March 7th, 2002


Thinking of you

These three little words keep me "coming back", tethered, even though I am not.

Dwain decided another woman was the love of his life in November, and although I was understandably hurt I was also understandably willing to remain his friend. We have kept in touch by email because he does not feel it would be right to see me in person, even in a public place as friends. At first, I sensed that he worried he would regret his move too much, would feel desire for me. Now it sounds like he is more concerned that the love of his life will "go ballistic". Either way, we don't meet, we just write.

I am a prolific writer. I compulsively write about my thoughts, my deeds, and Dwain has always listened. He does not write as often or as much. I am conscious of how often he responds to my mail, what he says, and I draw my own conclusions about how "we are doing" when he is not clear. Which is often.

Thus, when I do not hear from him for a while or when his responses are abrupt and seem impersonal or detached, I think he's trying to get rid of me gently. I think about sending an email, getting in the first punch, so to speak: "I have decided it's better for both of us if we do not continue to write to each other. It's been nice knowing you" One of the things I regret about our breaking up is that I did not fire the first shot, and I continue to hang on in this little way, thereby continuing to be the receiver and not the implementer. So periodically I ask myself, would it be better and stronger if I were to end it completely?

There's a lot of support for such a decision. People say a clean break is easier, less painful. They say the sooner you forget him the better. They say move on with your life, don't hang on. But I say, I am not in much pain right now; I don't want to forget him because he's my friend; I am moving on. I do not harbor any wishes that he will change his mind and say "I made a mistake; please come back and be my one and only". If he were to say this, I think by now I would have the guts to say "friends first and then we'll see". I don't need the kind of pain I was in before, when we were together.

Sometimes Dwain ends an email with, "Thinking of you". These three little words tell me mountains, perhaps more than intended. They tell me he has me in his mind, we are still friends, I am still of value to him. Usually I feel relief to see these words and they confirm my sense that our friendship is lasting.

Is this the last gasp of a co-dependent? Do I need this friendship? I don't think I can answer that definitively now.
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