(We don't know where we'll end up ... but we're all starting at single.)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The RN: Imbalances of Life

Tuesday Night Guy (TNG) reminded of something I swear I knew already, but apparently needed to learn again. Every relationship, no matter the context, is imbalanced. Someone is always more "in" than the other person. For instance, it should be pretty clear TNG was way more in than I was ... am. Mothers are way more in than teenagers, usually. Little kids adore their parents and follow them everywhere, like the bathroom; I assure you these kids are more in than their parents in those moments. We all have that friend, the one who starts ignoring you the second he starts dating a new girlfriend. Only to reemerge months later, wondering where you've been. Imbalances.

Both TNG and Car Guy where far more invested spending time with me, than I was interested in spending time with either of them. Truthfully, I think that's been true of just about every guy I've seen since The Ex and I broke up. If you look back at some of the old blogs, you'll see the signs. I'm starting to wonder if the whole "I'm too nice to guys" thing isn't born out of guilt for being so much less in. Maybe it's because I want to be in, but I'm not. This is probably why I stopped dating the last time around. Maybe it's even why I feel like taking a break again. It's exhausting, at least for me, to deal with people wanting so much more from me than I'm willing to give.

I made need a heavier white rock. Photo Credit

Now, at this point I feel like I sound selfish, and probably I am. But, I'm also exhausted from the pressure of dealing with people who want things I can't or won't give them. I feel like I've spent a fair amount of time and energy giving to people who only took and didn't give back. Now, you may be asking yourself, do I ever want more than someone else can give me? Of course. Sometimes I'm having a bad day/week/month and I call my sister, and then her kid hurts himself and she hangs up to help her kid (love you, sis). That's absolutely what she should do. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when it happens though.

Sounds like it's time to work on my balancing act.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The RN: The Silent Treatment?

Where were we? Oh, yes, Tuesday Night Guy wasn't talking to me. I know he was trying to be my friend, but he was, in a word, failing. He was constantly saying things which made me uncomfortable. The last straw was this text conversation we had after the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity at the end of February. I got the first text about 2.5 seconds after I walked in the door. Ugh, I just fucking talked to you in person; I don't want to spend all night texting with you. Just stop! Gah!

FYI, this in not helping anything.

I didn't respond further for several days. I took a few days to calm down from the anger this incited, and then wrote another "The RN is NOT happy" text. I was respectful and not blaming, but VERY firm about him sending me this kind of crap. I called him out for not respecting my boundaries and said him not being able to help himself is not an excuse to violate my boundaries. I told him this stuff isn't sweet, it's pushy and reeks of him demanding I response to his sexual interest. I told him no touching of any kind; even friendly physical contact was no longer allowed. He got pouty and said I was painting him with a broad brush from the "other jerks" in my life and said I must hate him. I told him that's not what I said. And then he stopped talking to me for 25 days and didn't show up at any of the Tuesday night stuff.

I wasn't mad he stopped talking me. I felt a little guilty, mostly because I wasn't trying to cause an issue and it seemed like he was missing things because of what I said. It took me a bit, but I got over feeling guilty - I didn't ask him to avoid places where I was or to not come to events. Part of me was actually relieved not to be under the pressure of trying to figure out if he was taking something I said the wrong way.

Then last Tuesday he came to the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity. I was a little nervous about how things were going to go, but they went just fine. Until he asked if he talk to me afterwards, then I got really nervous. I put on my big girl panties and said sure. We walked over to a local chain bar and sat down. It was one of the most difficult conversations I've had in a while. The gist of it was, he conceded I was right and he apologized for making me uncomfortable. Of course, he asked to hold my hand while he was apologizing. Great, he's already not listening to what I asked. I said, no, he couldn't hold my hand.

We went back and forth over a bunch of details and then I basically said, "If you wouldn't say it to your friend's wife, then don't say it to me." If you're about to say something to me and you wouldn't feel comfortable saying the same to your friend's wife, then it's not appropriate to say to me. First, this is how I think of a lot of things, pick a category and then find an exemplar in the category everybody understands. Use as a reference to the category. Second, I really hate that telling men to respect a woman as if she belongs to a man they respect works so much better than saying be respectful. But it does, every fucking time.

He texted the next day saying he enjoyed the conversation. Ugh, stop asking for validation. But it was only one text and at least it wasn't the same night. Then Monday at 9am he texts, "Hope you had a great weekend.......and your week gets off to a great start today." Great. Now he's starting to sound like Pajama Guy. I sent him a link to an article I'd run across about Extroverted Inverts indicating he should see #9: Sometimes you're bad at messaging. Then he responds with, "I know.  I understand you more than you might realize 😊  I was just thinking of you this morning on the ride in and thought I'd say hi 😊" I just about lost it, but ... don't text angry.

Stop fucking texting me all the time! Photo Credit.

I wanted to to refer him back to the article for more bullet points. Our communication issues are summed pretty well by several of the bullet from the article: I love being alone (#5), I find friendships needing maintenance exhausting (#8), sometimes I'm bad at messaging (#9), and I don't like compliments (#10). While all of those are true and I'm sure they impact the interactions between us, I think #8 is maybe the most important:
The ideal friend for an extroverted introvert is one that isn't demanding.

Friendships that require work, like the kind that need constant attention and communication otherwise that friend gets needy, don't usually last long.

Extroverted introverts are happier seeing each of their friends sporadically, and if months (or even years) go by between hang-outs, it's no big deal... you'll have more to catch up on anyway.
The people I find the most important in my life I talk to less than this guy wants to talk to me. And that, I think, is the real problem. I feel like he's trying to force me into more social contact with him than I want to have. Like asking me out to dinner this Tuesday morning. Good lord, back off! Just because we fixed things up a bit doesn't mean I'm ready to jump back into spending that much time together. I'm pretty sure I didn't want to spend that much time together before we got into ... our spat.

Case in point, the Regularly Scheduled Tuesday Night Activity is canceled on 25 April due to scheduling conflicts; TNG asked me this week, "Is it too early to get on the calendar for the 25th?" Ugh, it's not that it's too early, it's that I don't want to spend time with you. I'm barely okay with talking to you again and you're texting too much and now you want to go something just the two of us? Absolutely not.