cherished ‘love notes’, the ohotos of us… but I can’t. I don’t want to, it would take seconds to delete them all but I’m sure I would regret it just as quickly. I don’t want to delete parts of our past…even if they weren’t real for him…they were and are real for me.

21st century love is being able to store virtual  memories on an external hard drive, deleting the rubbish and rebooting the system so that when the day comes for you to look back at them- they are safe, protected and unharmed. A perfectly edited version of you…of your past…just the way you want to remember them.

xBx

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Dutch Courage

(41/365) Dutch Courage!

(41/365) Dutch Courage! (Photo credit: I dream of Nici)

Friday night we were meant to go on a date but it was postponed till last night (which I’ll update about later) but instead on Friday we went to a “divorce party” <— romantic I know! Is this a normal event in the states? Or was it just an excuse for his friend to get drunk and drown his sorrows? Either way I don’t like the idea but I guess I understand it.

Anyway, as I had been denied our date and was already dressed up for it it was agreed that I was the designated drinker for the night lol. I haven’t been drunk this year yet because until now I’ve been too scared of letting my guard down and blabbing to everyone about our situation or just losing it and bawling my eyes out in public…well…tonight I felt ready. I managed to handle myself well, I paced myself and felt relaxed with a house full of people I didn’t know -my husband did obviously. It was actually nicer than being surrounded by people I did know, I was able to go in there and just be me…another fresh start… no over-the-top crazy Beth, no madly-in-love, head-over-heels….so why are you suddenly quiet…Beth. Just me, as I am now. content. levelled out, still fun and present but no knowledge of how I used to be around my husband before I knew what I know now.

I felt that comfortable that -with the spare room on offer- I told hubby to start drinking and said we would stay the night. Both let loose…lets just have fun! so we did. It was awesome, good fun, good conversation, good people. Hubby got a little tipsy and the loved up mush started coming out…‘i love you so much…you know that right? i really fucking love you by the way’ etc etc It was sweet to hear it but I knew that it was mainly thanks to the alcohol and I just kept thinking ‘DO you though?’ I know he loves me -in his way- but telling me repeatedly…. I don’t know it was bittersweet I suppose BUT I guess I should just take it as it comes.

He took me aside, looked me in the eye and said (slurred) ‘you’re my favourite person by the way, my favourite thing ever including Xbox and stuff before you ask (lol) you’re just fuckin beautiful, you’re my baby  and i never want to lose you’ I asked if that meant he didn’t resent me anymore for ‘pressuring him to marry me’ which is something he said in marriage counselling the day all of this came out. At first he didn’t remember saying that and kind of laughed as if it was…well laughable that he could ever resent me etc but I was there with him…he said it…he said he felt pressured, like we were just talking one day and then BAM I was making wedding plans…and that’s NOT how it happened at all. Yes it was quick but it was down to him and I asked him so many times if he really wanted to go through with it. He thought about it and then said …wait for it…

‘I’m sorry; I did say that, I suppose I felt pressured in some ways but more by the situation than by you,  ultimately it was my choice, you told me from the word go that it was my choice and to take my time, weigh up everything and…I don’t know maybe it was heat of the moment but ultimately it was my choice to get married…. and i don’t regret it or resent you for it’
(pretty good for a drunk guy eh?)

The night was going well but of course the fucking migraine kicked in…noooooooo. Hubby got me some tablets and I backed off with the alcohol but it took over and seeing as hubby hadn’t stopped drinking it was time for us to go to bed. We lay there in the dark (no funny business lol) and it was then that I realised I really should get him drunk more often…because he would not stop talking about serious shit…but in a good way. He talked about how when he talks to his mum for example -whom is recovering from a hip replacement- when he says things like ‘oh that’s great news’ (that she’s making progress etc) that he feels like it sounds fake… but he MEANS it and he was confused about the difference. He said he means it when he tells me he loves me…but that doesn’t mean he actually feels it (what he thinks love is meant to feel like)…in other words the logic of love is there, he knows he loves me in his way but he doesn’t have the butterflies and tummy tickles that go with it…confusing right?

He talked about therapy and how a conversation with a friend earlier (about the friends issues) had made hubby realise connections in his own life and his own childhood i.e. the parent critical /transactional analysis stuff we’ve been thinking about (like in this post) He wants me to go to his next session with him; he said he’s trying to let me in little by little and until this point I hadn’t prompted any of this or kept him going…this was just him talking at me.

Kitten!

Kitten! (Photo credit: witigonen)

Before we had gone to this party we were watching the neighbours cat and he randomly told me about the time his mums cats had kittens…and it was grim. that was it. he said him telling me that earlier had been really difficult because that’s one of HIS memories and that’s him letting me in… does anyone understand that? I told him I appreciated that and explained that him telling me parts of his secrets, elaborating basically, only makes me worry more and pretty much think the worst whereas him telling it all would probably not be as bad as he thinks it will be. Like if I said I had done something terrible…but stopped there; he could think for the next hour or so that I had …cheated? killed a dog…? whereas the truth was that I had scratched the car or something. Him telling me parts has the same effect…but for weeks…months…the not knowing makes your mind wander and what’s bad to someone is probably not thought of as THAT bad to someone else etc I asked what it was that was stopping him from telling me and he said he didn’t know but that he wanted to…and that he would…just not yet.

He told me that he hadn’t been w*nking…that he had been really tempted at times but he’s stopped himself and thought of me (I joked that the thought of me would have that effect on most people lol) he laughed too and -after telling me I was silly and that’s not what he meant- said that he had thought about the consequences and distracted himself until the temptation passed. That he didn’t want to do anything to lose me, to push me away or hurt me anymore than he already had. he said he knew that doing that would mean losing me, that he couldn’t stand the thought of it and would rather kill his ‘cravings’ and get help than risk me for the sake of a quick fix. He told me that he would stop anything that risked losing me and that if I wanted him to do anything he would do it if it meant not losing me…

He said some other stuff too but hearing it without prompting was really nice. I ALMOST told him that I almost walked away recently but I thought better of it and kept it to myself. I figured he had just poured his heart out -very rare- and told me things he obviously wanted me to know, he wanted me to know how he felt, he wanted me to understand a little more…he’s trying. Io its not going to help anything by telling him what almost happened. Ie knows the score, he knows what he needs to do to make sure we don’t end…and he’s doing that. Ik so he needed a bit of Dutch courage to tell me but he got there in the end.

xBx

 
 

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