Last Sunday, after having been through a funk, depression, numbness, manic phase, and awkward acceptance, I crashed. The night before (Saturday), I had started watching a movie which showed a lot of tenderness between a couple. Close-ups of sweet, tender kisses on the neck, holding each other... As I watched, I longed for that kind of intimacy. I was very tired, and I decided to go to bed rather than fight my increasing emotions.
The next morning, I went to church, and it was fine, but I was feeling this inexplicable funk again. When I got home, it hit the fan. Somehow, everything came rushing back, and I broke down and cried harder than I have for a long, long time. It was a gut-wrenching cry, one in which you know you're letting something go which you really don't want to let go. I was mourning a loss all over again and feeling very alone, very sad. Maybe it was my own little pity party, but whatever it was, I just let it out. I had to.
During church, I had had a sudden, strong desire to play piano, which I haven't done in many, many months. Now, after a good, hard cry, I needed the therapeutic effects of playing the piano. I grabbed my books and drove to campus to find a piano free somewhere. But as I parked, I was still breaking down somewhat randomly into tears. I didn't want to be seen. So I called a good, long-time friend and went to visit him. We mostly talked about anything but what was bothering me. It was a good distraction to occupy my mind for a while. Then he asked, and I explained what I was feeling. That at this point, it wasn't so much about the fling, I didn't think, as it was about having tasted, again, the beginnings of a romantic relationship and what that could feel like, the sweetness, the tenderness, the beauty, the connection, and that I was mourning the loss of that kind of relationship, at least in the way I had always imagined having one, once again.
My friend told me about a past relationship of his and some of the parallels and similar emotions and thought processes he went through, and he reassured me that he was pretty sure I could find a better match for myself. He expressed his appreciation for what I (and my gay/SSA friends) must have to go through, and that he doesn't know how we do it. I said, "You've gone through a divorce and shared custody and financial burdens. I feel like an idiot being so bent out of shape over a fling and the loss of just barely the beginning of a relationship." He said, "You know, they say it's better to have loved and lost..."
I've never been to the "loved" stage. Not truly. Not deeply. Not in that sense.
But OK, I'm accepting that again. After our talk, I went and practiced piano for a long while. It was really good for me. I was able to focus my energy on something constructive and vent some raw emotion through music.
Since then, I'm feeling fairly "normal" again. I'm able to hang out with my fling buddy without much awkwardness, and now without bitterness or anger. No strong drive to be closer, more physical, more intimate. I've accepted that it was partially a fantasy. I'm back to enjoying his cuteness, his little charms, his beauty, his personality, without needing to be closer to him than other people. I still find it weird, at times, when he seems closer to my roommate or others than to me, but it doesn't hurt anymore. It's just the way it is.