Sunday, January 18, 2009

On / off with Camper ... part 3

My confession for Camper: I had kissed another guy shortly before our first breakup talk.

New Guy.

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New Guy and I had stayed in touch (as friends), but hadn't seen each other in some time. As I wrote here, he had wanted to take me out for a belated birthday drink some time ago, and I canceled because I felt like it was too soon for us to be "just friends" -- and I didn't feel that it was fair to Camper for me to have a drink with a recent ex (especially one for whom I still had lingering feelings).

Once I began to feel that things with Camper were truly on the outs, I suggested to New Guy that we reschedule that drink. I didn't (consciously) go into it with the intention of being intimate -- but after a few hours of great conversation and laughter over dinner, we gradually started sitting closer and closer and got a bit flirtier, until we were kissing.

We were in touch the next day: while we'd both had a lovely time, we valued our growing friendship, and didn't want this lapse in judgment to impede upon that. He stressed that he's still not ready for a relationship at this time, but wants our friendship to continue to flourish. There's something about this guy -- he's a truly special person, and having him in my life, even just on a platonic basis, means a lot to me.

I felt terrible about having cheated on Camper, but also realized that was a sign of my growing dissatisfaction in the relationship -- and was probably the catalyst for the first breakup talk later that week. (incidentally, New Guy was not aware that I was in a supposedly exclusive relationship the night we kissed. I confessed to him the next day, and he felt terrible).

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So -- I told Camper that I had kissed someone else (without going into any of the details as outlined above). I simply said it was someone I used to date, but may still have lingering feelings for. I think I was hoping that he'd get mad at me, and he'd want to break up for good -- instead, he thanked me for my honesty, and felt that he finally had an explanation of "so THAT'S when things started to go wrong".

Sigh. Somehow, I still didn't have it in me to rip off the Band-Aid for good. When someone is THAT crazy about you, it's hard to walk away.

Finally, a few days later, I had a very eye-opening session with my shrink. Much like writing it out here, when all the evidence is laid out in front of you, it seems so simple: the bad outweighs the good. You're not happy in this relationship, and it's not going to get any better. It was as simple as my shrink asking, "do you see a future here?". When the answer was no, I felt like the most fair and kind thing I could do was break up with Camper.

We had a long talk that night -- anger at first, then sadness, then tears on both sides. Finally ripped off the Band-Aid. This time, when Camper asked if we could still keep our weekend plans, I had the hindsight to realize that it wasn't a good idea. If we have a chance of being friends down the road, we need some REAL time and distance apart this time.

I'm still a bit sad -- it never feels good to hurt someone. At the same time, I've had this feeling of optimism and lightness and clarity -- it's (still) a New Year, and a new beginning.

Absolutely not in a hurry to find a new boyfriend just yet. Looking forward to some single / casual dating time. On that note... info to follow on High School Guy...

14 comments:

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

whew! you've been through a lot, but you sound sensible and -- best of all -- not really heart-broken.
good luck w. the new round of dating, and please blog about it!
-mimi

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Thanks for the update. I totally get the "gradual breakup" thing. Sometimes it takes a few tries before one or both of you get it. Good for you for not settling. From experience, a freindship can only develop after some substantial "black out" time - usually 3-6 months. But what are rules when it comes to the heart?
Be careful with New Guy though. Could be a complicated friendship if feelings are that close to the surface.
Look forward to more updates either way!

Anonymous said...

want to preface this remark first and say that 1)I really enjoy your blog. It's brave to be so honest and put it all out there like you do to strangers. and 2) you seem like a fun and NICE person. With that said (and most sincerely said), I have a quibble with your confession about the cheating on Camper. "we gradually started sitting closer and closer and got a bit flirtier, until we were kissing." I know things weren't going well with Camper. But you made a conscious decision to cheat on him. To not honor your promise. Do you really want to be that girl? To be someone who doesn't honor her promises if a relationship is not going well? You had some heartbreak over some similar indiscretions (like updating profiles while dating you) in not-going-well relationships. This is a much more serious faux-pas. I think you shouldn't give yourself an easy out. It was wrong. And I hope you don't do it again. I would hate for you to be that girl. Because you seem like a great one. Besides now New Guy knows you cheat. Albeit with him, but don't you think he could think you might do that to him one day, too?

I just had to throw this out there. Please, don't be hurt. But you should think about it.

Anonymous said...

And maybe subconsciously Camper acted so badly (drunk dialing), because he felt your indiscretion gave him permission to be not as polite because he felt so raw and hurt. You really can't complain about poor behavior, when you aren't setting a standard. Just a thought. Sorry again if I'm being harsh.

Anonymous said...

Well, there are boyfriend boyfriends and husband boyfriends. If you cheat on a boyfriend boyfriend, no big deal. Who cares. It clearly is symptomatic. The husband boyfriend is the only one you don't want to cheat on....the only one it matters not to cheat on.

I "cheated" on many of my boyfriends, but it was meaningless. I knew there was no future for us. If there were, I wouldn't have cheated. Simple as that.

--JAC

Anonymous said...

I've had guys treat me badly and later they confessed that they just didn't have the guts to break it off so they were trying to get me to do it. I always thought this was the coward's way out. And it messes with the other person's self-esteem. I feel bad for Camper.

Anonymous said...

Jac - the cheating matters on the boyfriend boyfriends as well as on the girlfriend girlfriends. It hurts to be broken up with, but hurts more by being disrespectful.

Loverville said...

I'll be the first to admit: kissing another guy while I was in an exclusive relationship certainly wasn't right. I DO feel badly about it -- and I feel terrible that I hurt Camper.

I'm sure on some not-so-subconscious level, it was my way of lashing out at a relationship that was in decline. Could I have handled it better? Sure. Am I human, capable of making mistakes? Absolutely.

Part of me wonders, if this hadn't happened, would the relationship have dragged on even longer than it should have? Maybe. What's done is done now, and I can only learn from my mistakes.

Anonymous said...

"Part of me wonders, if this hadn't happened, would the relationship have dragged on even longer than it should have?"

If it had and you weren't happy, that would have been your fault, not Camper's. I've been reading this blog for a while and I think I've been giving you too much credit. You are a player. A girl player. And a hypocrite. You are still giving yourself easy outs. If this had happened to you, you would be enraged. Sounds like you used Camper for an ego boost and then faulted him for liking you too much when it wasn't reciprocal. Poor poor Camper.

Louisa said...

Anon - Loverville is NOT a player or a hypocrite. If only. Then she wouldn't suffer the very real heartaches. This is not a reality show - heros, villains. Real life is complicated - for better and worse - thank goodness.

Tiny E said...

I'm typically a band-aid ripper - when I'm done with a relationship, I'm done. But I've often thought that it takes real guts to truly try and figure out if something has the potential to go the distance or not. I think it's good you took the time - at some later date, you won't wonder if you made the right decision.

And yes, you will find someone who adores you as much and - even better - you'll adore him as much right back.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog for a while too and I think Loverville has a double standard. When a guy hurts her, he is an asshole and all guys suck. When she does it to a guy, it's the guy's fault, never hers. Not cool at all Loverville, bad karma.

Anonymous said...

"even my therapist said, "you might not find another guy who is this crazy about you "

Well, I'm not crazy about this statement from a THERAPIST, specifically YOUR THERAPIST. What the hell? This statement led you down a wrong path. Just watch out from now on that this therapist is guiding you in the right direction, because they are people, too, and can be not good at their job.

Loverville said...

For what it's worth:

re: Anon at 9:51 am -- Camper was never an "ego boost" for me. When we first met, I really, really wanted a boyfriend -- and I was excited that he wanted to be my boyfriend, and I was thrilled to be his girlfriend. I was probably a bit too hasty in getting too close to him before we really knew each other.

I never said what I did was right -- and of course Camper has every right to be upset with me. I'd be upset too.

re: the other Anon at 6:46 -- now THAT's totally out of left field. I've never said anything of the sort, that "all guys suck". I don't believe that -- never have. Sure, I've met an occasional asshole (who hasn't?), but I remain optimistic -- as my friends will tell you, sometimes overly optimistic.

Nowhere here did I say that this breakup was Camper's fault -- there were contributing factors from both sides. As they say, it takes two.

Everyone else: thanks for your support!

And last Anon, at 9:32 -- true, I didn't find that very encouraging!