Alexandra is feeling a bit lonely and looking forward to connecting with Dorothy at the end of the day. At 9:23 pm she texts Dorothy, “How is it going?”.
Dorothy responds, “Very tired, so resting and watching movie. And typing email to you. No brainer movie. How are you?”
“Bored. Is everything okay with you?”
Alexandra adds, “Watching lesbian movie too”
“Maybe this is a bad time”
Dorothy replies, “I am okay just pretty tired”
“Ok. I can send you a good night before I head to bed. Is that good?”
“Yes please thanks!”
A few minutes before 10:00 Alexandra texts, “Dorothy, I am heading to bed. I sense your distance tonight, and I wonder if you would like to share what is going on.”
“Really nothing. I am so tired. And I have no energy. Sorry. And also watching movie. Aimlessly drifting.”
“Did you enjoy your dinner?”
“Yes. How are you tonight? I am not distancing, please know that.”
“Ok. Want me to let you go?”
“It’s okay, I am sorry. It’s been a long day.”
“Would you like me to let you go. We can just say good night now.”
“Are u going to bed now?”
“Yes. Will brush my teeth first”
“I’m tired for sure… I love you. Sleep well darling. I miss you.”
“You sleep well too. Maybe go to bed earlier and get some rest. Love you. Good night.”
Alexandra leaves the conversation feeling empty, confused, and painfully insecure. Usually Dorothy values connecting by phone at the end of the day. What is going on? Dorothy says everything is fine, that she is just tired, but Alexandra knows this is not the Dorothy she knows and loves. It’s frustrating and disappointing, and she doesn’t know what to do with her feelings since Dorothy is not explaining.
Alexandra feels Dorothy does not want to relate with her, so reached out again in an email and said,
You know I am disappointed you want no connection time with me today. And surprised. I don’t understand. Normally you do. But you say you are good emotionally. So I am feeling confused.
I guess you are just too tired to relate with me, and I will accept that.
Good night, Dorothy. Sleep with angels and I look forward to when we come out of this strange time.
I’m sure you can feel the drama building. This email prompted Dorothy to telephone Alexandra, and they wound up talking on the phone until almost 2:00 am, with the call ending in them taking a break from their relationship.
So what the heck happened here? These two women love each other profoundly, but something has gone way off the tracks, and I’m wondering if this dating relationship is going to survive.
Dorothy is living with one foot in the present and one foot in the past. She certainly loves Alexandra very dearly. But her heart is stuck in the pain of her past relationship. She feels guilty – she knows she hurt her partner in her choice to leave their 13-year relationship. On this night she was watching this movie with her former partner, feeling very heavy, and she wanted to shield Alexandra from her own feelings.
The simple fact is that as long as we have emotions and energy tied up in a former relationship, we don’t have space to be present and to love another woman. Instead we distance ourselves to cope with our feelings, and in this case, Dorothy tried to pretend she wasn’t doing that. She is trying desperately to make Alexandra happy while at the same time she is dealing with overwhelmingly heavy feelings from her past relationship. It confused Alexandra and hurt her deeply. This interaction eroded the good love that was trying to live between them, and in the end they decided to take a separation.
Will they be able to come back after the separation? Is their love strong enough to pull them through to “the other side”? Will Dorothy face her feelings about leaving her partner, put her partner in the light, and let her partner go?