I stood in the driveway this weekend looking at the ground as I listened to angry words that I know I deserved. My face flushed with shame, and I listened to how I'd led someone on and, in his words, humiliated him. I didn't defend myself or try to justify what I'd done. I didn't fight back and attack. I just took it and probably would have kept my hands at my sides if he had hit me.
What I did was admit that I wasn't in love. It felt horrible to admit this. For the past several weeks I've been trying to get there. I've accepted gifts and kind gestures and given my heart as much as I could. I wanted to return love to a wonderful man who treated me like a prince. But I wasn't in love, and he was starting to feel it. He said to me last week that he felt the honeymoon was over after six weeks because I wasn't kissing him or touching him as much. I guess I was just feeling overwhelmed. No, that is the word you use when you are trying to make someone feel better. But the more honest word - the word that earned me shame and angry words, was suffocated. I felt suffocated.
Before he drove away angry, he asked if I had anything to say for myself. I just shook my head and said, "You did nothing wrong. There's nothing more you could have done. I don't have anything to say in my defense."
Hurting another person is an awful experience. But I will never forget my discussion with CT when we broke up almost three years ago. I asked him why he never showed me any affection, and he said that he had made a conscious decision to withdraw from me so that I'd end the relationship. He admitted he didn't want to be the bad guy, and he knew if he stopped showing love that I would eventually walk away. I equated that action to deliberately starving an unwanted pet. I thought it was the cruelest thing a person could do. And I didn't want to do that to anyone else, because I know how it feels to emotionally starve to death.
I am sorry for what happened. And I now understand the men I loved who just didn't feel the same way about me. It wasn't their fault. The tricky part of love is finding someone who shares the same feelings you do. Compatibility is a good start, and it's what I'm banking on from now on.