In my last post, The Long Day, I went through the narrative of my day. It was a long day which started and ended with Claire, but was filled with Sydney in between. This is often what an affair looks like. It’s two different worlds happening in parallel. I thought it was a good example of how that plays out.
This type of mental split may seem crazy, but I actually think it’s more common than we give credit. Think of the various groups of people you hang out with, from family to school friends to to work friends to friends you grew up with. We have different types of relationships with all of them. When those worlds collide it can be a surreal experience, such as a wedding or graduation.
However it can be draining because a romantic relationship takes a lot more mental energy. Especially when trying to hide one of them.
Why then go to the effort? Is it a thrill? Is it a fantasy? The risks are enormous. I could not say for all affairs, but for mine I go to the effort because the relationship with Sydney is uniquely fulfilling in ways I can’t get anywhere else. It is not the thrill. I actually hate that. I’m not an adrenaline junkie of any kind. The risks scare me quite a lot. I am really trying to play it somewhat safe although I admit we were a little careless on the long day. However my worlds did not overlap.
Sydney fulfills something missing in my relationship with Claire. I don’t fully know what it is. I know how I feel when I’m with her. It’s like a melding of minds. I don’t feel that way with Claire. I never have. There had always been a distance. Even though Sydney is quite different than me on a lot of preferences our thought processes are so similar it feels good to be around her. She is fond of saying that it feels like we are cosmically brought together. Indeed.
On the other hand, she has already rejected me as a long term option. Worse than that though is that she plans on sticking with her boyfriend which means cutting back on our physical relationship. If she were single there would be more options for the future but she is not. To me she is more than just a platonic friend. There needs to be an intimate connection as well. She knows this. She feels it too. Sydney is trying to make sense of the feelings she has for two very different men.
Her boyfriend is more of a match for her on paper. He checks a lot of the standard boxes. I have more of a connection with her and know her at a much deeper level, which is attractive. But I also have a lot of differences she feels are too risky going forward considering she would have to throw away a sure thing to test us out. I understand that. If we were both single surely we would use the dating process to figure these things out.
Which leads me back to the long day. As you noticed we spent a fair amount of time together and were very flirty and handsy. She wants all of that. She wants the dating life with me. I honestly think she’s not fully convinced in her boyfriend, but I’m also not exactly single. So we have weekday “dating”. A secret version at that. It is how we spent most of the long day. She tells me repeatedly I am the highlight of her day. She couldn’t stand not seeing me or cutting back on our time together. Yet she sees no future. Very confusing to me.
I have told her that I don’t want this much longer. Either Claire and I figure something out or we separate. If I become single then I don’t want a secret relationship anymore. I want our relationship to include sex. I want us to be able to hold hands and be a couple in public. I told her all this now because the thought of losing her is heartbreaking, and becomes more so with each passing day. Better to end early if we are not in agreement. Also if she needs to start having open marriage conversations with her boyfriend then start now.
My honest gut feeling is that this relationship with Sydney is nearly over. But then we have days lake the long day which make it seem that we are right back at square one. I don’t think she is lying to me, but I do think she is having a hard time understanding her own feelings. Logically we both keep trying to make sense of things that are emotionally driven. In the end if Sydney is already choosing Dave as her long term partner then we need to start winding this down. Of course the same goes for me.