Being ourselves together.

21 05 2010

I’ve struck a strange sort of balance here. With this…relationship thingy, if you will. I think I got my head back on straight.

I hit a couple of really rough patches, dealing with it. In a backwards sort of way, I had it really easy for all those years without anyone. And when you’re alone and dreaming about being with someone you’re thinking about all the things they can give you: the affection, the skinship, the emotional support, the sex; much less time is spent thinking about all the things you’ll give them.

And it’s not even as clear-cut as that; someone who hasn’t spent many consecutive years without a partner might not understand. After so long, you become extremely attached to having only one person’s well-being to look after. You spend your hours thinking about yourself, what you need, what’s good for you, where you’re at and what you can do to get to where you want to be.

In fact, you smoke an awful lot just so you don’t have to be thinking about that so intensely 24 hours a day.

And no matter how sick you feel of your own company sometimes, you get used to it. It’s familiar. It’s simple. You set your own goals, and if you fail the only one you’ve disappointed is yourself and, let’s face it, you forgive yourself for minor setbacks pretty easily.

Then all of a sudden there’s this whole other person. With a whole new set of needs just as complex as your own (that you still haven’t even begun to nail down after 4 years). And because you did the whole relationship thing before, you feel a pressure – not really an expectation – to be really good at it. To somehow be in tune with her wants and needs at all times. To feel really intensely around the clock (and if not to take that as a sign of imminent doom. Oh, and by the way, after 4 years you suddenly discover all of the scars left by your interactions with women in the past. It was easy to assume there were none when you were alone.)

To be fair, for the last four years you have been able to anticipate all your needs; you have been able to solve all of your problems; you’ve gotten really quite good at taking care of yourself; it really has been all about you.

So you don’t – you can’t – blame yourself too hard for the ways in which you often catch yourself making it about you now. That when something goes wrong, you hold yourself responsible to fix it. The way you believe everything is going to be all right.

These were the realities of your daily existence.

BUT! I think I’ve got my head on straight. Of course I acknowledge that keeping it on will be an ongoing process. Potentially – maybe hopefully – a never-ending process.

I just know that we should be good to each other. Good, and patient, and trusting. Because the fact of the matter is that your trust could always be misplaced. There are no guarantees. And there is simply no way to know how things will end until they do, or don’t. Since it’s already clear that I want to be along for the ride, the only thing I can do is strive to be good to her and trust that she will be – that she wants to be – good to me.

I’d rather be along for THAT ride than for one of paranoia and neediness and insecurity. So for all I’ve been ranting about how different it is to be with someone, in this way it is just the same: I have to stay on top of myself. Recognize when my feelings are irrational; do not discard them, but seek their root; and above all, not let them manifest as passive-aggression, neediness, or any of the other countless things they can become when allowed to fester. Confront them by being honest with myself and with her. And don’t allow my problems to become hers. Because as we’ve covered, we each are still responsible for working out our own shit.

Now that I write this musing down, it sounds much more comforting and familiar than when it was tumbling around my head.

I don’t have to BE this new thing, this half-a-person, this part of a whole. I just have to keep being myself, and be with her.

The first part is well-trod ground. The second part is just plain fun.

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