It’s been awhile since I’ve opened the vault of my many journals. Having heard from several readers that this is a favorite part of Single Gal In The City, I figure it’s time to revisit it.
My most recent OTV posts covered an ill-fated romance eight years ago with well-intentioned but clingy British expat Riley. We met at my first-ever speed dating event and quickly began spending a lot of time together.
Upon discovering we had some irreconcilable differences about money and religion – Riley was an atheist, I grew up in very spiritual, interfaith family – I could feel myself becoming less infatuated with him. Still, I tried to make it work, hoping I could grow to love him the way he loved me. I now open the vault and take you back to the spring of 2004…
May 7, 2004
I’ve been rereading a lot of old journals to try and get a handle on what I’m going through now with Riley. Today, I read some entries from the summer of ’94, when I first started seeing Sparky. It was five months into knowing him that I started having doubts he was the one for me. And what did I do about it? Nothing. I lingered in that relationship for another year.
Though it’s only been three months with Riley, I can’t help feeling it’s wrong to continue seeing him when I know in my heart we have no future together. What I keep wondering is why, for more than 10 years now, do I keep involving myself in relationships that aren’t going anywhere?
* * *
May 10, 2004
Well, I thought I had reached my breaking point yesterday. I went up to Riley’s apartment with the intention of ending things. Not surprisingly, he was blindsighted by what I told him – namely that something is missing for me and I have my doubts about us.
“I’m confused,” he said. “I don��t understand how you can say you’re not happy considering how effusive you were when we went out with my friends…Are you saying you don’t want to see me anymore?”
“I don’t know,” I answered, meaning it because I truly felt uncertain about what to do. I started crying, admitting how overwhelmed I feel right now because of Dad’s cancer, my job search and the intensity of our relationship.
Riley said he’s not asking me to get married, and that he gets scared too.
“Were you planning to break up with me today?”
“I’m sorry I asked.”
He also said firmly that he can’t live with worrying that every time I have bad day, I’m going to break up with him – and that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship for the sake of having one.
After going back to his place, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me with great emotion.
“I’m not letting you go,” he murmured.
“Good,” I said, holding him tightly.
“I’m just thinking how much I would have missed you.”
And I knew I felt the same way. Maybe it’s selfish, but I’m not ready to let Riley go. When I told a friend I’d chickened out, she said not to see it that way – that it was a productive conversation because I was honest with him…There are so many amazing moments with Riley. I don’t want to give that up without a fight.
* * *
And so, the roller coaster with Riley continued, as I struggled to ignore the sinking feeling that our days together were numbered.