Speaking on my behalf, all the sudden, all these fears engulfed me. Fears that I shouldn't be concerned about. I suddenly became aware that I was probably just as scared as he was about being in a relationship. For the past four years I've dedicated my life and soul to one person. One person who couldn't appreciate the person I was or the things I did for him. One person who didn't find enjoyment in making others happy. And that same person broke promise after promise and continuoulsy built me up for disappointment. I got to the point where I just figured that that's how it is - that what I had was good and I was lucky - that what I had was true love and happiness. That is all I know. That is all I have to base relationships off of. In other words, I've kinda gotten accustomed to the idea that I always get the short end of the stick - I always give but never receive. I worked so hard at my past relationship and never got anything out of it. So many times I got my hopes up just to have them smashed into the ground. So my biggest fear was getting attached & getting my hopes up just to have them crushed again...
On his behalf (summing up what he told me) he's afraid of commitment. See, he had this girlfriend who he thought was his "first love," only problem was: she was a crazy meth addict. His "first love" consisted of constant fighting, bailing her out, physical abuse (from what I understand he only pushed her once - more like a nudge - she on the other hand threw things at him & "beat" him up several times), verbal abuse (the kind where you say extremely hurtful things just to piss the other off), and her drug problem. He made the commitment to someone & she let him down. So because of that, he's unsure of commitment. He tends to run away when things get serious and/or good ("it's the cowboy" in him) - something he says he can't control (a constant worry I've had with him in particular - but I'll get into that later). Because he doesn't want to let someone hurt him again. He takes control of the situation before the girl takes control over him. So his biggest fear is caring too much about someone that makes him vulnerable to get hurt...
And there we both were. Over the weekend I began to get attached and hopeful of where we were going (thinking about fishing/camping trips we'd take and such) and he was beginning to care about me (he said that when I hang out with guys, he gets jealous - not crazy jealous, but enough to somewhat bother him - something that showed him he was starting to care, because before he never gave a shit if his other girlfriends hung out with guys). And it scared the shit out of us.
And to quickly explain why his running away tendencies was something that always worried me about him - back in 2005 is when I first met TJ. He was filling in as manager at the Domino's Chris Henry & I worked at (Chris Henry was actually the one who "formally" introduced us). He thought I was cute so he asked me out. I thought he was cute, so I said yes. He took me out to Saguaro Lake to watch the sunset. I was young and naive. I fell in "puppy love." Things were good after that. We "worked" together a few times ("worked" as in making out behind the dough trays in the back or in the storage room or in the walk-in freezer) and I got attached. A week later, he said it's not gonna work. Then he never talked to me again - completely cut off all ties with me. I texted & he never texted back. Nothing. I was heartbroken. Did I mention I was young & naive? It's ridiculous to think about today how much I cried over that. And when I did think about it a while later, I realized it was the best decision - to end it - because he got transfered to a different store (on the other side of Phoenix) and I was getting ready to graduate high school & move to Tucson for school. But it woulda been nice to hear that from him. Or to hear anything from him. Some kind of explanation. What kills me the most is not knowing. So I never had any formal "closure" with him. And I thought about him often after that. But what could I do? He ran away. So when he told me that running away was a bad habit of his, it reaffirmed what I already knew.
And now back to our night of frustration and worries and concerns (through text messaging). After we both revealed our fears I started thinking about one thing he said: "I have a bad habit of running. I can't control it. It's the cowboy in me." Like I said - it reaffirmed what I already knew and it was all I could focus on. I started to get upset to the point where I just called it a night. Then the next day, something amazing happened - a miracle if you will. We talked about the previous night & cleared things up. He didn't mean to say that he's basically gonna run away from me again. He told me this time would be different. That he regreted doing it last time (although he wonders if we'd still be together and/or if we'd be the same people we are today). And that he had no intentions of leaving now. And that's basically what I learned. That he really likes me (score!). And that he thinks I'm awesome & that there's something "different" about me (that I'm not a meth addict? or clingy?). But he's just not ready to commit. He wants to be in a relationship with me, but wants to make sure we are ok seperately first & are able to get back on our feet. And I agree. I enjoy the time we spend together. It's amazing. And we both think it's just best to just take it one day at a time and see where that takes us. His biggest thing is "whatever happens will happen." And I'm ok with that.
But I think I'm slowly cracking him. Each day we talk I feel like we're closer & closer. He tells me places he wants to take me camping/fishing and even considered inviting me to Thanksgiving at his family's. And he says he's planning something awesome for my birthday (including dinner!). I'm looking forward to that.
So basically I'm closing my eyes and diving head first off the cliff. Hopefully I'll fall into clouds. But if not...well, I'll figure it out when I get there. But I'm not scared anymore. (Maybe just a little worried...) I have nothing to be scared of.