Basically, this thing with Thomas is likely to crumble under the weight of my almost obsessive-compulsive inclination to want things to go exactly my way before the issue of his departure even arises. And I realised this tonight when I confirmed that he's on the same page as me: he's not seeing anyone else, and he's thinking about what's likely to happen, or not happen, when he leaves. My insecurity stems from the slowness of his pace compared to mine, or the pace at which I would like him to go; and because he's not calling me every night or wanting to see me every day, Matt comes to mind and I start wondering how much Thomas likes me, how serious he is, whether he's just passing time...
But I ought to trust in the person that he's shown to me, not in my interpretation of his behaviour based solely on my past experiences. I need to let go of the past because he is my present now - and his standard is the only standard. Is there really any question of how serious he is when he answered my question about whether he was seeing anyone else in the negative, with this puzzled look on his face as if I was missing the point or asking the obvious, and then asked whether I had seriously thought about what his impending departure would mean? That would have been my second point: some clarity on his intentions, because like I said in the previous entry, and assuming things go well with him, I don't want him to just leave me completely when he leaves - and if that's the case, then I would rather not see him at all.
He'd wanted me to tell him what I thought first, so I said the following. I didn't know how rational I was being, I said. And if this had happened five years ago, I would probably say no thanks. But I've spent my life chasing these amorphous and changeable ambitions of mine all the way here, which in a way is nowhere, because I don't know what I'm doing with my life and what I even want. And the price that I have had to pay for this blind chasing of a shadowy idea of some ill-defined ambition is the relationships that I'd ended up giving up. The result is that my personal life is in a mess, and I'm tired of this instability. And so I am open to the idea of making something work long-distance if it's good in the present, instead of simply giving it up on the off-chance that you'd find something halfway as good.
I asked him what he thought. 'Pretty much the same,' he said.
'I don't want you to just leave me when you leave,' I added.
'I don't want that either.'
Am I jumping into this too quickly? Have I stopped to think about this? But I am who I am - the perpetual over-thinker. I have thought about this and what I told him is what I really think, and the craziness of it - that I'm entertaining the idea of entering into a long-distance relationship with someone whom I've only just met, who will be based in Florida for the next three years - is scary because of how intuitively correct it feels. I didn't feel this way with Matt because I knew that there was absolutely no long-term potential whatsoever from the get-go. But with Thomas...even though he's not vegetarian, he's solid (and I'm not just talking physically), he's reliable, he has his act together, he is ambitious and wants to do things after he retires from the military instead of sitting around collecting his pension. He is strong and stable, and quietly contemplative, and sensible. I think he really is as trustworthy and reliable as I think that he is. I think that my first impression of him as the strong, silent type after our first date was absolutely spot-on.
I can't walk away from someone like that, not even if he's leaving in six months. Over the past two years, I have dated so many emotionally immature men, emotionally damaged men, men who don't think things through, men whose sense of safety is subtly undercut by my sharp intuition that it cannot be trusted, men who are capricious, men who are weak but who pretend to be strong or are self-deluded in their belief of their own strength, men who didn't like me enough to sustain our preternatural connection and make a stab at something long-distance, men who buy too much into their own hype and have nothing interesting to say about anything else other than their career, men who are interesting but unambitious, men who aren't really men, but guys at best, and boys at worst.
In all honesty, and forgive the cheesiness of what I'm about to say, Thomas is probably the first real man that I have met since Wouter. Isn't this insanely scary? I am comparing someone that I've known for maybe a month to the second guy that I have ever truly loved. But he is stepping up, isn't he? The fact that he's thinking about the same things as I am means that we're going to each other from the same place. He wants the same thing as me. I can't walk away from this because the past two years have proved that someone like him is a rarity.
But I'm afraid of being hurt, of course. I'm afraid of losing myself and my defences to this vulnerability that is immanent in having feelings for someone, a vulnerability that feels good to give in to, a vulnerability that, when one surrenders to it, provides access to the full range of human emotions and feelings that makes life worth living. I'm also afraid - perhaps more afraid - that, in my drive to ensure that giving in to this vulnerability for Thomas is worth it, I would end up doubling up on my defences while trying to let them down, and driving him away.
I find it incredibly difficult to relinquish control of the events of my life, hand the reins to someone else, have trust and patience in him - that he'd come to me eventually, that he likes me and wants to be with me, and that I'm not in this alone. I really need to stop wondering why he didn't do certain things and what that might possibly mean and focus on the things that he's done so far and what those obviously show. Such as his remembering that I have a split skin thing on my thumb from the cold weather, and checking my thumb to see if it had healed; such as not pressuring me to escalate physically despite his very obvious interest in getting into my pants; such as his little jokes, the way he makes fun of me, the way he holds my hand.
Speaking of jokes, he said something particularly funny tonight about me which I can't presently remember. In response, I hit him lightly on the arm.
OH. MY. GOD. His arm was rock solid. I tried to subtly check him out today but he was sitting too close to me so I didn't get a good look...not that I'm complaining about his putting his hand on my knee/leg or anything, of course.