Well, fancy meeting you here.
It’s been awhile, I know. Realistically though, I think it has only been a week since I posted, but I have run out of my back log of posts! This is both good and bad; good, because I have a ton of thoughts freely roaming about, bad because, well, time is somewhat lacking these days.
On the bright side, my editing gig is going well, I received a small raise for my efforts!
Our time in Stratford was beyond amazing, full of sights and sounds from my childhood that made my kids’ eyes light up. It was amazing to experience the full effect of what is left to the crows here: community, kids laughing, friends talking. It was a great reprieve.
So, after all that where is my head at. It is stuck on a Facebook post in a group I’m a part of. The question was:
“If where you stand communicates the nature of the relationship you have with your partner (or ideal partner if you are single), would your partner stand in front, beside or slightly behind you?”
I know I have written ad nauseum about boundaries, relationships, etc. But the convoluted thought train still chugs on, and therefore, so must I.
I have had a lot of partners. In most of those relationships I have been out, front and centre, in a mix of whatever was happening at the time. In some relationships, I felt like the performing Russian bear – mostly confused enactments of signals that meant I wasn’t going to get reprimanded. In others, I felt more like the ‘heavy’, my meeker lover hiding behind my anger and size.
There are a lot of factors for me when considering this question, which is why namely I am writing my response here, and not on Facebook.
I think I approach my partnerships with as clear of an understanding of what they are capable of bringing to the table. For instance, if I had a basic expectation that my partner match (50/50) my level of household contribution, they would be met with an insanely tall, OCD-driven list of ‘to-dos’’. I dropped that ‘hope’ a long time ago, because realistically it isn’t a hope. I don’t even want to have OCD so why would I want my partner to experience that honey-do list?
But how do you figure out what makes your heart feel like there is balance? Where does your person stand, and what kind of stilts are you setting them up with?
Aisha and I are shoulder to shoulder, hands held. There are many people who may think that is not what our relationship looks like. But here are my two cents. When I met Aisha, I knew what her… Luggage carousel looked like. I was able to look at the track and see if I could handle what’s swinging around. Granted, I was in a cool solo space where I had the time to consider everything. Because what she brings to the table is incredible, so the ‘lower points’ were worth considering.
What do you do, if you hope for a (promised?) change, but it never appears? Had you waited years for that one ex, or friend for that matter, to… I don’t know, do the dishes? Fold or put away laundry? What about the bigger things?
I have been afforded cool moments where someone close to me, who knows me well, can speak to the side of a situation I am having trouble understanding. Example one, my sister is a step-parent. I could ask her those weird questions that bio-parents may judge, and it was a cool and explorative space.
What is drawing on my mind though, is this. Aisha is killing the ‘promise hurdles’ she made to me (and herself) when she set her eyes on me. Promise hurdles being the admissions of ‘best-self’ potentials we’ll strive to meet. Key note: I don’t make these anymore, the only promise I made was that I would learn to be an amazing step- and co-parent, but who I was at that time was the shape I would stay (with growth) until the end.
We have had to have three *major* conversations in our nineteen-month romance, but the mountains we have had to scale together could have presented opportunity for multiple, destructive arguments. The reason we have avoided them, isn’t just because of what I will say eventually. It is the result of being in a respectful and needs-acknowledging relationship (remember, we both really hate confrontation), because one of my go-to reactions is gigantic, angry and awe-inspiring conversations (read: a fucking-verbal-shake-down-on-what-for). Aisha’s main go-to reaction is to shut down (anxiety, reflective thinker, etc.)
I was reading You Deserve to Date Someone Who…, an article with a really long title that ends with Texts You Good Morning, Every Morning. Not because I am lacking in attention or, as the article suggests, have I fallen into a place where I am not prioritized. Nope, I like reading these articles to figure out what people are thinking about. I have a funny association with morning texts that is as far from romantic as one could get: after my father passed, I texted my mother and sister every morning for a year. Told them something I loved about them, something that was making my day a little easier. I continued on with my mother, because I think it is important. I understand what the writer is saying, and I will set my tangent on solid relationships aside because I’ve come to understand it is very personal what someone accepts as solid, perfect and working.
While we’re here… What are your thoughts on the above? Do you adjust to fluidity with your partner? Are you people who have independent lives and meet for dinner, to make love and sleep, and join a gym together? Outside of in/dependence levels, what about your 5 Love Languages and/or are you even interested in them? My thoughts go to examples I would never name, but that interest me to no end. What levels of mistake repetition do you accept, for example? How big of a mistake do you even allow to repeat? I was just saying to Aisha (as I started this with as well) that with OCD the ‘violations’ my brain filters on the daily, of cleanliness, orderliness, the list is endless coupled with the gender, intellectual, social, whatever happens when you teach kids something and it is discarded, daily (which I am obviously exaggerating. Duderroo is actually impressive at respecting deep level boundaries without conversation). So, to turn this back on me, dishes, are a violation. I hate dishes left in the sink. Why? It’s not germs (but, it is), it’s not that it’s inefficient (though, holy F people, it is so inefficient) or all the other reasons I could give, I hate it because you are literally leaving them for me. But, is this something I am going to rail against? Not anymore (sorry people who had to deal with the time I took to work on that).
One thing that I am inspired to do lately is move around to hear what’s happening on the other side of a frustrating conversation. I don’t like it, and I am uncomfortable a lot, but I am growing. It is making me stronger in my own conviction but allows me to remain gentle. When I think about how that extends to the two people who live with me, forgive my boldness, I feel like they are damn lucky. Look at the article
Man Shares tips (and another long title). This guy is the extreme and awesome example of going in to the thing that someone is struggling with, hearing them, helping them articulate it, because then, friends, there is a lot of shit you can put down.
There is a lot more I’d probably like to say about this, but I also have a lot of other thoughts (and Honey-dos) left to, well… You know.
I’m happy to touch base though.
(I just ended this with, Miss you, so thought I’d let you know in parentheses)