He's the first guy I ever loved. We dated for the first couple years in college, then broke up and went our separate ways. We maintained an awkward and distant relationship, quasi-physical. Recently, a conversation about getting back together sparked when he was visiting San Francisco over the holidays; he lives in Brooklyn.
We talked about love and that kind of unique crazy it drives us. He hates NY and wants to move immediately, but the catch is that due to poor money management and credit card debt, he is stuck in NY for at least another year and a half. I care deeply about him, and I can see us growing old together, but I haven't been close to him, neither geographically nor emotionally, in years. I'm scared that if all ducks line up some how and we get back together, in 2 years we're going to realize we don't belong together and we made a HUGE mistake by wasting each other's time. How do I get through this time in my life when I feel like I should be out looking for happiness and love but instead I'm pining for it across the country, for a ridiculous amount of time?! It seems like I'm scared to move on, but at the same time, I'm really coming back to a familiar face, feeling, and fuck that has never been equaled or eclipsed by anyone since him. I want to wait for him, but I don't know if that's an intelligent thing to do. Thanks.
Sounds to me like you've been stuck for a long, long time, neither being emotionally connected to this guy nor emotionally available for other potential boyfriends. Part of the reason for that, I suspect, is that you've been thinking too much about this and trying to get an answer. Your mind will project into every possibility and seize on every emotion floating around. It'll lead you to conflicting solutions just like you're experiencing right now and tangle you up.
Forget that. This situation isn't going to be resolved by more thinking and speculation; it's going to be solved by putting all of that down and listening to your intuition, your "heart." Your heart knows the deal. It knows if you're really a good match for this guy and it knows if you've been holding on to this relationship to avoid putting yourself on the line in other relationships. Even if I knew the answers to those questions, it wouldn't matter because this is a decision that has to come from inside, otherwise it'll fall prey to the thinking and skepticism that has dominated this aspect of your life for the past 4+ years.
So what practical steps can you take? Trying to get in touch with your heart is tricky because if you try too hard, you get thrown back into your thinking. For that reason, I suggest you practice kindness. Start paying attention to every action and interaction throughout your day and ask yourself these questions: "Am I doing what's right? Am I listening to my heart? Am I acting with dignity and integrity? Am I acting with courage and strength? Am I sincere and understanding? Do I feel proud (in a good way) of who I am?" This doesn't just apply to your relationship with your potentially-significant other, but to your relationship with everyone -- friends, family, strangers, animals, and especially yourself. After a month of practice -- and practice is a key word as you'll develop more depth and sincerity with time -- you can revisit the question of your relationship by asking yourself this short question: "does this make sense?"
Try it. Even if you don't believe it'll work, it's a great exercise in personal development and spiritual housecleaning. G'luck!
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