Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Temporarily removing Tim from my life

As I deliberate, vacillate, and procrastinate about how to clean up my life and questions whether I'm ready to date, part of the question is about what role Tim should play. (Yes, here we go again. If you only knew how many ways I've looked at this in my mind.) Maybe some distance apart would do me some good.

I love him dearly. I need him in my life... maybe a little too much. Many times, I worry that I'm dependent on him. He's the first person (and sometimes the only person) I'll call to hang out and watch a DVD or just to ask some basic question. I want him around.

The amount of time I spend with him begs the question of whether he fills a void in my life. And by doing so, does that de-incentivise me from actively seeking out new people?

I told myself not to call him the other night, and I totally ignored my own wishes. I called him up with the suggestion that he come over to finish off his dessert that was left behind from several days ago. (He doesn't have a microwave.) He said he'd come by at 10pm.

He came by at 9:25pm. I was channel surfing when he arrived and happened to leave the tv on the finale of "Treasure Hunters." Since I was still dressed in my smelly, dirty gym clothes, I sat on the floor in front of the sofa, leaning sideways against it. Tim sat on the cushion just above me. He put his toes against my back, I could smell the shoe odors that had penetrated his socks. Yuck. He once played with my hair, and another time he gently rubbed my back.

He had just been over the previous night to watch a movie. Nothing happened, we just sat next to each other on the couch and watched. The comfort and simpleness of watching a movie together is what I enjoy. I'd like to hope he likes that too.

There are times I wonder if this is what being together with someone (in a relationship) comes down to. That is, being able to do normal, everyday things together and being content. I like having him nearby. If the world consisted of the two of us, I'd be happy. It feels so good to get a hug from him. Am I missing out on a special man?

Before, I didn't worry about us spending so much time together. Now, I have a little concern. What do I want from him? How do you separate friendship from companionship? Is it him I want or just a warm body to keep me company?

The thought has crossed my mind to talk to Tim about this, but I fear he'll just brush my serious questions off with some sarcastic humor. Rather than tell me how he feels, he'll retort something about how we're not dating or remind me that I already broke up with him. Naturally, I understand him not wanting to discuss it. He's probably tired of talking about something that goes nowhere. (Women can be annoying with their constant analyzing eh?)

I see other friends (of opposite gender) who are close and spend what seems like a decent amount of time in each other's company. He'll drive 30 miles to hang out with her and vice versa. She'll crash at his place if she is out late or needs to be in the area early the next morning. What separates them from being more than friends? Why is this such a foggy state for me? What am I missing? Somehow I never developed an understanding of how to just be good friends with a guy. (I swear I missed a class in basic social skills as a teenager.)

This is from where my thoughts of taking Tim out of my life stem. I feel like I need to test myself and maybe find an answer. Would a month suffice? Does it mean I don't talk to him at all or limit myself to a weekly e-mail (as if he lived in another state). How, if at all, would this change our relationship? There's no guarantee that a separation would clarify my confusion. My therapist thinks I would unnecessarily punish myself and Tim by doing this and that there are better ways to address my confusion in regards to relationships.


zerodoll said...

that's a really tough one, especially if you still want to maintain a frienship with tim (and it sounds like you do). it's almost like you guys never finished breaking up. i don't have any stunning insights, but i do know every time a relationship ended for me, there was a period of adjustment. my last breakup really forced me to consider who i would call when i needed an ear and i still consider my ex a friend (a first for me.) personally, i'd try to talk to tim. otherwise you'll end up hurting him, which you might anyway, but at least he'll know why (if you decide to take time apart.)

Clinton said...

I don't have very close female friends. I subscribe to Harry's theory (from When Harry Met Sally) that it is nigh impossible for men and women to be very close buddies because of the sexual component.

Anyhoo, given my limited experience with close gal pals, I still think you would GREATLY benefit from cutting back on your contact with Tim. He's a comfort cusion for you. Every time you spend extra time with him lazing around at your house watching DVDs, you could be out at a social event or trying out a new hobby or doing something that puts you in contact with new faces and situations.

There is a time and place for Tim. I love all my old friends, but ya, sometimes I too need to extricate myself from the security of being around them all the time.

Pandax said...

It would seem as if an outside force is giving me a taste of less communication... Tim lost his cell phone this week and does not have a land line.

Zerodoll, we probably needed more time apart initially after the break up. The transition has been a slow one, but the relationship has definitely shifted. I think it speaks to how well we get along. It's why sometimes I wonder if I gave the relationship enough time. Normally, I go for the "rip the bandaid off" theory. In this case, however, the slow transition has been better for me. I've never fully recovered from my big previous ex breakup and another traumatic, sudden separation would have been devastating for me emotionally (even though I was the one who ended this one).

Clinton, just to clarify, while it may have been true a year or more ago, spending time with Tim is when we both happen to be home for the evening. It does not influence my choice to be at other activities (unless it's far away and I'm looking for someone to carpool with). We both keep plenty busy with other friends and activities. The time spent hanging out together would probably otherwise just be time spent alone.