Jelani and Nash

It was time to do what she had been putting off for far too long. It was going to be tough but she had reached the point where she didn’t want to be his booty call anymore. She deserved better. And it didn’t matter that she was crazy about the guy. It was obvious that all he was interested in was sex, nothing more. She was foolish to believe, to hope that he would develop feelings for her.

It was time to wake up and smell the coffee. There were other guys out there who would want more than just sex from her. Well, no more. She was going to dump him and go out with other men or maybe she should put relationships on a hold for a while and just do the things she wanted to do like travel, take up a new hobby or join a gym.

She stood there on in the garden, remembering when they first met. It was at a nightclub. She had gone there with her co-workers on a Friday night after having dinner to celebrate her 30th birthday. The place was packed and the music was pulsating. The dancefloor was crowded. She and her co-workers found a table and ordered drinks. As she sipped her virgin piña colada, she scanned the place and her eyes fell on him. He was with a couple of friends. Their eyes met. He was dressed in a black shirt and pants which contrasted with his blonde hair and golden complexion.

They stared at each for what seemed like eternity and then, she saw him say something to his friends before he moved away from them. Her heart began to pound when she saw that he was coming towards her. When he reached the table, he asked her for a dance. She accepted and her co-workers watched with envy as she got up and followed him to the dancefloor. He didn’t dance with anyone except her and before she left the nightclub, she learned that his name was Nash, he was single and he owned a waterfront beach house. They exchanged numbers.

A week later, he called her. He took her out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Panama City where she lived and worked. Over Empanadas, Guacamoles, his order of Carne Asada and hers of Chicken Asada followed by two slices of Locomoco Pie, they learned more about each other. After dinner, he took her to his beach house. Sipping Pear and rose punch, they stood on the verandah which faced the ocean. A nice cool breeze was blowing. It was a beautiful night.

Sometime later, they went into the living-room and taking her glass, he set it down on the coffee table with his. In the background, soft music was playing. He took her in his arms and they began to slow dance. Soon, they were kissing and then, she was caught up in his arms and carried off to his bedroom. It was the beginning of what she hoped would be a long-term relationship but she soon learned that he wasn’t interested in having more than a sexual one with her.

Yes, the signs were there. They hardly went on dates and they only saw each other on his terms. When they had sex, there was no foreplay and after it was done, he left or took her home. He was great while they were hooking up, but become quite distant as soon as it was over.

He avoided making plans and would regularly cancel plans he made with her especially if those plans involved him meeting her friends or co-workers. It was as if he didn’t want to be around them. She never met any of his friends. Although he never looked at other women while they were together, she couldn’t be sure that he didn’t when they weren’t together. He avoided serious conversations and tried to brush them off or change the subject. And the biggest sign was that he told her that he doesn’t want anything serious.

She should have ended the relationship but she stuck it out because she had developed feelings for him and thought that it would eventually lead to something serious. Her friends and co-workers all said the same thing, “Jelani, you need to dump him. He isn’t going to change. Stop wasting your time with him. There are plenty of guys out there who will want more than just sex from you.”

Tears pricked her eyes now and she blinked them back. It was time to end a relationship which was going nowhere or not in the direction she wanted. She had invested enough time in it and she wasn’t going to invest any more. With a face set like flint, she headed for the beach.

Nash was staring out at the ocean. What was the matter with him? He was nuts about Jelani and yet…he was afraid of making a commitment. Why? What was he afraid of? Was it fear of rejection or fear of being controlled and smothered? or fear of not measuring up? or fear of trusting women? Maybe he should go and see a psychiatrist but what if Jelani found out? Would she want to be with a guy who had to go to a head-shrink to help him to figure out what was wrong with him?

He knew that she wasn’t happy in their relationship and he knew why. As far as she was concerned, all he wanted from her was sex and nothing more but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He wanted more too but something was holding him back. Until he found out what it was, he couldn’t give her what she wanted–what they both wanted.

His heart skipped a beat when he saw Jelani coming towards him. Immediately, a guarded expression came over his face. When she reached him, she stared at him for several minutes as if struggling with herself and then, she said, “I have something to say to you, Nash.”

A feeling of dread gripped him. “What is it, Jelani?” Was she there to break up with him?

“I came to tell you that it’s over between us.”

His face turned pale. “Why?” he asked.

“I know you don’t love me and that our relationship will never evolve from what it currently is. I can’t be continue to with a guy who is only interested in sex and nothing more. I want what you can’t or don’t want to give me–a committed relationship.”

“I know that based on the way I have been acting that you think all I want from you is sex but that isn’t true. I’m crazy about you, Jelani.”

She stared at him in shock and confusion. “If you’re crazy about me why do you act like you don’t want to be in a serious relationship with me?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure it out.” He told her about the different fears involved with commitment and that he was considering going to counseling. “I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you. You deserve better.”

“I agree but, now that I know that have feelings for me, I will stick around and see this thing through.”

“Thank you, Jelani.”

The expression on his face tugged at her heart and she reached for his hands. “I think it’s a good thing that you are going to get professional help to figure out what’s preventing you from making a commitment. Whatever it is, we’ll face it together.”

Moaning thickly, he withdrew his hands from hers to cup her face between his hands. “God knows I love you,” he muttered as he stared down into her upturned face.

She wrapped her arms around his waist, her eyes brimming with tears. “And He knows I love you too.”

Nash lowered his head and kissed her. Overhead the seagulls soared. The sun shone brightly upon them and the water rushed to the shore.

Nash went for counseling and it turned out that he was suffering from the fear of being controlled and smothered. During therapy, he realized how his fear of being smothered had almost destroyed his relationship with Jelani and would have prevented him from enjoying any future happiness with her. And that’s when he began working seriously on facing and overcoming his severe commitment fears. In time, he overcame them and committed to a long-term relationship with Jelani. Eventually, they got married and are expecting their first child.

Sources: BBC Good Food; A Conscious Rethink; Psychology Today

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