Erik Mickle
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When You Realize That You Are the 'And Then' Guy in a Relationship

Erik Mickle


During the thirty-seven years on this planet that I’ve been alive, I’ve only been in about four major relationships. Last night, at work, I was using a ride-on scrubber and cleaning the store that I am employed at. I started reflecting on them. Low and behold, I came upon the realization that I am a "And Then" person: i.e., the transitional person that makes a woman realize that she wants someone better and finds them.

Relationship one: I am not going to mention any names or describe the people, so codenames will be applied. Let’s just call her Dryad. Dryad and I met at a friend’s party where I gave her my phone number. I was amazed when she actually called and wanted to hang out with me. (I was twenty-one at the time and only have recently lost my V-card.) It was amazing because it one of the few times that a member of the fairer sex even acknowledged me. We hit it off and decided to start dating. She went toe to toe with me in the bedroom. I loved her enough that I asked her to marry me. During the time we were dating we decided to have an open relationship that I took advantage of, thus cementing the beginning of the end. She decided to go out with one of my best friends that she was going to hook up with at the original party, And Then…she ultimately decided that he was the better choice and we split. Now she’s happily married to him with a daughter. We’re still friends and talk on occasion.

Relationship two: This was the girl that I got with while dating the last girlfriend. I’m going to call her Kurozome. This was also an open relationship. I loved her because we both enjoyed the same types of books, movies, and RPG games. The bedroom antics were a plus as well. But, alas, this was doomed from the beginning. First strike, this was a rebound relationship for me. Strike two, we decided on the open relationship thing as well. Strike three, I started dating my wife without telling her. This is a case of "we were too similar and way too young to be serious." I was such an ass in my actions that I’m surprised that we still talk to this day. Sure, I miss her, but she’s happier because And Then…she got into another relationship where she was blessed with two wonderful children; it didn’t last, but now she’s with a guy that’s perfect for her.

Relationship four: There’s a reason I’m skipping three right now. I’m going to call her Luna. My wife was diagnosed with MS, and one of the symptoms of this disease is the complete destruction of the sex drive. So, my wife has given me permission to on occasion get"release" with someone else. I met Luna at the place where I work (It’s a mart with walls. Lot of blue.) and started talking to her. She was shy, as was I. I’m really introverted, so I tend to take a long time to pluck up the courage to talk to another person. We hit it off and for about four months were an item. I fell for her, which was a mistake since this was supposed to be just a fling, and, as with most things that makes me happy, it started unraveling really fast. At first we were almost like teenagers, texting back and forth, sending pictures of a certain nature, hanging out, and just being around each other. I felt truly happy for the first time in years, like someone cared for me. Then the bubble popped. She went cold towards me; I didn’t know what I had done. Then she told me, point blank, that she couldn’t be around me because I couldn’t give her the future she wanted, And Then…she dumped me like a clump of wet newspaper, and got back together with an ex. Within a month they got married. All that matters is that she’s happy.

Relationship three. I am going to call her Gaia (as she’s my goddess). I met her thirteen and a half years ago at a wedding where I was performing. We hit it off and within a year got married. We’ve had ups and downs (mainly my fault), but have stayed together. Her MS diagnosis was devastating as we knew that she couldn’t do the stuff that she used to be able to. She’s a fighter though and will only be wheelchair-bound when her body shuts completely down, even then she’d find a way to walk just to piss off her doctor. We have two wonderful daughters and a bunch of cats. I guess our staying power is that we’re too stubborn to let petty stuff get in the way. Even though she doesn’t show me physical affection, I know she loves me because she tolerates my nerdy butt: And Then…I am truly happy even if I am celibate.

Relationships come and go, and I am glad that I acted as a stepping stone for three women to find happiness in their lives. 

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