Tuesday, August 14, 2012
P dumped C in June. It's been terribly hard on her. His reasons, though, were sound ones, and that makes the whole situation even more regrettable. All along the troubled course of their courtship, S and I have been warm to P and clear that, regardless of his relationship status with C, we would like to remain friends with him.
The last few months we haven't been in touch much. It's a bit awkward with C so heartbroken and desperate to be in contact with her lost love. I knew that if I reached out to him, she would want to know about it, and I didn't want to get stuck in the middle, or become some sort of information broker. I've been able to be a good nonjudgmental support to C because I do understand how desperate and unbalanced lost love can make you, and it's been important to me to be a steadying force in her life at this time.
Nonetheless, they started contacting each other again last week. They emailed, they texted, they saw each other to talk. So when I got a text from P inviting me to lunch, I knew it was time to reconnect. He's had a terrible time of it too, and I've felt bad that we couldn't be there more for him this summer.
So my gift today was allowing P to buy me some Thai food. :) And sincerely listening to his concerns and reflecting back to him some of his mixed emotions as he grapples with whether or not he wants to re-enter a relationship with my dear friend.
He knew that I would talk to her about it all of course. Not only is he okay with that, I suspect he's counting on it. You don't take your ex's best friend out to lunch while hoping for great secrecy. I did promise him that if he told me anything in confidence that I would keep it that way, but thankfully he didn't. So that's an effort I don't have to make.
The whole situation is tough. I see her side and I see his side. There's no one clear "right" answer; maybe they'll get back together, maybe they won't. Maybe it will be good for him to try again with her; maybe he's better off just growing and moving on. I have my bias of course, of which they're both aware. I think they're both fantastic people so I'd like to see them work it out and be happy together. Enough of this suffering. Plus we can all hang out together! But no outside observer ever knows the real dynamics of the relationship between two people. Only the two of them know what will serve their needs best.
My second gift of the day was to call C and talk it all over with her. P was the one who texted her that we would have lunch, so I knew that he wanted me to talk to her. I even told him what I would say. It's what my friend needs to hear over and over: that he clearly still loves her, that he wants to try but he's scared of being hurt, that they need to take it slow, that she needs to respect his process and not rush him, that she still needs time to sort herself out, and, most of all, NOT TO SCREW IT ALL UP AGAIN with a guy who clearly can never truly care about her or meet her long term needs.
I don't love talking on the phone, so giving up first one hour and then another was a true effort on my part. But I hope that however it works out, they will both be able to wind up being happy.