A couple weeks ago, I was looking through my old diary entries. I ran across an “unsent letter” I wrote to my ex, Zech. In it, I talked about my relationship with Mike. I decided I wanted to go back and comment on what I said there, considering how things with Mike finally ended up. Excerpts from the original letter are in italics, while my new thoughts will be in normal text.
I’m dating a wonderful guy now. His name is Mike.
Ah yes. These were “the good old days” when I actually thought Mike was a catch. (Actually, I wrote the original letter almost a full year before I broke up with Mike.) My opinion has changed since then. Funny thing is, I probably am having more fond thoughts of Zech right now than of Mike. That’s a scary thought, in some ways. Mike and I had our issues, but the “relationship” with Zech was just one huge mess. So you’d almost think that I’d have less fondness for Zech.
I suppose the fact that it’s been over seven years since Zech and I broke up, time has healed those wounds. Compare that to the fact that it’s only been six months since I told Mike I didn’t want him in my life any more, and I suppose that’s understandable. But I think there’s more to it than that. Zech and I had real issues back then, both individually and as a couple. And in Zech’s case, I can cut him some slack due to the fact that he was a lot younger — not even twenty yet. In comparison, Mike’s turning thirty in January. Being that old and still thinking it’s perfectly reasonable to tell someone, “You mean the world to me, but I’m not going to do anything to meet your emotional needs because it’ll require me to accept some personal discomfort” is unthinkable. So in that sense, I think he deserves my contempt.
But I’m slowly learning something. There’s a huge difference between you and Mike.
Unfortunately, I’m also learning there were a lot of similarities between them, too. It’s ironic that I spent so much time teaching myself to not react to Mike out of my issues with Zech, only to find out there really were some things they had in common. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went through that process anyway. I did need to learn that not everyone was exactly like Zech.
But in the end, both of my exes were wrapped up in their own little worlds. They were too busy trying to keep their worlds so perfectly balanced, that they were willing to sacrifice my needs and feelings if it came to it. Perhaps Mike wasn’t as dastardly about it, but does that make it any better? And besides, he also should’ve known better.
In retrospect, I think I’ve decided to re-make my rule against not dating guys who are still “in the closet” — at least to their family. I made that rule after Zech and broke it when dating Mike. When Mike and I started going together, I told him about my reservations. But I went ahead on the grounds that he was otherwise wonderful and he promised me that he’d make sure that the fact that his friends and family didn’t know about his sexual orientation wouldn’t get in the way. He broke that promise. And I’m now convinced that when push comes to shove, most guys in the closet will break that promise. So if they’re not ready to be honest with their family, they deserve a pass in the realm of relationships. They’re just not ready.