Okay, here’s an important dating tip: do not break up with the man in your life if he is also a contractor and finishing a reno on your house. This is the uncomfortable situation that Griff and I find ourselves in. Fortunately, the work is almost done, and doesn’t require Griff to be out at my house every day. But I had to see him today and talk twice with him on the phone. And it is so hard.
Just hearing his voice triggers me. Our conversations are still warm and funny, but punctuated by long, regretful pauses. We’re trying to be all polite and business like, but it doesn’t really work. When we see each other, the pull between us is palpable. It’s all I can do not to reach out and touch him. I stand there, smiling, hardly hearing what he’s saying, just willing myself: Do not touch! Do not touch!
When he’s gone, my body aches with loss.
I’m at work, so seek out a friend in her office, close the door and burst into tears. She is, as always, sympathetic. And today she has a new observation: “You guys have that chemical thing going.”.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“You had such an intense physical connection; your bodies were producing all kinds of feel good chemicals every day. You’re dealing with chemical withdrawal along with everything else.”
I think about this. “Griff sent me a text a while back saying he was addicted to to me.”
“You’re both addicted. It’s just going to be way harder to get over each other.Time and distance. That’s all that’s going to help”
“Can’t it just be over?” I laugh, tears streaking my face. “Can’t it just be three months from now? I hate going through this!”
She smiles and leans toward me from behind her desk. “Do you know how lucky you are? I know it feels crappy right now. But lots of people never get what you had”
I’m crying again. “I know. It was so good.” I think about Griff’s hands on my body, the electric charge I felt every time he touched me.
“You’re leaving this relationship knowing that you are beautiful and desirable. That’s a powerful thing to know about yourself. You didn’t know that when your marriage ended.”
She’s right. And though I’m still sad, though my body still aches, and though I look like hell after all the tears, I leave her office feeling a little bit better. “I’m beautiful,” I say to myself, trying out the idea. It’s not working. Today I don’t feel beautiful at all. I’m drawn and tired, my eyes are bloodshot from the tears, and my makeup is ruined. But I keep going. “I’m desirable.” Still nothing. I roll the next idea slowly through my mind: “I’m addictive to men.” Nothing yet. But I smile. That’s a message I can work with.