Those Last 15 Minutes

It took 15 minutes.  As I watched the clock steadily move tonight from 5:35pm to 5:50pm, that’s when I knew.  There was no phone call coming.  A text message that I had sent to her at 5:23pm went unanswered.  Even as I write this, just under two hours later, that text message remains unanswered.

That’s all it took for me to realize that changes have been made and that these changes are here to stay. Actually, it took more than 15 minutes for me to realize it, but in the end, it looks like I am on the losing end of this unbalanced equation. Serena decided that she just wants to be friends and with it, she felt that certain changes needed to be implemented in order for this “relationship” to remain intact.

The following are some of those changes, none of which is negotiable, nor do I have any control or say in any of these. The following is my interpretation of the various changes that Serena has put into place.  Again, this is my interpretation.  These are my words, not hers.   

–Our friendship will now have a set start time and a definitive end time, both daily and weekly. We are friends only during the week, meaning Monday through Friday, unless she happens to be off on any given Friday.  Eventually, she will have Mondays off, so I’ll regain Fridays, while losing Mondays.  We are allowed to talk to each other (in-person, by phone, through text messages and/or e-mail) during the workday only from 8am until 5:30pm.  I’m not allowed to even think about trying to communicate with her before 7am.  Once 5:30pm strikes, she will go silent and disappear like a pumpkin, to where I am relegated to waiting until the next available day to communicate with her.  So God forbid, I should forget to ask or tell her something come late Thursday, because that’s going to be some kind of major wait until the beginning of the following week.         

–Weekend contact is strictly prohibited, even through text message.  I’m not supposed to even try it, much less think about it.  Nope, the thought is never to enter my head.    

–I am supposed to remain the same jovial, fun-loving man that she had gotten accustomed to, dating back to just before this past summer.  Any changes that I might make with regards to how I behave are considered to be selfish and, to some degree, childish, in the event that those behaviors should be perceived as negative.    

–Gone are the pre-work and post-work phone calls that used to occur at the beginning and end of most of our workdays. 

There are probably more of these new guidelines, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind as I write this.  If I think of any additional parameters, maybe I’ll talk about them in a future entry, but for now, these are the ones that have occurred to me at the moment.         

I am somewhat upset, but I also know that I shouldn’t have an emotional reaction to things over which I have zero control. Not that I ever would, but I’m nowhere near the point where I’d cry over these changes.  I just know that I will have to adjust accordingly.   

I have to accept that these are the new parameters of who we are and make adjustments. These adjustments are forthcoming. They have to. Our relationship changed and so in response, I have to as well. 

It would appear that with everything that has changed, I will likely return to some previous state of being, maybe to the way I used to be before I met her.  She brought out a different side of me, one that I think I should have kept hidden.  I exposed myself more than I should have.  I revealed way too much of myself.  I’m not speaking in a physical or sexual manner when I say this.  I’m talking more of an internal, emotional capacity.  I think that I shared way too much of myself.           

Earlier in the year, Serena had labeled me as her best friend, and she still considers me to be her best friend.  It’s just that now, being her best friend, or friend in general, has major restrictions and guidelines attached to it, by which I am supposed to abide.      

I don’t know what happens from here.  Suffice it to say that I have struggled with these changes thus far and I anticipate that I will continue to struggle with this for the foreseeable future.  Change is tough.  It usually is, especially when that change is imposed on you and you’re helpless to do anything about it. 

That’s where things are now, I suppose.  I have a best friend whose friendship comes with significant restrictions, and I’m just supposed to pretend like everything is fine and otherwise perfectly normal.

I don’t know what this will all look like moving forward.  I truly have no idea.  What I do know is that those last 15 minutes were very telling.     

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November 19, 2023

I’m reading these posts all out of order. In your last post, I was thinking that I was the Serena, but in this post, I’m thinking that I’m the “you.” My partner, “Caroline,” put no such “restrictions” on our relationship, but I’ve learned over time that she needs her “alone” time, and her “time with special friend” (her ex-husband, with whom she shares a very deep, but non-romantic, non-physical relationship.) I sometimes get anxious when I don’t hear from her for a few hours, even though we’ve been together over a year. I guess it’s just part of how human relationships work.