I've been dating a man for 2 weeks, almost 3. He told me yesterday he has ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and will be dying or dead in 6-8 months. I'm not sure about anything regarding us now.
He was in the army. His wife and baby died right before or right after he got home when they were hit by a drunk driver (I'm not really sure when). According to him, he lost it. He was a total recluse. He was homeless and didn't take care of himself at all. After two months he got his shit together and got a decent job and started functioning again. It was around this time he was diagnosed, I believe.
He and I met under the premise that our relationship would be purely sexual. But after a few hours he was decided that he only wanted to be with me. I tried to explain to him that I'm not a good girlfriend. I don't even know how you be a girlfriend, but he explained to me I just have sex with him and he has sex with me. Nobody else. I figured there was more to it then that, but I agreed to be his girlfriend.
Everything was going ok. Naturally, my feelings progressed and I liked him more and more. Tuesday (10-11) I had a mental breakdown because it's midterms week and I didn't think he was fitting me into his schedule enough and a bunch of girly stuff. I cried for a while and then we parted ways. He said he'd call me the next day. He told me everything would be ok.
The next day I didn't hear from him. Or the day after that. I thought he was just being intensely mean. Friday afternoon he called me. He explained to me that he was in the hospital. When I asked why he said "Remember when I told you I was dying and only a few months and you asked if I was kidding? I said that I was but I actually have Lou Gehrig's."
We've only been dating for two weeks, but I am an emotion sponge. I feel things 10 times stronger than the rest of the world. I have reasons to break up with him just like I had before, but now I have to imagine that if it's the wrong decision, it's forever. I can NEVER go back and make things the way I want them. Anything I do is forever.
When we started dating he asked me if I'd ever been in love and how long I takes me to fall in love. I told him I'd never been in love so I wouldn't know. He never asked why I'd never been in love, which is because I'd never met anyone like him.
He rides motorcycles and he rides them fast because he doesn't care if he dies. He says he'd rather die doing something he loves than in a bed losing use of himself. If I continue to date him, I'm going to have to deal with the fact that he's more likely than the rest of us to go at any moment. Even if he doesn't die in an accident, he will be gone in 6-8 months. It also scares me because he's so excited to see his wife and son. But what about me? I will never be his wife and son, but I want him to see me as a reason to live as long as he can. I don't want to be compared to them either. Last night he said "My wife would take off a month of work if she knew I was dying. That's the type of person she was." I feel like he doesn't understand that I can't say that I would too because I don't know where he wants me in his life. I could be that same kind of person if I knew he could love me.
He doesn't want to fall in love either. I asked him why he started dating me if he knew he couldn't love me? He said because he liked me enough that he wanted the title. Apparently not enough to fall in love with me.
I don't know if he's saying these things to be an asshole, though. I think so. He's said so many other things that make me believe he wants to love me:
We were talking about how he wanted to get back into comedy and I said "do it" and he told me that me doing what I was doing was helping him. I asked him what I was doing and he said "Just making me happy."
His dream is to open a motorcycle shop. The night I broke down over midterms, he asked me if I'd be by his side when he opened his shop. Earlier that night he also told me he likes me more than he should. I look back at the things he said now and I realize exactly what he meant and it sounds like he wants to love me.
He rides his motorcycles every weekend. It sounds to me like that's all he's planning on doing for the rest of his life. I wouldn't mind if I knew I had more than 8 months to enjoy with him. But I don't and I'm not sure if he's willing to give me the time I want from him. There are so many things I want him to so before he goes. I know he can't afford a trip to Europe or anything crazy, but if I could just take him kayaking in Monterey, maybe it would make us both a little happier. I just want him to see the places I've loved and understand me better. I want to understand him more, too but he seems reluctant to open up to me.
I'm so lost. This relationship is early enough on that I can get out "unscathed", but I hate regret more than anything in the world. I don't want to think that maybe those 6-8 months could have been the greatest months of my life and having had those months would make my whole life worth living. But if I'm also scared that if I do stay with him and love him, he might not love me back and that would hurt more than anything. I just want him to know that I think I would be happiest if we made the remaining time we had the absolute best most amazing time we could possibly have if he could accept me more than he plans to. I would rather be hurt that he was gone and happy that I had the time with him than sad that I didn't have the time. Either way his death is going to make me sad.
I've never had to deal with death. Especially this close to me. I'm so scared of making the wrong decision.