So I moved out of my house and my marriage last April.
When friends first visited me, all two or three of them, it was awkward. I worked too hard convincing them I was “fine”. My friends wore their skepticism like name tags. They were right. It was too soon for me to truly understand the scope of my upheaval.
Fast forward to mid-May.
I received a text from Moira, a friend I can only tolerate in small doses. Politically, we’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. And she knows everything. Everything.
By the way, she’s married. Ostensibly, happily. Her husband Barry knows me and knows there are no shenanigans between his wife and me.
Moira came over for dinner a few days later. She arrived and I gave her a tour of my new digs. We had a couple cocktails while I finished cooking and plating.
Sitting down to eat, Moira casually mentioned that if she drank too much, she’d just crash on my couch. In addition, she had already warned Barry of the likelihood.
I smiled and took a big gulp of my wine.
Wheels started turning. Had Moira just made an overture? I was caught off-guard and stuttered, “You’ll be the first person to sleep on the couch!”
Move over Cary Grant.
Evidently, it was not the response Moira hoped to hear. She departed after dinner, the two of agreeing to get together again. Soon.
I replayed the evening in my head, as well as the rest of my innocent and tenuous relationship with Moira. I couldn’t see a single red flag as I recalled our occasional innocuous lunches.
I realized I was angry at Moira.
Did she not have any idea of what I was going through? Or worse, did she know, and simply didn’t care?
Moira was never a real “friend”. She was somebody I knew. We’d have lunch, and I’d walk away, vowing to never do it again.
After six months, she’d reach out we’d go through the cycle. Again. Though I wasn’t getting anything out our friendship, I tolerated it. I did not have the will to disrupt the rhythm of the relationship.
I have a heightened awareness of my own needs I did not have when younger.
That awareness has altered how I value my time. I no longer simply want to kill time. Especially with people who I don’t care for.
Likewise, I’m in no rush to hurry the progress of my new chapter. I will let milestones, like dating again, occur organically. When I’m ready, I’ll know it.
I have come to realize it takes me much less effort to convince myself of a good idea than a bad one. I just have to pay attention.
Finally, my dinner with Moira also enlightened me that women can have the same ulterior motives in a relationship as men. Hence the title of this post.
Stay in touch. Share, comment, connect!