The Power of Touch

My Lament

The Power of Touch

With the conclusion of every relationship, I look back, and allow my mind to openly accept the red flags that I willingly chose to ignore. We’ve all done it. And I will probably continue to do it. When you are in love with someone you might call these things compromises, or just accept them.  But when you are out of love, they are easier to see. And for a person such as myself who has had two 8 plus year long relationships in a row, I am taking things a step further, and seeing the concessions I made with both men. In this lament, I am going to talk about touch, or rather the lack of it. In short, touch has power, and when I can’t have it, I should walk away, right?

I grew up in a family that hugs and kisses each other… a lot! Touch was quite natural amongst family, but, like any good teenager, I ended up rebelling in my late teens and took a hard stance against hugs of any kind. At the time, I was also with a man who hated/feared intimacy. Unless our clothes were off, there was no hugging, kissing, touching, or hand holding. Touch was just not a thing, and lead me to write about the anti-seductive power of touch.

Fast forward to my last long term relationship where I was granted about 50 percent more out of bedroom intimacy. I honestly felt like I hit the jackpot. Those first few years were ripe with PDA, and all sorts of clothed touch, well, except for one key thing, he refused to hold my hand. In fact, any sort of hand holding in or out of the bedroom would result in an almost anxiety inducing moment for him. But, the hugs, were there, and I felt my self esteem and confidence boost to the point that I started hugging my closest friends again.

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It’s weird to admit, but once I felt that tease of touch, it was like the floodgates opened. I became almost insatiable and just wanted constant touch and affection, as if I was some love starved person. Which, it turns out, I actually was but didn’t recognize it at the time. The innate desire for human touch was a symptom of something I could not admit to myself: that this man and I were not right for each other. We were out of sync for a long time, but, life is life, and it kept us together far longer than it ever should have.

Hindsight is a magical thing, that can actually throw a person like me right down a regret filled rabbit hole. Why didn’t he want to hold my hand, say I love you, hug me just because he could? Was I that unlovable? Was/am I not worthy of intimacy or a connection? These questions swirl around when I least expect them, and get almost unbearable when I meet someone new, because guess what? Covid times mean we are universally out of sync with intimacy and human touch. It is such a fun time to be dating, said absolutely no one! We have a social responsibility to keep our distance from people, and what I am finding out, is that my personality type, and issues with touch are not conducive to this. 

But, I will persevere, try not to come on to strong and touchy feely with new people, and just do my best to work out my desire for intimacy alone, in my bedroom with buzzing toys??

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The Pain of Ghosting

That Too Many of Us Know

The Pain of Ghosting

I’ve had my opinions on why ghosting someone sucks for years. Never for a moment did I think a person who ghosts someone else was an admiral human being. In fact, the contrary. I still believe that a person who just stops responding for no reason is a coward, and spineless. These individuals are not ready to date, because I believe dating adults need to understand how to end a relationship, and handle rejection with grace. But that is an article for another time (or just the one I link to later on), for now, let me share my recent experience with being ghosted.  Just so we are on the same page, let me start with the definition.

What is ghosting?

It is “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

Why am I writing about this?

Because, I was seeing a guy for almost 9 weeks, and out of the blue, he just stopped responding to any messages where I said I wanted to see him. And then, just stopped messaging me altogether.

The thing about this is, I always assumed that ghoster’s would be douchebags, or FuckBoys, or people with zero confidence. I thought that I was smart enough to spot someone who would do that to another person a mile away. Well, I was just knocked down a peg, and my dating confidence was in fact called into question. It’s difficult to be left with all these unanswered questions. To be just left wondering. And what’s worse, to have it done to you by someone that you genuinely thought was just a kind, amazing soul. This guy and I clicked. We made each other smile, and the in-person chemistry was fantastic, or so I thought. Because ultimately, I will never know for sure. My perception remains invalidated due to his silence.

It’s not that I expected this relationship to be forever. But, he made me happy, and did incredibly sweet things for me and I tried to be spontaneous and thoughtful in return. I felt amazing in his arms, and just thinking about him made me smile.  But here I am, wondering, if it was all in my head?

The lack of closure, is uncomfortable. The uncertainty of what happens if we ever run into each other again is real. These situations are not what I expected to encounter as an adult in the dating world. Ghosting, shouldn’t happen when you’re in your late 30’s (as we both were). There just doesn’t seem to be a rational reason with the simplicity of texting at our fingertips.

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But then the compassionate, bleeding heart in me goes… wait… did something happen to him? Maybe it wasn’t me. Perhaps that last message I sent him was the final kick in the nuts, and I’m the real asshole now. Maybe I pushed him too far, and really, he was planning on seeing me, but wanted it to be a surprise (Ha… OK that is a stretch).  In short though, welcome to my brain, because it would be easier for me to be the one in the wrong.  If that was the case, I can fix my behaviour, own it, or basically have some sort of control. Being ghosted like this, takes all power away from me, and leaves that sickening helpless feeling. Which, I know some of you may be wondering what my final text to him was, because if you know me at all, helpless is not something I tolerate.  So here goes pain and all:

“Kinda bummed you just stopped messaging or making an effort to see me. I thought we got along well, and really enjoyed spending time with you. Le sigh…”

Of course his response… Nothing!

So, to all of us out there dating, please don’t ghost other humans. If you have no idea how to face rejection or reject another human, please give the Handling Rejection section of How to Start Conversations. In short, just be good to each other. Truly, we have all been through enough with 2020!

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