The Aftermath of Mismatched Expectations

Recently, I’ve been through a number of exercises in precise communication. That is to say I’ve spent hours crafting correspondence to a ‘almost ex’ with attention to each word. This kind of writing is labor intensive, emotionally exhausting, and there’s a good chance all of it will end up being a massive waste of time.

I love her, so I’ll do it, anyway.

All of this is necessary because it comes ‘after the fact.’ There’s pain and resentment on both sides, and the last thing I want is to cause more. So I work to be as careful with her feelings and precise in my meaning. For me, precision means writing as though my audience is a hostile lawyer. This is its own tragedy yet true. So what’s required is dry, businesslike prose that cannot be misunderstood. It’s ‘safe’ and necessary language yet hardly inspires affection.

How did we get here?

How did we reach a point where I find myself creating subtopics, then making headers bold for clarity’s sake? How could we become reduced to writing sentences with a voice as passive as Nixon’s Watergate Speech? – “Mistakes were made” – How the fuck is this so awkward after countless hours spent talking, joking, sweating, drinking, grinding, gasping, fucking, cuddling, arguing, then making up – and loving…there was plenty of love, how is this the same person I spent years of my life with? How have I come to resemble a pod-person-like replicant of my own damn self?

Neither of us is blameless. Quantifying who’s more to blame is pointless, though the discussion threatens to devolve into that game with each email. But I think I misspoke earlier when I suspected it all might end up being a massive waste of time. Because I intend to learn something from this.

I am 95% sure I’ve lost a Dominant, a lover, and a friend. And no matter what’s said about remaining friends, after events like this, it’s seldom more than platitudes. The kind of shit you say to squash more questions- “Oh, we’ll always be friends.”

Friendly and friends exist as completely different animals as they are disparate parts of speech. And, really, either term is so far from where she and I were as to taste of ash. Sure, I’ll take ‘friendly’ over anger or ambivalence – but it still sucks.

We are where we are, partly, because of mismatched expectations. Yes, sometimes they are unavoidable, but often they’re not. All I can say for sure is this: from here on out, I’m going to make sure they don’t exist between myself and someone I care about.

Anytime I need a reminder as to why mismatched, misunderstood, or moronically-delusional expectations are dangerous when they exist between two intelligent people who love each other, I need look no further than emails I’ve written as a result of the fruit they bore.

I will chew those dry propositions and choke down each clause until the lesson is clear in my mind. I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid writing in language like this to someone I love ever again.

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6 thoughts on “The Aftermath of Mismatched Expectations

  1. I sometimes wonder how any two people mesh. We are all jellyfish, with our gazillion tentacles and gelatinous boundaries and stinging nematocysts that can so easily zap and paralyze and induce seizures, to take the communication metaphor long. With kink, it seems even more confusing, more messy, then again at least there is a level of honesty about desire that the vanilla world denies. But either way, to get the edges to align, that’s beyond me.

    I love the way you write about these sticky things though, with such thoughtfulness and curiosity about yourself. I learn something new every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That really is sad. But the fact that you’re aware enough of yourself and the situation to actively learn from it says a lot about you as a person. At least now you can look to the future with confidence that this won’t happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

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