another letter I’ll never send

Sometimes, when I’m struggling to let go (as I am now), I write a letter that I’ll never send and fill it full of all the ridiculous stuff in my mind.

Recently, I fell for someone who was never going to be a good match, but my heart just went there and there was nothing I could do. As one of my girlfriends would say, I have a faulty picker. I keep thinking that, one of these times, I will have grown enough, changed enough, de-cluttered my heart enough, for it actually to pick the right one. But I’m not there yet, I guess.

So here’s a sample of the sort of letter I will never send — one that I hope will finally allow me to move on:

Dear BFE (Biggest Fool Ever),

This is the story of us:  When we first met, I didn’t give you the time of day. I noticed nothing remarkable about you. A mutual acquaintance told me a few things, and I realized we had something in common. You were quiet, but I broke the ice. We started sharing, occasionally going out for a drink.

Before I knew it, I had developed a bit of a crush. I noticed that, in  jeans, you appeared to have no butt, which only made me want to grab it more. I noticed that you always seemed very calm, yet in command. I detected an undercurrent of passion. That’s when I started fantasizing about you throwing me up against a wall and ravishing me or taking me on your kitchen island. I was looking for something simple, uncomplicated — a little sporting fun without the hassle of emotional entanglement.

Over the months we got to know each other a bit better, alternately flirting with and ignoring each other for weeks or months at a time. Something began changing inside me, and I started wanting a relationship. Not necessarily with you — I knew you were unavailable (it was as though you were in a tunnel and couldn’t see the light at the end). But I still felt chemistry between us.

And then there was that Friday in May:  we went out for a drink, sat in the sunshine. Something changed during our conversation that day. I don’t remember what we talked about, only that everything inside me went soft and melty. I had been dating men I’d met online, keeping my heart protected, my true self hidden behind thick stone walls covered in ivy. All the guys I met seemed to be looking for a key, a way through, over or around those walls…but you just reached in, opened the door and let yourself in. Effortlessly. Suddenly I felt girly and vulnerable, yet safe. And had a strong urge to be sweet. I had no idea what hit me!

Later that night, as I charmed my way through another first date, I texted you that I’d rather still be enjoying your company. You called me sweet. I chided you for failing to notice that I’d painted my toenails and worn a skirt for you. You confessed that you had noticed, hiding behind your designer shades.

Now we were flirting daily, via text or chat or in person. For weeks on end, I ended each day with wet panties. And then one day you kissed me. I felt it all over my body. And I so hoped that it was the beginning of something…

Instead of being thrown up against a wall, I began dreaming of waking in your arms and fantasizing about snuggling with you on the sofa in front of the telly…the sort of mundane, everyday intimacies that I so crave. The suddenness of this shift was almost alarming.

Then you began sending mixed messages, acting hot and cold. I was confused and hurt. But you hadn’t made any commitments, so there were no promises broken. I vowed to just enjoy the butterflies in my stomach when we saw each other, the way my knees went weak and I prattled on nervously around you. That feminine feeling I got around you felt so good! I was drawn to you.

One night, you were out in my neighborhood and texted me. I was out with a girlfriend and let you know where, never imagining you’d turn up. And then you were there! You must have known I would think it meant something if you showed up…and yet you played it cool, not touching me or showing special attention while your friend told me not to take it personally. At first I didn’t understand. I thought maybe you were simply uncomfortable with public displays of affection, but then, after the high of spending time with you wore off, reality set in and I realized what a fool I’d been.

And then I felt angry. You could have easily pulled me aside at any time and said something like, “I’m so flattered by your attention; I find you attractive…but I can’t do this right now.” It would have saved me embarrassment and heartache. But you let me foolishly believe there was some possibility.

When I see you now, the old habits are confused with these new feelings and I alternately want to keep flirting with and lash out at you. I will get over it; we’ll go back to being casual friends…but I miss that sense of possibility. I miss you being the best part of my day.

We clearly calculate our risk-rewards ratios differently — and I know I’m worth it!

I know you are and have been nothing more than a distraction; we were never going to be a great match. Still — even as I’m looking for the man who wants to love and cherish me for a lifetime, we could have had something positive, loving and wonderful. Now that moment has passed.

Yours truly,


sooo immature!

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted and I’m so sorry — because I have much to discuss — and I’ve had a lot going on in my life and little time to devote to getting all of these thoughts down to share with you. And I’m about to go on holiday with my young ones to a place where signals are weak or nil. So…

I’ve been thinking about all the times in the past few years that I’ve heard a man say, “I’m so immature!” to explain away a verbal gaffe or inappropriate joke he’s made. This seems so common to me, in fact, that I can’t distinguish between those who are simply excusing themselves for a joke in poor taste and those who genuinely mean “I am not capable of a mature relationship.” After all, so many of these men seem to be responsible breadwinners, parents, property owners and the like. They mow lawns, chauffeur children, pay taxes — certainly they must be mature!

I bring this up because I think we women should take heed. We should listen when a man says he’s “sooo immature” or “doesn’t have time” or other verbal cues that let us know he’s not the right man to be in our life right now.

Often — and I’ve observed this both in others and in myself — we women are inclined to respond (even if only in our own minds) with, “you are so!” or “sure you do” or some other protestation. We want to believe he is special, that he is a great guy, that — if he only believed he was worthy — he would be as crazy about us as we are about him.

And so my counsel is to stop with this dialogue (in our heads), shut up and listen. When a man says he is “sooo immature,” he means, “you don’t really want me,” because he’s trying to give you all the reasons he can for you to decide you don’t really like him. Because he really doesn’t want to have to say directly and out loud, “I’m not interested in you.” All this self-deprecation is man speak for no; it’s his way of letting a woman down easy.

So we have to listen carefully to those statements, even though it’s hard. Because we get confused at what seems to be contradictory — especially if we’re in the midwest and it’s socially expected that one will be self-deprecating and the anticipated response to such self-deprecation is always a protest, as in this sort of exchange:

A:  Is that a new dress?

B:  What, this old thing? I’m sure I’m entirely out of fashion by now!

A:  Oh, stop! It looks wonderful on you!

Frankly, men, we’d prefer the directness of, “I’m flattered by your attention, but I’m not interested in a relationship right now.”

Why is this so hard for a man?

Because, dahling, as he’s already stated, “I’m sooo immature!”