That was my pang… It was my pride

Relationships are very interesting aren’t they? No matter to what level they develop, that you choose to be intimate – to whatever level – with someone, is disarming. It makes you vulnerable to allow someone access to the inner-sanctum of your needs/wants/desires. You may give someone the ability to hurt you. You supply them with ammunition which can lay you low. And you trust them, at least to some extent, not to use what you give them against you.

On Saturday I was at work and I saw an ex. I’m going to call her Sarah because her name is Sarah. It makes more sense that way. Sarah came into my life at a time when I needed someone or something to occupy me. She was exactly what I needed; just what the doctor ordered. I saw her on Saturday night. She saw me. We didn’t speak. She was out with friends, drunk. I was at work, sober. Also, I really don’t know what I would have to say to her given the opportunity.

Sarah chased me for a period of time and I eventually acquiesced and we went out. She massaged my ego massively. She was an attractive girl thirteen years my junior. She was interested in this old fart. Difficult to say no, no?

We went out a few times and it didn’t take long for me to realise that the age gap was more a chasm. A yawning, gaping, all-consuming, unassailable chasm. A void of difference between us. In the end we went our separate ways. She said she wanted to be ‘just friends’ when I raised the issue of us not actually bothering to see much of each other. I consider myself to be a friendly person. I’m kind, generous, engaging, but there was nothing about her which made me want to keep in touch. That difference in age and experience and life was just too much for me to see her as anything other that someone to sleep with. I certainly couldn’t consider myself to be friends with her. No way.

So then when I saw her on Saturday night and when I glimpsed her kissing some random younger guy outside a pub – classy all the way – why did I feel a pang? Actually what did I feel a pang of? Jealousy? Yearning? Regret?

I’m not certain.

The facts are as follows.

I have – with one noticeable exception – always been in control of the beginning, middle, and end of my relationships. And with Sarah she played a part in the decision to call things off. We went our separate ways and she was as happy as I was to do so. I guess I’m used to a certain degree of resistance at the conclusion of my relationships. That never happened. Perhaps the pang was this: I realised this girl walked away from me as easily as I walked away from her. And, in the silliest and most irrelevant way. In the most trivial and redundant fashion, that hurt.

That was my pang… It was my pride.


5 thoughts on “That was my pang… It was my pride

  1. Try not to dwell on it Al, you already know that it wasn’t anything personal for either of you, it was just the age gap. Things are always easier with someone from the same “era” as you – you can reminisce about the TV you watched as a kid, play all the old songs and rant about how “fings ain’t wot they used to be”. Shared nostalgia is definitely important!

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  2. You were with her and it was good for your ego. It makes sense that any pangs you’d feel would be also ego. I’ve been in a two years relationship with a guy 13 years older than me, still ongoing. Reading your article, I wonder when it will break us, this gap, this differences in world views and experiences.

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  3. Ahh, good old rejection. Perfect for making you feel like a kid again, right? I understand what you say about it being mutual, but by it’s very nature a mutual split means she didn’t want to be with you (it’s irrelevant that you didn’t want to be with her either). That pang you felt. That kick in the side was pride, yes, but on account of being rejected. Rejected by a woman significantly younger also. She probably has more opportunities to pick up other young guys than you have of picking up other older women.
    Suck it up, pal. That’s life.

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  4. You’re so right about relationships. You try to fit them into this box of “love”, “hate”, “respect” or whatever, but they are complex things. Once you’ve spent time with someone, there are bound to be hundreds of feelings and emotions attached. I’ve been with my husband for 30 years, and I love him dearly. He is everything to me. But I was married (and divorced) before I met him, to someone who was verbally abusive, immature, and insecure. Wrong for me on all levels, but when I heard a few years ago that he had remarried, I too, felt that pang you talk about. Why? This guy almost ruined my life, and I was now with the love of my life. Why would I even think twice about the ex? I don’t know, but I did. Strange! But then again, human emotions are messy things and rarely fit into a box.

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  5. Ouch!! I know how that feels…..Even though I’m happily married now, I was caught by surprise a few days ago when a friend showed me a picture of my ex who recently married, and his wife has just had a baby. I felt a real pang in the gut because the reason we split all that time ago was because he was adamant he didn’t want to have any children.

    I was really surprised that it hit me like that, and I just keep reminding myself that I’m happy now, and all of that is water under the bridge.

    It happens to all of us at some point, but I sure know how you feel.

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