I wasn't expecting to be feeling lonely in the month after I left Christopher, but I did and it was big and gaping and glaring. My schedule hadn't changed at all. If anything I was seeing my friends a little more frequently. But it wasn't like Christopher and I talked or texted every day, and we were only hanging out for a few hours one night a week. So why was I lonely on a Tuesday when nothing about my schedule had changed?
I guess the expectation was gone. Even though he previously never called on a Tuesday, with the breakup I now knew for certain he would never call on a Tuesday. I was done waiting. It's what I wanted: to stop waiting. My entire relationship was spent waiting on that boy. Waiting for him to call, waiting to pick him up, waiting for him to get a job, waiting for him to emotionally commit.
I never realized how much energy I had spent waiting on him. Because even though I'm still sitting on my couch watching TV on a Tuesday night, I'm no longer waiting, and that's what feels different. That's what has been missing, making me feel lonely. I guess I was the ultimate multi-tasker. I would cook dinner while waiting. I would eat dinner while waiting. Watch TV and knit while waiting. Sleep and wait.
I realized in my past two relationships, I have been waiting for the boys to catch up to me. Get a job. Get your finances together. Be productive with your life. Rise up and meet me. And the saddest part about that was that these boys were significantly older than me: S by 5 years and Christopher by 7.5. If you don't have your shit together by your mid-thirties, it ain't going to happen.
Somewhere in my mid-twenties I started dating older men. Adam was 35 when I was 24. Christopher, the first time, was 32. I guess it was those last few years of college when I had four boyfriends in a row break up with me because they weren't ready to commit. I remember crying to my mom about it and she said my father did the same to her and that men go through this weird stage when they're graduating. So I thought I would bypass the commitment-phobia and go straight into the thirties where men were supposed to be a little more settled. Domesticated, as I like to put it.
That turned out to be a pretty naïve idea.
I don't remember which friend said this to me—because apparently I have really wonderful friends who say really wonderful things—but she said that I needed to date someone who would elevate me. I just remember how foreign that sounded when she said it.
So this is my pledge to stop waiting, including the whole "I'm going to live my life and if he calls, great, and if he doesn't, I won't notice." Because apparently I do.