When Jay and I had those long months of getting to know each other, before we'd even met, I learned a lot about him.
I didn't talk about all the things Jay shared with me, but many of them weren't things I was entirely comfortable with, but I chose to take the chance to be outside of my comfort zone to see what happened.
Jay had mentioned to me that for a number of reasons, his marriage had been an open one. And he explained that this worked very well for the two of them, until the situation changed and things fell apart. Jay was always open and honest (if not tactful or thoughtful) about sharing what he was thinking and feeling and I really did value this. (But I still wish he had more tact.)
And because we hadn't met, I had time to think through these more frightening aspects of Jay and who he was, including the fact that for him, monogamy was not, necessarily, his way.
I didn't talk about this here, or with many of my friends because I knew many people would judge Jay, and even me, for his choices.
I told Jay that monogamy was something that mattered to me and that if we were going to be together, it would just be the two of us.
I figured that I would keep the mental note in the back of my head and if/when things changed and Jay felt the need or want to be with someone else, we would deal with that at that time. No use borrowing worries, right?
And when Jay and I were together there was never an issue around monogamy.
There were other issues, most prominently him not being sure he was going to stay in Victoria, and all the other things I won't go into. Some mine, some his, some ours. As relationships are.
So, as we all know, Jay and I split. And then sort of un-split. But weren't together. But weren't exactly not together.
And I was never clear what exactly that meant, and I should have been, because I think to me it meant that I wasn't emotionally attached (as much) any more, but that I also wasn't actively looking for another, new relationship.
And, I'm sorry if this makes my relatives cringe but I have to be honest and say that a lot of it was the physical side. For me. It was nice to have someone to be physical with, and while I can't say that it's not emotionally complicated to sleep with someone, I also enjoyed the time together.
I knew it was a risk to my heart, but... well, anyway.
I think part of the reason I was so shocked by Jay asking me how I felt about him dating other people is that I had erroneously assumed we were half together and neither of us was actively searching for a new boyfriend/girlfriend.
He'd certainly talked to me a lot about not wanting a girlfriend; not being ready for that.
So I was stunned that he had these people he wanted to date, because it was not on my radar at all.
And that may be partly his non-monogamous nature, whereas for me, if I'm "with" someone, even just... you know... I'm not looking around for anyone else. I'm a one guy kind of gal.
Besides me finding it shocking that he'd been looking while we were still sharing closeness, I was also shocked that this was his priority, mere days after his accident... while still hospitalized.
Perhaps it was the trauma... the "holy bleep I nearly died, I shouldn't waste time" or something, but the whole thing just felt so wrongly timed to me when I was offering my home, my love and my affection.
Fast forward to this last week or so when I found out that Jay had actually gone on a date with these two girls. (One from work, the other from a dating site.) How he managed to do this while using a walker and wearing a brace is beyond me, but whatever.... oh, wait, am I sounding bitter? I was trying to avoid that, wasn't I?
Hearing that Jay had gone on these dates, and that he had actually chosen to start dating his co-worker, I was hurt, as I knew I'd be when he moved on, and so I went back on to the dating site myself.
Jay then sent me a series of texts telling me how he still cared for me and loved me, even if it wasn't the type of love I was looking for. He explained that he still wanted to be with me and that we were great together.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this... this idea that you can have these feelings for multiple people without it diminishing your feelings for any/either of them, but that's not a debate I was going to win with him.
I did my best to take the compliment and be happy that he still loved me and wanted to be with me, and move forward.
And then I had the great date with the super cute guy and I was all ready to say HA! You have a new girlfriend? Who cares! I have a new boyfriend!
And then he never called me back, and I was completely devastated by it all.
Jay already had this girl he was seeing. "Taking it slow" he told me as she was already in a relationship and they weren't sure how co-workers would take it. (I guess it is unfortunate that people who believe in or are happy in open relationships do get stigmatized by a lot of society.) He told me it was the healthiest relationship he'd been in in a long time. (Ouch, yeah, note the lack of tact yet again.) So he already had this and all I seemed to have was a guy who couldn't even pull himself together enough to say thanks but no thanks.
It sucked a whole lot and I was in really rough shape.
I knew I had to try to work myself out of the awfulness and I forget exactly what prompted it, but I wrote a big long note to Jay saying all the things I'd wanted to say when he first told me he wanted to date other people. I hadn't told him at the time because he was so unwell and I didn't want to stress him. So I told him everything that was on my mind.
And I suppose I felt better. Sending that message triggered a massive amount of tears and I feel like that's part of why the month had been so rough. I'd kept it all in (trying to save Jay) and it just festered and got worse.
After the breakdown and release, I still felt lonely. And, I don't know if I'm the only one who deals with this, but I was hormonal. And not in a the normal way hormonal women are portrayed, but in the... well... "naughty" way.
I was... very hormonal. If you get what I'm saying. *blush*
So much so that I started texting with Jay about some of our good times.
The physical ones.
Which is a dangerous game, but it's also a mood lifter to share those thoughts and memories and feelings.
Jay suggested that maybe this wasn't a great topic of conversation, but my un-brain got the better of the rest of me and I told him I didn't care.
I think it was Saturday when Jay texted me that the place he was staying was getting very uncomfortable and he really thought he should come stay with me.
I told him still no.
He suggested, and I'm not making this up, that I should take care of him, feed him, keep him safe, and that we should screw.
But he was. Serious.
Which I found even funnier.
I could not believe he'd actually just said that.
I mean, I like sex as much as the next guy. Maybe more than the next guy. But I don't like it enough to become a care-giver just to have it. Are you kidding me? Who did this guy think he was? And who the hell did he think I was?
So no. The answer was still no.
I started to get annoyed as Jay complained about how he couldn't take care of himself back at home and I said, rather snappily, that I was sure his new girlfriend could help him with that.
Well, he said, the new girlfriend isn't exactly a girlfriend. I'm just one of her partners.
And then it all clicked into place.
Jay insisting that he was able to have sex, whenever I told him there was no point in him coming to stay with me because "he couldn't have sex in his state anyway." Jay telling me that this girlfriend isn't a girlfriend. Jay telling me that this was the healthiest relationship ever. Jay telling me at Burning Man that his soul mate would be someone he never needed to pay attention to, she'd totally take care of herself and he'd just show up and they could hang out.
Jay was already sleeping with her.
And that's when the anger started.
Anger that Jay thinks his "healthiest relationship ever" is with someone who's already in a relationship so all he has to do is feel close to her and have sex.
But more than that, anger that Jay actually asked me to take care of him and sleep with him when he's already sleeping with this new person.
What a complete lack of respect for me. Not just what I told him I believed in and was comfortable with, but my health. Physical and emotional.
Anger that he thinks I'm the type of person who is worth so little that he can be cared for, taken care of, fed by and have sex with for no effort on his part.
Anger that he thinks he is some amazing gift to me, and I suppose all the women he graces with his presence.
I could go on and on.
I told Jay that I felt stupid that I'd thought when he said "we're taking it slow" that that did not mean he had already slept with her.
I told him I felt like he had tried a monogamous relationship with me and decided it just wasn't for him and that that made me feel used.
I told him I was sorry we couldn't play house anymore.
(Sarcasm is ineffective via text, by the way. But it feels good in the moment to type it.)
I asked him if he'd already been with her the last time we were together and he assured me that they had only gotten together post accident. (And yes I believe him. Jay never lies to me, and I appreciate that.) So at least I don't have to worry about safe sex concerns. (But it still blows my mind he even wanted to have sex while so injured. But anyway.)
Jay tried to get me to answer the question of if I'd sleep with him next Burning Man and this continued to infuriate me. I ended up by saying I had no idea how I would feel nine months from now but if, as I hoped, I was in love with someone else? No way I'd be sleeping with him.
Jay told me that he really enjoyed sleeping with me, and that I was great, and even in my anger I recognized the compliment and made a mental note of it to refer back to once calmer.
I responded with "thanks."
Which is not what I wanted to respond with. But I didn't go there.
Not out loud anyway.
But, yeah. I have never been so angry in my life.
That Jay thought it was ok to do and say and suggest these things to me is the most insulted I've been.
Someone pointed out to me that his request is the most sexist thing they'd ever heard....
Vince, with his calm logic, pointed out that I've always known Jay was this way, and that it just seemed like he was trying to convert me to something I clearly didn't want to be converted to.
And it's true. I've always known Jay was not someone who was firmly entrenched in the idea of monogamy.
It still hurt to hear him say that from now on I can just assume he is sleeping with and will be sleeping with a lot of people.
Just not this one.
I'm sad for him, I think. Because I don't know if he'll ever know the true deepness that I've felt in a long, loving relationship. When you know the two of you just want to be together. I am sad to think Jay doesn't know the rewards of working at a relationship. And, yes, I'm mad that he gets away with doing nothing... and getting loved, cared for, intimacy and sex.
But I'm going to have to let that one go.
So this weekend was rough.
Incredibly sad and hurt and broken... followed by the most angry I've been in a long time, if not ever.
I don't know where Jay is, or who he is or isn't in a "relationship" with, but I know he wishes me well and wants me to be happy and he even said that he hoped I would walk away and find something better than he can offer.
I hope in time I can find peace when I think of him, and that I will be able to be proud of myself for being in a relationship with him when so much about him frightened me.
Jay and I had fun together. He'll tell you the same. It was always easy for us to be around each other. We laughed a lot together. We enjoyed each other's company immensely. And we really liked sleeping with each other.
Now I'm looking for that elsewhere, with someone who wants to be with just me, and who loves me back, and cares for me. Someone with whom I can share my life in a safe, amazing, awesome way.