Things are over with Sparrow. While some big, dramatic, ending would be fun to read - it wouldn't have been fun to live through. I'm happy to report that wasn't how it went down.
We had agreed to talk when we could do so in person. I was torn about what direction I wanted that conversation to go.
The thing I wanted "to work on" was communication. Sparrow does not express his emotions; I'm never sure if he's happy, content, sad, angry. He just always seems indifferent about everything - including our relationship.
He always made me feel welcome when I visited. In fact, he didn't even make me feel as though I was visiting. When we went places he was (usually) considerate and attentive.
But I never knew if he was having fun. In fact, of all the times we were together, he never suggested one. I invited myself there, and I invited him to visit me. I began to wonder, if I never suggested getting together - would we? Does he even care?
I told him I need him to take an active role in the relationship. To communicate his opinions, preferences, and yes, even emotions, a little more freely. I told him I needed him to open up and tell me what he was thinking. I don't even feel as though I got to know him all that well...and yet, here I was calling this person my "boyfriend."
He acknowledged he needed to work on those things. He felt he was probably a little out of practice, having been single for so long. He said he knew communication was a part of a relationship, and he wanted to do that for us. Even if he didn't like it - compromise is also a part of any good relationship,
So while part of me was happy that he was willing to work on things - another part of me was wondering, should it really be this much work so early on? It's only been three months - shouldn't it still be wonderful and easy and carefree?
Not to mention - shouldn't he already know how to do all of this? What if we work on it, and it just never improves?
I kept wondering - do I really want this project?
I also kept wondering how much compromise is really OK. People need to continue to grow and learn, and a lot of times that can come from spending time with someone who introduces you to new things. We should learn from relationships.
But how much change is OK - and how much is enough to eventually make someone resentful? I'd never want to "force" Sparrow (or anyone) to change, only to have them become angry with me. I've had the "Look at all I did for you, and what did it get me?" conversation. It never goes well.
Anyway - all that wondering turned out to be moot. Sparrow showed less and less enthusiasm for getting together over the weekend. Thursday, I reminded him he was invited for either day. That was met with crickets....so I asked that he let me know on Friday which day he was coming up. Might seem unfair - but hey, I have a housemate and I was attending a birthday party on Saturday. I needed to let people know if it was just me for the weekend, or me plus one.
He said, "I'll let you know." I realize the phrase makes sense in the context of this conversation. However....it seems to me if seeing me and starting to improve communication were really priorities, his response would have been more definite.
I'm just looking to be a little bit more of a priority than, "I'll let you know."
I never heard from him Friday, even though I'd specifically asked that he get in touch with me and he specifically agreed that he would. I revisited the text thread - I even said please. [Side Note: Though I'm becoming more and more an advocate for in-person communication, moments like this make me realize the value of having a transcription of certain conversations.]
I didn't hear from him Saturday morning, either. At 2:43 on Saturday, I got a text: I won't make it up today. Pulled my back picking up a 36" TV. Hurts to move.
I thought about the fact that I knew he was going to an electronics recycling event that morning. I thought about how painful a pulled back can be. I thought about how heavy tube TVs are, and realized that was the sort of TV he was probably lifting.
Did he ever plan to come up Saturday anyway? If he had, wouldn't that have been his response on Thursday? Or at the very least, wouldn't he have told me on Friday? Seems to me he didn't want to come up Saturday, and his intention all along may have been to present some lame excuse as to why he wasn't able.
I responded by saying, "When I didn't hear from you yesterday, I figured you weren't coming. Hope you feel better soon. Take care."
He emailed me on Sunday, and I ended up calling him to talk. I knew what was coming, and I suppose he did, too. The fact that he emailed me seemed pretty bush league, to be honest, and I thought emailing back, while polite, would be cowardly on my part.
There was no fight, no yelling, no tears. Just agreement that things can not go on the way they are. It's easy to blame the distance (and I'm sure it plays a part), but the truth is, we were not communicating. We were not on the same page in terms of where the relationship should be, how it should work, and where it is going. We agreed to be friends.
At the end of the day, the guy I want to date - the guy I deserve to date - would have wanted to see me this weekend. He would have done whatever it takes to make sure he was up here on Saturday. He would have acknowledged how important it was, and made it - and me - his priority.
Sparrow is a great guy. He's just not that guy.