This post is from a very long time ago and I have changed the names to protect the innocent. ‚ It is actually pretty interesting to reread what I was thinking and feeling then and realize how absurd it is…‚ 

On Friday, an hour before I left work for the weekend, Susanna sent me a message saying, “I have a little dilemma… my friend from Florida showed up at my work.”

Her friend from Florida is some guy named Jesse who she says she has only met twice. He sent her flowers on her first day at work and a few weeks later sent her a pair of slippers. I, along with everyone else she knew, told her that this guy had a crush on her. She kept claiming that they were just friends and that he was just being nice. I was a little annoyed, but I’ve noticed that she has a little club of these guys who like her and she leads on. I don’t think she ever acts on any of them, she just uses them as conscious or subconscious ego boosters. I think most women do this to some small extent, but there are a few who carry it too far.

Anyways, I got this message and was pretty shocked. I started asking her what was going on and she kept saying she didn’t know. ‘Jesse’ had flown up here from Texas to tell her of his love. I felt really bad for that guy;‚ Susanna‚ has a flirtatious personality and if she doesn’t tell a guy he’s not interested, I can see how he would think she was. This poor guy didn’t even know she had a boyfriend. Or what she called a boyfriend, I’m really not so sure anymore. We have sorta broken up a couple of times and never truly gotten back together. The last week and a half she has acted distant and uninterested and it’s starting to really turn me off. I don’t really consider us to be boyfriend and girlfriend any longer, just dating in this weird, secret limbo.

So, I asked‚ Susanna‚ what she was going to do about this crazy weirdo who flies all the way from Texas without warning and whom she has only met twice and talked on the phone occasionally too. I ask her if she wants me to walk her to her train so this guy doesn’t assault her or something.

She tells me that he’s not crazy and he’s very nice. And apparently he had told her he was coming to see her a while back (she says she didn’t talk to him recently), but she thought he was joking.

All of our conversation is happening over MSN Messenger because we are both at our respective workplaces.

I ask her if she’s going to meet up with him tonight (after she’s said she can’t see me) and wait for her answer with a sinking feeling in my stomach.

She says yes.

At this point, I’m getting pretty freaked out and really irritated. If you’re supposed to be dating someone, what in the hell are you doing going out with some strange guy who flew halfway across the country to profess his love for you? Are you going to go on a date with him to see if you like him better? Maybe you think you can have a quick weekend fling?

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a suspicious mind and jealous streak. Throughout this whole process I have tried to keep that in mind and look at things with a very understanding eye. After all, my jealousy had caused a previous relationship to explode and I don’t want that to happen again.

I start to freak out and ask her rapid fire questions (while she responds every few minutes or so) and start building up to give her ultimatums (you see him, I end it now).‚ Susanna‚ is a free spirit and this sort of thing would cause her to freak out and leave me or do something vindictive. Fortunately, I catch myself and just tell her that the whole situation makes me sick, but she should go and enjoy herself and that I hope they are truly just friends.

When I got home, I had this itchy feeling under my skin and restless desire to find out what was going on with her. Trent was there to save me from this, calling me a pussy and telling me the worst possible thing I could do would be to start texting or calling her. He said I should wait for her to come to me (I am very bad at waiting, I am all about going and getting). So I went to the halloween party with Plato and his girlfriend and friends and kept checking my phone most of the night, though I ended up having a pretty decent time.

I hate that itchy feeling. It’s controlling and I don’t like to give up control to a damned feeling. I think it is caused when I feel powerless or helpless in a situation. Some people are used to it I suppose, but it is something that I very rarely feel and don’t know how to react when I do. I had the same issue when Becky and I were breaking up… she needed space and I knew I should give it to her, but the pressure was nearly unbearable. The awful pressure makes time slow to a crawl and I feel as if I have to DO something NOW. I have a hell of a lot of self-control (though I choose not to use it sometimes), but I didn’t have enough to win that first war. Becky would have gotten back together with me if had held out against the pressure, but I was too weak and gave in time and time again.

The itchy pressure feeling caused by helplessness was on me last night at the party, but it was in a far more subdued form than I had it last time. I also recognized my foe and was much better able to fight it. I didn’t call or text her all night, until right before I went to sleep I tried calling once and left no message. Fairly proud of myself, I am.

When I woke up I had the feeling on me again and‚ Susanna‚ had sent me a text saying she’s sorry she missed my call she was asleep. So I texted her back and asked her to call me when she got a chance. The next two hours till she called were a war with the itchy feeling. Then she called and we had a discussion.

She told me that she had only hung out with‚ Jesse‚ for 3 hours and it was weird. He drove her down to Auburn and then they went and got something to eat. After eating, he drove her back to her car and when they got there, he asked her if she knew why he had come. She said no. He said, “I came because of you and you only….” and proceeded to calmly tell her how much he liked her blah, blah, blah. She told me she politely refused him, though she didn’t mention she was dating me. She said she told him she was busy today, but could hang out with him for a bit on Sunday before he left.

I don’t like this. What’s going to happen is that he is going to keep calling her and trying to wear her down and win her over. He has a good chance of succeeding… he just has to catch her when she’s in a weak moment and he’ll have an emotional connection he can start to build on. I can’t tell her she can’t talk to him, or she’ll flip shit. I could try being really distant and turning the tables and giving her the itchy feeling so she feels like she has to have me… but I don’t think this will work. She already knows she has me under her thumb.

I also considered whether or not this story is even true… if she went out all night with him and then fucked his brains out, she sure as hell wouldn’t tell me. But I don’t think this is the case and I am trusting her (at least trying).

I wanted to see her last night, but she didn’t return any of my text messages for the rest of the day and is continuing her trend of being very cool towards me. I invited her to come to the halloween parties with me last night several times, but she has been silent.

I know that this has to end eventually- I don’t want to marry someone who is so unreliable. She doesn’t even fuck me very often.

In my mind, she is not my girlfriend… but why do I still have that itchy feeling?

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.