» How We Operate
  • How We Operate

    Sep 22nd • Posted in love, personal, writing

    For those who have followed the blog loyally, you’ll know that I frequently wax poetic and nostalgic over the ghosts of former lovers, or over visions of moments past.  I’ve gone through two years of navigating the Chicago dating climate, and also having a period of letting go to find myself while backpacking Europe. I’ve moved a lot of places in the past couple of years: from Hawaii to Nebraska, uprooting it all to go to Chicago, and then floating free and feeling homeless until my move to the Bay Area. All of these places are near and dear to my heart, and all of these places have stayed with me. Perhaps due to the amounts of challenges that I faced whilst adjusting and living in any or all of the aforementioned places. However, moving to Oakland was a totally different experience. Things fell into place without much effort. I’m not sure if I can attribute this to growing up, or if I should be lucky enough that things tend to fall apart so that other things come together. Maybe a little bit of both. That being said, hi guys. It’s been awhile, but I’ll be writing things periodically– maybe about my school life here in Oakland, or maybe about other things. So with that, I guess I should segue into how I’ve been doing here and why I wrote this post in the first place.

    I met someone. I mean, I say that a lot and it usually falls flat on its face within the first couple of days or weeks, or however long it takes to fuck something up. But hey, it’s been about a month and a half since we’ve really gotten to know each other and we’re doing great so far– so I can’t really complain about anything. As a personal courtesy to him, I’ll refer to him fondly by my various nicknames for him (The Dutchman, drolletje, querido, etc.)– but he’s also asked me not to use his name on the blog, so I’ll just call him T. smile I know he’s really into his privacy, so I’m not going to reveal much about him other than the fact that he’s my boyfriend. (As an aside, he is wonderful and I’m really lucky to have him around.) Honestly, things have gone relatively well so far. He’s not my “normal type,” but I think that’s a good thing. Treading into the relationship waters with him proved difficult at first because of his relative inexperience, my baggage, and a host of other things. When we first started dating, I was still unsure about how I felt about him because I didn’t feel that initial gut punch that I normally have with most guys that I’ve had strong feelings for in the past. As I got to know him, I was even more hesitant to keep going with it because I didn’t want to hurt him unintentionally or feel like I was leading him on in case I changed my mind. Mainly because I knew he liked me more than I liked him at that point, and I didn’t want to put him in a position where I could have taken advantage of him and his feelings. I cared about him at that point– but I just wasn’t sure. But the thing about relationships is that you can never really be sure about someone until you give them a real shot.

    So I said “fuck it” and jumped in. Best decision I’ve made since moving here. But because we’re still in the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship, it’s hard to remember that being in a relationship can be more difficult than being single. However, I was pleasantly reminded of the startling reality of focusing on someone else (other than yourself) this weekend.  (To preface this, it should probably be mentioned that T and I talk every single day without it being an issue– so we get a sense of how the other person feels through text, and tend to communicate pretty effectively. And when we’re together, we’re basically attached at the hip. So…)

    The first fight of a relationship is a test– a stupid, necessary evil that tests its dynamics. Long story short, “the first fight” happened this weekend. It wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t great. It wasn’t a fight to the death or anything, but it made me realise that I definitely have a lot of crap that I still need to hash out with myself. I guess that’s what makes me lucky that he’s still around even when I’m being a dumbass. When I’m upset, I tend to shut everyone out and not want to deal with my problems. In this case, it involved me being a big fat sick baby and wanting someone (in particular, my boyfriend) to come over and take care of me. He had just gone through a pretty strenuous hike with a couple friends and probably wasn’t happy with the fact that I had to raincheck a dinner date he had scheduled (and something we were both really looking forward to) with his friends. I could tell that he was exhausted, so I emptily suggested (as I tend to do) that he could either come later, or just not come at all. We already planned for him to make the trek out to me in Oakland (he lives in the city– so it’s quite the journey, especially through public transportation,) but with the whole “being sick” thing, it sort of exacerbated everything and made it worse. Basically, I felt shitty (literally?) and was upset that I was pretty much alone all weekend, and I was really looking forward to seeing him. Of course, like a saint, he offered to come visit me on Sunday instead. But I was being a baby and told him basically that I’d rather him not come at all because it wasn’t worth the trek over to me if he couldn’t maximise his time? (I don’t fucking know. I was sick. I just really wanted to see him. Looking back on it now, I was being dumb as fuck.) ANNNNDDDDDDDDD because of all this, I sort of shut down emotionally and didn’t want to deal with it because I was upset.

    The seal of this perfect relationship was broken, honeymoon stage officially over. I felt this emptiness in the pit of my stomach because here I was, feeling shitty about everything– because I wasn’t even mad at him, I was frustrated with myself and my situation. But that’s the risk you take to be with someone. It can’t all be rainbows and butterflies. Realising the error of my ways, I texted him bluntly about how I felt, and gave myself a couple hours to let off steam before I caught myself saying something too mean. I took a nice, long shower, cried and vented to my best friend, and drank a cup of tea before returning his texts. For someone who has relative inexperience with dating, T was a god damn angel throughout the entire process. He apologised profusely and offered to come over despite me being mean and dumb. And I mean, it wasn’t that big of a deal– but knowing how fragile I am sometimes, and my affinity to flee from things that are too difficult, this was a huge deal to me. T is wonderful and told me we could talk it out once he got to my place despite the fact that he was exhausted and totally not in the mood.  And we did, and we’re learning more and more about each other.

    Relationships are a damn process that take time and cultivation. Sometimes I’ll forget that and try to push things up to hyperspeed and then drop it at the first signs of failure because I’m afraid to try. And that’s my own shit that I’m dealing with, and T knows that, which is why we’re figuring this shit out together. I know there are a lot of things that I’ll have to teach him, but I love that he’s also teaching me things along the way. It’s dumb that I’ve taken this much space to talk about how great my boyfriend is, but I just did, and this is my blog so deal with it pfffft. smile So uh, yeah. I’m dating someone pretty spectacular and while it’s not easy– I’m slowly figuring out how worthwhile it is. *insert cheesy shit here blahblahblah my boyfriend is the cutest bye feliciaaaaaaa*