Monday, March 05, 2007


On Saturday night, I went over to ex-GF's for dinner. We were supposed to go to friends' party together, but I couldn't muster up the energy, being strangely hung over from the night before. Instead, I stayed over. We went to bed at 9:30 and had a great sleep - possibly because of the comfort of sleeping beside each other again.

But oh, the weirdness! Sleeping in that bed, in that apartment I lived in for almost four years. Everything so familiar, and yet tinged with novelty or strangeness. Revisiting a routine in the morning - she bringing me tea and the Sunday Styles section in bed.

I turned down her proposal of sex in the morning, which she understood and half-expected. I thought that would just be too confusing - and goodness knows that I'm full enough of emotional shit as it is, right about now.

But I do find that it's lovely to be spending time together. And although I'm somewhat chagrined at the way she keeps suggesting that maybe we made a mistake - after all, although I recognized problems and she was simply echoing concerns I'd had and tried to articulate to her before, it was she who really initiated this breakup at this time - I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if she's right. If I were staying here, I wonder if we'd be trying again.

I also recognize, though, that in at least some ways this lovely dynamic between us exists because we aren't together. Nothing is weighted in the same way. For example, I can take her teasing now, and even tease back - my inability to handle what I felt was mean interaction was a major tension between us. So it feels as if I can just enjoy everything that is wonderful about her, with none of the baggage.

I wonder how long, and how smoothly, that can last, though. For example, I suggested to yesterday morning that she come over to my place next Friday night, since I don't have any plans. What for? So we can keep on having sexless sleepover parties? What kind of relationship is that? I do have to be careful where and how I tread...


Pantagruelle said...

Gosh, that is a tough situation, and I can certainly understand how it could feel highly weird. I am really glad you got to sleep in the same bed though. Sleeping in the same bed without sex can be so very comforting (says she who's in a LDR and longs terribly just to sleep next to her GF). It's probably very wise to have refused the offer of sex. I don't see any harm in a few more sexless sleepover parties, especially if it allows you to joke and relax and feel comfortable with each other again. It makes sense though that that level of ease of familiarity would come precisely from the fact that you aren't together anymore and not so invested or hung up on the little things of living together. If it makes you both happy, it makes sense to enjoy that closeness, but given your impending move (and I assume she wouldn't want to move to new job city), it's probably best not to pursue getting back together. Perhaps this is best taken as an opportunity to make peace and part as close friends, without any of the bitterness that breakups ensue, before you move on. That would make the move to new job city easier, wouldn't it? Or would it raise regret about what was and isn't? In any case, I'm glad to hear that you can spend time together and cuddle on good terms. That can only be a good thing.

MaggieMay said...

Oh, Hilaire, I am the QUEEN of the confusing break-up situation. Truly, I understand what you're going through.

Things will sort themselves out, though. When you've been in an intense relationship for someone for that long (or even NOT for that long!) it takes some time to work through what the boundaries and qualities of the new relationship are.

It sounds like you're doing exactly the right things: keeping yourself open to enjoying what you love about GF, while maintaining a healthy skepticism about a reunion.

What Now? said...

My only concern would be whether your sleepovers will stay sexless, especially if you've decided that sex would just add another layer of confusion. I know that I've sometimes decided that I don't want to do something but then managed to put myself in situations where that thing is a constant temptation, which I think is a way of undercutting my own resolve. But that may just be my own issue!

Hilaire, these are difficult waters to negotiate -- my best wishes to you in the process.

Hilaire said...

Hey, you all, this is why I love you all. You're so damned wise and sympathetic.

Pantagruelle, I think you're right - this could set us up for a lovely relationship in the years to come, once I've left here. It might mean we're able to enact the wishes that both of us have, to be able to remain important people in each other's lives. Of course, it could backfire dramatically! But I actually have some faith in us precisely because we're *not* in a relationship. You should hear Ex-GF - she's being all open and commuicating and shit!! Who'd have thought?? ;) So I think that if we're careful, maybe we can make it work to our advantage, in terms of being very close friends.

Maggie - I kinda suspected I had a kindred spirit in you, with this. Thanks for that. And this is one of those times where I wish I could talk to a blogger in "real life" about other similar confusions happening right now - you have set yourself up as profoundly honest about negotiating complexity and ambiguity. Which is a huge strength - my compliments to you!

And, WN - God, you're good!! Too true, too true. I think indeed that perhaps I set myself up just to undercut myself. Sigh. On multiple fronts. Thank you for that bit of wisdom - I hadn't thought of it that way, and it changes my perspective. Significantly.

medieval woman said...

Wow - big stuff here, dear! Once again, let me say that you're asking *all* the right, healthy questions. You're totally aware of how this is a lovely development that could easily turn into a sticky situation. But I agree with Pantagruelle - it is kind of comforting and you do deserive this. I don't think it's keeping you from "moving on" or anything, nor do I think that you're jumping back into something. I think it speaks volumes that you're finally able to negotiate some of the difficulties (her lack of communication; your difficulty taking her teasing the right way) once you're out of the relationship (at least officially). Does this mean that you're destined to get back together? Or that you *can't* be together? Who knows?? But I think that there's no harm at all in what you're doing right now - you're aware of your boundaries and I have confidence that you'll recognize if it goes too far (whatever that means! :) Past your comfort zone...)