I've re-connected with an old flame, who is now divorced. He's been off-limits for so long, but now wants to come visit me. I'm thrilled. I'm single. But I can't stop worrying that it will somehow fall apart and not happen.
posted by FlyByDay to Human Relations (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Right after college, I came to (big east coast city) for grad school. I met and started dating a guy who was finishing a bachelor’s at music school. I had just gotten my bachelor’s in music and was in grad school for music, so we have this very much in common. Before we met, this guy, D, had already planned to move to (big west coast city) soon after his graduation. We dated for about a year, but during that time I was very drawn to (another musician), who kept me at arm’s length but then admitted he was interested too. Though I loved being with D, at the time, the other guy was more of what I thought I wanted. D wanted me to move with him, but I’d just gotten to the east coast and was in school. The timing was wrong.
D eventually moved to (west coast city), and we saw each other a few times the next few years (and most recently in 2003) and things were as intense as always. He started dating once he moved west (I was still dating other guy, though we eventually broke up), then got married. Outside sources thought the marriage was questionable from the beginning. We kept in touch, and that intensity was still apparent but not acted upon. It should be noted that we’re both still professional musicians. I have had several perfectly nice (but ultimately ended) relationships, but no marriage and no children.
A few years ago, he disappeared. Could not be found, and I tried very hard to find him. His phone #s were disconnected, his website – that listed all of his performances – was gone. I used all my sleuthing skills but couldn’t locate him. Thought of him often. Three weeks ago, he called me. Told me he’d gotten divorced. That in a very short span of time, he lost his wife (divorce), his house, his cat (died), and one of his music directorship jobs. He said that he went deep into depression and had sequestered himself but was coming out of it. He sounded very well.
He said he wanted to come visit me in August. I have been single for quite a while now and have thought of him all this time, but he’s been off limits, so I am very much looking forward to his visiting. We’ve talked several times and he’s assured me that he is absolutely coming, but I don’t think he has tickets yet. He’s made it clear that he is coming only to see me.
So, while we talk periodically, certainly not every day, and that’s fine. More than once, I’ve called or emailed and haven’t gotten a response for several days. He’s a busy musician and I’m busy as well. Things are very intense when we do speak. Yet I find myself VERY unnerved. I can’t really believe that he’s coming until he has tickets, and probably not even then. Because he disappeared for so long (though I understand the reasons). But more importantly, I think, because I fear a phone call like this:
“So…I’m really sorry, but I just started seeing someone and I don’t think it’d be fair to you for me to come visit. Sorry about that!”
...and then he’ll disappear again. And honestly, that would/will be very difficult for me. I think this is partially the result of having heard so many men say (and some women will confirm this about men) say that as soon as a man knows that a woman is interested in him, he is no longer interested. That it’s all about the chase. But I’ve gone with my gut. I don’t play games and I’m not playing them here. He knows I’m excited about his visit, and he says he is too. But if this “thrill of the chase” clause applies to all men, it’s bound to implode before he gets here.
Caveats – I’m 41, very savvy, not twisted up by insecurities but very much interested in dating again; I clearly understand that he’s coming out of a divorce and that we are in different places; there are no “biological clock” issues pressing here; I very much miss sex – it’s been too long.
I guess I’m just asking how best to process this. Should I expect that he isn’t coming and just be surprised if he does? Should I tell him my concerns?
Any input would be appreciated. If you’ve read all the way through – a gold star for you!