AmbivalenceMarch 15, 2013 by di | Filed under Insights.
He’s making excuses again. Each time he launches into a litany of why I haven’t seen him, why I haven’t heard from him, why he’s so busy. That’s nothing new – people make excuses all the time.
What makes his excuses troubling is that I haven’t asked for them.
I recognize that he’s saying these things for himself. It’s a litany, a self-reassurance, a way to justify himself to his own self-image. He needs to perceive himself as a nice guy, and that need is so strong he doesn’t recognize that he’s actually failing at that. Then again, most people wouldn’t see through it as fast as I do. He has likely used this strategy before, especially on girls. He’s tall, good looking, has the big brown eyes that women melt all over. There are plenty of lookers in my life so that charm doesn’t really work on me, thanks to tolerance built up over years. I live with a man who can turn on anime eyes with enough force to melt the Arctic. This guy doesn’t even compare to that kind of power.
I know what this is about: he doesn’t want to reject a woman and make her feel rejected. He tells himself it’s for her – but really, it’s for him, just in case she turns out to be “cray-cray” or she acts out in other ways. At least, that’s how it looks. I’ve got a pretty good idea where he might get the idea I would be such a person – even if he knows intellectually to question the source.
I’m mildly offended he’s treating me like a girl. Most men don’t. But he doesn’t know that about me.
Actions speak so much louder than words. It’s a cliche so easily forgotten because ultimately, it’s the answer. People make time for what’s important to them.
I am not important in his universe.
And I shouldn’t be.
From what I gather, there’s barely room for him in there right now, and it’s his universe.
His ambivalence towards me is plain but the reason for it is not. He might not know himself. I think he does – some piece of information or misinformation he acts from. I can’t tweeze it out of his frontal lobe, not in any socially acceptable manner.
When I first saw him again, I was ebullient, open – but able to see that mostly he just felt awkward. He wanted me to go away but it was my job to persist.
Giving him my card was giving him an out – he could just lose it and never contact me again. Business cards are meant as a way of smoothing those rejections. You can always, always lose the card.
He did lose the card. Then he tracked me down anyway. He might as well have opened the first email with “I am ambivalent about you.” Because his actions told me he was. He asked for more contact. I followed up. He took one email too seriously. Then he didn’t acknowledge the next two overtures; I accepted this. Rejection is always the same amount of painful every time but it’s allowed. It has to be. Not everyone in the world enjoys my company. If he wanted my partner’s company, he had plenty of opportunity to connect. The language of men is simple. Just ask the other fellow to join you for a beer.
Then he contacted me again. Excuses, explanations… more information I didn’t request. Thinking we were friendly again, I contacted him informally. No response.
It’s been going this way for awhile now. It’s tiresome. Unnecessary. Dishonest, which is my least favorite flavor of emotional atmosphere.
Actions speak louder. His actions tell me he is ambivalent.
There are new people, new conditions that increase the ambivalence. His girlfriend couldn’t have made a worse impression if she’d consciously tried. It’s pretty clear that I burned bridges we once both shared. My partner got weird for a little bit.
I hate that I am someone that evokes ambivalence. Most people come to their decisions about me easily – love, hate or curiosity.
But this is not my experience, it is his. To try to make myself into someone he is not ambivalent about, whether positive (the more difficult path) or negative (the easy way) would dishonor myself and him.
So I hear the excuses … and do and say nothing more.
Actions speak louder.