I am fiercely independent woman and do a good job on my own. In my 20s, I was wildly aware of my sex appeal. I insisted on buying my own drinks, never committed to just one place. I was always busy and moved around like I owned the world. I had mostly male friends, knowing full-well that there was a power to my appeal, a tease in my failure to commit or fall for sexual courtship. It felt good to have that power and I used it to my advantage.
In my 30s, I am plagued by men who are not interested in me. A good male friend of mine invited me to an out of town wedding in Charleston, SC. He invited me with plenty of time (1 1/2 months) and he made sure I wasn’t seeing anyone else. It was a good drive, we used Airbnb and planned to stay 2 nights. We are both single, we get along well and I really enjoy his company. I feel his distance from me but thought maybe this was a situation whence boundaries could be blurry. I’m attracted to him and felt he was attracted to me but non-committal.
We had an amazingly intimate conversation on the drive down and into the wee hours of the morning. Sharing intimate details about our lives and pasts, accepting and agreeing on politics and religion. We respectfully challenged each other in our opinions and talked about life philosophies. Then, we talked about drugs.
This is a hot button issue for me and I won’t go into it because it could be evolve into a book. In short, I think habitual pot smoking is detrimental to relationships. How can a person connect and “check in” with a partner when they are always “checking out.” Say all you want about how safe marijuana is, habitual use for mood enhancement is denying you the process and gravity of self-regulation.
Anyway, we went to bed. In the same bed. A full bed. The distance between us could not have been larger for me. Here is a man that I have been open and verbally intimate with all day and he does not even want to accidentally brush his leg on mine.
After hours of not sleeping, and restlessness, I got up to do yoga. This is where my revelation came. I have had 2 previous relationships with men who habitually smoke marijuana. We were physically intimate before we even got to the point of sharing a discussion on it. The physical intimacy was so cold after those discussions, even if he told me my point was valid and I was right. I internalized that (and was often told) it was my fault for bringing it up. It was my fault for having an unfavorable opinion. It was my fault for putting a sour spot in our relationship. It was my fault for disrupting their buzz. It was my fault.
But the thing is, it’s not. This is how an addict talks and reasons. He sees the detriment and the negative effects, but it doesn’t matter. Because it makes him feel good. And that outweighs the need to be present or regulate yourself and your emotions.
This is liberating. My friend and I talked about it the next morning when I had some time to process it. He said things like, “I have a lot of girls that I know and think about, and I think about you the most” and “you deserve someone that doesn’t smoke pot.” I think these things are bullshit. One statement is trying to keep potential alive and the other is detaching from the situation to justify getting high. The thing that is liberating is that these statements do not reflect on me. It is not my fault that he isn’t interested and that “our friendship means too much.” He may be rejecting me because I have qualms with habitual smoking, but I wasn’t deprived of physical affection because of it. I wasn’t required to “work it out” with him and accept responsibility for the fate of our relationship simply because we were never together! We are friends, and can remain such. The thing is, I don’t have to accept responsibility for his reaction or the fate of our relationship.
I am free.