A Pre-Proposal?

Yesterday, post some fun activities, The Teacher (as he’s been doing for a few weeks now) playfully removed my ring from my right ring finger. He jokingly pretended he was going to throw it across the room or intentionally lose it. My response to this silliness has simply been:

If you lose it, just make sure to buy me another one.

Except this time, he didn’t just hand it back.

You seem to really like this ring. Is that what you want? Another ring for Christmas?

At this point in the conversation, I wasn’t entirely sure what definition of “ring” he was really referring to. His tone seemed to be a bit more serious than previously, so was he referring to THE ring?

I nervously laughed and just said,

sure–I’d like a ring for Christmas, if that’s what you feel like buying.

He smiled and agreed to add it to his mental Christmas list for me, but then continued on to say:

…But I was planning on giving you ANOTHER type of ring around our anniversary.

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I remember turning over slightly to look him in the eyes to see if hew as serious (I was previously laying my head on his chest).

Oh? Is that so? And just what TYPE of ring?

He smiled and went into this explanation on how he had been planning on giving me a ring (THE ring) a few months from now because it will mark our 2 year anniversary and what better way to celebrate our commitment to one another and to move to the next level in our relationship than to get engaged.

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I was admittedly a bit taken aback and apologized if I spoiled what I assumed was something he wanted to be a surprise. He claimed that the “act/event” of giving me the ring itself would still be a “surprise”, but that he wanted to inform me several months in advance because he wanted to know my ring preferences. Admittedly, outside of the fashion rings I occasionally wear, I’ve really never thought about it and I’ve especially not discussed my ring preferences with him at any point.

I’m both shocked and relieved, if that’s even possible. Lately, I’ve had a bit of the marriage mouse nipping at me and reminding me how everyone and their brother has been getting married and having babies and I’m not getting any younger (social media is to blame for that). Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with the state of my current relationship, but sometimes an overload of those life events can get in your head. I’ve very recently (maybe in the past few weeks) started to think about what it would be like to be married to The Teacher and now I realistically get to put real thought into it. Like, will I change my last name? Where would we get married? Who would we invite? I’m almost afraid to get excited about it, so maybe I’ll pull back on all of that for right now.

I’m also surprised that he just flat out told me that he plans to propose specifically “around” our anniversary…which is in four months! The anticipation of that moment is now going to eat away at me for the next few months. I also feel kind of weird picking out a ring (though I appreciate him considering my opinion, since he said, “you’re the one that will be wearing it after all” ). How do I even do that? Do we do that together? Do I go alone to a store? Do I just google images online and text/email them to him? Are pre-proposals even a thing? Do couples sort of alert one another that they plan to propose, but a few weeks or months down the road? Granted, we’ve discussed that we both believe in marriage and that we’d hypothetically like to be married (someday), but until last night, nothing was ever explicitly said about the specifics.

All I know is, I at least have some heads up about it and can plan accordingly–i.e. I can make sure I don’t look a raggedy mess when the time comes and I can make sure to have my nails done. Will I still be shocked though? I suppose I’d be shocked regardless.

Life Has Been Grand

I can’t believe it’s been six months since I last blogged! I guess life just got away from me these past few months and I didn’t make it a point to slow down and update it.

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For the most part, life has been good. There have been several changes and additions to my life that I feel very comfortable with.

Home Sweet Home

Living with The Teacher, has been amazing so far and we’ve managed to compromise and create routines to keep us both happy and engaged in the experience of sharing a home. For example, we make it a point to have dinner together every night unless one of us is out of town. Regardless of how busy or tired we are, we always sit down over dinner to spend time together. We also make a point to have at least one formal date night (in the sense that we’re specifically going out or staying in with the purpose of spending dedicated and uninterrupted time together)

We have also done well with tending to our “alone time” for hobbies and decompression. With The Teacher, his “alone time” is usually spent playing video/computer games, reading and grading, while mine has been binge watching shows that I know he has no interest in, taking walks and on very rare occasions, writing.

We’ve definitely grown a lot as a couple over the past six months and I look forward to growth continuing.

New Ride

After months…well, YEARS of living in fear of being stranded during my long-ish commutes, I finally bought a new (to me) suv It’s a Candy Apple Red 2017 RAV4 SE with black leather seats and a sunroof. It’s been a pretty fun suv so far and I’ve wanted one for a few years now. I purchased the RAV4 on somewhat of an impulse on a random Monday I took off from work for rest and relaxation. I had been casually researching suvs online and came across the RAV4 in my search. It was reasonably priced and had all the features I was looking for, so I drove 45 minutes out of town to test drive it and ended up buying it. I initially told no one that I bought it until I pulled into the driveway to surprise The Teacher with the news later that afternoon. He was quite surprised, especially since he had been nagging me to buy a new car over the past year.

Mental/Sexual Health

I’ve had some ups and downs over the last few months mental health wise, but I’ve started to pay more attention to my triggers and have found healthier ways to distress (like reading, writing, walking, resting). For instance, I’ve made it a point to take at least 2-3 days off per calendar month and so far, I’ve done well with that promise to myself, which has given me some much needed mental breaks from the chaos that is my job. I try to make it a point to have at least one of the 2-3 days spent doing very little planned activities. I’ve primarily tried to make it a point to stay at home and relax when I can.

My sexual health has been a tad bit better lately as I think my hormones night be trying to settle down (fingers crossed). I still find myself spotting more than I’d like (which is annoying), having the occasional and unexplained mood swings, cramps and occasional breakouts, but I’ve learned to live with them and have adjusted some of my self care routines to address some of the side effects. The peace of mind knowing that the probability of an unplanned pregnancy is highly unlikely, seems to set me straight whenever I get discouraged by the side effects (especially because we weren’t being careful early on). I will say that it worries me a bit that when it comes time to remove the implant (in a little over two years), will I struggle to conceive (should I want to), because I’ll have hit the age of being considered a “geriatric pregnancy” and complications will ensue.

Bonding and Family Acceptance

Over the past six months, I’ve been able to spend more time with getting to know the Teacher’s family. I’ve grown to really like them and from what I can tell, they seem to enjoy my company as well, which is a relief. About a year ago, I was nervously on my way to meet his father for the first time and now we’re on a first name basis. About two weeks ago, we spent the weekend with his mom and I really got to spend a lot of one on one time with her, which was lovely.

The Teacher has also spent more time with my parents and even came with me to a mini family reunion on my mom’s side of the family around The 4th of July. My family was very welcoming to him and he seemed to genuinely have a great time. I know meeting someone’s extended family can be particularly scary, because you really have no way of knowing (or controlling) how they’ll feel about you.

The Future

Lately, we’ve been invited to or involved with numerous milestones from friends. Weddings, Bachelor/Bachelorette Showers, Baby Showers, Engagement Parties, etc. For each milestone, it sort of makes me wonder what reaching those milestones might be like or if it’s too soon for me to even consider thinking about them. There was a time where I couldn’t realistically envision any of those things happening to me, but now they seem somewhat attainable.

Recently, The Teacher has shown a heightened interest in a ring that I wear infrequently on my right ring finger. The ring is silver and a bit on the plain side. Each time I wear it, he’ll comment on it, remove it from my hand and examine it closely. Sometimes he’ll playfully toss it around, which has made me warn him not to lose it. His response, “Well, I’ll buy you (another) one”. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but he rarely shows interest in the other jewelry I wear–even pieces that he’s given me. This also isn’t the first time I’ve worn rings, I’ve worn them here and there since we’ve been together.

Update : My speculations were true! Last night, The Teacher told me that he plans to give me “another kind of ring” around our anniversary (in four months). His reasoning? He says the two year mark seems like the perfect time. He also said he wasn’t really going to keep his plans a surprise much longer because he needs my help on selecting the right ring 💍 .

Welp, hopefully I do a little better about blogging and less time stuck in la-la land.

 

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.

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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.

 

That time I decided to be grossly sentimental

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away. This year has just flown by. There have been both GOOD and not such great times, but it’s been a YEAR, that’s for sure.

Because I was emotionally incapacitated this time last year and literally did everything in my power to NOT be in the Christmas spirit (bah-hum bug), I’ve been trying to “make up for lost time” this year. Plus, being in a happy and healthy relationship has pushed me into being a bit more in the holiday spirit than usual. It’s nice to have someone there to share all the little sappy holiday season things with.

In my usual over the tap manner, I decided I needed to do something super sentimental leading into December. On our Thanksgiving stroll (last month), The Teacher happened to mention that growing up, his family had an advent calendar. He went on the explain how excited him and his sister usually were each day they got to unwrap a little treat as they found themselves one day closer to Christmas and how he “missed those days”.

So insert a mental health day off and several hours later, I created an advent calendar for him (for this year). I loaded it with his favorite treats, a Christmas trivia fact (and answer) for each day (he’s a HUGE trivia fan) and a “what I like about you” statement for each day (things that he probably already knows I like about him, but things I wanted to emphasize).

 

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I made the calendar out of a hanging shoe storage thing (bought it new–would not have used a “used” one for this)

 

advent calendar contents

Each day includes a small treat (candy for some days, airplane bottles on Saturdays (of his favorite liquors), socks on Fridays, full sized candy on Sundays), 1 Christmas themed trivia question with an answer (because he loves trivia) and 1 “What I like about you/something you do” card. Every single thing about this calendar and its contents was VERY calculated and carefully thought out.

 

calendar edited

He’s standing in front of the calendar the night I gave it to him. Upon receiving the calendar, he immediately hung it up. He seemed genuinely touched.  He was very excited (but I intentionally cut out his face). Because we had plans after he put up the calendar, I didn’t get to take a photo until we got back later that night. I made him take this photo IMMEDIATELY after he hopped out of the shower–haha.

Since receiving the calendar, he’s mentioned how excited he’s been each day to get up and open up his treat bag, which makes my heart smile.

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In addition to candy on Fridays, he also receives socks. He’s mentioned that he liked Batman a lot as a kid (and maybe a little now as an adult).

But one of the more touching things from the advent calendar has been knowing that he’s been saving all of the cards/facts from each day and remembers what each card says and will reference them in conversation. Some of the trivia cards are actually Christmas related facts about me that he may not know (like my favorite Christmas movie (Christmas Vacation), favorite Christmas song (This Christmas – Donny Hathaway, etc) and he’s actually remembering these things!

What I like about you cards

His collection of cards and box of candy from the other day. My handwriting is terrible LOL

For me, so as long as each treat bag brings a smile to his face, I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do (to spread Christmas joy and to remind him of how very special he is to me).

And maybe the calendar has helped, because prior to the calendar, he didn’t seem particularly concerned with being in the Christmas spirit. Wasn’t concerned about a tree, putting up decorations or hanging up cards he’s received.

Christmas table

The “Christmas table” (at his place — I actually have a tree up at my place–well, until my cat decides to knock it over, I guess)

He still doesn’t have an ACTUAL tree, but now at least has a “Christmas table” with decorations, cards and our wrapped gifts to one another that we plan on exchanging in a few days. Baby steps!

I have to say, that out of all of the cheesy shit that I’ve done, this has probably been my favorite. It was a fun project and a creative way to show The Teacher that I care.

Blending & Meshing

The last few weeks have been amazing, but ridiculously busy.

When I last wrote, I was just getting back from a business trip and preparing myself to meet The Teacher’s parents and attend a wedding as his “plus 1”. I’m happy to report that while I had some minor anxiety going into it, all went well. I wasn’t quite sure really what to expect with his family (dad and step mom). Our conversations about his dad  were never overly specific. He’d mention things about his dad here and there (how he was retired from the military, enjoyed art, liked to cook, prided himself on yard work, was possibly at one point a hippie), but never anything super specific to paint a clear and defined picture of him. I had no idea what he even looked like or if the Teacher even resembled his dear old dad (he did slightly and their mannerisms were similar).  I felt like I needed to go into the situation overly prepared to make a GOOD impression, so in my usual “over the top” manner, I baked for him as a “thank you” for his hospitality.

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Our initial meeting was super abbreviated because we were running late for a rehearsal dinner about twenty minutes away from his dad’s house, but it went well. His dad and step-mom greeted me with open arms and were very appreciative of the baked goods (that I baked during a passing low grade hurricane the night before with flickering power). To my surprise, his dad and step-mom “set BOTH of us up” in his childhood bedroom. While we’re both in our 30s and have technically been dating about 8 months now, have traveled together and we definitely have “sleep overs” a few times a week, it still weirded me out to share a room–a bed with him in his family’s home…next door to his dad and step mom’s room. We later had some of the most mind blowing love making later that night (in said room), but very quietly (not that either one of us is usually loud anyway). That was wildly adventurous, to say the least.

Overall, the wedding and wedding festivities went over well. Many of his college friends were there, so it was nice to meet and hangout with them. They all seemed very welcoming. I also bonded (even more) with his two best friends’ wife and fiancee (now also wife!). It’s been a little while since I’d been to a wedding, but even longer since I’ve gone with an actual date. Like a legit, I’m with this person, date. But it was nice. It seemed like the majority of the guests there (young and old) were either married or in relationships.

During the wedding, The Teacher was fairly affectionate. I wasn’t sure if this was because he was feeling overly sentimental (due to the occasion) or simply because he felt like publicly making it known that we were an item, either way, I enjoyed the attention. We got to slow dance, which typically shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but we’ve never had the opportunity to slow dance (because both of us admit to not being great at dancing), as I mentioned prior to getting on the dance floor. In conversations since, we realized that he thought I said, “I’ve never danced“, instead of what I actually said, “We’ve never danced“. Ha, would have been a bit awkward had I never danced before.

During the times that we danced, it was as if the world around us disappeared and we were in our own little world.

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In keeping with the theme of the weekend it seemed, locking eyes for too long made my heart race a mile a minute, my face flush and butterflies flutter in my stomach with excitement. I felt a similar spark during the rehearsal and wedding while locking eyes with him while the bride and groom said their vows. Since he was part of the groomsmen and facing the audience, it was hard not to look at him, but every time our eyes locked I became a bit overwhelmed with emotion and would eventually look down or away while blushing. He called me out on it later and I made up the excuse that I didn’t want to “distract” him from his groomsmen duties.

I’ll keep it 100 (if the kids still say that now a days), the real reason I kept cutting my eyes after feeling all of warm and fuzzies is because the entire weekend, the entire reason for us even being there was to celebrate the love and union of one of his best friends and his now wife and In addition to the wedding, I was also meeting his family for the first time and many of his dear college friends who he’s very close to. The fact that all of these very important people in his life had been SO loving and accepting of me, just consumed me with emotion (and I tend to not display my emotions on the outside). On top of all of those gooey feelings, I’ve been processing the fact that I do indeed love him. Yes, I said it. I do love him and I have for some time now, I just haven’t said it.

I love him when he gives me forehead kisses while I fall asleep during some random netflix show we’ve (he’s) decided to watch. I love him when he’s being a sleepy head and will still be knocked the fuck out at damn near noon like he’s not a whole ass adult with actual responsibilities, I love him when he’s rambling off random useless trivia, I love him when he speaks passionately about teaching, I love him when he’s grouchy from lack of said sleep (or work), I love him when he’s silly, when he’s happy, when he’s annoyed, when he’s nervous, when he’s afraid, I just love him overall.

Without even realizing it at first, he’s literally everything I’ve ever wanted and didn’t realize I needed. He checks all of the boxes. He’s been nothing but warm and kind and patient with me the entire time we’ve been together, even when I truly didn’t deserve it and was being a fucking idiot. I get a little overwhelmed emotionally when I think about him, our relationship in general and just how much I genuinely care so much about him. Flaws and all. He’s an amazing person and it takes a one of a kind guy to put up with my foolishness.

I guess my hesitation in saying those three little words is that I’ve tried to really take my time with this relationship and truly let it grow organically. It’s so easy to rush into things only to crash and burn before you even know what hit you (Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, for example). I felt that with my last relationship (the aftermath was so unbelievably painful) and I wanted this one to be truly meaningful and so far it has been. If you had told me a year ago or even 6-8 months ago that I’d be in this situation, I wouldn’t have believed it. While neither one of us has really point blank said those three words I think we’ve both talked around them either through actions or other creative phrases to make it known. Perhaps like me, he’s afraid to take that “leap”. Here is an  example of me talking around the word “Love” from this morning while he was asleep (“Oliver” is my cat, btw–and he likes to climb on both of us in the morning when it’s time for his feeding):

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All in all the wedding weekend and meeting his family went well. His parents seemed to like me and I was able to have several bonding moments with them between all of the chaos of the wedding. His dad even sat down with me and showed me every school photo of him from pre-K through his senior year of high school. It was sweet.

So fast forward to this weekend in the theme of mixing and mingling of friends and family…I finally introduced the Teacher to one of my best friends (that I’ve known since high school and probably knows more about the Teacher than anyone else in my life via our conversations about him). We met over dinner Friday night and both got along really well. The best friend approves of the Teacher, although the first thing he asked him when he met The Teacher was what did he do for a career?

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I also finally introduced him to my parents, which has been a long time coming, since they technically live locally (about 30 miles west). For weeks I had been tossing around the idea of a meeting, but timing never seemed to quite work out because we’ve both been busy being together. I finally opted for brunch today (as the teacher and I usually do brunch anyway after spending a Saturday night together) and my parents and I usually do lunch or dinner or Sundays. Two birds, one stone. During our time together last night, the Teacher admitted to being “mildly nervous” to meet my parents and referenced the entire event as “doing the parent thing”. I guess that’s natural because well, they’re the people that BIRTHED me and making a bad impression on them could potentially not go over well (with me, maybe). I could certainly relate though as I felt the same anxiety the weekend before. I assured him that while I was indeed bat shit crazy (and he probably knows this), they weren’t too shabby.

Brunch went over well and as I expected my parents really like him (especially my mom). They all seemed to get along just dandy and they didn’t embarrass me too bad or maybe now that I’m in my 30s, and don’t care. I think he made a lovely impression on them, especially considering some of the “things” we were doing right before meeting them for brunch 😉 .

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Well,  I don’t think there are any more introductions this week (because the last month has been saturated with them and quite frankly, I think we’re both a bit drained), but we both promised each other to accompany the other for various social obligations and gatherings with friends throughout the week. Should be a fun filled week…

Settling In…

While life continues to be in a consistent state of chaos daily, I’ve been on vacation (mentally) for the better part of the last week. Blame the odd ball holiday midweek, followed by a day off due to comp time (because I’m salary and don’t get OT), then the weekend two days later and it’s no wonder why I’m checked out.

Aside from work and other personal/family obligations, I can’t really complain. My relationship (still can’t believe I’m saying that) with the Teacher has continued to go well. I find myself learning something new and exciting about him everyday. I’m really enjoying getting to know him (better) and I’m starting to let my guard down a little more each time we interact. I have a bad habit in the early stages of a relationship of being a bit more protective than I should be of my emotions, but maybe this is from getting hurt in past experiences from wearing my heart on my sleeve. Going through these experiences has caused me to be a bit aloof (emotionally) and at times cold. Usually further along into a relationship I’m fairly committed, attentive and invested, but early on I’m very careful about how much I invest emotionally (in case things don’t pan out). Admittedly, I’m somewhat emotional by nature, so I’ve been trying to be more aware of my actions and feelings over the past year or so to gauge my emotions. I have to say that it helps to be with someone who is not only kind and understanding to this, but is also VERY PATIENT. The Teacher hands down has to be the most patient person I’ve ever been with, because I’m a little crazy and out of sorts, yet he’s supportive and rolls with the punches with a smile and makes me feel like I’m not in a constant state of losing my mind. With each passing day I feel more comfortable with him and with our relationship. It feels stable enough to me now that I’ve started to think ahead to introducing him to friends.

Of course, as I mentioned previously, I’m admittedly somewhat of a private person and I haven’t said much (if anything) about him to friends. I just periodically disappear from group outings like a ninja to be with him. I take that back, I have (within the past two weeks) mentioned him several times to one of my best friends, but not in explicit detail. Anyway, while attending a BBQ/pool party this weekend, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to “plant the seed” so to speak and clue them all in. While he was not physically at the gathering with me, it felt freeing to openly talk about him and express concerns/fears I’ve had about introducing him to friends. Most of this is on me and my own wackiness and need for “control”, but some of it is genuine concern that my friends (at times) can be a little intense and I don’t want him to feel overwhelmed.

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My friends were extremely supportive of my reasonings for keeping my mentions of him fairly limited over the past few weeks and told me to incorporate him into the group whenever I felt comfortable. Well, all but one of my friends who literally cornered me aggressively to demand to know WHY I like this guy. I’ll attribute the outburst to him being borderline drunk and perhaps being genuinely surprised that I was in a relationship in the first place. I’ve always had a hunch that this particular friend of mine might have a small crush on me and perhaps his extreme reaction confirmed that. I haven’t addressed this with him since the encounter as I believe he may not even remember doing it if I did mention it.

After opening up about The Teacher to several of my friends I left the party early for our date night. We decided to do a movie out followed by general hanging out post movie over his place. In conversation at some point during the night I referred to myself as his “girlfriend” to which he stopped me to point out what I had said with a smile. Apparently I haven’t done this yet and it meant a lot for him to hear that.

tom cruise happy

We planned on me staying the night because he had invited me to brunch the following morning with his group of friends and it made more sense to stay over than run back to my place to come right back over to his 10 hours later. We’ve had many overnighters, so this wasn’t anything abnormal. One thing that’s been kind of funny about these overnighters (which have primarily happen over at his place) is how he’s “reminded me” that I’m “welcome” to “leave things there” if I wanted. I didn’t really take him seriously the first one or two times he told me and replied jokingly that I’d leave a single tampon on his bathroom counter just to be silly, but he’s mentioned the “leaving things there” bit just about every time I’ve been over since, so I finally stuffed a few necessary toilettree sized items (that he obviously doesn’t have in his bathroom already as a guy) into a toilettree sized bag and intentionally left them on his bathroom counter.

Brunch the following day with his friends went well. I’ve met this group of friends (actually two couples – one married, one engaged) previously, so the initial awkwardness of being introduced to them has mostly faded away. Anyway, we went to a dim sum dumpling place where the waiters served everything on rolling carts. It was trendy, yet overwhelming. I’ve always prided the Teacher on being super sophisticated (he drinks brandy out of actual brandy glasses, I drink bourbon and whiskey out of coffee mugs, plastic cups, whatever I can find really), so I was excited to be introduced to the world of dim sum. I admittedly didn’t eat much mostly because I’m embarrassed to eat with chopsticks (and told him this last week) and I was a little drained from staying up so late the night before. Even through all of that, I made it a point to observe him and his friends as we all sat there. He seemed slightly nervous and a little less talkative, but mostly collected. They all seemed genuinely welcoming to my presence and made sure to include me in on conversations and jokes and of course shared many stories of The Teacher…teachering (goofy things that he’s done or said)…I felt kind of bad because he’s been so open in welcoming me into his friend group sort of soonish while I’ve been a bit more protective of mine, but I’m working on it.

Post brunch, we went over to his friend’s place for a board game afternoon and drinks. His other two friend’s wife and fiancée’ ended up dipping soon after, so it ended up just being me and the guys for a bit. We drank bourbon and scotch and played some overly complicated strategy game that lasted at least two hours. I stuck around shortly after the game ended and eventually made up an excuse to go because I wanted him to spend alone time with his guy friends. It’s hard to truly catch up when you have your girlfriend, wife or fiancée’ hanging around and I get and respect that. I sense that it’s rare that the three of them truly get to hangout sans girls in tow, so they obviously needed that. He apparently ended up hanging out with them for several hours and caught up with me (via text) later on that evening shortly before I went to bed. It makes me happy that he had that time with them.I would never want him to feel like I “had” to accompany him any time he wanted to be with his friends (because I don’t), but I’m also (learning to be) happy to accompany him should he want me TO be there.

This week I have the task of semi coordinating birthday plans for his birthday. In briefly speaking to some of his friends yesterday (while he dipped off to the bathroom) they alluded that he’s fairly apathetic about his own birthday (as I’ve also noticed) and even failed to remind them about it the year before (what kind of friends don’t remember your birthday???). That ends this year! I’ve made it known to him that I’m a “birthday person” and we WILL be celebrating his birthday, especially since it’s a milestone (30). I feel like I’ve taken enough mental notes on things he’s either referenced or left around his place to have an idea of what to get him. Hopefully my hunch is right.

This should be fun!

 

Text w/ The Ex

So when I last wrote, I was scrambling to plan a “home cooked taco dinner” for baby face for when he dropped by my place Saturday for our date. I’m not sure what prompted me to cook for him other than the fact that he’s dropped some serious coins on our dates and I feel guilty. Granted, he’s willingly done this and hasn’t been like one of those guys who looks at me like, “you owe me”. He’s admittedly very southern (born and raised) and maybe that’s just normal to him. I guess I just wanted to be nice and look like I’m trying to make an effort not to be appear to be a mooch or take advantage in any way, even though I’m lazy and hate cooking elaborate things.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the tacos I was going to make and everything I needed from the store when I got off of work, I got a text from my ex. I had to take a double take at my phone at first, because while we aren’t NOT speaking to one another, we haven’t been in consistent communication since the holidays–and at least on my end that’s been fairly intentional. Well, I take that back, we spoke that day he was tailgating me on the way to work, which was a month and a half ago. It was also weird to see a message from him (still have him on mute, so I didn’t actually notice it at first) because I had been thinking about the amazing tacos he used to make and just how I was going to mimic them for Saturday’s dinner/date. It’s like he felt those vibes of me trying to steal his shit.

“Hey there. How are you?” His text read. That’s such a loaded question, ha….but unlike the last time he asked me this question, I could honestly answer that I was doing really well and MEAN IT.

We actively texted back and forth over the course of an hour or so. He told me he had gotten approved for a mortgage loan and was seriously looking to buy a house as soon as he got an offer accepted. He had decided that he wanted to buy a house in need of renovations on the edge of downtown in an up and coming trendy area that’s slowly being gentrified. When he shared the good news with me, I couldn’t help but to be overcome with joy for him. The news genuinely gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside and made my afternoon. I’m so very proud of him because I know this is something he’s wanted to do for a year or more and he’s finally there. All of those long nights and weekends of OT to save up for it paid off.

As we continued to catch up, I couldn’t help but to notice how far I have come over the past few months. I was able to speak to him and feel no emotion or bitterness, just genuine happiness as if I was talking to an old friend.  I am over the moon happy for him. So, so proud.

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The fact that I’ve gotten to the point where I can celebrate in his successes without hate in my heart is HUGE for me. It’s not that I’ve ever “hated” him during the past few months, but there were days where I wasn’t his biggest fan because I was hurt and being emotionally irrational (rightfully so though. I am human). Ha. Particularly when I was CAPS LOCK mad at him back in December (but in my defense I was PMsing and he did drop several bombs on me in that conversation which added fuel to the fire).

Anyway, before our conversation wrapped up, I did cop that taco recipe from him, which he gladly shared, even though I left the details of “why” I was making tacos pretty vague (just said I had an “event” – which isn’t really a lie—an event of getting my back bent and fractured –  lol).

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Even though I’ve gotten to a point where I’m in a better place with how things ended between us, I still don’t care to share details of my love life with him. That’s no longer his business just as I don’t really care to know about his either. So as long as he’s happy with that area of his life, I’ll be happy for him there too.

Welp. The tacos ended up being a big hit, but I’ll save that for another post 😉 .