The other week I searched for a box in the back of my closet in my mother's house. I put it there when I moved in with Scott almost 2 years ago. It was my single's box, filled with old boyfriend mementos and some self-help books. With my cheek pressed against its cardboard side, I reached my arm in and fished out Seduction of the Stars, a go-to manual describing the nature of a relationship with someone based on his or her astrological sign. With a new man comes a new chapter.
I read the few pages about the Scorpio and frowned. I flipped to the beginning of the book and read my own chapter, the Taurus, and frowned even more. It's not the same as it used to be, reading the book. I just ended up feeling foolish as I tossed the book back into the box which also contained He's Just Not That Into You, Be Honest: You're Not That Into Him Either, The Rules, and Why Men Love Bitches.
I came to the realization that there is no book for this. I was violating all the rules in all the relationship books by simplying being myself and being honest. And I felt the rewards of it 10 times over.
I was honest when I asked Christopher his intentions fairly early on in spending time with him.
Because I took that step, Christopher was honest with me about his job. I, in turn, may have cleared up a confusing statement I made about being in the city (for work) that could easily be taken as having my own apartment. (He acted all horrified over the deceipt until I said, "Tell me about that job again," and he promptly dropped it.)
There was in incident in which he booted up the lap top and put it in my lap and his last web search came up for anti-depressants. He was embarassed and said he did the search for his father. I was honest and told him I was on them before and they were my breath of fresh air until I was laid off and couldn't afford them anymore. He responded by disappearing in his bedroom and coming out with a bottle in his hand.
Because of this honesty, I believe he introduced me to his brother.
When I brought up how I felt that his friends hate me (3 and a half years later, I'm still waiting for a return phone call) he asked that wasn't it more important how he felt about me than how they did? And then he promptly told me being friends with them was overrated anyway and he hardly sees them anymore.
A few weeks ago he sent me a text asking about my Facebook status that confessed I had both a good and bad weekend and he wanted to know if he was the bad part. I could have said anything other than the truth, but I sent back, "You were bright spot of my weekend."
He called me three times that night. He was open with me and made future plans with me. He told me he sleeps better when I'm around.
And finally last weekend I asked if he was an affectionate person.
"What do you mean by affectionate?" he asked. We were laying on top of his bed spooning. At that moment he was the big spoon and I thought it would be the best time to ask.
"Do you like to kiss and hold hands and that kind of thing." Because, sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. The inconsistency of it was making me neurotic.
"Yeah," he chirped.
"You don't project that. Like at all," I flat-out told him.
He thought for a minute. "Defense mechanism," he said quietly.
I don't know who this person is, the person I'm playing. I've never been honest and confident and open to getting hurt. Everything I've been through tells me that I should be more afraid and more damaged than ever. However I feel like I've been through the worst of life and am out of the other side. No man can hurt me as much as Scott did. I will never feel like that again because I am making smarter decisions. So even if I get hurt by men in life, it won't compare to what I've already experienced and I know I will be just fine in the end. I am so sick of lies that I'm living my life as honestly as possible and I feel that I'm attracting the truth to me.
Being honest has helped me see that Christopher isn't the only person to change in the last few years. Through my openness I see how my actions directly affect the boys I date. I've previously viewed men as unfeeling adversaries from whom I had to protect myself. I've never felt that men had emotions that could rival mine. But I've learned that men are people too. Façade begets façade and truth begets truth.
Maybe Christopher didn't think he was so perfect years ago living in his fancy city-view apartment in his Calvin Klein jeans and Armani shoes. Maybe that was his façade to the world. At 24, I was too intimidated by the together-seeming 30-something professional, so I put on my brand names and we sat in front of that 12' x 12' window of the city, not saying much of anything except for Calvin Klein written across our asses. How silly it all seems now.