Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Downside of Growing Up

I've been struggling with writing. I don't know what to write, I don't know what to say. I want so badly to bare my soul and ask for advice, for the collective wisdom of those of you kind souls who take the time to read these little pieces of my life. I feel deceitful if I just post about any old thing, when there are really bigger, more serious things on my mind. But it's not just about me, and I don't know how much to say, don't know how to ask for advice if I can't share the whole story. It's not just my own soul I'd be baring, and I don't have permission to do that.

I mentioned in my last post that the bf and I had a rough week but that I thought we were past it. But we're not. And I'm trying very hard to deal with it. Some things have been blown out of proportion, other things have built up silently over time, a lot of it has to do with us having completely different views on things. My mom calls them love languages. I actually just got off the phone with my mom, we talked about some of what was going on (she knew something was up even before I admitted it). She recommended that I get a copy of The 5 Love Languages, she said I'd be surprised by how much they apply, and it would help with understanding. I'm planning to try to get a copy tomorrow at the library on my way home.

Part of it is that we react to things differently, in addition to having different points of view. And it sucks. I am a very independent person, and I'm incredibly stubborn. The bf is almost as stubborn as I am, so of course we're making this really suck.

And quite honestly, I'm scared. This is my first big, real, serious, significant relationship. This is the first time I've managed to stay any significant amount of time without getting skittish. It's a big step for me. And when the bf was gone and I was home sick with mono, I had time to think. And I realized how scared I was, because I was so attached. I am so attached. And that makes me vulnerable, and that's new for me. And I don't necessarily know how to deal with that. And I pulled back a little bit, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I mean, we haven't even been dating for four months. We've already talked about getting married. And I love him. But I've been realizing more and more that I don't want to rush it. I want to take my time and enjoy the journey. And that means taking it slow. But I know that me not actually verbalizing my feelings (partly because it wasn't an entirely conscious process) just left the bf wondering what was going on. It's just like we're stuck on this wheel, like a hamster getting dizzy, feeding off of each other and blowing things out of proportion and going back and forth and being stubborn.
And we want different things. In such situations I've learned that the bf wants to be holdy and huggy and kissy, and for me, I can't do that. Which is another source of frustration and conflict. (love languages, I really need to read that) But for me, being held when I'm in such a place is confining and caging and it just makes it worse. After things are resolved, it's then that I want to be held. Anything before resolution is just a bandaid for me.

I just don't know what to do. I'm trying to do some reflection and thought, processing things that were said and brought up today. Ultimately I know that we have to (calmly) see where we stand, and if there is a happy middle. And it hurts to think that maybe we won't find that. I love him, more than anything. But I also know that learning these sorts of things is the main purpose of dating. It's testing the waters for compatibility. And sure, not everything will be perfect, but we have to learn if they are imperfections we can live with, or if it's simply not meant to be. It all makes me tired, and I just want it to be over now. I hope that we will talk in the next few days and figure it out (hinging on me being ready) See, I'm not the kind of person you want to react instantly and passionately in the heat of the moment. I'm generally a very calm, rational person. But often times I need to take a step back to evaluate and process before addressing something, and I know the bf doesn't like that wait. I agree that it sucks. But if I had responded to the issues brought up this afternoon in our im chat (yeah, we shouldn't have these conversations on im when we're at work...we're dumb like that...it's hard not to talk about it) if I had responded in the moment to these things, there is a VERY good chance that everything would have ended in that chat window. It may suck to wait, but it's much better than the alternative.

So I just don't know. How far do you compromise? Where do you find the middle ground? When is it too far gone to save? (I don't think we're there though) How much do you give in? These are things I don't know, and I'm learning. This is all very new for me, and unfortunately the bf is subject to experiencing my trial and error, it's a learning process. I just hope it's a learning process we make it through. I don't know. This is not fun. Can I please skip this part of growing up?


MamaGeek said...

Did you change the blog? LOVE IT

And I so feel this post. Somehow I don't think there is one perfect answer my friend.

Gramma Ann said...

Sometimes life hurts and we have to find our own way to fix that hurt...

Only you know the answers to the problems you and the bf are experiencing.

I am so glad you could talk to your mother about your problem. I'm sure she is the one who can give you the best advice. Why? Because she knows you better then anyone else alive. She raised you from a babe and she watched you grow and she knows your likes and dislikes better then anyone else...So continue to consult her and listen to her wise counsel. She loves you even more then the bf. You will always have her in your life and as the old saying goes: "Mother knows best!!"

So continue going to her for advice and try not to rely on the advice coming from your blogger friends, after all we are really strangers and don't really know your real personality, only your Mother knows that.

Have a nice evening, and I'm getting down off my soapbox now...

Gramma Ann

Jaina said...

MamaGeek- Yes I did, thank you so much! I was a bit bored with the old version, and wanted something a little more me. And thank you, though I wish there was a perfect answer.

Gramma Ann- As usual, you are right. And I'm really glad I can talk to my mom. We've always been close, and we've gotten into that friendship stage ever since I've been in college. We emailed a few times today, and that was when I said things had been rough. Which of course she already knew because she's awesome like that. And we talked about it tonight. And honestly, she's one of the few people who I won't not listen to when she tells me things about myself that I don't necessarily want to hear. That's definitely one thing about my parents and grandparents, I'm friends with them, and I very deeply cherish their advice and thoughts and opinions. Thank you, so much. I happen to like your soap box :)

Gramma Ann said...

Thank you;)))

Don Mills Diva said...

Relationships worth having can be hard, hard, hard, especially the first few years when you are always engaging in power struggles even if you don't realize it.

Hope things work out.

Jaina said...

Don Mills Diva- You're right, I think I'm beginning to see some of those power struggles. I hope it works out too, I think it's going to. I'm hopeful.

Trooper Thorn said...

I have had only one serious 15 year relationship, so while my pool of experience is not broad, it is deep. Problems experienced at the beginning remain problems unless both of you are willing to change. If not, then you either accept it and live with it or resent it until it blows the whole thing up.

The critical thing is it is an issue for BOTH of you to resolve, not just the person who has the characteristic ir quirk.

That's it for my serious side. I'll go back now to writing silly things about dogs, kids, work and crows.

Good luck grappling.

Jaina said...

Trooper- There is definitely something to be said for depth. I really appreciate the advice, finding a resolution for BOTH of us is what I hope we will be able to do. I'm hopeful, we're planning to talk after work tomorrow. Thanks for the serious side, I really appreciate it.

April said...

First and foremost I have to say that that whole timing thing? I threw it out the window with Big D. One month to two months it got serious and the "l" word was exchanged...three months into the relationship he moved in. and less than a full year later, he proposed. Time was not even a factor for me.

Also, there IS a lot of give and take in a relationship...I've learned that the hard way. And like your mom said, there ARE love languages. and I swear I only just realized this within the past two years or so but men and women DO read/hear and react differently to situations. They comprehend things differently then we do. It doesn't mean one of us right and the other is wrong, it just means that some times we have to be really clear to the other about what we want. Up front. Honest. Open. One thing that works so well for me and Big D? We are always honest abut our feelings and working through an issue...we never let it lie dormant, or building up so that we want to explode at the other.

No matter what, follow your heart. It won't steer you wrong!

Jaina said...

April-Everything you said makes a lot of sense. On the whole communication thing, that's a bit of the problem, because he doesn't say things when they bother him, he just wants everything to be "perfect". Instead, they all come out (in some instances several months later) all at once like they did the other day. (this is our first experience with this)
Thank you for everything. I hope things go well this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to listen to your insticts and talk. Make sure you feel heard.

The bottom line is, you know what it right for you, at this point in your life. Pay attention to what your inner voice is saying, it is almost always correct.


Jaina said...

Thanks Eileen, I'm just glad that inner voice started speaking loud enough for me to hear it.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I have always been of the opinion that when it's right, it's right and you will know it.

There won't be much doubt or much work. At least that's the way it worked for me. But then again, I was 25 when I met my husband and we dated for 5 years before we got married.

We wanted to make sure that we were going to be in it for the long haul before we got married. We want to be married for life, so we felt there was nothing wrong with taking our time.

Take your time. You are young. Don't rush into anything. But of course, follow your heart.

And keep in mind, this is just the opinion of an old (but hopefully wise!) stay-at-home mom!

Jaina said...

Beth- That's exactly it right there, you said it perfectly. I want to be in it for life, so I don't see anything wrong with taking my time now. And for what it's worth, I think you're very wise. :)

EatPlayLove said...

What's wonderful about growing up is that you learn to let go of things you may have held onto so dearly that it could have cost you love. You learn to pick your battles and sometimes swallow your pride. You know when things are waaaay too important to let go.

Balance and inner voice.

Try to work on letting go of somethings that put you out of your comfort zone (and let the BF know you are working on it)..

Jaina said...

Eat Play Love- Very well said, definitely something I'm going to be working on. Thank you.