To say Turtle has waivered in what he wants would be an understatement of epic proportions. We've gone from hanging out as friends to casual dating to ernest discussions about what we want back to casually dating to....whatever the hell it is we're doing at the moment.
We are still talking, but we haven't spent any time together in a while. My understanding is that he's not up for time with anyone, other than casual friends. We both agree there is something more than friendship between us - which is not something he can deal with right now. I already knew that, and told him it was fine, that we could put a pin in that discussion until he was ready.
I've been completely honest and upfront with Turtle. I was totally sincere when I said I'd like to go back to just hanging out and seeing where things went. I enjoy spending time with him, and while I would like a relationship someday with someone, and he has potential, I do not see us in a relationship now. I am kind of over the serious relationship discussions, and ready to get back to having fun, getting to know each other, and seeing where things end up.
Turtle does not seem convinced that I really feel that way, or that we can really make that transition. He seems worried that I say it's fine, and then when we're together, he'll feel pressure to say or do certain things. (Personally, I think a lot of that pressure is in his own head; he admitted that's probably at least partly true.)
That said - I have been thinking a lot about how I've behaved since we first discussed "where we were going."
When things first started getting a little weird with Turtle, I was talking to Engineer about what I could, and could not, handle in terms of a relationship. Engineer suggested that Turtle seemed like he needed a lot of time and space, and that if I was willing to give that to him, it might make sense to do so. "I'm talking about spending time together, as friends, without expectations," he said.
I wanted to let go of any expectations. But I also wanted to understand where I stood. I wanted to know - is he saying he just sees me as a friend? Or is he saying he has other feelings and just can't do anything about them right now? To me, those are different. That difference would affect how, or even if, I stayed in Turtle's life.
In my effort to understand, I think I may have unintentionally put some pressure on the situation. I intended to let go of my expectations, but to be honest and fair - I'm not entirely sure I ever did.
Somewhere in all of this, I have learned that I am not very good at letting go of expectations. I may not be in a hurry to get anywhere, but I do want to know where I am headed. That alone is an expectation - and probably one that he wasn't ready to manage.
So where does that leave me? Well, since Turtle and I haven't spent any time together, one could hardly say we're "dating." I suppose we're friends - but just barely. I am not sure if we'll ever get past this point, or what could happen if we did.
But I suppose that's the point, right? I need to learn how to let go of expectations, keep moving forward, and just see what happens.
I may be incapable of just doing things the easy way.