A lover you don’t have to love…

I used to have really normal, functional relationships.

I found these posts on my Facebook wall from ages ago where a boyfriend sent me sweet little messages or let me know it was good to see me. I used to go on dates, to dinner or movies. I had a first date at a small-venue rock show. I would hold hands and go places as a unit.

Now things are so messy. I think I’ve done it to myself but I don’t seem to be able to stop messing things up. One bad relationship and I don’t know how to act any more. One person refusing to hold my hand or even sleep in the same bed as me. One person hitting me. One person who’d insist I take him to dinner or the movies not because we would go together but because he wanted to go and I needed to give him what he wanted.

Which led to endless first dates that don’t go anywhere. Everything from coffee, to dinner, to Netflix ‘n Chill. None of them ended well.

Valentines day last year I had someone take me to dinner at Downtown Disney and then was so awful I wound up in tears before we even got into the restaurant. Because I’d driven us there I almost left him. He practically dared me to leave him but because I’m a better person than that, I didn’t. He’d been so nice the date before.

So I’m officially unclear on how dating works now and frankly dating (like most things outside the safety of my own home) terrifies me.

Worse, now I’m year-2-in-love with someone new and I’m notĀ even sure if they love me back. We’re in this weird quasi-relationship where we spend time together and enjoy each others company and I’m afraid to try hand holding. I don’t try to push things. We used to go on dates, we do go places as a unit still. But overall it’s just messy and amorphous.

I think its my fault.

I don’t know what I am allowed to expect from a relationship outside of not being hit. THAT is the problem. Outside of physical violence there’s still an awful lot of shit people can put you through. So I’m always miserable and NOW I’m in love with someone who knows I love him (long story, for another time) and who either loves me and just makes a lot of mistakes (forgivable) or doesn’t love me and is taking me for granted when its convenient (NOT forgivable).

I don’t know how to fix it.

I don’t know how to bring it up properly.

Worse, I’m treading on eggshells trying desperately to hold onto him because without him I’m out of options again and even with him I feels so desperately on the cusp of being entirely alone that I don’t know what will happen if I take that final plunge and fail.

So I go on loving him and accepting that it’s possible that he doesn’t love me in return.

And it almost works.