This started last night as a very different post.

I was thinking about BFD and how it felt to reconnect with him again this week as his girlfriend, not his friend/business partner/workout buddy/lover for the first time in months. That’s what’s been happening. He is suddenly aware again that I am here, that he needs me to be involved in his life. He had been missing me and our connection. We have not seen each other — so much of our life together is over email and the phone — but it has felt very different all of a sudden.

I . . . felt really great about it, actually. I teased and cajoled and praised and criticized and reassumed the mantle as his girlfriend. He was sweet and kind and loving and affectionate and warm and supportive. Everything clicked back into place. We made (and canceled) plans for this week. We made plans for next week. He told me about his plans for this weekend, prepared for me to give him a hard time. Instead, I was enthusiastic and loving and allowed him to be him without making it about us.

BFD is very close to his young nieces/nephews. He sees them at least every 2-3 months, taking them to amusement parks and spoiling them completely. I believe the oldest is under 8. They play with him, they crawl into bed with him, and they make him a completely different person than he is normally. He just lets go and embraces that side of himself and just allows the love. As someone who loves him, I love that he has them in his life. He bought them a gift on our first date and I have known their names nearly as long as I have known his.

So, he told me, I am flying [here] for the weekend, and I said, oh? why? and he said, steeling himself, “To take them trick or treating . . . ”

And I embraced him with love. I wanted to know first, what was he going to wear. He said they would be dressing him, so whatever they said, goes. I said, might you be in a dress? He said, laughing, whatever they want.

I know these multiple sides of him, but I’ve not seen this loving BFD in a while. It was clear, he’s not felt this in a while. When I mentioned I’d had an incredibly tough week, he countered, he’d had an incredibly tough three weeks. I smiled and said warmly, well, sweetheart, you’ve had a really tough five months . . .

Now, I was thinking, as I said it, you have know idea how tough my week is compared to yours. You are concerned about timelines and employees and finance [and very specific things related to his industry]. And I am worried about food and shelter. But, I rarely tell him how desperate my existence is because I don’t want him to save me (more than he already has). I want him to be with me because he wants to be with me and not out of a sense of obligation or to decide to not be with me because things are too chaotic.

But, he knows things are bad, which is why he said, softly, Plan, you need to get my deal closed.

Yep.

So, we made general plans for next week, involving “fabulous sex,” I teased him about what he was eating — asking if it were again that revolting broccoli cheese rice concoction — “I love that!” but no, this was something actually resembling food — a frozen indian dish — he’s shopping better, and paying more attention to nutrition, but I still expressed my strong disapproval for his overall eating habits. This is part of his life I have wanted to own, and part he wants to cede to me. And yet, we’ve never quite gotten there.

We spoke about the workout and I told him about parts of the conversation I’d had with the trainer and it was very clear that the trainer had not said anything to BFD about the “was” “dating” part, but it also seemed that they did speak of me, because BFD asked if I’d be working out on Saturday and could I give the trainer a message that he was gone for the weekend but would be back. When I told him I’d be with my young out of town relatives visiting a monument, he was charmed again, and said he’d shoot him an email.

It was hard to hang up.

But we did and I was warm and happy.

It’s hard to know what is in BFD’s head because he keeps his own counsel, but I felt very close to him, very involved and engaged, and it was clear he’d missed me when I stopped calling. He has been slowly reaching back. Cute email Monday morning, a couple of phone calls throughout the day, provocative email exchange in the late afternoon.

So, I am going to be dating BFD again. That does not mean I am not dating other people or that we will be exclusive, but I will be dating him again. I remember clearly how it felt before and I felt some of that again, but we are not there now and we have not been for a while.

BFD and I went on our break so he could deal with some significant issues — including the fact that he is not ready to have a family of his own. Were he to change his mind, then I might have to reconsider things. If not, he will continue to be my friend, he may continue to be my lover (though it’s been 5 weeks since we’ve been together and I can’t even remember the last time we kissed . . . 3 weeks ago maybe? 4? I do know I have gone out on dates with two other men since then, maybe 3).

So, he’s back in my life, but I am still holding him at arm’s length. I am not calling him, not inviting him to events, not engaging him on things. I miss the relationship we had and could have had. The fact that it feels really good does not mean it is really good, or that the last 8 weeks did not happen. He hurt me and that pain exists. Those scars are there. Could he overcome them? Sure. Has he? No. Does he know that? At this point, it’s unclear.

This week, he indicated he’s back and he wants to start making plans with me again. He still has a shot, but he also has competition. What I realized is that being with him as it had become made me deeply unhappy. I also realized I deserve to be happy and that there are certain things that are truly not negotiable.

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