The Long Pause

Another week has passed, and I've had some more time to reflect back on the NYE experience I had with a guy. It was the first person I became physical with since my fiancé. You'll recall, he had less than admirable intentions with me - which he hid well. Intentions which I found out after several dates and a lot of letting my guard down. Intentions Infound out after we messed around NYE and he left and never called. Yeah. That.

After a week or so of beating myself up and feeling stupid over the situation, a lot of things have started to make sense. This is stuff I wanted to talk about here because I had no clue to expect it going in... And who knows, maybe it'll help someone else on their road.
I kept questioning how I got so quickly attached to this person. It's not like me. I kept wondering how I could still want to even know this guy after what he did to me.. Yet there it was, this insanely strong yearning. And not just a yearning for any person, but for him. How could you create that strong of a bond in just a few weeks? I've always taken my time to know people and never rushed things like this before... So I had to keep asking... Why?
After endless hours of talking with friends and my counselor and writing out my feelings, I finally realized, this has everything to do with my fiance's death being sudden. When he died - it was as if someone just pushed pause on our relationship and our life. And apparently, in a way, all this time that part of me has just been on pause. Unbeknownst to me. Great. More things to be blindsided by!
During this whole first encounter with someone new, what I didn't realize, is that this part of me seemed to think we were just pushing play again. As if we could just start up where things paused two and a half years ago. 
Even though I logically know this doesn't work, it wasn't the logical part of me. It was the part of me that still doesn't understand what happened to my best friend. The part that still has dreams trying to create reasons for where he is. 
It is that part of me that got incredibly confused by feeling those old familiar feelings... And seemed to think we could just automatically be back where we were - in something deep and beautiful, committed and trusting - even though it was with the wrong person. A person I didn't know very well yet and who was - as it turns out - entirely unworthy of me.
There were some very similar qualities about this guy and my fiance too. (Well, the good qualities he had anyway). And I think those similarities only served to confuse me more. 
I've spent time this week being loving to myself - trying to feel through the new wave of grief as I now realize: The pain of loss was never about losing this new guy, but of being reminded of the one I really lost on a deeper level. Being reminded of his good qualities by seeing them in another. Being reminded of the loss of his affection and his encouragement and the way he used to make me laugh. It was never really about this other person at all. Lesson learned.
Even if it was all wrong, there were genuine moments in it for me that helped me. And there was the smallest of glimpses of how good it will feel to let someone new in. And also a reminder to continue to be very careful with my heart and who I open it to. To wait for one who does have the right intentions and who is worthy of me. One who will be willing to sit with me as I navigate these new and confusing layers of grief that a new relationship will bring. It's not this guy, but for the first time in a more tangible way, I have proof that I can open my heart to someone new and allow love in - and that it can feel good. And that it doesn't change my love for Drew or his place in my heart. And that is huge.

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