He's been by a few times since we reconnected, and a few times still since we had the "let's not have sex" talk.
And the fact that he's been by a few times since that is another story, but for now I have to share with you the unexpectedly great advice he gave me.
See, Jay and I had just had a big conversation, something about how when we met, what if we didn't click in this way or that, and the conversation had really thrown me.
I was suddenly reminded that I was investing myself in something that had a shot of not working out because we have not met yet, and might meet and... not like each other. And I was really choked.
And freaked out.
And Vince wanted to come by and I figured even if I wasn't in the best mood, it would be better to have some company to distract me rather than sitting and stewing by myself.
So he came by and we chatted about Christmas and family and work and life. And then I asked him if I could use him as a sounding board.
Jay had been really good, we'd emailed back and forth about how I was feeling and he'd been great. (He is great...) but the panic had set in and I had pushed him away (ironic that you can still do that via email... ok, I'm going to go here, bye) and was freaking out all on my own. So I wanted to hear what Vince had to say, and if he thought my fears were sensible or... what.
I told him how I really liked this guy and felt like we had a lot of potential but that I was really freaking out about the fact that when we meet, we might not hit it off. That he might not like X, Y, or Z about me, or I about him. And that I didn't know what to do but my instincts were telling me to just get the eff out of there right now and save myself from the potential future hurt.
And Vince listened.... I'd worried that he would be judgmental about it all, but he wasn't, and when I was done he said "Victoria? Why are you so worried about the future? What's the point in thinking about what if?"
And I tried to argue the reasons for saving yourself from future hurt, but he just kept making sense.
"Why not just focus on what you have right here right now. Sure, maybe things will not be great at some point in the future, but life's like that, it has good and bad, and why spend time and energy focussed on something in the future that may or may not even ever happen, when you have things happening right now that you can think about and enjoy."
"Just be in the moment, and stop thinking about 'what if'"
"But..." I tried to argue, "thinking about the what if can be fun? Like, what if it goes really well?"
"Just stop thinking about it."
"But, if you cover the possible what if's of what could go wrong, you save yourself the future hurt, no?"
"No. You just spend time and energy thinking about something that's not now. Seriously. Cut it out. Stop all the what if. Just. Stop it. Seriously."
"When did you get to be so wise?"
And maybe he was that wise when we were together, and I just didn't notice, or maybe he's matured over the years, or maybe a combination of the two, but you guys? When I woke up the next morning (post mindfulness exercises of course, which also are all about the here and now and no what if's) I felt completely different.
It was night and day, the feeling of just being present in today, versus the feeling of being all wrapped up in the possibilities of the "what if" of the future.
180 degrees different. And it feels so much better. So, so much better.
So I emailed Jay. "We can't talk about what if anymore. It's making me crazy, and it's not helping, and it's not good. We can't talk about it anymore. Ok?"
So we remind ourselves and each other not to. And we just focus on what we have right now. Which is a really unique, interesting, positive, uplifting, awesome, fun relationship despite the fact that we haven't met in person. (Yet.)
I would never have expected such wise, helpful advice to come from Vince, but maybe I've dated better men than I remember.
And I'm so grateful that he was able to get that thought into my somewhat thick noggin.
Just living in today in my relationship with Jay has been the most amazing thing.
It takes effort sometimes, sure, but it's so worth it.
And I think it's a massive life lesson and reminder for me too. Stop thinking about all the "what if's" Victoria. They're not here. Good or bad. All that's here is the now. So think about that, screw the "what if's".
Deal with what is or isn't when it's here. Not before. Because that's silly. And useless. And tiring. And not fun.
And fun is way better.