The Writing Is on the Wall
OMG! This picture and the words with it say it all! A girlfriend of mine (Estella) had been through this crazy ass relationship. She had been with this man (Eric) who kept her on a string for 3 years. Why do we keep hope alive in relationships that we know are pretty much doomed from the start?
Estella met Eric at a business meeting; they both worked for the same company but in different offices. She thought to herself that although he was handsome, he was a little husky. He had a nice personality, however, and they started a conversation during the lunch break and was able to pick it back up by dinner time when they ate with the other staff members. As this was a business trip, they flew back the next day in which time Eric asked Estella for her phone number and she decided to give it to him. She learned that he catered sometimes for family and friends. So, his pretext was that he would bring her a sample of his cooking and he would call her to make arrangements to drop off a plate for her to taste. From that point on it lead to getting to know each other. They talked and exchanged text messages daily throughout the day. They would find ways of meeting each other for quick lunches whenever they would have to visit each other’s offices for meetings. She discovers that he enjoys Jaheim’s songs and, boy, can he serenade the crap out of her. I mean he sounds great, he even reminds her of the late Gerald Levert. She starts calling him her big Teddy Bear. Oh, and ladies, if you hear her tell it, he is one SEXY TEDDY BEAR!!!
After a good 8 months later, they finally begin to spend real quality time with each other; he would visit her at her house and sometimes even go out to eat. But, in the back of her mind, she’s thinking “okay that’s nice that we’re going to “Norm’s” or “Shakey’s” or the fast food restaurant just down the street. But, that isn’t enough. They don’t go out on real dates like dancing, the beach, a concert, the movies, or sit down in a restaurant for dinner, etc. He doesn’t introduce her to his family. Now, she on the other hand, introduces him to her family/friends and invites him to go to family gatherings or suggest different things for them to do as a couple; which he always has an excuse as to why he couldn’t participate. And, more than not, those excuses are he’s working, or he’s spending time with his family because his mother misses him…All of the signs are there and the bells are ringing like crazy! But, she’s still lying to herself and thinking that eventually he will make the time for her. Oh, and if you’re curious, the answer is yes, that by this time their relationship has moved to the physical level.
You see, one thing you have to understand (if I didn’t mention it before), is that she knows him to be a work-a-holic. Something that she can appreciate in a man. So, he’s always working overtime and that is why she gives him the benefit of the doubt. Added to the aforementioned, she even accepts the baggage that he is carrying; i.e. his nasty divorce, financial struggles, etc. Because, for all of that, he finds it possible to help her financially when he’s able to and never asks her to pay him back and when she tries to, he refuses to accept it. A true gentleman, right Ladies? Figuring that standing by his side they would make it through all of the craziness that they are both going through and come out on the other end for the better.
But, slowly the outings stop and the phone calls become once a week and if she’s lucky twice a week. At this time, her antennas are totally up, but she’s still retaining some slim hope that it will turn out okay. That her patience will be rewarded. You see, ladies, she wanted this relationship to work so bad that she didn’t want to give up. She knew that she had to, but it was very hard to do so; something she could not bring herself to do. So, on one of their weekly calls, they catch up on each other’s lives and hang up with him promising to call her the following week. Well, lo and behold, that call never transpires. So, she waits until the 2nd week; again no word from him. By now, she calls his sister and leaves a message for her to have him call her (her being Estella, of course) because she’s worried about him. No response from him. Third week passes and she eventually hear from the sister that he’s doing okay and that she’s forwarded my girlfriend’s message onto her brother. And again, no response from him. By this time it’s going into a month.
Now, without wanting to appear like she’s stalking him, she learns from a co-worker that knows them both that Eric had transferred to another office that was up north.
Once she learns this, she finally comes to the conclusion that this is it. There aren’t any more calls or anymore of them as a couple. She faces the reality that “Wow! it’s over”. Then she goes through another adjustment and admits to herself that they were never truly boyfriend and girlfriend. That perhaps all that she was to him was a booty call (so to speak). Just because it’s not at night all the time, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a booty call. Perhaps he was and had been in another relationship with someone else. But, hoping against hope, she kept thinking that this is different, he cares about people and he’s very family-oriented. He loves his mother and has the highest respect for her and his sisters. He’s got to be a great guy, right? Add to this is the fact that he is of the older generation of men who believes that a man’s role is to provide for his family. And, if he is not able to do so, then it made him feel less of a man. There go; being in a relationship during this time period took a back seat to his priorities. But, as I said to my girlfriend, the least he could have done is to call or come by and explain it to her. Instead, he just dropped her like a hot potato. Not cool!
So, of course, she calls me and I head straight to her house and we just do girlie things (drinking wine, watching Bridget Jones’ Diary, and eating popcorn). After a few more self-analysis work up with the two of us hanging out, Estella is on the mend. She no longer has dreams about him, no longer, long for his embrace, long for the sound of his voice, etc. She’s moved on and is actually content with her life. She keeps busy with her work, her side business of creating scrap books for people during the week and her family and friends on the weekend.
SURPRISE! SURPRISE! One day Estella and Eric run into each other at a office picnic that was being held in her neck of the woods and they exchange pleasantries, and yes it’s awkward. But, she asks him point blank why did he just stop calling her? Did he think that she would be able to read his mind and know the reason? Excuse her, she’s thinking to herself. But, oh yes, he’s a man. Eric very calmly with an almost nonchalant attitude tells her that with everything that was going on in his life, that he felt he wasn’t any good for her. That she would be better off without him. He closed it by asking if she had the same number, she replied yes. Then he tells her that he’ll call her sometime. YEAH! She doesn’t think so, but played it off, nevertheless, and kept it pushing.
Estella mulled over that encounter and realized that Wow! he still looked the same, but she didn’t get all googly-eyed or nervous. And, she was okay. For whatever reason that he was in her life for that period of time, she no longer had to wonder about the reason it ended.
Although Estella wanted this relationship to work real bad and she gave it her all and exercised extreme patience by not giving up on it; it took Eric to force her to give up by taking the choice away from her. Once again, another case of giving ourselves over to the man we love and losing all of our perspective until we are worn out. Ladies, please remember that we have to maintain our sense of self before and during our relationships. Without that, we are no longer confident and strong, but weak and dependent. Stand up for YOU! Men do it all the time…
Note: Names have been changed to protect the innocent.