Affairs of the heart should never be mixed with mature, adult conversation

So the paramedic and I had a discussion today about how we don’t make sense long-term.

I never thought we did. I wasn’t too worried about it. Apparently, though, he is. When I first met him and he was still seeing the other guy, I told him that I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for–if anything–and that I didn’t quite feel settled enough in Portland myself to get involved in any kind of serious relationship at that point. I’m now feeling settled enough that I wouldn’t mind being in a serious relationship, particularly with him. The world, as usual, has other plans, though.

We had dinner with some friends of his on Thursday night and when he dropped me off we were sitting in his car talking and he said something sort of out of nowhere about how I’ll be gone in two years. It really didn’t fit and it threw me off. I said that I had no idea where I’d been in two years–maybe still here and not going back to school (even though right now I do still see myself headed back to school). The conversation kept going and I wanted to call him on it but didn’t. Still, I had a long think yesterday at work while I was washing the dishes after the morning rush and figured that maybe he was worried about where this might be going. So, when he brought it up today after we had lunch together I wasn’t entirely surprised, though still caught a bit off guard since, of course, I didn’t want to think about the possibility that he might bring it up.

Firstly, he called me on my previous declaration that I didn’t want anything serious given that it’s been pretty clear from my behaviour and my statements recently that I wouldn’t mind something serious with him–and the same thing from his end, too. Although it’s clear that there is strong interest on both sides on possibly pursing something serious, he basically pointed out, as I said at the beginning of the post, that we don’t make sense long-term. Something with which I fully agree.

He talked about it referring more to my situation than to his–the fact that he didn’t want me to be in a situation where I wouldn’t want to go back to school in order to maintain a relationship since it seems pretty clear that going back to school is really what I ought to do after a few years off. I pointed out to him again that even if that is my plan right now, it’s not a rock-solid plan and one that I am fully open to the possibility of changing. One never knows what life will bring one.

Yet, given that he just turned 40–one of those big, important, time-to-take-stock-of-oneself birthdays–I think his own situation had much more to do with him wanting not to get involved in something serious and potentially long-term which obviously doesn’t make sense. We’re both at very different places in life right now. He can retire in ten years. It would be stupid for him to leave Portland before then–and were we ever to get involved with each other I would never expect him to leave to move with me to school. He’ll likely stay in Portland after he retires, but he doesn’t know for sure. As for me, I’ll be wherever I go to grad school for seven or eight years. Then, it’ll depend on where I can find a job after getting my PhD. I’ll be lucky–very, very lucky–to snag something really great as a freshly minted PhD. This is all super-long term thinking, obviously and, as I said, I never was thinking long term with him since it obviously doesn’t make a lot of sense.

He also was very up front about the fact that part of what triggered him thinking about all this was that an old flame had recently resurfaced in his life. Someone closer to his age, someone who lives in Augusta, the state capital about an hour and a half from here, but who may be soon moving to Portland, someone with whom he makes a lot more long-term sense. It was only a few days ago that they talked about the possibility of giving things another go and I guess they decided to see how it goes this time, see if they can work past the issues that they had before. I didn’t ask for a lot of details because I already had enough to process so I don’t even know how long ago it was that they had dated before. But that’s not really important right now.

Needless to say, this all sucks a lot. I was very much smitten with him. I very much enjoy spending time with him. Which isn’t to say that we won’t still spend time together. We’ve only known each other for six weeks or so and really only dated for a couple of weeks during that time. There’s definitely a lot of good potential for a really good friendship. I do think that there’s a lot of good potential for a really good relationship, too, but the circumstances would have to be rather different for a serious relationship to make sense.

He’s a really good guy and I fully respect his feelings on the situation as much as I may not like it necessarily. It always sucks when one has to make mature decisions about situations in which one’s heart is involved. Yet things always work out for the best in the end more so when everyone’s feelings are taken into account in addition to the reality of the situation.

No matter how smitten I am with him, no matter how much he adores me (his word), we don’t make sense long-term and he feels that he needs to take into account long-term possibilities right now over short-term fun. I’ll be in a funk for a few days now but I know it’ll be better in the long run.

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