So, this will be extremely personal and potentially graphic (warning)…but I feel the need to document my perspective (and experience) as I don’t believe I came across an experience like the one I had yesterday (Wednesday).
We were laying in bed cuddled up Friday night as we usually do for several hours before actually falling asleep. Usually this time period is split between being silly and having some of our more serious heart to heart conversations.
Per usual, he spent several minutes tickle attacking me (I’m basically ticklish everywhere). It’s quite amusing to him to see me squirming about and giggling uncontrollably. After about ten minutes of this he eased up before kissing my forehead and placing his hands on the sides of my face, squeezing them close to my cheeks.
“What are you doing???” I laughed as he stared at me with a wide grin.
“This is how I show my love.”
WHAT?! Love. Like L-O-V-E, Love?
I wasn’t quite sure I heard him correctly, after all it was rounding about 2 in the morning and I had been up since 3 a.m. the previous morning without any sort of nap or downtime. Perhaps I was delusional?
“…This is how you show love?” I reiterated slowly.
“By squeezing my face…you show looo–that you care…by squeezing my face?”
I couldn’t bring myself to repeat it once again. I heard him loud and clear the first time, he didn’t stutter. He knew exactly what he said and possibly what he meant?
We eventually moved on to talk about other things before eventually falling asleep, but I couldn’t help but to replay what he said in my mind. I even had a dream about it while sleeping next to him, which that in itself is weird. Was this his way of saying that he “loves me?” I mean, shortly before this we both said how “great” the other person was, how we both “really cared” about the other and “enjoyed the other’s company” , so maybe? Even earlier that evening, he asked me to be his “Plus 1” at his best friend’s wedding in two months and suggested that we start planning out our trip (the wedding is about 3 hours out of town and would require at least an overnight or two stay and some days off of work). That’s kind of a big deal (in my books anyway) and shows that you’re looking towards the future with that person.
Maybe he was being silly (as he often is) because he was being mildly absurd in that moment by squeezing my face with his hands?
As goofy as he is, I don’t think he was (entirely) being goofy in that moment. He might have partially used humor to cover it up, but I think that might have been his way to
“test the waters”, so to speak to see how I’d respond maybe?
Lately, I’ve really been processing my feelings towards The Teacher and our relationship and I feel like I might be on the verge of…*ahem*, the “L word”, but I’m hesitant to admit that or even tell him that, because what if it’s too soon? What if he doesn’t feel the same way? What if it’s just awkward? I don’t believe my feelings are “lust” or even “infatuation” at this point. I’ve been there so many times and this is just…different. I care about him on a deeper level that I haven’t cared about very many people in my life. I know that I feel this way because even when he annoys the fuck out of me (which isn’t too often, but it happens), I still care just as much for him. I still want the best for him. I still want nothing more but for him to be happy. I genuinely care to know how he’s doing and how he feels. I’d much rather spend an evening IN with him watching GoT (which I don’t really care for btw–sorry) than being out with my own friends having a full out night of tomfoolery.
Hell, I care so much about him that I’m willing to spend upwards of 8 hours playing a ridiculously (and unnecessarily) complicated board game with his friends just because it’s important to him that I’m there (but let me be clear, this is not going to be a weekly occurrence).
Because it’s not often that I find myself L-wording someone, I’ve been googling all of these articles on how to tell IF you actually do L-word someone and how to tell if they do too and let me tell you this, those articles are a bit all over the place. Honesty, if someone L-words you, I think you just know…you can just feel it…of course, outside of them saying it.
The Teacher is a smart cookie and he’s usually very careful with his words. Very careful. He’s always been extremely kind and tactful in everything he says. He teaches after all, so he would almost have to be, right? I think he sincerely meant what he said. It came out too naturally for him to have not meant it. That’s not something someone would say on accident. Perhaps he didn’t mean to say it in that exact moment, but he said it nonetheless.
So where does that leave us? I don’t know. I had to make a quick exit the following morning to meet up with friends (he was still half asleep when I kissed him goodbye) and we were both busy through the rest of the weekend, though he seemed to check in more than usual?
I’d like to ask him about this, but in person. I’ll have to think about how I’m going to frame this so it doesn’t come out weird or self-righteous. I don’t want him to think that he completely weirded me out. I’ve invited him over for dinner on Thursday, so we’ll see what happens.
I keep clicking the “write” button in hopes that I’ll have some extravagant and wildly colorful blog post to share, but nope! Life is good, but I can’t quite organize my thoughts enough elaborate on any one thing at the moment.
I will say that aside from my writer’s block, I’m coming to terms with truly being vulnerable in my relationship. Initially (in a new-ish relationship), it’s the most uncomfortable feeling in the world to me to truly trust someone enough to be unapologetically naked (emotionally) around them . By nature, I’m an extremely private person. Like, really private. I share very little about myself with co-workers, acquaintances, family and even friends of mine that I don’t consider “close”. I’m the kind of person that will make you THINK you know a great deal about my life, but I’m very savvy in just giving you enough to think you do. Tip of the iceberg type shit. I’ve also mastered the art of redirecting attention or conversations off of my personal life. It’s not that I’m hiding any deep, dark secrets, I just don’t trust easily and I don’t want to be judged for who I truly am. I like to be in control of the persona others perceive me to be. It’s important for me to maintain a “certain image”.
At work I’m the “I work HARD. I have all of my shit together personally/professionally and I ‘work well under pressure’. I also work and play well with others. I’m probably the nicest most team orientated person you know and I always get things done. I’m your girl, but lack of work life balance is non-negotiable. ”
With my family it’s the, “I’m wildly imaginative (almost to a fault), but I’m kind, loving and a “good girl”. I would never say or do anything (purposely) mean spirited. I’m resourceful. I am intelligent and can take care of myself. I’m trustworthy.”
With friends I’m, “silly and fun, always up for an adventure. I’m very sweet and a good listener and always have a (mostly) positive outlook on life. I’d give you the shirt off of my back if I could. I’d help you move all of your stuff sans uhaul in the pouring rain. While I don’t think as highly of myself as humanly possible, I’m well aware of what I’m capable of and I’ve grown into who I am as a person and I’m confident-ish. I’m loyal, patient, creative, nurturing and loving. I am fearless.”
My relationship persona is the one I feel least comfortable in. It’s the persona where I’m THE MOST vulnerable and the one where (at times) I am the most afraid.
When I’m in a relationship and I truly care deeply about my partner and start to really let my walls down I become a not so polished version of the personas above. I wonder if my partner can handle the unpolished, unedited, raw version of me. I may not always appear to have my shit together, a lot of things scare me, I don’t work particularly well under pressure (though I’ll roll with the punches and I’m flexible), sometimes I allow anxiety to get the best of me, I’m sweet (but at times to a fault where it inconveniences me), I’m not as much of a “good girl” (I often take risks and consider the consequences later. I also tend to do really stupid and extremely self destructive things–I’m going to get to that in an entirely separate post), I’m fiercely independent and at times like to do things on my own (and will need to be alone), but I just as frequently want to do and experience things with my S.O. by my side, even if it’s just a netflix night. I’m stubborn, absurd and I daydream a lot. A lot. A lot. Sometimes I’ll get defensive if I feel like casual conversation is turning into an interrogation, when really my S.O. might genuinely want to know things about me or my past that I’ve failed to elaborate on previously. Each move I make is calculated and it might take me longer to feel “comfortable” to do seemingly insignificant things (like “sleep overs”, meeting friends/family, physical intimacy, etc) for fear of things not panning out and getting hurt. I have to feel an overwhelming amount of safety/security with someone to exhale in that way and it’s hard. It’s hard to put that much energy into something–someone, to not really know *IF* it will work out down the line. You invest a lot of yourself (time, emotions, etc) into it. While I won’t openly verbalize this, I’ll need the occasional reassurance that everything is ok.
Revealing my inner most mess(es) to my S.O. is starting to stress me out a tad because I wonder what he makes of it all. He’s easy going and doesn’t seem particularly phased, but my anxiety of course says otherwise. Not that I’ve revealed anything particularly earth shattering or have anything particularly earth shattering to share? Aside from my relationship fears, I’ve pretty much at least touched on other pivotal parts of my life thus far (and he’s done the same). He knows enough about me at this point to form his own opinion of me. But is that enough?
I don’t know, but so far he seems: Supportive. Kind. Patient.
A few weeks ago, he saw me in a very unexpected and vulnerable state of extreme frustration. An unexpected expense concerning my car really caught me off guard and the building stress and frustration of it all practically left me in tears. Up to that point, I had been (at times) robotic in my emotions and had really only shown him a relaxed mood, a nurturing mood, a happy mood, a silly mood and an adventurous mood with very little deviation from that heavy rotation. In that moment, I forgot he was there and panicked when I snapped back to reality. I apologized all over myself for the slip of “professionalism” in those moments.
I don’t cry.
Well, I rarely cry and when I do, I don’t cry in front of people, so to have him witness me in a very emotionally raw state where I temporarily lost control was uncomfortable at first. Would he find me to be annoying or a big baby? Would he be dismissive? What if he thinks that I’m crazy?
Actually, I know I’m crazy and I’m learning to accept that in my 30s!
I don’t know if he felt any of those things in that moment, but he did the best thing he could do in that situation when your girlfriend is in a panicked state: he hugged me, told me it would be ok and offered his support if I needed anything from him. He later drove me to pick up a rental car (since I was also going to be without my car for a week). Just those little things were HUGE to me.
Wow! I didn’t mean to ramble on that much. I guess I wrote all of that to say that this “L” stuff (like,
love , yes, like), is scary. I really like this guy and I don’t want to fuck this up. I’m going to try not to fuck this up. In order to do that, I’m going to eventually have to suck it up and fully let down my walls.
The last couple of weeks have been a weird combination of total cloud-nine bliss and red line stress–very little regular “in between moments”, but I’ll explain.
Things with the home buying are not going as well as planned. Without putting all of my business on front street, I’m really struggling to save money for a down payment due to some unforeseen expenses that have recently come up (most notably with my truck). The expenses of my truck have started to make me seriously weigh the options of getting a new car, but I can’t buy a house and a car at the same time, so I’ve got to determine which expense is more dire. I guess if I can’t get to work, I would eventually not be able to make money, which wouldn’t look so great in terms of buying a home.
In happier news, I just got back from my first vacation with my boyfriend (that still feels weird to say–well, type).
It seems like only yesterday we were just drunkenly tossing around hypothetical scenarios of “getting away”, but surprisingly everything panned out and we didn’t end up killing each other in the process.
We opted for a weekend in the mountains because we both prefer mountains over the beach and because he felt a burning desire to visit his Alma mater after a decade of graduating just for nostalgia’s sake and wanted me along for the ride.
Our trip initially started off a little shaky due to some unforeseen issues with my suv (which we had planned on using for the trip), but we effortlessly switched gears and took his 4 cyl, rear wheel drive car instead (which fucking struggled up those damn mountains). In addition to my suv being a royal pain in the ass and dying, we also ended up facing a great deal of rain our first night away. Since he booked an AirBnb on the edge of town (on top of a mountain), we opted to stock up on snacks at the local grocery store and barricade ourselves in for the evening, into the following afternoon. We spent practically the first 24 hrs as you would expect any couple with tons of freedom, privacy and downtime to do. Yep.
I will go on record and say that while I was opting for more of a spontaneous and open-minded attitude this weekend (for myself), I don’t think I’m a huge fan of shower sharing (which, I’ve avoided doing in previous relationships).
While wildly romantic-in-the-moment-fun, logistically speaking it’s messy, distracting and cuts into my alone time to process all of my internal chaos. I prefer to have those few moments of peace to myself.
The majority of our trip lacked a specific itinerary (mostly because we’re both equally lazy and equally laid back and agreeable), but I did make it known that a good friend of mine from graduate school lived in the area and I would feel guilty if I didn’t make it a point to catch up while we were in town. I figured it wouldn’t be a huge deal, as The Teacher has met about ten of my friends in the past week, what’s one more right? We’re on a roll here…I’m finally integrating him into my social circles and he seems to fit in well.
Ha. From the moment I even introduced the idea he seemed uncharacteristically indifferent and shamelessly critical (once I mentioned feeling guilty about not visiting my old pal) to say it didn’t seem like my “pal” had really made that big of an effort to visit me either so my guilt wasn’t even truly justified.
To further add fuel to the fire, he intentionally initiated a wildly intense and passionate session nearly an hour before we planned to link up with my friend, causing us to be flustered, messy haired, wrinkle clothed and half an hour late. I blamed it on getting lost.
Anyway, lunch ended up going mostly off without any drama, though I could feel the tension between the two of them the entire time. Oddly enough they’re both very similar (both teach, both have the same interests, both grew up in the same area, etc). I’ve always felt like my old grad school buddy had a “thing” for me, even if a very *small* and *innocent* thing and I think the Teacher (without me even directly pointing that out), could pick up on that energy and was not here for ANY. OF. IT. Outside of the obligatory lunch, The Teacher managed to surpass my expectations in meeting about ten of my friends over the course of two separate social gatherings in the past week. The friends of mine that he’s met so far seem to think highly of him.
After the obligatory lunch, we had the rest of the weekend to ourselves and mostly meandered around his old college campus and the neighboring downtown before grabbing some beers at a local brewery and opting to pick up take out to eat in. Our vacation together included a lot of down time, which I appreciated, because my life has been so busy lately. It was nice to not have to go anywhere or do anything at a specific or set time. We also had very shitty reception, so it forced me to unplug. If we felt like laying in bed and eating Thai food while watching netflix, that’s what we did. If we felt like showering at 2 in the morning and then playing a board game while eating rock candy, that’s what we did. If we felt like sitting on our porch watching a rainstorm while cuddled up and talking for hours, that’s what we did and it was fun.
I think traveling with someone really shows you a more three dimensional version of who they truly are because you’re around each other for long periods of time (or in our case a straight 72 hours–maybe minus a collective 30-40 minutes for combined bathroom breaks over the course of those 72 hours). I’ve found that this can be both a good and bad experience, but this particular experience (minus his indifference about my old college buddy), was wonderful. I truly enjoyed spending those moments with him.
Some things I learned about him while on this trip
- He has the sleeping habits of a bat
- He needs at least one “lay in the bed” nap a day (and is very serious about this)
- He refuses to drink “off brand” bottled water
- He’s not big on eating breakfast (neither am I–so we skipped it mostly)
- He likes to read for at least an hour before bed
- He’s not crazy about driving long distances (or up mountains in the rain)
- He packs relatively light
- He doesn’t like nature or woodland creatures
- He claims that the army taught him to how to hide that he’s “somewhat ticklish”
- He’s not here for someone crushing on his girlfriend–AT. ALL.
- He likes to use my conditioner in the shower
- He apparently spent a lot of time in college missing classes due to sleeping
- He very rarely smiles normally in photos. He prefers to be goofy
Well, one trip down, hopefully more adventures to come.