Moody Romance Stalls Mid-Flight

Fly_boy Michael and I went house-shopping one sunny afternoon. His acreage was worth a couple million dollars for the land alone and he knew he would sell within a couple of years. He talked to me about how it would be so refreshing to be in a newer home compared to the tear-down he’d been living in for two decades. We checked out estates for sale on the weekends and it was exciting thinking it might be a home we would both move into.  He had a very critical eye and would point out structural weaknesses that most buyers would be unaware of. This was an activity we both enjoyed on Sunday afternoons. We learned what design each other liked and things like did we want to be by the water or would we want to be in the city close to all the amenities?

Although we were not engaged in the physical part of our relationship and I did find him to be a bit emotionally constipated, I was willing to play house along with him. I had a smidgen of faith left that the critical areas of the relationship would all come together when the time was right.

No relationship is perfect. I know that. We had our differences in our likes and dislikes. I didn’t want a man who was just like me. I did want compatibility and mutual respect. I wanted acceptance and love. Although we’d been seeing each other for months I didn’t really feel like I knew him. And he never encouraged me to speak about anything that I was passionate about. I gave hints, but he never followed up. Finally, I called one of my wise friends who no longer entertains the thought of a romantic entanglement for herself. Whenever I am uncertain I call her and ask for her take on things. She knew about Fly_Boy, but so far had kept her opinions to herself. I noticed her doing the ‘hmmmm,’ thing lately and knew she had something negative to say.

“Dump him,” was Ellen’s advice.

“Really?”

“Yup. He’s impenetrable. He’s selfish. He lacks the ability to emotionally connect. He lacks charisma.”

“Damn!”

I respect Ellen’s  opinions. I would be seeing him that evening and felt I needed to confront him with what all men dread, “The Talk.”  The “Where is the relationship going?” chat.   I hated the confrontation and although I know he loved sending me the ‘Relationship Files’, he wasn’t an easy guy to talk to.

I called Karen. She is a widow, having lost her husband five years ago. She was married for 21 years. I know she struggled with her marriage and that they fought bitterly for the first three years. She made adjustments within herself. She sacrificed her own needs and wants and as a result, the marriage thrived, or so she says.

“So what do you think, Karen? Ellen says to dump him.”

“I hate to advise you. But, since you ask, what I do think is that men are not good at this emotional stuff. We women have to help them. We have to help them look within and open the boxes.”

“Really? Is that what you think?”

“Yes. Men are just little boys. And we are little girls. None of us are perfect and you are setting yourself up for failure if that’s what you expect.”

I made my own decision and decided to hold off with the relationship talk. A couple weeks later Fly_Boy and I went to Costco together. He stopped at this huge display of sheet sets. He began to rummage through them and I waited, hanging on to the shopping cart, amused.

“You come and choose,” he prompted me.

I smiled and complied, choosing a powder blue set. I figured this was his way of including me in his future. His way of saying~ one day you will feel these sheets on your skin ~one day, we will touch.

A few weeks later we were at a Fatboy Burger Joint, sitting across from each other in an uncomfortable silence. This was happening more often. I didn’t feel at ease conversing with him and had been letting him take the lead. I think he was at a loss too. The hockey game was on several TV sets blaring that annoying play-by-play commentary.

“I hate hockey,” I finally spoke.

Pause. I continued.

“I hate hockey because my brothers and my Dad used to have it on constantly and it filled the house with noise. I know this isn’t normal for a Northern girl to admit to hating hockey, but there you have it.” He looked at me blankly, his huge hamburger held in front of his mouth. “I once went online and started up a Hockey Hating Association. I signed up two other women and we plotted to rip off all the little flags that people put on their cars during playoff season,” I attempted a joke.

He proceeded to discuss a hockey hero of his. He talked about him for half an hour while we finished our meal and sipped our coffee. Back at his house he passed me a video about this same hockey star and asked if I cared to watch it with him.

I looked at him, exasperated.

“No thanks! I don’t want to watch hockey!”

Sheesh.

We were plodding along getting stuck in the mud. I came close to deleting—‘nexting’ him. Something always stopped me. I drafted ‘Evil Emails,’ notes that I am notorious for. Another friend, Alanna, advised me to write out my frustrations, but DON’T hit the send key. Draft them. So I took her advice and I practiced patience.

My draft folder began to fill.

Also, my attitude towards him began to change. I would greet him with a brotherly hug. I was beginning to see him more as a friend than a potential lover. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to move anywhere near the intimate arena with a man who was obviously too nervous to go there himself. It spelled disaster to me. I decided to take the pressure off and not have any expectations. Take each day and each date as it comes and let everything happen in its own due time.

But it all came crashing down one evening after we had a comfortable day together, preparing a meal and eating by candlelight.  I didn’t  usually sit in front of his computer, but that particular day I did—while he was washing dishes. He had more than 50 icons on his desktop. I hit on one thinking it was Internet Explorer, but to my dismay I discovered it was an explorer of a much more intimate nature.

It was the start of the end.

 

Read the flyboy series by Adrienne S Moody

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