He seemed to have a very good time. But every perception could be followed with a loud justification from him about why he seemed so at home, why he seemed so affectionate, why he seemed to care about me more than he would say, whatever... We got into a difficult conversation the night before he was supposed to leave in which he loudly espoused how he couldn't do poly and thus found some things not worth talking about because he couldn't be a part of fixing them.
The thing that got me was that he sounded to me as well as to Joel like someone who was trying to convince himself more than even us. He kept circling around and around on what he was sure he didn't feel and what he was sure he couldn't do and what he was sure he'd tried to make clear. I suspect part of it is that he's just not that great at relationship conversations never having let himself actually have a long term relationship. And so a certain panic set in upon such a conversation. But I just can't bring myself to believe that was all of it. He just felt like someone running from himself.
So he and I got into a conversation in which I admitted that I think he's being a butt head. I told him that I don't think he would let himself love someone no matter who they are. I suggested that if he really liked the person that he claimed to have a passing interest in dating, that he should call her and that the very fact that he hadn't spoke to the fact that he wouldn't let himself have a relationship that was available to him, only to fuck married women and pine for people from afar. I told him that he wouldn't find what he was looking for in the woman of passing interest that he'd gone to church with a child because he wouldn't let himself. He got so defensive that I was telling him that she wasn't the right one for him when I didn't even know her, that I just dropped the whole conversation at that point and wished him all the best in whatever he chose to do.
The point, in my mind, was that it didn't matter who on earth "she" was in his life that might be a real relationship looking to happen. He would find some reason it couldn't possibly work, some reason he couldn't possibly feel that way or live that life style, that he would find some fundamental flaw that reflected his own insecurities to him strongly enough that he would run away if she expressed any interest in return. I don't care what she's like in that sense, whether that she is me, Mother Theresa or The Virgin Mother or anything in between. The she in the equation is irrelevant if the he can't make peace with himself and let himself live a new adventure.
D is 36. He believes he is too old to ever have a successful relationship and too set in his ways. He is both a tolerant liberal geek and the product of a baptist church and all their associated mental trauma. He believes in the religion, but while it would piss him off to hear me say this, I think, he doesn't ever apply a lot in the way of thought to his belief system because he's afraid of losing it, I think. He wants a good christian girl who won't be in his space, also sort of distanced herself from the people in church while still trying to believe, is kinky in the sack, shares his favorite geek things, etc. Tall order all that. No wonder he does so well at dodging relationships.
One minor problem. I pretty much fit in so far as that is humanly possible. So we need another reason to run like hell, don't we? Enter "poly" stage left:
A poly which is an abstract idea in his mind and which he can adamantly claim to not be okay with for himself despite never having tried and and really having almost nothing to go on as to how it would work for him since there are as many variations to poly as there are people trying to work it out for their own lives.
He doesn't want to hear it, but here's what I think he needs:
He needs someone who can kick his ass when he's being stupid. He needs someone who can hold her own with him. He needs someone who understands his background and can help him find peace with himself. He needs someone who will lead him in terms of sex for a while and draw out his interests and explore them. He needs a very good mediator to any relationship he should have to help with his combination of verbosity and adamant opinions in conversation and tendencies to babble when nervous and struggling to solve something because nearly every single woman I know would feel lost in that frenzy. He needs to learn to trust someone to know him as well as he knows himself just in different ways. He needs someone to help him get over his fears.
He also doesn't recognize that what he needs is to listen to someone other than himself or the idea wouldn't scare him so much. He is willing to take any conversation screamingly to its death in which you tell him that it's possible someone outside of him can have an observation that is both true and not something he chooses to believe about himself. I've met few people more instantly defensive about the suspicion that you might be telling them you know something about them when it disagrees with what they want to know about themselves.
Unfortunately some fears have a tendency to come true. He won't get involved with us or anyone else because of his fears and self opinions and so someone who has a lot to offer in a relationship and is genuinely a caring guy is probably too old for a relationship just because he's not going to let himself change enough to consider one.
*sigh* And I have the misfortune of loving the goob and desperately wanting to find a way to help him with a more realistic shopping list even if he doesn't pick a store that includes me because of whatever preconceived notions of poly and it's incompatibility with him.
Loving men so often sucks ass. Joel, you're really fucking cool. Don't forget it. You chose to grow and let us drag you kicking and screaming into the light and I will forever respect you immensely for that.