It was a different place, different people, and different time—but it was the same conversation.
It wasn’t my intention to eavesdrop, but their body language was something I couldn’t help but tune into. The two sat at the table right next to me—I had to look through them to see my partner who, standing above them on stage, was entertaining musically.
During a pause, I heard her say, “What are we?” and “What am I to you?” and “Are you trying to tell me I’m just a friend to you?”
She wanted answers.
Which, as a psychotherapist, coach, and expert, made a lot of sense to me.
She listened intently to him, leaning in while he leaned back. She didn’t speak except but to respond to him in a warmth—she tried so hard to be cool about it, it was almost chilling to watch.
Does she always hold space for him like this? I wondered.
Have they been together long? I wondered.
Does this girl realize he’s like…way more into himself than he is, her? I wondered.
He danced around all of her questions, asking her to answer them, telling her he wasn’t in a position to make promises—and then she grabbed at anything and said, “Do you see me in your future?”
I remember it so well—being her.
Offering therapy to the guy who needed a therapist. Seeing everything in someone who saw very little in me. Holding space for potential rather than facing reality. Thinking one day, he’d finally see that I’d been there all along.
Her question, “Do you see me in your future?”—as I watched her hold out hope with her smile, faith coating her teeth and tears in her eyes—made me want to give her a huge hug and my business card.
She’s the strong woman type, in the softest and most loving of ways. She’s waiting to be chosen by the one she’s choosing.
Who, my guess is, makes her feel chosen on a daily basis—but when asked to choose, to commit, he refuses, which is a mind f*ck in and of itself.
She tries to make sense of it all as he dodges his inconsistencies with lip service; she wants to know if there’s something “else” she should be waiting for. As in: “Are you gonna get clear one day about the fact that I’m here and I love you and you love me—but you’re too f*cking stupid to let be true what is true…”
But the thing is, she’s already waiting. She’s already not getting what she deserves. She’s already more in love with the potential than the reality. If she waits for the future, chances are, she’ll get more of what’s already happening, not the “clarity” she hopes he’ll come to one day on her watch.
She allows for ambivalence and sticks by it, thinking that by “sticking” by it, it will unstick from itself—it won’t. It’ll just be all…sticky.
Which is what was happening at their table.
The most pressing thing I want all women to know, the ones who are the “her” going through exactly this is: if the man sitting across from you stumbles when you ask him the question, “Do you see me in your future…” he doesn’t even see you in the present.
And you my love, are a present who is not to go unseen.
If he doesn’t see you now, that is the f*cking problem, not, “How do I get him to commit to me?”
If he doesn’t commit to seeing you now, he doesn’t deserve you putting your life on hold for the potential that he may see the amazing person sitting right in front of his face…one day.
That doesn’t mean you have to run from it. But by all means, most definitely don’t wait for it. You deserve more than someone’s potential.
You deserve someone who shows up for you already actualized—because they’re in it with you, rather than only being into the fact that you are into them.
His honesty and ambivalence over his relationship with you doesn’t make you special. To be fair, in his world, it probably makes you “normal.” Sometimes, people use honesty as a repellent, rather than a tool for shared vulnerability—but the bleeding hearts of the world cannot conceptualize this fact in pulse.
If he can’t answer you, but answers you in complete “honesty,” get honest with yourself and walk.
You may be for him. But…he ain’t for you.