I haven’t written about Bennett since we met three weeks ago at a failed Tinder date.
One of the reasons I didn’t write is because I don’t know (and I mean really “know“) why I am engaging with Bennett at all.
He’s still married. And living at home.
I can stop the post here because I know how many of you will go straight to “don’t do it again, M”. So, if that’s your position, no need to read through the ramble below. I’m not going to make excuses for Bennett. I know this is wrong and I am working through it.
Let me start by saying the only reasons I can truly come up with for entertaining Bennett at all is because he makes me weak emotionally. Not in some sappy head-over-heels way and not with the butterflies. I see myself 2-2.5 years ago in Bennett and his situation and I feel his pain, pressure and confusion so immensely that it weakens me.
I want to help him. And as crazy and fucked as it sounds, I feel like giving him his fantasy of me for just a little while can somehow help his transition the way it helped mine years ago. I know the first man I engaged with outside of my marriage brought back a flood of memories (all good and powerful memories) of the person I wanted to be instead of the person I had allowed myself to become. Long forgotten desires were unearthed. Frank (my first lover) made me feel sexual, confident and joyous again. Regardless of the outcome of that relationship, I will never forget the gift of realization. Realization that my marriage was over and that I was fully and wholly alive and still a sexual being after many years of being lost and hopeless in every way: romantically, sexually and emotionally. Frank gave me the keys to my kingdom. There was no turning back once I tasted the freedoms and power I found with Frank.
In my warped way, I feel like I can help Bennett do the same.
Bennett is also in complete limerence with me and it’s very, very, very hard to ignore this kind of attention. I’ve never been on the other side of limerence when I haven’t felt it myself. It’s fucking powerful.
Bennett is not the guy for me. I already know this. Even he already knows this. But right now he is giving me something that I am sorely missing in my apathetic state: emotion. A whole hell of a lot of emotion. And connectivity. He makes me feel emotionally connected.
The dating Ferris wheel has deprived me of two major things: basic human attachment (that emotional connection) and the simple ability to believe men are (can be) pretty wonderful human beings. Bennett reminds me how great it feels when a guy is really and truly saying “fuck, yes!” For you.
It was all good the first few weeks and that was fine, but when it started to go bad and the hairs on my neck stood up because he reminded me so intensely of my X in just one too many familiar ways….well, I don’t know why I didn’t sever ties then other than the reasons described above.
When I’m really, really attracted to someone I can’t wait to write the post about them. The words come tumbling forth and there is a rush to tell the story. I’ve been sitting on the Bennett saga for weeks. Dreading to face my own music.
So….I know. I know. Get out. Be kind to him. Do the right thing. Don’t waste your precious emotional energy.
Yet here I sit on the fence. Perched and ready to jump off, but I don’t. I just don’t.
I suppose all of this is selfish motivation? Bennett is in love. Just feeling that intensity again is a reminder of what I had once. It sort of makes me a little melancholy. It reminds me how I haven’t found someone to truly replace any/all aspects of Bobby for the past 8 months. I keep telling myself how unfair this is to Bennett but yet I hold on. I don’t like it, but still I do it.
I have found a new form of mutalation. This time I’m not stabbing myself in the eye, I’m stabbing him in his. I suspect it’s going to hurt him pretty badly when I let go.
And I will let go, of this I am entirely certain.
So, I start to write the story of Bennett in dark shadow I am creating behind the brilliant light of his limerence.
After Bennett reached out and the flirt began, I was sure to ask all the right questions. Eventually, as he gave up more information, I did the appropriate investigation. I knew what I needed to know before I ever met him. I knew he was lying about his living situation yet I went ahead with the first date anyway.
Bennett had told me that he had moved out of his home and was starting his divorce process. While this was enough to make me put the breaks on, I did believe his situation based on what his friend had told me at the failed date. However, once I started checking him out on line, I realized he must be lying about living out of his home. The perception on both his and his wife’s Facebook presence leads me to believe he not only lives at home but still lives under the illusion of an intact family.
My motivation for continuing with the first date was far from altruistic. I knew he was smitten, I thought he was cute, and I figured it was a one-and-done and I was horny. I had nothing to lose, in my opinion. I wanted to bask in the glow of his adoration for one evening.
We have a fantastic repartee. He is so easy to talk to and he fills all my down time with chatter and calls. He is in constant communication. I fed the limerence and gave him something he hadn’t felt in many, many years – a crush. I felt treasured and adored in return. While I knew what was happening, I did try to slow him down. Promising that if I didn’t speak to him every few minutes or answer a text or call immediately it didn’t mean I had given up on him, it just meant I was going about life.
But he had that feeling, that feeling that meant he needed to be in constant contact with me just to know I’m there. The feeling that if you could crawl up inside someone, you would.
I neglected to remember, in those first few weeks, how intensely limerence can hold you captive. He could no longer breath without thinking of me. I was his first thought upon waking and his last thought before bed. Every moment I consumed him. And he told me so. He told me all those wonderfully romantic notions of how he world was spinning on its axis around me. He got me to believe, a little, in the power that love is. He filled the love bucket with many, many Words of Affirmation.
But the grip of limerence was so strong he was also debilitated by it, meaning his heart was on the line. One wrong move and this house of cards come crashing down.
And that’s exactly what ultimately happened. And I watched most of it like some out of body experience. Not to say it didn’t affect me, it did. But it didn’t hurt me the way it would hurt him.
But back to the story in a more linear fashion.
After our first text conversation, once we started speaking on the phone, Bennett told me he moved out of his home and had been dating. His story was clear enough to believe on the surface, but shaky enough to get me to stalk.
He was so very nervous about meeting me. He kept telling me that no one in the world had affected him the way I had effected him. He insisted he was struck my lightening the moment he saw me across the bar. I made his heart race and his blood run white hot. He just had to know me. More and more and more about me every day. And every conversation drove him in deeper. He said had I just had a voice like Fran Drescher, or if I wasn’t smart, or if I wasn’t funny he could have, maybe, let it go (and not made initial contact). But every conversation made my eyes more blue, my lips more full and my smile more broad (his words).
Bennett is a musician with a voice like silk. He is the first person I have ever met where I forget what he looks like when he’s talking or singing to me and he could be “the hottest man on earth” in my sex-addled, dysfunctional brain. His voice affects me in a way no one else’s has ever gotten under my skin. I could listen to him for hours.
So, I did.
I allowed myself a little fantasy while he was having his.
It was so easy to receive his attention.