I met with S for the third time yesterday, after having a couple great phone conversations this week. The way we are talking through things if one of us has feelings come up feels really, well, "mature"! So far, fingers crossed, we are able to keep connection and humor throughout our dialogue. This is quite different than before.
Things are beginning to move into romance, and we crossed the kissing threshold yesterday. I feel mostly positive about this, with a little anxiety mixed in. Would I be a fool to try again with him? As you all know, I have dated and been open to meeting other guys in this last year and a half - as well as when we were broken up before - but I can say that no one thus far has come close to his level of willingness to grow and talk about things.
And obviously we have a lot of history together, which is both good and bad, but mostly good I think, in terms of knowing each other and getting to a deeper level of communication. The trust has been rebuilt somewhat in the last few weeks but would have a ways to go.
I do know that both of our issues would come up more strongly as we grew closer. We have been talking about using H@rville Hendricks "Im@go Ther@py" work and even practiced one of his communication exercises yesterday. I read all HH's books a decade or more ago and really see the potential for healing childhood wounds. In brief, he believes we choose partners because they possess both the positive and the negative traits of our caregivers and within this reality is the potential to heal what happened to us - what we lacked in childhood - with our partner. S has indicated he would be on board with doing this work with me.
A last positive development is that he owned his passive-aggressive behavior of being late to our meeting. He admitted he felt okay in the moment about changing plans to him coming up to me again, versus me driving down to him (based on some logistical factors and me feeling overwhelmed), but then felt some resistance/resentment that resulted in him dragging his feet to start the drive. Awesome! Not the feet dragging, but the fact he acknowledged his feelings and how they had driven his behavior.
More shall be revealed, but today I'm feeling some hope.