28 July 2011

...and the counter resets...

It's been one full week since Hannah got back.  Here's your update:

I got a call Saturday morning around 11am.  I can't describe how happy I was to see her number pop up on my phone so soon.  I mean she literally called me less than three hours after getting set apart.  That's a good sign, right?  Unfortunately this phone call has become a source of great confusion for me.  While she called me right away the phone call that followed lasted only two minutes and nineteen minutes, according to my phone, until she said she needed to go.  Mixed signals.  Important enough to call me right away, but not enough to warrant time for a conversation.  Later that day we texted a couple of times to set up a time to meet up.  Wednesday was decided upon.  That was that.

The next time we had contact was Monday.  Pioneer day here in Utah.  It was afternoon and we exchanged a few text messages about holiday plans.  I'll admit I was secretly hoping we could bump up the day of our meeting by a couple days.  Unfortunately Monday was a day of disappointment as I found out Hannah had already done a few of the things we had talked about doing together when she got back.

Finally Wednesday came around.  I don't know what emotion I would say that I was feeling.  I was excited to see Hannah.  I had hope that being face-to-face would make things better.  I was confused about the events and actions of the previous few days.  We met up at one of my favorite little food joints for lunch so we could eat and talk.  I have to say the tempo was set right off that bat.  I went in for the hug I had waited so long for, and was met with the side-lean hug.

We ate, we talked.  It's incredible hard to talk to a returned missionary who's like this.  I spent most of the time desperately trying to feel out for common ground.  We were together and talked for about two and a half hours.  It was difficult for me, there she was sitting across from me, cute as ever, the girl I've know for years.  I was so happy to be back there, I'm sure most of the time I had this idiotic smile on my face as my memories of us did battle with the stark reality I was surrounded with.  Her outward appearance was where everything stopped being familiar.

The experience kind of reminded me of all those movies where someone has amnesia, or otherwise can't remember their life or recent events, when another character, usually the romantic interest, is trying to trigger their memory and return them to normal.  It's a difficult situation, while all of my memories of us together were preserved over time, hers were overwritten. The final blow of the afternoon was struck when, after a short silence Hannah asks:

"What do you expect from me now that I'm back?  I really don't want a relationship."

I didn't really know how to react.  I knew that she felt this way, and I was willing and able to go along with it, but it was this moment that I felt there was little chance of being friends like before, as we had discussed.  Any move I initiated towards friendship would be viewed as an attempt at a relationship.  The reason I had been kept at arms length since she got home was made clear with this simple question.

The Quandary: The problem I have now is what my next move is.  I feel I have two, equally poor choices.  
1. Keep trying to find chances to get together and spend time together.  While this is the choice I want to make, I also know that this action could be viewed as trying to force her hand, or pressuring her into something she doesn't want now.  
2. I give her a wide berth, I let her dictate when we get together, or even speak.  I really don't like this option because first it can make it look like I don't care to see her or talk to her.  Second it could look as if I'm bothered by her saying she's not interested in being in a relationship, and that I'm a douche for running away because of that. Or third, I'm unsure how much she really wants to see me, I get the distinct feeling that if I don't contact her that we won't be in contact at all.

Following my answer to her question she almost immediately called the meeting to a close.  Now I'm left wondering what my next move is.  I want to spend time with Hannah, but at times I feel that will be counter-productive.  I guess I'll have to find some kind of middle ground.  I'll see her at her official homecoming on Sunday.  I'll keep an eye out for an opportunity to tell her how I really feel about all of this, then maybe wait a couple weeks to initiate contact with her again.


Anonymous said...

Dump her. To me the statement "I really don't want a relationship" is the equivalent of saying "Here's what I want and I don't give a crap about what you want so bite me." Go to her official homecoming, but bring a date.

Tripp Hazard said...

Here's the way I see it. You have only three legitimate options. 1) You keep trying to get her. Persistence, persistence, persistence. You keep trying to spend time with her and when all is said and done, you hope that you are the one that ends up sitting in the chair when the music stops. 2) You flat out tell her that you do want a relationship and let her make her decisions. Return missionaries (especially sisters) are basically mentally ill. Their judgment is horrible. Your bluntness may trigger some kind of response in her that causes her to fight the mental illness and you end up together (but in all likelihood, it will be exactly like you would expect to happen when dealing with a mentally ill person: she will thank you, never call you again, and thank you so much for coming to her wedding reception next year).
3) You decide that there is no reason to be with someone that doesn't want to be with you and you just walk away. If she comes around, great. But if not, at the very least you didn't waste any more time dealing with someone that cannot think rationally. You move on. Maybe she calls you in three months and says she misses you; maybe 7 years from now, when she is married and has a kid, she will call you early one morning after her husband has left for work to tell you she still loves you.

Right now, none of the options seem that good. They all have very lower percentages of success. Based on my own experiences, persistence never seems to work. Keep your chin up though. Being hurt by unrequited love is much easier to deal with than being in a relationship with a mentally ill chick.

singlemormonchick said...

listen to tripp.
i am sorry it went down like this. i really thought she would revert back. maybe she still will, but i think the chances are slim. not non-existent, just slim.

DC said...

Ouch. That was mean of her. In her defense, she just got home, so for her it would probably be good to take a little time before she got into a relationsihp again. So the questions is, what do *you* want? Are you ok with being "just friends" for a while? Is *she* ok with that? Is she open to the possibility of dating again some day? If so, I vote for option 3. Not Tripp's option 3, but his might be the best one anyway.

My option 3 is: give her some time, give her some space, but be honest with her about how you feel. Don't just drop her and wait for her to cal you. Keep in contact, plan some dates, or "haning out time" if dates=relationship for her. But keep it sparse. In the meantime, prepare youself for the fact that this really might be the end of the road with her.

That's a sucky reunion after 18 months of only written communication. Maybe her mission was not as lonely as mine, and 18 months is not quite as long as two years, but ANYBODY that I saw when I got home got a lot better than a side-lean hug. Whatever you do, good luck.

Lisa S said...

Well, to me she was quite direct. She didn't beat around the bush. Sister missionaries change while on their missions. For you to expect her to revert back to the way it was before, is really immature and juvenile of you. She matured and changed, maybe you didn't. Take her comment for what it is, and stop analyzing it and playing games. Go to all the activities she may attend and show how you have changed and grown...and move on. I really hope you figure out your feelings so you can move on...18 months is a long time to put oneself on hold.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually quite scared now b/c I'm planning to wait for a sister missionary.

I'm sorry dude...