The Transparent Sweet Home

I’ve been fairly neglectful in writing lately. Part of it has been due to being legitimately busy and the other part is just due to my inability to organize my thoughts enough to get them on the page. Whenever I’m frantic or anxious, this becomes the most difficult task.

The last couple of weeks (months?) have been wonderful. I turned 33 (last month) and despite The teacher being out-of-town on business, I managed to bring it in with a bang with my crew.

fake happy

My birthday seems to always be an excuse to completely let loose. While I really missed the teacher on my big day (he had flowers delivered to my job on the day of, I guess as a way to ‘make it up to me’), I would be lying if I didn’t say it was somewhat freeing to be out with my friends without having to worry about how late it was getting, how crowded wherever we ventured off to was, etc. I love The teacher with all of my heart and soul (I really do), but he occasionally gets anxious around larger groups of my friends, even though he’s met them all several times and they all openly love him too. I can understand his anxiety, as I often don’t like to surround myself with large groups of people I either know through someone or people who I don’t know very well to begin with, but at times trying to find the balance in catering to his needs, my own needs and my friend’s needs can be tricky. I’ve tried to be respectful of this whenever we do go out, but at times, I feel like I have to “clock watch” (which he usually assures me that I don’t even though I know very deep down he’s freaking out and is trying to be nice, which I appreciate, but he doesn’t have to do). I then feel bad for my friends, because I haven’t been as “present” with things these past few weeks and I’ve always said I wasn’t going to be that person. More on this later though…

waiting

One of the things occupying the majority of my attention and energy has been house hunting (renting). Several months ago, the teacher and I decided that we were at that point of our relationship where we were ready to move in together. Of course, neither one of us was over the moon with our current dwellings, so we figured we’d even the playing field and find a new place together.

I’ll admit, when we had that initial conversation over a romantic dinner, I wasn’t quite sure how this was going to go…Not the actual living together piece, but getting to the point of actually finding a place in our time frame (which has shifted up to an earlier date since the initial conversation). The real estate market here is brutal, even for rentals. Here today, gone tomorrow. Sometimes in even hours! It doesn’t leave much room for lingering around on a decision and the Teacher and I both have a bad habit of over thinking and being indecisive.

For starters, we never really had a transparent and open decision about our specific needs or preferences in a house. We both have this really bad habit of people pleasing and compromising in order to not be “selfish”, but what this mentality does when it comes to something as serious as the roof over your head it starts to make you feel like you’re settling for something you may or may be happy with in the long-term and it builds up resentment that will eventually come out in perhaps not the most appropriate or tactful way. Don’t get me wrong, we spoke about basic preferences (price, number of beds/baths, yard space, one-mult story, etc), but we never emphasized more meaningful needs such a work commutes, proximity to POIs, room size (as in, what we planned do with any additional rooms that were not our bedroom) and so on. We ended having an open discussion about it one night and we’ve worked better as a team ever since.

Another thing we kind of messed up on was not legitimately starting the search until maybe the middle of last month and even then the Teacher was somewhat hesitant because he felt like we were “looking too early” for a late April/early May move in (which I get), but the more we looked, the more we noticed how quickly things were going and this became frustrating.  We were also “off task” fairly frequently. A few weeks ago, we planned to sit down TOGETHER to look up homes online and after an hour of semi-serious looking, we decided that we were more interested in each other than researching homes. We obviously didn’t decide on any homes that evening.

shhhhhhh

A week or more passed and we continued to search, but separately by sharing home postings through various home shopping apps/websites. What about this one, how about that one? We probably exchanged over ten emails to one another everyday just on houses. I also tried to make more of an effort to reassure him that it was perfectly ok if he didn’t like a house and that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we skipped over it.

And then there were all of the back and forth emails with the owners/management companies with follow-up questions they failed to disclose in their listings and the possibility of showing the home during a time that was convenient to BOTH of our schedules.

Another week passed and he took my reassurance a little too literally and started being ridiculously nitpicky (which hey, if you’re going to live somewhere, you should like it, right?), but almost to point of not keeping an open mind and considering our looming deadline. This actually agitated me to the point of addressing it once he asked to cancel a showing of a home we had agreed to tour HOURS before we were due to meet with the owner (I think this was our very first “argument”, even though there was no yelling and we mostly came to an agreement via text message).

we don't talk anymore

It got to a point where I stopped aggressively looking for a few days and allowed him to just send me things that he liked. I turned off all of the house hunting notifications on my phone and unsubscribed from the daily email updates. I wanted him to see how hard and time-consuming house hunting can actually be when you’re putting in actual TIME and ENERGY to do it (Yes, I need to work on not being passive). I think he got the message.

welp

Finally, two weeks ago we had an appointment for a home viewing for a home that we both mostly liked. The teacher wasn’t crazy about the commute (the home was about 7 minutes from my apartment, which meant an additional 10 minute commute for him), but he managed to keep an open mind about it all as we toured. Seeing the place in person and walking around from room to room discussing (hypothetically) how we would use that space was surreal. After the tour, we took the weekend to openly and transparently discuss our options and decided to apply for the home and we GOT IT. WE GOT THE HOUSE.

yasssss gif

To say I’m excited is an understatement. Knowing that we’ve found a place to live with about two weeks to spare in our deadline takes a huge weight off of my shoulders. We took another tour of the house the last week we dropped off our deposit and knowing that this time we were ACTUALLY going to be living there meant so much more.

It’s now crunch time as we start preparations to move! There’s so much to do and the month is already flying. Because the Teacher’s lease ends about two months before mine, he’s going to formally move first (at the end of this month) and I’ll move some things of mine that we’ll both need in the interim (washer and dryer, a mattress my family is giving us, a t.v. for our living room, some kitchen items, etc). I plan to formally move all of my things by the end of May/first week of June, giving me about three weeks to clean up my old place before I turn in my keys.

All in all I’m very excited, but I know we still have a lot to do. I also know we’re both going to have to work on being more transparent and timely in communicating our preferences (when necessary) and compromising on things that don’t always need to go our way (he told me he didn’t like the toilet paper I buy, I told him I didn’t like stepping out of his shower without there being bathmats on the floor–who raised you???).

come at me bro

 

We don’t tend to have this issue very often now, but then again we’ve never lived together either. A lot of our minor stumbles and misunderstandings so far have just come from neither one of us having experience living with a significant other or simply not being all that transparent in preferences. Sure, we’ve both lived with friends, roommates and family, but never with a love interest. This will definitely be an adventure for the both of us.

Into The Future

Life has been relatively great lately. I’m finally getting over the plague I dealt with basically the entire month of January. Slowly, but surely.

Work has been (at times) a bit chaotic, but I’m starting to notice the chaos is basically coming from leadership never being proactive and always being REactive to situations. It drives me insane, because I’ve always prided myself on thinking about all possible outcomes as I navigate any situation (especially work related). Reacting to every little thing dramatically sends bad vibes throughout the office. Lately, it’s been triggering my anxiety a bit, but I’ve tried to do a little better in this new year about setting “boundaries”.

I’ve decided that:

  • I refuse to work OT unless it’s absolutely necessary – this does not make me a bad employee, especially if I manage my time well (which I do)
  • I refuse to volunteer for everything
  • I’m taking more of a leadership role on projects and various other opportunities to showcase my skill set
  • Instead of doing someone’s job for them, I’m instructing them on how to execute a task and wishing them well–this is huge for me, because I’ve spent the last few years almost taking on aspects of everyone else’s job
  • I refuse to be “available around the clock”, especially on PTO days. I am allowed to have a life outside of work and I plan to do just that.
  • Speaking of PTO, I am setting myself a goal of taking 2 days off a month, with at least 1 true “vacation” (The Teacher and I are planning a vacation in April for a few days).

Speaking of the Teacher, things are continuing to go well with us. He still continues to be the sweetest and most loving person ever. It’s been hard for me to truly trust people and let my walls down, but he’s been extremely patient, supportive and loving, so my walls are just about gone. I feel very comfortable talking to him and being myself even if that means I’m dealing with depression or anxiety and he’s a lot more open about his own struggles with depression and anxiety as well. I think sharing those struggles with depression and anxiety has really helped us bond that much more over these last couple of months. Having the emotional support of your significant other is such a wonderful feeling and having them understand what you’re going through on an emotional level is invaluable.

Speaking of months, we’re coming up on our 1 year dating anniversary. In less than a week! Dating anniversary (not relationship anniversary). It’s hard to believe an entire year has flown by so quickly. I’m not entirely happy with myself for being kind of coy and stupid at first with the Teacher, but I think keeping an emotional distance, really thinking about our connection (and maybe what i wanted) and taking our time to get to know one another has really built a strong foundation for our relationship and has actually added true meaning and purpose to it. Anyway, we’ve been talking about celebrating the anniversary, which is the same week of Vday (ours is on Sunday). We’ve decided to do something “big deal” on the day of (he suggested going to the brewery where we had our first date and then going out somewhere “nice” from there) and then having a relaxing night IN for Vday, with takeout/ or making dinner and cuddles. I have a feeling that he’s probably buying a lot of shit for both the anniversary and Vday. I’m not entirely crazy about people spending lots of  money on me. He spent quite a bit of money on me for Christmas. Like, tons (granted, i spent a lot on him too, but that’s different 😉). Not only did he get the 3 reasonably priced items I asked for, he got me tons of other things too. He asked what my work address was today 👀. Either he plans on doing a B&E or maybe sending flowers or something? I’ve never received flowers at work actually, that’d be cool, but absurdly expensive 🤦🏽‍♀️.

Another thing we discussed last week was moving in together. This has vaguely crossed my mind a few times over the past month or so, but he brought it up over dinner last weekend in conversation and suggested we start looking for places since our leases are both up in July.  That’s a huge step in a relationship, but one I think we’re both ready for. I also think it will save both of us money, as we’d be splitting rent as opposed to paying two separate rents and commuting back and forth to each other’s places (we live about 15 minutes worth of a highway trip away from one another).

Speaking of relationship stages, I spoke to my ex briefly this afternoon. Our conversation started with him updating  me on how his family (who lives up north where the temps have been -48 or some shit  this week) was doing. The conversation somehow then went left and he spent an hour talking about all of these failed relationships and dating experiences he’s had since we broke up.

overwhelmed.2gif

Part of me felt sorry for him (because he is a good person), but in speaking to him, I see a pattern of him crashing and burning when it comes to love. His idea of love doesn’t involve a great deal of logic. He acts mostly on infatuation. It’s like he’s not patient enough to let something grow organically, which is important in building something. It’s like he’s in love with the idea of love. Love doesn’t always happen at “first sight”. It’s not like the movies. It’s not always perfect and just because it isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean you need to throw in the towel so soon. I’ve definitely learned my lesson after going through a whirlwind romance with him. I hope to never do that shit ever again. It’s not healthy. And it took a lot for me to move past it and fully heal.

He told me about dating some girl a month after we broke up only for her to break his heart and dump him two days before his birthday and how he had to go to therapy to deal with “feeling lost”. He told me he “loved” this girl 🙄. I admitted to him I also had a similar experience when he and I broke up (which he’s long been aware of–except, I didn’t “love” him). He apologized for causing me pain, I accepted it and reminded him that I have no resentment towards him (which I don’t). Life lesson learned. He also admitted to regretting the way he ended things between us. TBH, I don’t care anymore. I’ve healed. I’m over it. I’m happy. When he asked how I was doing, I wrestled with being transparent about my own love life, but decided to be honest and let him know that I’ve been in a long-term relationship with a guy that makes me truly happy. He seemed genuinely happy for me, which is mature of him, because I guess that might have been a dick move of mine to tell him that, especially after he spent twenty minutes complaining about his own love life.

Oh well. Such is life.

Outside of that, I’m just coasting and trying to remind myself to practice more self-care this year. I’ve done just ok so far, but I can do better.

 

I Thought I Would Be ELATED.

So I caught up with my ex yesterday…

A year ago, I was EAGER for the day when we would catch up and he’d essentially not be in the best spirits or “got a taste of his own medicine” (by ending things), because I was bitter and heart broken. I imagined myself as Demi, belting out how I was SORRY, I’M NOT SORRY for being better off without him (it is a hot song though, I’m not gonna lie).

Not sorry.gif

Obviously, time heals wounds and over the months I’ve gotten better, gotten over it, and learned some valuable life lessons.  I’m fine, but hearing that he perhaps is going through some “bad times,” (in regards to his love life) didn’t give me the satisfaction that I thought (a year ago) it would have and I felt like a shitty person for even telling him that I was doing, “REALLY well and was HAPPY” (though I didn’t necessarily reference my current love life, but we’re facebook friends still and I’m sure he’s at least seen clues or references of The Teacher and might have put two and two together by this point) .

It’s been a crazy year since we parted ways. Some ok times and some really bad ones…but I think I’m on the road to being ok. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well though.

I thought when this moment came, I’d be elated to know that he felt some OUNCE of heartache, sadness or emptiness that I STRUGGLED with for MONTHS after we broke up, but if anything, I felt genuine empathy and a bit of sadness for him. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone, especially this time of year. And while, I’ve moved on (and I am happy), there is still a part of me that wants genuine happiness for him too. Though we didn’t work out romantically (and now I can see that we probably weren’t as ‘perfect’ for each other as we both thought while dating), he’s a good person and deserves to find his peace and happiness too. He’s also continued to treat me with respect and not like a terrible ex, which I appreciate and I’ve tried to do the same with him.

I chose not to elaborate on my love life, but instead offered support and words of encouragement. I hope that he finds peace or some glimmer of hope that eventually things will look up for him. I hope that he finds that special someone that loves him in a way that I was unable to and treats him like fine china.

I have to say that I’m extremely proud of myself for getting to this point. This is HUGEEEEEEE progress!

Running on Social Fumes

I’ve always been a naturally introverted person. I get the most peace and satisfaction out of doing quiet “smaller group” activities/hobbies with close friends/loved ones (or even by myself) than I do in mass crowds of people I don’t know very well in loud/chaotic environments that I’m not quite familiar with.

This is not to say that I am not an open-minded person and that I do not try new things/experiences or enjoy meeting new people, I just approach it all a little differently than I think I should. Somewhat cautiously at times.

For instance, I truly believe that I’ve learned in my 30+ years of life that there are two very prominent versions of me (with subcategories of course). I touch on those subcategories here, but in a nutshell, there is the true introverted me and then there is the “pretending to be extroverted” me. I’ve taken the “test” and while I’m fairly close to the center (having both introverted and extroverted qualities), I feel more natural as an introvert and I’m reminded of this in extended situations where I am unable to “recharge” appropriately.

For example, last week I was on a business trip for the entire week attending a conference. Typically when I travel for work I usually build in one “solo day” (usually the day before business or day after business has ended) where I explore whatever city I’m in and gather myself prior to (or after) dealing with an extremely long duration of social interaction. I love this alone time. Doing this usually helps to reprogram my mind so that I appear “put together” and “well rested”. Granted, most of the people who attend the conference I went to last week are colleagues of mine (scattered across the country) in the field that “I know”, but it’s still draining to spend all day networking, collaborating and doing dinner/drinks to chit-chat about our lives outside of the office. I can lay on the charm decently enough I believe, as I’ve spent nearly a decade working on this “skill”.  I laugh and smile constantly, compliment those in my presence, act genuinely concerned or interested in news (both good and bad) they care to share and I always wish them the best with all of their endeavors (and I mostly mean it). On business trips though–unlike an actual 8 hour work day, there is very little “off time”. From sun up to sun down there is consistent interaction and it’s draining. I can usually keep the energized extroverted version of me going for a good little while until I abruptly hit a wall and run out of gas.  I can recall feeling somewhat “energized” earlier in the week and even earlier parts of each day, but towards the end of the week I had very little drive or motivation to be overly friendly and talkative and really just wanted to be alone. It was like the social side of my brain had gone on a hiatus. I remember attempting to have a quiet breakfast in the hotel on my last day of the trip, only to be met one after the other with an eventual table FULL of my colleagues who didn’t want me to have breakfast alone.

But that was the point.

It took me nearly a day after returning home to gather myself enough to jump back into my routine and even in making plans with my boyfriend, I opted for the day after my return and for a quiet evening “in” (as opposed to us “going out”). Luckily my very sweet boyfriend (mostly) understands this and “gets me” as he is also an introverted-at-times-pretending-to-be-extroverted, as well. Having my solo time the day I arrived home and then our lax 1-on-1 time “in” really helped me recharge socially in order to take on my week. It’s like I gained an extra boost of energy…that will later be depleted.

Speaking of the boyfriend and being social, I’m in this continuous cycle of basically meeting everyone in his life (which is very flattering, but at times overwhelming). I’ve met his best friends, his friend-friends, his co-workers, his boss, neighbors, S.O.s of his friends, old friends, new friends, acquaintances… and so on and soon to be his family (this weekend). As I mentioned a few weeks back, we’re heading to his best friend’s wedding (that he’s in) this weekend and because the wedding is in the town he “sort of” grew up in, we’re staying with his family.

nervous

While in the back of my mind I’ve sort of seen this as kinda being a “big deal”, the idea of it all really hit home while at his best friend’s soon-to-be-bride’s impromptu bachelorette gathering (I won’t go into detail about how last-minute and highly unorganized this was and how it almost interfered with our planned night in time). I sat there nursing a beer and chatting with the ladies (you know, “making nice”) because I want to be a good girlfriend and genuinely be warm and friendly to the people in his life. They are all either married, engaged or in longish-term relationships with friends of his.

They talked about the wedding and all of the activities in between and how much fun it will be! And how as a group, we were going to do all of these *really* fun things! All I could think of how the constant “togetherness” of being around all of his friends (and then family during times where we’re NOT doing wedding activities) was going to be exhausting. Like really exhausting. Fun, but the kind of exhaustion that may require some down time when I return home. I thought about how the only “down time” I’d have to really “recharge” would be the drive there and back where we’d have a few hours of just “us” time..but NOPE! Apparently as of today an out-of-town college buddy of his (who I have not met yet)  will be joining us on this journey to the wedding so now even the car ride over and back will involve, “putting on the extroverted charm so that I don’t appear cold or distant”, social interaction.

Jesus lord.

This week I can’t even mentally prepare for all of that togetherness (for this weekend) because he wants me to meet old high school buddies of his that are in town this evening and more co-workers on Wednesday (I feel like when we started dating he didn’t even regularly hangout with THIS many people–wtf) And I can’t say no…what kind of girlfriend would I be (maybe a more socially energized one)?

Through all of this potentially social, stressful and draining hoo-ha, the one silver lining here is something his best friend’s wife told me on Saturday during our “girls afternoon out” that sort of put all of this into perspective:

I’ve never seen — so happy before and I’ve known him and my husband since college. Whenever I’m around you two, you have this really strong connection and I can tell you are both genuinely crazy about each other. It’s sweet. I remember watching the two of you interact a few weeks ago at dinner and it was THE sweetest thing. You guys just “get” each other and it seems like you’ve been together years.

He’s also very protective of his family and even — has only met his dad ONCE (in passing) and they’ve been best friends for like a decade! The fact that he’s intentionally taking you to MEET his family and stay with them is a big deal (to him).

We think the absolute world of you and we’re so happy that you two are together!

No pressure, right?

crazy rich asian gif.gif

I hope this weekend doesn’t turn out like Crazy Rich Asians.

 

“This is How I Show My Love”

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.”

time out

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.

“yes..”

“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.

GoT

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.

 

 

“Only IF YOU want to”

I think I’m in that part of the relationship where the two parties involved really like one another and only want to do things to make the other person happy and suggest/invite/plan for things without the other person feeling the pressure of obligation. Good ol’ honeymoon phase we meet again.

The Teacher and I had a lovely date night planned last night. We’ve recently started incorporating more midweek “get togethers”, especially now that my job stopped requiring me to work 80 hrs/week and I can see straight again.

Anyway, on our way to dinner, we discussed plans for a weekend get away at the beginning of next month. We have sort of been casually (and hypothetically) speaking about this for the better part of 2-3 weeks (mostly while one or both of us are sauced out of our minds), but finally made firm and concrete plans as of this past weekend. Since he has a little more time than me right now (school is out for the summer), he’s planning the logistics of the trip (when we’re going, where we’re staying, whose car we’re taking (probably mine since I have 4×4 and we’ll need it in the mountains), what we’re doing when we get there, etc) and only asked me to just confirm with work that I could get the Thursday and Friday off that we’re planning on being out-of-town.

Done and done. Our first trip, should be oodles of fun, hopefully.

Towards the end of the conversation he apologized for requesting to cut our trip short by half a day (coming home Saturday night instead of Sunday afternoon) due being invited to an old friend’s birthday dinner that Sunday.

His mention of this dinner didn’t even phase me. I just assumed he had plans with friends, have fun. I’ve never been the kind of person to tell my S.O. that they can’t go do things with their friends solo. That’s absurd. Plus, two solid days in the mountains is plenty, his apology seemed unnecessary.

“Yeah, my friend such and such is having a birthday dinner that Sunday. You haven’t met him yet actually. You’re more than welcome to come ONLY if you want to.”

Pause.

If I want to. ONLY if I want to.

what me

Obviously I know what that *really* means, but if I’m looking at the statement completely out of context (and without any sort of emotion) it comes across more of choice or an option on my end almost as if he’s saying, “you get to decide if you want to go, but I won’t be phased either way”, which is fine, but doesn’t really communicate the underlying notion of maybe him wanting/needing me to go if for no other reason just to make an appearance? Or suppose it went the other way and he genuinely didn’t care if I went. Why would I want to go somewhere with someone who doesn’t care if I’m there? This is obviously somewhat important to him or he wouldn’t have mentioned it or be cutting vacations (that he initiated) short to go. And suppose I had no interest in going and took his statement to face value he would absolutely be phased AF and probably suppress his anger over it until “snapping” one day over an argument about juice.

juice

Yes, I said juice, even though neither one of us cares for juice.

So ok. I’m being a bit facetious–sorta. I’ve been around him enough at this point to know that these things really do matter to him and he probably would be legitimately offended if I chose not to go and I don’t blame him. That would be fucked up of me unless I had some legitimate reason for not being able to attend. When you’re a couple it’s just sort of assumed that you’ll make attempts to be as selfless and accommodating as possible and sometimes that means really understanding how important something is to your S.O., being there to support them and compromising.

Am I excited about this party? Hard to say to say at this point–but I’m not really focusing on how I feel. It matters more to me at this point to do whatever makes him happy and if that means accompanying him openly/publicly as his girlfriend and rubbing elbows with whatever friend of his I’m meeting this time, bring on the party favors. I’m all for it with a smile on my face. I think I left my response,

“If you genuinely want me to go–like if you’re asking if I’ll go with you, like your ‘plus 1’, I’d be more than happy to go with you…that sounds exciting, I appreciate the offer 🙂 .”

D’aww. But seriously, he’s used the, “only if YOU want to” phrase a little too much lately…he’s even used it during–well, that’s TMI. and it’s slightly starting to become a pet peeve of mine. Of COURSE I want to, we’re in a fucking relationship! If I’m genuinely dead set against doing some activity–like robbing a bank, I would speak up and say that (and I have and with tact). I’ve said this to him a few times (maybe jokingly), but communicating something he needs comes across better if he’s not framing it in a passive aggressive , “it’s up to you” sort of way, though I think that’s just part of his non-confrontational personality in general. Perhaps he doesn’t want to come across needy.

This can definitely be worked through, but I think it also comes with time and comfort level on both sides. I know I created this “monster” from how aloof and emotionally detached I came across a few months into casually dating him. I’ve really been trying to make up for it by overly expressing my feelings or gratitude, but I still feel like I’m not doing enough. The guilt consumes me daily.

 

The Teacher

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a “date” with this guy I’m going to nickname, “the teacher” for lack of me being too lazy to come up with something more creative. He’s a high school teacher, so that suits him well enough for now.

The Teacher and I had spoken back and forth for a week or two, but never settled on plans for a “date” due to each of us fighting off nasty viruses that have been going around (well, more so being busy on my end). I had semi forgotten we had pending date plans until he reached out to me to see what my weekend was looking like…and then I realized my weekend was getting kind of full and fast.

He suggested we meet for drinks at a brewery on Saturday afternoon, on the edge of town. Sort of a happy hour of sorts, minus the food (though I think there was a food truck somewhere on site).

I wasn’t sure what to expect—well, I should say, I didn’t have many expectations from this, “date” mostly because we hadn’t spent a great deal of time getting to know each other beforehand. We exchanged very basic information about one another (our careers, where we were born, our hobbies, etc), but that is it, so the success of the “date” was truly going to ride off conversation, which can be hit or miss in person.

When I walked into the crowded brewery, I saw him standing against the wall nervously. He looked like the textbook definition of a teacher. He had on one of those sweaters with the buttons and pockets, glasses and a bashful grin.

sweater button down

I greeted him with a one armed hug (those hugs I give to co-workers or distant relatives I barely know or to people when my hands are full), we said our introductions and hopped in line for beer (the line was outrageous). There were people and dogs everywhere. I figured while we stood in line, we could chitchat about various things, just to pass the time, but instead, he stood BEHIND me and said nothing. This was reminiscent of guy #1 from last week. I turned around to him a few times to drop bait in hopes of starting a conversation, but he would mostly respond with somewhat of a short answer and then not follow up with anything further. Conversations to me are like playing catch. To keep it going, you’ve got to participate (i.e. catch the ball and toss it back). In this situation, it was like I’d throw the ball to him, he’d catch it and then set it down in the grass just walk away. This happened about three times until I gave up and just waited in line in silence.

This was going to be interesting, if he wasn’t going to talk…

We finally made it to the front of the line (side by side this time) and ordered our beers. I at least got him to recommend a stout from the menu. That was one topic he elaborated on. I already had my wallet out, because I wasn’t sure if he was treating or not. He wasn’t.

I have a rant about this, but I don’t feel like going into it now…in a nutshell though, I’m OK with paying for myself (or even treating if I’m seriously dating someone), BUT if I’m “invited out” for a DATE (especially if it is some place the guy wants to take me to and it’s early on, like our first or second date), it sort of shifts my expectations for the rest of the DATE, which I’ll now consider a hangout, which to me has zero undertones of romance.  Which, I’m good on new friends for now bruh…you see where this is going…

Anyway, the brewery was far too crowded and there were no open seats. With it raining outside a bit, there were no hopes of sitting at the picnic tables either, so we huddled under the very crowded porch where the smokers were hanging out. I hate the smell of smoke. He apologized several times for this, but I rolled with the punches, because he couldn’t control any of it.

Our conversation started out very slowly, but eventually picked up over the next hour or so. Turns out, he’s far more interesting than he originally came across and opened up quite a bit more as the evening went on. He was in the army and did some IT work while he was enlisted. Once he got out, he decided to go get his master’s in teaching and the rest is history. He told me stories about how he’s basically lived all over the U.S. and all of the cool places he go to travel to while in the military and how he is finally starting to consider this area, “home”.

Our allotted 2.5 hour time slot came and went actually quicker than I anticipated and I respectfully announced my exit. I just told him I had another engagement with friends that evening and needed to get going, but that I enjoyed his company. He very respectfully walked me to my car and gave me a hug. He nervously exclaimed that he had fun as well and asked if I wanted to, “do this again sometime”.

Did I feel sparks or an “instant connection”? Not really, but something about him seemed charming enough to give it another go, so we’ll see.  We haven’t planned anything yet, but while I was out with baby face, I got a text from him saying that he’d love to see me again (I obviously waited until he was in the bathroom to answer this text message).

I was obviously a bit (*ahem*) “tied up” Saturday night, but reached back out to him with a bit more of a substantial response regarding date #2 this morning, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully well. I’m trying to remain open minded.

Tonight (well, Monday–depending upon when I publish this actual post), I have rescheduled dinner (Indian food) plans (was set for last night (Sunday), but a migraine took me out the game for a good portion of the evening) with this other guy, who I barely remember hitting it off with friday (or Thursday) night while out with friends and in line grabbing a cider in another brewery downtown. Let’s just call him, “SamIam“. The only thing I remember about him was that he was quite charming, tall, had a nice smile and worked in IT, but preferred creative writing (just like me). I’m taking it he also enjoys cider???Hopefully he can carry on a conversation sober…

You Remind Me of My Ex

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’m sort of stating to consider the idea of dating again. In the famous words of my ex, “I reallllllyyyy don’t like dating”, and my famous response, “well, no one does, but it’s a necessary evil…”Anyway, I had a date of sorts this past weekend. Well, I wouldn’t really consider it a date, but I think the guy inviting me out (for coffee) did, so I just went along with it. We met the weekend before and briefly chatted before exchanging numbers. I figured, “why not? He seems decent enough”.

(by the way, I do not like or endorse DT at all)

Originally, our “coffee meeting” was set for Saturday. I planned my busy day around this meeting and sandwiched it in between two other engagements. An hour and a half before said meeting, I get a text from him asking if we could postpone until the following day because he forgot that he had a, “conflict”. While I thought it was a little weird since I completely let HIM plan this (since he asked me out) by picking the place, the day and the time…I’m flexible and understanding enough, so I agreed to push it back.

Sunday, we finally meet up in this busy coffee shop right across the street from the university here, so of course it was ridiculously crowded and there were absolutely no seats available inside. After grabbing coffee (he paid), he suggested we sit outside. MIND YOU, it was MAYBE 19 or 20 degrees by this point in the afternoon, with a wind chill of maybe 7 or 8.

I went along with it anyway and we sat down to chat. All through our conversation, I couldn’t help but to notice that he seemed somewhat nervous. At first he wouldn’t say much, but eventually warmed up and elaborated on his responses. He kept asking me really broad questions like, “so tell me more about yourself” — which sidebar rant: I HATE when people ask me this question. This is a terrible question to ask. It’s too abstract. Drilling down to ask more focused questions like, “what do you do” or “what are some of your hobbies” invoke more of a solid, meaningful and intelligent response, in my opinion. Besides, if you asked someone out, you are obviously interested in SOMETHING about them, so go with that?

Anyway, since I’m not a super narcissistic person, I decided to break it down into segments, “so, this is what I do for a career…” and we’d chat about our jobs and laugh about how crazy they were at times. I’d then say, “…and since you wanted to know more about me, these are some of my hobbies or things i like to do when I’m not a slave to my job”, and we’d talk about our hobbies and laugh. I tried to be silly and keep a sense of humor to help him feel at ease and that seemed to help out a lot in the flow of our conversation. Towards the end of this meeting, he asked what the upcoming week was like for me and if I wanted to pick a day to get together again.

Whoa dere guy.

While I’ve been on “dates” before where planning a second date came up in conversation (my ex and I actually did this on our first date, but it worked because there was a “spark” and we obviously really liked one another), it usually seemed more natural and was obvious that both parties sincerely felt a connection. I didn’t really feel that with him. Not that I didn’t like him, it just seemed a little difficult at first to get a steady conversation going. Being a bit shy (at times) and introverted, I can understand and I figured perhaps he’d be different the second time around so I decided to take him up on his offer. He walked me back to my car, we hugged and said goodbye. We texted back and forth that evening over random memes and jokes that we both referenced in conversation, but that was it. So last night, I’m minding my own grown ass business, when I get a text from him…

Hey, sorry I’m just getting to say hello to you today. Work has been insane. But hey, much later after our date, I realized that you remind me of my ex and I’m looking for something different, so I’m going to cancel Thursday. I’m so sorry.

Srsly?

But no, you’re not “sorry”, you’re rude, reckless and indecisive and here’s why:

So you mean to tell me, he asked for my number, he asked me out, he dictated where we went and when he changed those plans last minute, he stammered through two hours worth of conversation (where he had us out in the bitter ass cold), he asked for a second date and proceeded to plan it while still on our first date and he realized AFTER everything, that I reminded him of his EX?!!

Ok, first of all, if I went on a date with someone who, “reminded me of my ex”, I probably would have picked up on it pretty quickly. Second of all, so as long as the person didn’t have the negative qualities of my ex, I probably wouldn’t care that much, because in the big grand scheme of things, I don’t have an issue with him as a person (well ok, so  maybe other exes I might have a problem with, but still). Third of all, that’s just a really rude and flighty thing to do to someone…Like, WHO RAISED YOU?, but I digress.

Be a better person than this guy in 2018. Please.

I doubt it would have went anywhere anyway and if I’m being 100% honest, I was really just being nice for the sake of being nice. I didn’t see a connection there. It’s just the principle behind it though that’s kind of annoying.

Ha. I started to reply to his text, but then didn’t. It’s a waste of energy really? I’m trying to do this thing in 2018 where I don’t entertain anything that interrupts my peace. I can’t even really get mad about this because it’s literally the most silly and ridiculous thing I’ve had to deal with all year (a smooth 9 days in).

So there you have it. I guess I’m in this silly thing again. Boy, do I have tons of “exciting adventures” to look forward to 🙃. Can’t wait…