“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.

 

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Here Comes Goodbye…

I took a miniature family vacation this past weekend. Obviously as an adult I don’t vacation with my family too often, but every so often we’ll link together for a short weekend getaway. This weekend’s venture was to an amusement park, which just so happened to be in the same city blast from the past lives in. I’ve admittedly been a bit “distant”  both physically and emotionally in our friendship over the past few months (part of this was due to dealing with heartache), but I figured I’d use the quick weekend trip as a way for us to link over dinner or drinks.

We made plans for dinner Saturday night. The hotel my family and I were staying in was about four blocks from his condo in downtown, so he promised to swing by to pick me up. I opted not to stay with him this trip due the obligations of “family time”. I figured we could always do the hanging out thing another weekend when I visited the city solo, right?

His camaro pulled up about 7 p.m. in front of the hotel, I hoped in (freshly showered and all dolled up) and we were off to dinner. We small talked (as we usually do) on the journey over…about gas prices, the weather, our jobs, etc. Typical chit chat. We arrived at dinner on the other side of the city around 7:30–a classy-ish sports bar decorated with photos of the historic sites of the city. We’d been to this spot a couple of times together, but this time just felt different and I couldn’t put my finger on why.

We immediately dived into conversation shortly after sitting down. He seemed to be a semi chatty mood, which isn’t always the case when we’re together. He updated me on his family: his sister’s pregnancy, his cousin’s (who also lives in town) engagement, his dad’s numerous cross country trips now that he’s retired, etc. All seemed well with them (mostly). Throughout the conversation he kept bringing up Denver and how in visiting his father (who splits his time between Denver/Aspen and Miami), he’s grown to love skiing. Cool story, bro. He must have rambled on about this for nearly fifteen minutes before asking had I ever been to Denver and had I ever been skiing?

We laughed as I painted a picture of me stumbling down a mountain and breaking every bone in my body.

Falling down a mountain.gif

 

Highly amused, he smiled and said:

You should come to Denver sometime.

His words seemed a bit off putting. I wasn’t sure if he meant visiting in general or going there with him when he visits his father. Once upon a time ago when we dated, he constantly brought up bringing me home to meet his family, but of course over the course a year, those plans never quite came together (I did end up meeting his mother when she came to town to visit on his birthday weekend, though). Why would they now as friends? I learned to stop taking guys seriously when they say shit like that.

I don’t know anyone in Denver…but I guess I could visit at some point. Let me know when you go there next and maybe we can coordinate.

I figured that was the end of the Denver conversation, but he kept going on about it. He talked about the economy, the sales tax (or lack thereof?), the weather, the public transportation, the frequency and cost of flights from here to there. He wouldn’t get off of it.

You’re probably wondering why I keep bringing up Denver, huh?

A bit sauced, I chuckled and told him that no, I really WASN’T wondering why he kept bringing up Denver. Like with everything else, I just assumed he was just rambling…but that’s when shit got real serious.

That’s because I’m moving there.

Surprisingly my first reaction was genuine happiness for him.

That’s great, I’m so happy for you! That’s so exciting 🙂

And truth be told, I was happy for him. This was huge for his career! He went on to explain how he had put his condo up for sale, how he was flying out the following weekend to look for houses, how he had already decided what moving company he was going to use and even how he was transporting his precious camaro instead of driving it the 18 hours cross country. His words kind of trailed off as I started to slowly process everything he was saying. I watched his lips move as I tuned him out. I asked how long he knew and he told me the news was relatively new. About two weeks. He explained how he felt that he “owed it to me” to break the news in person, instead of over the phone. Funny thing is, we’ve been in semi frequent communication over the past few weeks…

I start my new job July 1st. You should visit.

I mentally checked out shortly after the news broke. It was all fairly bittersweet. While happy for him, it dawned on me that he was moving. Across the fucking country. This would drastically change the dynamic of our already strained friendship for sure. Granted, we had already been through this song and dance one other time before. Shortly after we broke up–maybe not even a full month, he accepted a job in the city he lives in now (about 2.5 hrs west of here). At the time, I wanted him gone out of anger. Whatever. Good riddance. I didn’t want to run into him and see his face, He cheated and the last thing I wanted to do was be associated with him. I wanted him out of my life for good and what better way to get closure than for him to move away.

We didn’t talk much between our breakup, his new job announcement and actual move. Those weeks leading up to him leaving were all kind of a blur as I was processing the demise of our relationship and attempting to move on. I did do him the favor of helping him pick up his uhaul for the move, but I left my good deeds at that. He moved, I wrote him out of my life and for the better part of 4-5 months he was the one attempting to initiate any sort of contact or friendship. I made very little effort with him. I eventually let go of my anger and slowly (at a safe distance) decided to welcome him in as a friend again. But only as a friend and on my terms. His relationship with the girl he cheated on me with fizzled out not even 2 months after he moved (which is not surprising since it was long distance). He hasn’t dated or been in a relationship since (at least nothing serious). Fastforward five years, a move, several dates/situationships/boyfriends later and we’ve managed to remain friends and through all of that, he’s now moving across the fucking country.

Our ride back to downtown was quiet. I was still brewing on his move and how those last few moments of silence would probably be the last time we saw one another for a while. Sure, I could visit or he could visit, but plane tickets are not cheap. I don’t have $300 just sitting around waiting to be spent. We already barely see one another 4 times a year and we live about 300 hundred miles away in the same damn state. What would cross country look like? Am I ready to accept that, that could be the end of it?

As he pulled up to my hotel I stressed to him the importance of keeping in touch and being fucking responsive. He’s admittedly really shitty at that (probably THE WORST at it), which makes maintaining any sort of normal friendship with him difficult at times, especially long distance. The crazy thing is, he genuinely (in person) seems to want me in his life. Anyway, he promised he would keep in touch, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m not counting on it and I refuse to be the only one making an effort.

He gave me a long hug goodbye and that was that. That was it. As he drove off, I became a bit angry as I realized I was robbed out of a proper goodbye. He essentially knew he was moving and failed to tell me this prior to this weekend. I was blindsided. Had I known he was moving, I would have made more of an effort to rearrange my weekend to spend more time with him.

good bye

Instead, we spent our last moments in a sports bar, downing warm beers and making empty promises. What a crock of shit.

This situation (for me) has been emotionally complex. While I no longer feel romantic feelings towards him, we’ve become good friends and I’ve grown used to him being around. It’s taken many years to get to the point where we’ve even been able to be good friends (he’s actually at times referred to me as his “best friend”).  I’ve taken it for granted that I could just shoot down the road three hours for the weekend for a temporary “get away” if I needed it and now even that’ll be gone. In the grand scheme of things whether he’s a 3 hour car ride or a 4 hour plane ride away, he’s still away and has been so for almost five years.

I really hate goodbyes, especially rushed ones. I’m going to have to accept the possibility that we’ll probably lose touch eventually. Life (as it always has a way of doing) will get in the way and soon we’ll shoot each other annual “happy birthday” texts and that’ll be it.

 

I’m A Mess.

I’ve had my head in the clouds lately. Sometimes it’s just easier to live my life in this alternative fantasy world where MOST things make sense than to trudge through my actual reality which at times has become strenuous, confusing and an overall mess. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching my life unfold as as a spectator and all I can do is just look on in total disbelief.

Dr. strange

I do this a lot when I don’t want to face the hard truth of things, like how what I want romantically isn’t actually syncing up with what I’m saying and actually doing at the moment.

I had dinner the other night with some of my female friends that I’ve grown fairly fond of in the past few months. I don’t have a great deal of “good” female friends, but these chicks get me. There was no special occasion, just simply getting together to catch up without the guys (mutual friends and baes).

The appearance of one of my friends in the group has been a bit more sparse lately due to her recently getting in a relationship. We’ve all met her guy a time or two and we all “approve” of him for now. He treats her well and she seems happy. While she didn’t occupy a great deal of time talking about him at our dinner, the times she did (briefly) mention him, she looked so happy and that made my entire evening. While I found myself genuinely being happy for my friend, I couldn’t help but to wonder what exactly am I doing with my life? My friend has been seeing her now boyfriend for about the same amount of time that I’ve been dating BF, which definitely hit me like a ton of bricks the other night as I thought about that…

Should I be at that stage? Do I want that? Do I even want that with BF specifically? Eh…

Tune in on next week’s episode of Issa situation…to find out!

For a few weeks now, I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that I want something more out of these interactions I’ve been having. Sure, several months ago (freshly off of heartbreak), I wasn’t interested in anything of substance or long term. My last relationship (I feel) moved entirely too fast in that general direction without allowing me a lot of time to truly assess or even process how I felt or what I even wanted. The period of time between our initial stages of getting to know each other and full blown relationship was super condensed and blurred. It felt like I was watching a car accident in slow motion the entire time and I kept waiting to feel the impact, but was powerless to stop it.

 

Car accident gif

I distinctly remember very early in approaching the entire thing logically and keeping my distance emotionally, but eventually the pool of absurdness and infatuation creeped up on me. It was mostly about how my ex felt, what he wanted and I just joined him along on the whirlwind of a ride because I genuinely liked spending time with him as a person. I found myself mostly doing things he wanted to do or doing things for him instead of for myself, but I wanted to because he was kind and  nurturing. It was like someone took all of the things I strive to be to others and threw it into this guy. He’s probably the nicest and most genuine person I’ve met, but he’s just not “my person”. I felt uneasy during 95% of the relationship because I felt out of control. He was the driver and I could see we were heading full speed ahead towards a cliff, but I felt I needed to balls up and push through because I had, “made a commitment” to be in the relationship (even though it felt slightly forced and rushed). He was the kind of boyfriend that wanted to show off our relationship to the world and told everyone in his life about me in explicit detail very shorty after we met and started dating. Meanwhile, I was more quiet and kept him and the details of our affairs on a “need to know basis” until I felt I was ready to disclose it (my mother found out we were in a relationship by stalking him on FB, since I gave very little details about the “guy I was dating”). The entire thing gave me emotional whiplash (and left me black and blue) after plummeting down that cliff, so after dusting myself off, I decided I wanted to ease back into the “dating pool” in a very casual, non-commitment kind of way and I wanted to take total control over that. Never again did I want to go through that whirlwind BS. I wanted to approach dating from more of an, “maybe I need to date around to figure out what I want”, or “I just want to have fun getting to know someone without the expectation or assumption that we’ll get married someday” perspective.

Simple, right?

On paper, yes…but IRL, dating can be a bit more complex than that at least as time moves on. You fall into habits. Your interests intertwines. You experience things together, but feelings aren’t necessarily stagnant and nothing is promised. Initially things sort of went my way and all was right with the world. I was having my cake and eating it too. I was dating, but not formally feeling required to commit. It was all fun. It was freeing. I had the benefit of doing all of these quasi-relationship things, but on my own terms and with very little responsibility. It was exhilarating. It was liberating…

Now I’m just a bit bored, jaded and cranky. Mostly cranky, haha. What started out as being a lot of lighthearted fun has now become a bit of chore and at times an annoyance and a huge time suck. I don’t particularly find myself being overly excited about any of it anymore, at least not for the reasons I should be. It just interferes with other things that I’d prefer to be doing. It’s become a task that I feel like I need to check off of my “to-do list”. I also find myself being legitimately exasperated if we’re not physically intimate each time we’re together ESPECIALLY if we’re over my place. I’ve never been this person before. Yikes.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like BF or he’s not a great guy (at times a bit silly and a bit reckless, but means well), but any time I try to place him in the role of someone I could see myself actually working towards something more with, the image doesn’t really translate in the way that it should and I get agitated. I’m not sure if he’d jive well with my friends (maybe he would), I’m not sure what my parents would think about him (my dad hates every guy I date–). I don’t know how he’d take knowing that I have anxiety and bouts of depression, I don’t even know if he’d have the patience to understand that sometimes I just need my space and that it’s not personal. It’s like he has the potential to be all of these things, but I would need to trust that he’d take it seriously and trust that I won’t go through the trying experience I went through before. I’m on the defense, like a wounded animal at times, but I hide it all under the facade of being carefree, sweet, charming and “content”. I don’t need anyone, I tell myself, because I don’t. I’m fine on my own, but the idea of having someone there, isn’t necessarily off putting.

I’m that cool chick that doesn’t nag to you about trivial shit. I’m agreeable. I’m easy. I’m not “emotional” (HA), I get it.  I’m like one of the guys…but…you see where this is going, haha. He has no idea any of this is going on in my head, but then again, he’s a smart guy, I’m sure he’s aware that something’s brewing in there. I’m just not sure I feel the level of (emotional) intimacy with him (or anyone right now) to reveal my vulnerability in that way, without appearing weak or needy. Essentially, I’m using our physical intimacy as a replacement for all of that, because who has time for emotions? Who has time to have a soul? No one wants to talk about that uncomfortable shit. It drowns out the conversations we should be having. Our silences, grins, embraces and sounds of satisfaction fill in those gaps. I seek out reasons to be “annoyed” with his actions (some are justified though), to lessen my lukewarm admiration for him, so that I have the upper hand, so that I can back out of this at any time without remorse or regret or too many losses…so that I’m in control.

Jesus. I just psychoanalyzed myself. I’m a mess.

img_5818

Other friends of mine (without fully understanding the finer details of our interactions because I intentionally gloss over talking about BF in a lot of detail–some of them have just now learned his first name) have decided that he’s “practically” my boyfriend based off of “time in”. No, no, no, it doesn’t work that way. Like, at. all. That’s not how any of this works.

I thought about this yesterday evening as we linked up. We had been making plans to see Infinity War for the better part of a week and decided to meet after work (midway between our jobs) to check it out. Even though this would make my third time seeing it, I really wanted to see it with him because he had been excited about it for some time. He paid for our tickets, held my hand, asked about my day, made little jokes to make me laugh….all of those cute little date effects. While, I’m not crazy about movie dates and I’m even less crazy about formalized WEEK night dates, it was good to see him. It’s been about a week and a half since we’ve seen each other due to work, traveling and other obligations and part of dating I guess, is maintaining that momentum of…well…seeing each other? I guess at least we’ve been in touch daily? But is that necessary? If I suddenly decided not to respond to his messages today, would he notice? Would this trigger alarm for him? Would he care to know that I was “ok”?

Obviously, since we were seeing a movie, we were’t able to talk much (outside of before and after), so none of my ridiculous thoughts came up. We small talked mostly (about our work days, the weather, the themes of the movie, being tired…) I just attributed my serious composure to being tired (I was actually very tired). He walked me to my car and  embraced me for a while, before calling it a night to head back to his place to get ready for bed.

Wow. This was much longer than I anticipated…

All in all what it boils down to is that I was burned and while I’ve licked most of my wounds and moved on from it, I’m hell bent on never repeating that situation again. How stupid could I have been? The idea of a genuine relationship seems appealing, but scares me all at the same time. It’s a lot to risk. There are all the what ifs. While I’d eventually like to work towards a relationship, I’m definitely not ready for one now. The trouble is, I’m not sure if the guy I’m dating is “my person” or even the person that I want to work with in moving towards a relationship. I need to figure out what’s more important to me in this moment: Doing casual, quasi-relationship things with someone fun and carefree without responsibility for my actions (or responsibility for his) or starting over again and seeking out a more embedded and complex connection with someone new with the specific intentions of long term, but with the understanding (for them) that it won’t happen overnight.

Hmm…

Mechanical

I feel like I’ve been going through my love life very mechanically lately. Somewhere along the way I’ve completely removed myself emotionally from it and it’s like I’m watching myself on autopilot go on these little adventures.

I initially approached all of this with a half-assed purpose, but that would require me to have a well thought out “end game”….So now I’m sort of meandering….

Take for instance Babyface. I’m halfway between wanting to better “define” who he even is to me and keeping him at a far enough away distance to be a semi frequent romantic companion as needed. I very rarely even mention him to friends, at least not specifically and not by name. He’s just this guy that I’m “seeing” for “however many weeks it’s been” (I haven’t been keeping count). I don’t know what that means or if I should even care enough to figure out what that means and why I feel that way. Who cares? After all, I’m not really after a “boyfriend”. I’m enjoying my “freedom”…Maybe I’m allowed to just let everything “be” and just enjoy myself in the moment for once.

Our interactions at times can be shapeless, but other times, wildly colorful and passionate like an abstract painting. Verbally (and particularly in text), he can be listless (but at times silly), but makes up for it affection-wise. I like that when we’re together we’re intertwined like the absurd Pisces fish symbol that we are, but I also like that we can swim solo while still staying (regularly) connected.

It’s weird, but a safe place for me to be right now. I’m definitely not ready to commit to anyone or anything. I still have whiplash from before.

There are days where I miss having a boyfriend (in the most general sense, not my ex specifically), like the other day after oral surgery where I was acting like a woman child because half of my face was numb, I was drooling uncontrollably and I was in too much pain to think hard enough about what “soft foods” to make myself for dinner. I briefly thought to the past about how I might have been taken care of. Given soup and maybe an ice pack and a salt water wash. I probably would have been scolded for not keeping the gauze in my bloody mouth and put to bed early (tucked in tightly) because pain medicine knocks me the fuck out fairly quickly and I say wild and off the wall shit before doing so.

Anyway, we have date plans Saturday. Dinner and a comedy show and probably some adventurous stuff later. I finally stopped feeling sore from previously. Should be fun. He’s always great company and should cheer me up from this medicated funk I’ve found myself in.

My apologies. I wrote this while heavily medicated and now I’m going to bed.

All joking aside, today is about to be the toughest day of all. I’ve seriously been dreading today for weeks 🙁.

2017 Candle

My best friend gave this candle to me on NYE and told me to light it every time I thought of bad memories from 2017.

The candle is almost gone.

’tis all.

The most compassionate and loving thing you can do for me right now is to trust that I’ll be ok and stop asking me how I “feel” (because if you truly cared, we would’t even be in this situation).

More to come on this later…