Just last night
I heard love mutter alone.
A bridge down
where some need ever time.
not even one night.
Let him go,
and already I could feel
each of us pulled tightly
as if exacting angel.
Be said or done in truth or pretense
to soften grief or give joy to this dream.
Easy time, the relief of work hindered
thinking only with my fingers.
Oh, transforming the breifest glimpse-
artwork I can feel, shape, turn,
and God help me hold.
In one of my dreams last night, I was helping move chairs with someone I used to spend a lot of time with. I was going quick and carefully tossing the chairs near her. At one point she freaked out about how I was moving the chairs. I tell her to relax, it’s not like I’ve hit her yet, and I laugh. She stays stern, gives me an angry look and goes silent.
She’d been like this with me since I’d met up with her again. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. So I asked her what the problem was. I said we used to be friendly with each other. She scoffed and told me we weren’t friends. She told me she was constantly doing stuff for me and giving, and I wasn’t.
I immediately turned defensive, confused, and sad. I asked her why she never said anything at the time. I didn’t realize that was how she felt or that things might have been that way. She told me she shouldn’t have to tell me things like that. I should have just known to give back equally.
I told her I obviously thought I did at the time. Friends are supposed to feel like they can talk to each other if things aren’t right. She told me again we weren’t friends.
If only all dreams could be so depressingly meaningful.
Next time you’re wondering whether or not to say something because you don’t want to make a big deal about it, consider that you might be making a big deal about it anyways. I think not saying something can fester and ruin relationships more than saying something. Your feelings can fester and surely will effect how you interact with that person. Before you know it, maybe you resent them so much that their obliviousness is no excuse.
The dream is right about one thing, if you can’t talk to me about how you feel, then we aren’t actually friends. I really would like to think the people I keep close will let me know what they’re thinking and feeling, even if it’s not something that’s pleasant to hear. I would like to think they’d let me know before the friendship was over.
I’m supposed to understand your feigned confusion
at why I’ve moved on to try to find fusion,
find something that I thought we had until you ended.
I should stay solitary for you, ripped, raw, rendered.
I should let you play victim and pretend to play the victor.
My prize is that I lose you all over again, this time as a friend.
My reward is an uncertain something with a someone that could end.
I can’t say I enjoy review time at work. This is only my second review at work (since this is year two) and I’ve already developed a distaste for it. I like the concept and understand the benefits. I am not saying they shouldn’t exist, but it is a painful process for everyone involved including me.
I’m not going to say it caused anything, but it triggered a lot of thoughts that have combined with what’s been going on with me as of late.
Here I am trying so hard to look at myself and my interactions with people. I am trying to have a real understanding of what I do versus what other people do in their interactions. I’m not talking about making people like me. I’m thinking more directly, how do I get what I want from my relationships with people? How do I get the relationships I want with people?
I need to work on some things.
As much as I’m open with my personality and confidence, I don’t actually open up to people. I don’t trust people. I put myself out there because I would rather die than be dishonest about who I am, but I have become so guarded over time from being hurt by people. It’s true that I have been making some new friends and rejuvenating old friendships lately, which is no small thing. But, when they’re talking, sometimes I realize how much they give to me freely and how much I hold back. I don’t trust myself to be upset, weak, or cry around my friends. I won’t admit I’m having a bad day, complain, tell them about a problem, or ask for help anymore apparently. I’m stubborn, independent, and do not want to burden anyone. I don’t want to focus on being negative. I want to have a good time with friends. I spent some time recently with a friend talking about some financial problems I’m having. I talked at length. That was weeks ago. I still feel guilty for putting that on them, for making that part of their night more negative, and I feel like maybe I hurt our relationship. Who wants to go out of their way to spend time with someone who just spent the last hour (or whatever) complaining about money?
Flip side, I listen to my friends problems and help them all of the time. I have no idea why I make that double standard for myself.
I should let people in and people help me. It could make us closer if it doesn’t push someone away.
I have to be willing to take that chance. Keeping at a distance from everyone may seem wonderfully safe, but it’s a large burden to carry on yourself.
I need to learn to take chances in my relationships with people. The worst thing is that people may drift away, but if I don’t let them in closer, they’ll do that anyways.
Why do I mind? Why is my open-minded brain unable to be completely comfortable with the idea of the open-ended relationship? Why does the prospect of him picking up women really get to me. …or as he asked,
“What are you so afraid of?”
Besides the obvious, losing what happiness I’ve gained, not being able to get closer and missing an opportunity to be closer, not being used to this position… Besides the negative connotations of pick-up with ideas of manipulating people for sex… There is more.
I was finally able to get the clarification from the boy on the subject of pickup. There are many methods of pickup apparently, and apparently one of them goes along with what I was thinking and Steve described in one of his quotes on a post:
“I compensate for my lack of self-confidence by deceiving others.”
The boy admitted that a lot of guys do that. He admitted he tried it, and it failed horribly. He wasn’t comfortable with being fake and it showed. It also wasn’t getting him what he wanted.
And what does he want?
According to him, he uses techniques learned in pick-up to break the ice and be able to display his best qualities to someone. He can project the kind of person he wants and what he wants from that person.
There are two camps of people in pick-up apparently. One of them is the people who use pickup to rack up their ‘score’ in the game, like notches on the belt. The other is the people who use pickup to learn how to approach and get the women they want and then move on to relationships with those people. These people are not necessarily lacking in confidence in other areas of their lives, they just have a hard time meeting and getting anywhere with women. The latter type eventually move out of pickup, while the former stay there and rack up their ‘score’.
So where does the boy fall in this broader picture? He says he will at some point fall into the latter, but is not done with the journey. He feels like he has more to learn and experience. He may stay in it for not much longer, he may stay in it for a while yet. He doesn’t know.
I do have to ask, with how close and how serious we’ve been getting, why pickup now?
He admitted he wasn’t seeing anyone else right now, the people he was seeing when we started out were long gone. He’s been going to his pickup meetings, but hasn’t been picking anyone up.
He admitted that his intentions were to use pickup to attract people he wanted to eventually settle with. The settling itself though still scares him. It comes down to the classic fear of commitment. Like, he could buy a house right now. It’s a good market to buy a house. His rent is too high, it’d be a good investment. He doesn’t want to though. Why? He’s afraid it would ‘root him to a place’. Even though he could sell or rent it later, he sees this as an all or nothing, as if he’ll die in the house he buys. It’s symbolic more than anything, and the metaphor frightens him. This is the all or nothing syndrome I talked about him having before.
This fear goes even deeper into his relationship history: fear of repeating old mistakes.
The boy has had two major relationships in his life and both of them: unhealthy. One of the girls he lived with, and even financially supported. He was needy and so were they. He expected too much from them and as a result gave more and more hoping for himself to get back what he wanted and be fulfilled. He didn’t know how to express or get what it was he wanted. There was no good communication, expectations were unreasonable, and there was too much too fast.
Even with only two relationships, he’s gone further than I have, and made some of the same mistakes as me only even more hardcore.
He has been very needy in the past and is now firmly on two feet. According to him, what we have right now is the most healthy relationship he’s ever had.
He told me what he was afraid of: afraid of repeating the past and slipping back into bring this needy person. This is something I understand all too well, a common theme in my own worries.
Now I at least understand why our official relationship status is what it is. He’s afraid once he relabels what we have, things will change and the worst may come.
Now that I understand his fears, let me come full circle on my own. I didn’t realize this until we started talking, but the big issue really is that I am following relationship rules that I didn’t make and I don’t fully understand. They’re becoming defined, but I didn’t define them: he did. I’m still expected to follow these rules or stop seeing him. That’s an uncomfortable bit of control I’m giving him. I know that in other relationships I’ve had, I didn’t exactly control the parameters either- they were defined by canned traditions.
Things weren’t one hundred percent defined at the beginning, and they still aren’t. In one of my last posts I talked about whether or not people we both knew were off limits or not. We never talked about it, but he told me one day that yes, people who we consider friends are at least. There wasn’t a discussion, it was just something he felt like he needed so: new rule. The rule itself I don’t disagree with, but I do take issue with these rules seeming like they’re being made up as we go along and he’s the one making them. I know they are being made up as we go along because this is new ground for both of us. Even if I were to find myself being fully comfortable with a non-traditional relationship, feeling like I’m following someone else’s rules feels like it is against every fiber of my being. I am fiercely independent and fear people trying to control me.
The other side of that is with these rules, I can see other people. I don’t want to, however. I could try to make myself do it, but doing it because he is? That sounds like a bad idea.
I can flirt with other people, but so can he. Another undefined place is how far we’re allowed to take that while with each other. I don’t want to do the drama jealousy game when we’re out together. I also don’t want to have a double standard. This is the next thing we need to talk about.
I hate that I feel like I’m always the one who says, “We need to talk.” even if I only do it once in awhile. Even if parts of me feel better after wards, I’d rather be having fun than these sorts of discussions.
I’m all set with reading the rest of The Game. Maybe I should have forced the issue of talking about PUA sooner. He asked me why I didn’t. I asked him why he didn’t bring it up if he was waiting for me to. We were both scared of where that discussion would go. We can’t let ourselves be afraid of communicating, though. This isn’t likely the most scary discussion we’re going to have. Really, if we are too frightened to talk to each other at all, that’s where we should break it off.
So what do we do? The obvious answer is we keep talking, and discussing, and figuring these things out. We’ll see where things go from there…
(from May 7th)
Even though I’m technically not in an actual really real relationship with this guy, I’m still seeing him multiple times a week and being extremely involved in his life, and his mine. I’m starting to feel like it looks like a relationship, smells like a relationship, feels like a relationship, and even quacks like a relationship except it’s technically not officially a relationship.
Oh, the blurring of boundaries when we become involved- and decided to stop just before the point of deciding precisely what this is… Welcome to the gray areas, the neutral zone, and other uncharted waters…
Is is like when I tell customers that something isn’t supported, but it will work? Well, then who cares? It’s a label that doesn’t effect anything. It’s untested, but it works. Okay.
Is it more like when you’re told, “Oh, yeah, the cheap one works just as well,” which sometimes it doesn’t? Often times you end up losing and paying for it twice because it didn’t work.
Is this actually like Santa Clause, when you believe something even though deep down you know it’s not true. If you want it enough maybe it will make it true, but one day you realize you need to grow up and quit fooling yourself?
Is this just a bad time for a half-baked comparison?
So today we were supposed to have an “us” night and he decided he needed a “him” night to explore the question of self improvement. Specifically he wanted time to explore his inability to commit to things, him being a hermit and withdrawing rather than dealing, having a hard time figuring out what it is he really actually wants exactly, and being a sheep to his parents, society, and other forces trying to control him. So, am I the only one that thinks exploring one’s withdrawal from people is best done by canceling plans with people is incredibly funny and sad? Explore lack of commitment by breaking commitment is classic. Then, let’s turn around and say “But I really do want to see you!” and while contemplating what you actually want. Well apparently it’s not seeing me, because if it is… well… can I get a fail? If I totally wasn’t the person involved in the joke, this would be hilarious.
His big success tonight I guess was not being a sheep to me… oh, wait, I’m not trying to control him. Remember my pathetically small push for girlfriend status a few posts back? My big hard line was asking him if he thought we’d be able to maybe one day see each other exclusively, him saying no, and me saying, “Well, that sucks but okay.” Way to represent!
Do I need a night of contemplating why I’m such a sheep to certain attractive men with commitment issues?
I regress as this is really not normal for thoughts concerning the boy. Last weekend was amazing and it would take me pages to detail the amount of life I got out of a couple days with him. That’s why I’m still being patient with this. He still makes me happy when we’re together. I need to be careful and watch for the day when he makes more more anxious and the happiness begins to fray. The final option at reasonable signs outweighs waiting for the inevitable to trickle like water torture.
Normally I wouldn’t have this kind of hard line opinion, but we’re not actually in a relationship after all.
The reason he stated for not wanting to be in an actual relationship, besides just not being into me enough (these signals are so mixed, Batman is responding to calls to the Ghost Busters), is that he felt like he had not improved himself enough to be in a relationship.
I’m all for self-improvement, but I think a huge point I’ve been making right along is that life is for living and you don’t improve anything by putting living on hold. Introspection is key, but withdrawing completely from life is useless, pointless, and fruitless. I’ve done enough of it to be somewhat of an expert, and yes, small jaunts down the lane of spending a day playing a silly, pointless video game or laying in bed reading a book are great. Contemplating your situation is healthy. If you do this day in and day out to the point where it interferes with what’s really important or actually doing things, that is a big problem.
If you find yourself with this problem, don’t combat it by staying home and thinking about it. It’s like treating a wound by picking at it rather than slapping on a band-aid and letting it heal while moving on and doing other things.
The positive thing for me here is that though I got a little upset and am ranting a little, I’m handling this little rejection with little worse than a frowning emoticon, this blog post, and pointing out the illogic to him.
I mean, I could be spending tonight along side him as if I was in a relationship with him, helping him deal with his demons. Instead I’m going to go home and take care of me.
A part of me certainly wants to be along side him, but keeping this distance is probably good for my sanity.
Entering the Neutral Zone! Go to yellow alert.
The bigger, looming question of how far and how long I let this go on in this nebulous gray area is still there, but I’m not going to sit at home and pick at it.
I check in with myself from time to time, but not enough to keep myself from making a move forward. I’m going to go on with living.