Then he said…

So the other day I’m out shopping, and this guy approaches me. He’s handsome, but with just enough imperfections that I felt comfortable in my used-to-be-white v-neck tee and destructed denim.

First it was just him asking my opinion about the beer, in my cart, I wasn’t really sure I was going to buy in the first place. Then, it was obvious flirting. He told me I had beautiful eyes. He leaned in to read the “Ray-ban” on my glasses and complimented my choice. He smelled amazing. And, I noticed the Ray-ban aviators hanging on the crew neck of his tee shirt. I smiled and said, “great minds think alike.” We laughed a little.

Then he said the one phrase that stopped our relationship before it started.

“My name is Chris.”

What?!

I said, “it’s nice to meet you, Chris. Have a great evening.” And away I went, pushing my cart at a steady jog.

I need another Chris in my life like I need a hole in my head.

Disclaimer: I have already had dysfunctional relationships with 2 men named Chris. You have to get to a point that you realize it just doesn’t work.

Everything mentioning 2nd Chris by name. But there’s plenty of other entries hinting at him.

Everything mentioning 1st Chris by name. It’s a much shorter read…

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Are you experiencing love, lust, or obsession?

I’ve dropped the L word about 2nd Chris a few times. Ummm…maybe not, I don’t know. Is it possible to love someone who doesn’t treat you well? Is it possible to really fall into a one sided relationship, honestly? Or, is there some deficiency that your lack luster relationship is feeding in you? Are you mistaken on what emotional needs are being met? I think it’s ALWAYS worth asking yourself if it’s love, lust, or obsession.

James was 100% lust in the beginning. Again, we appeared in each other’s lives when we both were starved for attention. We were having a good time without expecting consequence. Our relationship grew and developed to a point of love, but it took years. That was never the intended direction.

2nd Chris may have been obsession. I’m still not convinced I didn’t love the man, but I’m questioning why I tolerated some of the stuff I dealt with. I was physically attracted to him from the word go. And to have that reciprocated in such a major way was amazing. (I’m not the coke bottle I used to be. I’m closer to a liter bottle than a vintage glass these days. I struggle with feeling sexy and desirable. In my head, I weigh 1000lbs.) I was head over heels crazy about the way he wanted me. I never wanted to give that feeling up…obsession. We needed intimacy…lust. And, there’s no limit with me. I just want the best for him. I want him to feel appreciated. He often talked about the responsibilities he held in other people’s lives. He is so needed; I wanted to be the one who valued him beyond what he provided…love. Or, am I being a chameleon again? Am I gonna say we are perfect for each other next? Who knows, but that’s doubtful!

Are you experiencing love, lust, or obsession? It’s a valid question. And, you have to figure that out to determine if you’re in the right relationship. Obsession will fade or be replaced. Lust may last forever, but real relationships require more depth. Love is elusive. We are all desperate to catch it. And, because of that desperation we often confuse something else for it.

I think love is something that comes organically as a feeling. It’s not created in deeds. And, it should not be difficult. It should be peaceful and comfortable. You should question anything that isn’t. Be honest with yourself, and get the most out of the relationship you’re in.

Obsession is never healthy.

Lust can be fine if everyone is on the same page.

1st Chris

I devoted an entire post to my feelings about the 2nd Chris. What about the 1st Chris, you ask?

I met him in 2003 or 2004. Seems like a lifetime ago, a decade of decades. We were young, emotional, and looking for something different. We both had past relationship and life hiccups, apples to oranges though.

I wanted a relationship. I wanted that happily ever after, and he provided what looked a lot like it. We threw ourselves into each other’s lives. We were hardly ever apart, an obsessive love affair.

We met in the early summer of 2004…yes, 2004. I was pregnant by the first of the next year. Everything stopped. He had proposed before we knew about the pregnancy. I’d said yes. I had a beautiful ring that I wore on a chain, Carrie Bradshaw-esque. Maybe that was a sign. But, now I’m pregnant. And, I just want to be pregnant.

The world’s view of the young single mother didn’t phase me. We were gonna get married later. No shotgun ceremony with me waddling down the aisle praying my water didn’t break. I’m not interested. I’m just gonna be pregnant. I wanted 100% of my attention to be focused on my ever growing cluster of cells. I justified my reasons. I stood strong in my decision. But, I never consulted the 1st Chris. It was never our decision. I wouldn’t entertain anything about a wedding. I ignored and disregarded his feelings. He was hurt by that, understandably so. Then everything erupted.

Our fun relationship became a power struggle. It was laced with intimidation and strong will. It was awful and miserable, but I was stuck. I was having his baby. I’d committed to this family. I wasn’t supposed to be a single mother. But, I was building a wall and sinking into a depression. My health was suffering. My blood pressure was constantly high. I was high strung, stressed out, and falling apart.

I spent 6 weeks on bed rest. I expected to be adored and caterer too, but I wasn’t in that type of relationship. We were on a roller coaster. It was an insane relationship without medical attention. It was truly insane. And by the end of my pregnancy, the aggression was worse. I didn’t quite know how to be a victim or diffuse our conflicts, and I didn’t know how to win either. I came home from the hospital hopeful though. We both were. We wanted this family. Quickly, the bad was back. Things were said that couldn’t be taken back. I couldn’t subject my son to this toxic situation.

8 weeks after I delivered my son, I turned off my life as I knew it and escaped the situation. We came back home. Dallas, Texas was in my rear view mirror. A new, desperately familiar life, awaited in East Texas.

Our relationship didn’t improve. He was angry I “ran away,” and I was furious I didn’t have an option to stay. We were done. I was done. And after many antidepressants, yoga classes, meditation exercises, and curse words the 1st Chris and I can tolerate each other. We are NOT friends. We are simply parents.

Chris is now married to a lovely woman and has two girls. His children are my son’s sisters, and I love those girls like my own. We aren’t over all our hurdles, and we may never be. But, we put the past away for the sake of the kids. We are a family anyway, not the one I envisioned, but it some how works.