Stronger than I thought

In a previous post, I mentioned briefly that I was going on a coffee date. I haven’t said much more about the experience, which was good, or the subsequent dates I had, which were also good. Originally, I didn’t want to right much, as I felt it was more appropriate to see how things went before getting too talkative about it. And then as things progressed, I felt that I needed to spend some time with the young man I was dating talking about everything. It was important to talk to him long before I talked about him or our experiences together.

Unfortunately, things did not work out between us as I had originally hoped. This was particularly complicated by the fact that each of us made some rash choices about our time together, resulting in a lot of hurt for both of us. We’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past several days talking about what happened, how we each felt, and just life in general. The end result is that we’ve decided to just be friends, and I’m very hopeful we end up developing a strong, lasting friendship as a result.

As I sit here and think about the past week and the future, I find myself experiencing a myriad of emotions. I’d say that chief among those emotions is disappointment and a bit of longing. To be honest, making the choice of not pursuing the relationship in favor of developing a friendship was not an easy one to make. There’s a part of me that longs for more, no matter how strongly I know that this is the right choice. Indeed, I found myself wondering how I’d feel when I saw him again. I found myself doubtful of whether I could spend time with him without it tearing me up inside.

I’m both pleased and relieved to say that those doubts were unfounded. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend four hours with him. And while I won’t deny that there was the occasional pang during our time together, it was well worth it. Conversation simply flowed. Not the kind of superficial conversation that feels mechanical or forced, but deep and honest communication. We shared an openness with one another that was beautiful and precious. And I have to admit that I find myself looking forward to another experience like that.

As I’ve thought about our recent time together, I found myself asking the same question again and again: When did I get this strong? How did I get this strong? I remember being the person who would fall completely apart at the first sign of emotional let-down and take weeks, months, or even years to recover. And here I am today, fresh from a breakup, ready to take it all in stride. I’m even looking forward to a friendship, despite the fact that part of me would still like more than friendship. And ultimately, I don’t feel it’s that big of a deal. And in many ways, that truly astonishes me. Because I don’t remember becoming the kind of person who could feel that way.

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