REWIND: Not a Love Thing.

This was written two and a half years ago about my FWB (before the drama with him smashing my friend). Re-reading this really shows me how starved for attention I was. Or, perhaps, how emotionally twisted I was after the number my ex did on me. FWB was the first person I “let in” after my ex — plus, as was said in my favorite movie, “Love Jones”, “This ain’t no love thing; we’re just kickin’ it.”

“This ain’t no love thing; we’re just kickin’ it.” – Darius Lovehall, “Love Jones” | © 1997 New Line Cinemas, Dir. Theodore Witcher

There are many reasons why my “FWB” is no good for me.

I am more than willing to put the 10+ years he spent in prison behind him – he paid his debt to society, and I am not a judgmental person. However, he is only 36. He’s been “out” for a little less than a year, but I believe that the 10 years “away” has invariably left him in a limbo state of grown childhood. I’m no psychologist, but there has to be something to this.

He has 7 kids with 5 different women. His youngest are 12 and oldest is 20 or 21. He was a busy (and sexually irresponsible) man for most of his life. I have no children (on purpose). But, it’s obvious, based on little comments he makes (that I ignore) about me having his baby, that he’d be happy to “trap” me, and that’s never a good sign. I’m not with it.

He’s married. He and his wife have not been in a real relationship since he’s been out, but, uh, yeah (I didn’t know he was married when we first hooked up). Neither of them supposedly have the money to file for divorce. Whatever.

His “wife” is nuts. Seriously. Though she is in a new relationship, she has told him that she’d rather see him “dead or in jail” than happy. So, living 40 minutes away is likely a good (safe) thing for me.

I am a PhD candidate, and he has no concept of what a PhD really is. In the past, he’s referred to my dissertation as “that thing”. Hear me out, I am the least pretentious person in the world, and I have never required that my partners be as “educated” as me, but…that thing? C’mon, dude.

He’s not curious about my book collection. Okay, this may not sound like a big deal, but it kind of is…to me. I have two, packed full, tall book cases (with mainly non-fiction cultural studies stuff), and NOT once has he perused my collection – even out of curiosity. I once joked that anyone who steps into my space, and doesn’t at least browse my books is…no good. Things aren’t looking good for him.

He was (admittedly) physically abusive to his wife.

He’s possessive.

Enough said.

So why am I hung up on this guy? I don’t get it, and it’s really fucking with me.

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“You always want what you want when you want it. Why is everything so urgent with you?” – Nina Mosley, “Love Jones” | © 1997 New Line Cinemas, Dir. Theodore Witcher

My sister says that this situation with him may be the universe’s way of showing me that I’ve “moved on” a bit from my ex and/or I’m ready to open myself up emotionally to someone else. Who knows.

I’m a very witty, intelligent, attractive, never married and educated woman with no kids. I’m a catch, and I deserve better than him. Let me keep repeating that mantra.

 

No Explanation Necessary.

This popped into my head the other day. I’m not sure what sparked the memory, but it really has me thinking and reflecting on life, relationships, self-worth — deep stuff, basically.

About a year and a half ago, I had a long phone conversion with my ex (not the jerk, “FWB” that I’ve been writing about, but a genuine ex). I vented about the aimlessness that characterized my love life (I use that phrase loosely — facetiously, actually). Despite what he did to me (I’m not sure if I’ll write about it here, but it was heart breaking, foul, shady — just all around wrong), I’m in a relatively better place now, and I still value his insight. He may have hurt me, but he’s one of the wisest people I know.

In any case.

We had a long talk about my life, and I ended up telling him about the assorted, not so good, shenanigans that cluttered my world. Without being judgy, he offered the following thoughts:

1. He likened me offering myself too easily & giving too much information to insignificant men to a library book. He asked, “Wouldn’t you prefer to be a rare book in someone’s private collection, rather than a beat up library book from which people can read the introduction and skip right to the end? Your story is too valuable for that. You’re classic, rare and exclusive; not a library book that the public can check out, a book that might end up in someone’s trunk, and not returned on time, or ever.”

Now, I know what you may be thinking — there is an air of hotep in that sentiment; but, I assure you, respectability politics is not what framed his analogy. I honestly feel like it was a suggestion to reflect on how I value myself.

2. My ex used to watch “Sex and the City” with me. In one episode, Samantha was interviewing with Richard Wright about doing PR for his luxury hotels. In any case, Richard looked at her resume and said, “This is all fluff. It’s nothing but parties and social events.” He reminded me of that episode and using that as an analogy, asked if any of the men I’m dealing with are worthy enough to be put on my (hypothetical) resume, or to serve as references (for anything significant or real). Obviously, the answer is no. They’re all essentially… fluff (or at least our relationships are).

3. And finally, I reminded him how passive aggressive image21& non-confrontational I am, and whined that I didn’t know how to end things with certain people. He offered me the best gem of this conversation. He said, “You don’t owe anyone anything. Does a dope fiend owe the dope dealer an explanation for not buying his product anymore? All he offered you was (XYZ), and it’s doing you no good. You don’t owe him shit.”

Touché.

So…in effort to (in the words of Iyanla Vanzant) do the work — my work, I stopped responding to the assorted, random “WYD” (etc.) texts from my fluff. It may not seem like much, but it was a start. Trust me, it didn’t eliminate anything, but it was a needed pause.

And a gentle reminder that reinventing my reality is possible whenever I choose.

“It ain’t nothing to find no starting place in the world. You start from where you find yourself.”
– August Wilson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone