Cliffhanger

beach-1846233_1920I haven’t really wanted to write this post because I know it will push me to directly confront some realities I’ve been dancing with for a moment here and there before moving onto something less gloomy. The problem is that cracks are forming in my relationship with The Leo, and they’re causing me to re-examine things between us.

When we had our heart-to-heart and decided that we wanted to get back together, there was this moment toward the end of our conversation when The Leo said something along the lines of: “don’t feel like we have to text every day.” And I remember thinking to myself, “Why did he say that? Of course we’re going to text every day…right?” But ever since then, I’ve been paying more attention than usual to our communication patterns, and here’s the gist of what I’ve noticed. Left undisturbed, The Leo will typically allow more than 24-hours to elapse before texting me. I initiate almost all daily texting, and I’ve tried waiting progressively longer to allow him time to chime in first, but I’m typically left waiting. Our exchanges generally feel perfunctory and hollow — in other words, they feel like work.

There’s a part of me that wants to smack the magnifying glass out of my hands and remind me to chill out and quit overanalyzing. Another part wants to fix this and has been plotting exactly how to bring it up in a conversation so that it feels simultaneously casual, unrehearsed, and light…yet pointed and effective. Then there’s this conversation I remember from our first date almost five months ago. When I asked him about his worst qualities (yeah, yeah, I know, but small talk is for suckers with time to waste), he told me that he’s so laid back sometimes that it comes across as him not caring. And it got me wondering whether this was the case with us. Had he become so comfortable so quickly, let down his guard to reveal Laid-Back Leo before the five-month mark was even in sight? And if that was the case, then was I seeing the real him? And if I was, how did I feel about that?

Truth be told, I was feeling like he didn’t care. I was spending time going back through our texts in an attempt to find a day when he texted me first (it was three weeks ago, by the way), and it left me feeling both petty and justified in my pettiness. If this is how he is, per his own self-description on the first date, what’s the point in having another heart-to-heart, no matter how well-rehearsed? I have to decide whether this is a deal-breaker. How much communication is enough to make me feel secure and cared about?

Oh, and to make it interesting….within an hour of turning to my co-worker and placing a bet on how long it would be before I heard from him again and whether he’d mention weekend plans (my bet: in excess of 48 hours; hers: 18-24 hours), who should I hear from but The Leo? His out-of-left-field text broke his three-week streak of not texting first, AND he asked me if I was free that weekend. Errrr….wrench, meet plans.

But one text doesn’t undo a larger pattern, right? So despite my surprise, I was still feeling like our dynamic wasn’t sustainable. I began visualizing a lovely evening, capped off with a somber-yet-gracious break-up. I determined that I deserved someone who would, at the very least, reach out and communicate with me often enough to convey a sense of interest and affection. And The Leo and I, despite our in-person chemistry, have a dull “text life” and almost no phone calls. In case this doesn’t seem like that big of an issue, he and I only get to see one another every other weekend because of my custody schedule. Imagine trying to build a relationship on two 24-hour encounters in a month. The 14-day lulls between dates are an opportunity to build our connection in a different way, but that’s not how it’s panned out for us.

So as the weekend approaches and my plans to see The Leo begin to rapidly materialize into dates and times and details (this time, for the first time in months, he’s taken the lead on planning), my resolve to end things disappears just as quickly. I recall that I’ve done this twice before, talked myself out of The Leo before reversing course. Is the third time the charm? I wish I could tell you, but the more I examine this, the more ambivalent I become.

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