Going to the chapel and I’m…

Gonna get married!

I’ve been really, really, really remiss in blogging this past year. Life got in the way, and priorities shifted.

Honestly, blogging still is a great catharsis for me, but I get lazy. I used to blog on nights I wasn’t out with my man, but then we moved in together…and, well, love!

Anyhow, last Christmas, we decided we’d move in together when my lease was up in May. Telling my roommates went better than I expected (I don’t think they were all that surprised). I was sad to leave them, but it was fun to start looking at places and such. I learned a lot about apartments in the area. Eventually, we found a lovely townhouse that we ended up renting from foreign service peeps (they’re in Russia). It’s beautiful, has a lovely patio, and our neighbors are great! (Which we learned more than ever this weekend when they helped us dig out of our house…)

Moving in together was more seamless than I thought it’d be, too. May itself was a bit rough. We had a lot more “deep” conversations, or our version of arguing, as we figured out how we each communicate and our preferences. That all settled down pretty quickly, though. I started getting super suspicious and curious about whether he’d propose…but it didn’t happen. My best friend got engaged, and we went to 3 weddings last fall… and then, November 7th, he proposed :), the last weekend before wedding #4 of the season. I said yes! And now we’re wedding planning, and our wedding will be in November of 2016.

I was mostly surprised when he proposed. I definitely had considered if he’d do it over that weekend since we were traveling with friends, and it seemed to be the last good chance before the holidays. That said, a lot of things had thrown me off, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I definitely hadn’t figured out how he’d do it – he made me a lovely book, and there really aren’t words for how special it is. I cried, the ring is beautiful, and our friends joined us after the proposal for a day of fun. The only downer is my best friends got terrible news that weekend about their mom/MIL, and that sucked.

Also, FYI – weddings are expensive as fuck and people get crazy and opinionated about some weird-ass shit. Plus, there are WAY too many neat places in the world to pick just one for a honeymoon…

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Roller Coaster

So, we’re trying again.

Part of me wonders if I’m being stupid and misplacing faith in him, and then a tinier part worries about much my friends may question my self-respect given how upset I was a few days ago…like, if he hurt me like that, why I am willing to risk it again, or given issues I brought up with them, why would I go back to it. That said, I know it’s the right choice for me because I know I’d always wonder what if should I not give it a chance now. I like him, I’m attracted to him, he made me happy much more frequently than he made me unhappy, so it seems worth seeing what happens, especially under different circumstances or with a different mindset.

I still don’t entirely understand his reasoning for the breakup, or how that changed, but I’m trying to. I don’t know if I’ll be able to trust him or open up as much as I would have otherwise, in terms of letting myself feel, but only time and dating will tell.

Apparently, though, he didn’t consider any of the things I’d brought up prior to our conversation Monday. He said he hadn’t been in a relationship for two years, which I didn’t know. He said he was close to moving back in with parents before meeting me and getting a new job all within two weeks; I didn’t grasp how close to that he had been. He said he didn’t think about how, since we slowed down the beginning, that means when he’d feel love may push back as well. He also said that he was wrong and stubbornly egotistical to think that nothing I said would change his mind, hence no conversation with me prior to dumping me. (Which, by the way, is still sort of insulting – he clearly thought he was more reasonable or intelligent about thinking it through than I am.) He said he expected to feel loss and sadness, but not regret. Altogether, these things entirely changed his mind and his perspective.

He says he wants to love me, and feels differently now, as if it’s possible to get there. He reflected on things he had done poorly (and acknowledged that he wasn’t as invested as he could have been, probably for some time), and that also combined to show him just how differently he could feel under different circumstances. Honestly, on my end, it’s worth acknowledging that we’re both really young, and that means there’s definitely room for improvement in how we handle relationships. No one knows everything, even if they think they do, and at least he is now recognizing that.

I believe that these things are all true in his mind, but I still can’t grasp how it went from not being worth even trying anymore to feeling more certain. I don’t have faith yet that his feelings can indeed grow, and I’m scared they won’t. I’m worried he’s looking at every action I make as a “do I love this or not” type of thing. He says he cares about me and I make him happy, but it’s hard to embrace that entirely when he said that before and it apparently didn’t mean anything in terms of security. He said he wants nothing more than for me to feel safe enough to love him, and I’m glad he acknowledges that I need to feel that way. I just need to really grasp that he does care, and why he cares, and how he cares in a way that’s different than before…and hopefully, in time I will understand that more fully. I get that I’m not going to have answers for a long time, if I ever do, because I’m not in his head and he’s not in mine.

I had a friend tell me last night that really, I can let myself care more about him now (and maybe eventually love him), or I can stay scared and not open up to that emotion. Then, in however long, if he does love me and I did the first, I have a shot, but if I did the second, I lose him. Or, if he doesn’t love me and I did either of those two, I lose him. The only chance I have at it working is letting myself feel and letting feelings build, and if I don’t let that happen, then may as well not even try.

That made sense to me, it’s just difficult right now. It’s hard not to wonder, in the back of my head, if a bad day or fight or discussion or moment is going to make him “see the light” of ending it again. Before, I had really strong faith that he’d talk through issues and was invested in seeing what happens, that he cared enough to try. I was wrong. Now, I don’t know how to know when it’s ok to trust and what’s right or wrong in my mind.

That aside, it was ridiculously easy to be with him yesterday. I still really enjoy his company, and when he’s invested, things are awesome. Our conversations flow, we laugh, and the sex is amazing. I think all the above paragraphs scare me even more because of how easy it is to fall right back to where we were way back when. While I want to love him and him to love me, I’m not ready for that yet (because clearly he isn’t, so I need to moderate myself too).

Not Broken, Just Damaged

So that last post was…well…melodramatic doesn’t begin to cover it. Am I sad? Yes. Am I over it? Not yet. Is everything dire and do I feel like no one cares? Not at all, in fact, I feel like I can rely on people I didn’t expect to be able to.  There’s definitely a lot of emotion in my life right now though, given my family situation (that merits it’s own hellish blog post), and that’s exacerbating all reactions (as is Aunt Flo).

I have some great friends that have been stepping up. It’s hard, because you find out any negative feelings people had after something happens. If I did ever get back with him, that’d take work. Aside from that, one friend questioned the honesty of everything he’s said and done from the beginning, which just raises even more questions and uncertainties. It makes me think about all the things that ever concerned me, which according to some is too much for the time we were together. These seem like a bigger deal in a list, but I never made a list while we were dating, and we did discuss some of these things, we just weren’t together in the same place long enough to see if those conversations worked. Things that bothered me, or concerned me, included:

  • Reluctance to use condoms. Sometimes, he used my interest in teasing and denial to bring me to the edge, and then ask if I was desperate enough to go without a condom. That borders murky manipulation of consent. Then, he’d use a blindfold, and I couldn’t relax/enjoy/trust it, because I was worried he’d just not use a condom when I couldn’t see. Not cool.
  • He was extremely snarky, which sometimes was fun and teasing, but he often he didn’t use positive words to reinforce things he snarked about. Snarking on my interests or intellect without making an effort to use words to counterbalance doesn’t leave one with super positive feelings. I like snark, when balanced.
  • Sometimes he made me feel slutty without the reinforcement I needed to enjoy it, and didn’t seem to understand that or grasp it enough to change after I’d commented on it…timing may have been part of that though.
  • He didn’t initiate plans that much or demonstrate a desire to see me more than once or twice a week (including weekend).
  • He was out of town a lot, and when we were seeing each other extremely infrequently, he wasn’t in touch much or verbose or chatty over phone/email, making it seem like he didn’t care much, despite saying he missed me.
  • He didn’t seem to laugh at my jokes all that much, although he did seem amused by me, it was just sometimes in a sort of condescending way that made me feel like he didn’t think I was all that bright.
  • He didn’t seem to value casual conversation much, as in chatting about everyday things that don’t matter.
  • He rarely came up with ideas about dates or logistics to plan them.
  • He wanted a lot of validation from me on my feelings and enjoyment of things without returning the words. He claimed actions showed his side, but it made me doubt.

And, of course, there’s him talking me away from these concerns when I brought some of them up, including two weeks ago–which is when, according to him a few nights ago, is when he started to feel differently…so why the hell would you reassure me? Why would you be affectionate and meet my family and such when not feeling it fully? It could have been my mom, and not wanting to interrupt that…I don’t know. He did act differently the last week though, so maybe I should have been more aware?

I’m frustrated because I’m someone who typically moves cautiously and slowly, and he pushed to go fast and claimed (and seemingly demonstrated) falling hard. He did all the romantic gestures, in terms of flowers, cooking…hell, he’d spontaneously dance with me in the street…but the effort wasn’t really all there in terms of communication and time together. I’m annoyed that he was the one moving quickly and always bringing up serious things like marriage or moving in together eventually, and then when I start having strong feelings, he freaks out.

It’s hard because I was very attracted to him, and despite issues, when it was just the two of us, I enjoyed our time together immensely and I had fun with him. He made me happy far more than he made me unhappy. He had such faith in me and it seemed as if he genuinely cared immensely about my happiness, which was incredible. When we were communicating, he was easy to talk to. He was affectionate and romantic. I miss his voice, talking to him, his excitement about things. I will be sad not to do all the things we had discussed and planned, like taking more photos together, and exploring DC. I will miss sex with him. Most of the things that concerned me were technically just things that could be modified and centered around communication. If he communicated more, had more initiative, and paid more respect to the emotional impact of his words, I would have been great. All of those things maybe would’ve been there if his feelings were stronger…so I should’ve gone with my gut, basically, in terms of calling him out earlier on.

With him being gone so much (almost every weekend the last 6+ weeks), it was hard to tell how things really would be. I was happy enough to see what happened when we were in the same place. He was great with my family, and with me when all this crap happened, and that cemented my decision, so I convinced myself to trust and believe his words…then he ended it a week later. So many things remind me of him…

Also, to be fair, I could have likely been better. He said I was awesome, but I could have made more of an effort in driving out to his suburb on weeknights and investing more in some of the geekier things he enjoyed to show I cared more about his interests. And honestly, if he really didn’t have any issues at all, the fact that I had so many “conversations” I needed to have because we communicate differently and understand/show care differently (5 love languages – he’s action/touch, I’m words/time), that could get pretty discouraging. Add to that the heavy load of me having my mom’s illness to deal with and leaning on him much more, and the intensity of a wedding, and he had family deaths/illness among grandparents…well, there was a lot going on that could’ve been different or better or easier.

Anyhow, I will say, that one of the hardest things in it all it is my mom. I’ve been really sad, and he took my mind off the sad and made me feel cared for, safe, and better. No one cares for you like a romantic partner. You can talk about things and support one another in unique ways. It’s someone to be by your side, there for you – and I desperately miss that. I want someone to hold me and tell me it’s going to be alright, and he was really awesome at that, and I’ve lost that. And, yet again, my mom would make it better, but she’s unable to communicate or anything, and so that makes it hurt even more. That’s not why I was with him at all, but it was really helpful to have and will be an adjustment to figure out how to cope differently now. I probably should have been coping differently before anyhow, but now I have to. I may find someone to talk to, or just journal a bunch more, I don’t know.

There were bonuses from the whole experience, though, that I’m trying to hold onto:

  • He gave my family the gift of amazing photos of my sister’s wedding
  • When I was surrounded by family and people focused on themselves, my mom, and such, he was someone focused on me. I needed that immensely.
  • I’m closer to my dad and sister, and I know I can talk to them about ups and downs in relationships without necessarily being judged or having them freak out. I didn’t expect that.
  • He showed me that I can have and enjoy sex without pain.
  • I now know I can care about someone that deeply, and that I can be in a relationship and communicate and trust and all that jazz.
  • I’m much closer with my friends that live near him. This sucks because they live near him, but I’m very grateful for our strengthened relationship.
  • I’ve learned how important it is to me to hear feelings vocalized.
  • I’ve learned that teasing and denial is, in fact, my biggest turn on.
  • I know that to be submissive, I need reinforcement that my actions are pleasing my Top, I need encouragement (and if that doesn’t work, forced accountability), and I need consistency.
  • I know that while kinky events and fetish activities turn me on a lot and can be a lot of fun, I can also be happy without any of them should the right power dynamic be present in the bedroom. That power dynamic doesn’t have to be formalized, even. Open-mindedness is still key, though, just I can not get intense pain or not go to parties and such and not miss it a ton under the right circumstances.

So yes, maybe I’m better off, at least if he wasn’t willing to work on things, and it’s definitely better to know sooner rather than later that someone isn’t feeling it. Should he contact me about getting back together (he called tonight, and it’s killing me that I don’t know why he called), I don’t know what I’ll do. If we were to try again, it’d essentially be like starting over in some ways, and I’d definitely need to address some of these issues before agreeing to it.  I need to understand better why he didn’t think it was worth trying, because that’s a hella strong statement. But, there was something special there, and I don’t know if I am ready to abandon it. Who knows, because that may not be why he called.

No risk no reward, all that jazz. Would I have slowed down and put in some effort to make us stronger and see what happened? Yes. Were things perfect? No. Am I broken? No, just not as whole as I was a day or two ago…but I’ll get there again, hopefully sooner rather than later. Assuming I can have an appetite for food again sometime soon, although that’s a whole other issue. I’ll have to reevaluate what matters to me in a relationship at some point, but I’m so not anywhere there yet.

It all falls apart

I know people love me. I do. Conceptually, I get that. My mom and dad, my sister, my aunts and uncles, my grandmother. But really, it doesn’t always feel like it. My family – all of them – I don’t talk to them on a daily basis, I don’t hear words of love all that frequently. I did from my mom, but she’s in the hospital, has been for a month, and there’s no sign of her being able to converse again, if she’s even able to cognitively understand that I’m her daughter and she loves me.

My friends from childhood aren’t much better. I don’t see them much, and talk and communicate even more infrequently, and so I don’t feel their love all that much. To be fair, I’m sure they feel the same about me.

My friends here in DC, well, it varies. I like these people because they live exciting, busy, worthwhile lives…but sometimes, it feels like people don’t have time for me, and only want me on their schedule if I can entertain them. I get that is likely untrue but when real shit goes down, there aren’t many people I feel OK calling. They may be OK getting the call, but because they don’t call me, I feel weird relying on them like that. And those people that I do feel OK with, well, they don’t live super close, and they have their own shit.

I’ve been barely hanging on by a thread lately because of what’s going on with my mom. I hadn’t really figured out how to cope with things yet. I kept thinking how everything was going so well otherwise – I had success at work, an amazing boyfriend. My sister is married, my dad is doing well at work. I was already in a “how come not everything can be happy at once” mood.

I had FINALLY let go of my insecurities and mistrust about my relationship, and let myself believe the thins he said about his feelings. I was excited for us to finally – FINALLY – after nearly 2 months – be in the same place at the same time, and be able to build something more steadily.

And of course, he ends it. And now I feel broken.

He said he wasn’t sure he could see us together in the long-term/marriage way, and that it isn’t fair to waste my time while he figures it out. He said that I’ve set a high bar for future women, that I make him happy, that he’s sexually attracted to me, that there’s no behaviors that bother him that I could change, just he doesn’t feel the same way. Not, “let’s slow down because we’re not on the same page,” but “I think we’re done because of X.” I pointed out how he’s been gone so much, and how much time we’ve really spent together, and that any “rush” or “time wasting” is projecting and not how I approach relationships. I pointed out that I had issues too and it wasn’t like I was dying of love yet either. He seemed a bit regretful, given those things he hadn’t considered, but when I talked to him via text after, he seemed extremely definitive in his decision. I just don’t comprehend someone making you happy but then also thinking there’s no way you could be happier or feel differently for someone. I don’t even feel like that about people I’ve known for years.

And now it’s over. I don’t really know how to handle something like this. I don’t know how to extricate him from my life. He’s become such a part of it. I finally let myself depend on him and trust him…and now he’s gone. I don’t know what to do, other than cry right now.

And of course, I feel more alone than ever. I know logically that isn’t true, but it doesn’t feel like it. One of the only things that’s been keeping my mind off my mom was him lately, and now he’s gone. All I want now that he’s gone is my mom. It’s a terribly vicious circle. My main support people are far away, overwhelmed with their own life things, or asleep. I’ve been g-chatting with one friend (thank god for him), but he’s far away too. There are a few other friends I could maybe call, but they don’t come to me with issues, they don’t include me when initiating plans (or if they do, it’s infrequent), and so I find it hard to go to them with serious sadness. I want someone to hold me, but the person who would do that just left me.

He left sad, saying it would take him a long time to get over me too…but that just makes it worse, because I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how he can so sincerely, genuinely say he’s still completely happy with me, will be upset to not be with me, but yet, isn’t feeling it enough to be with me. It makes no sense. It’s like he’s scared off by the thought of emotion he encouraged and fostered me to have.

And of course, he loves TV, and all these shows I watch, so I don’t even know what to turn on to take my mind off him. I have a painting on my wall I made with him. He lives next to two of my closest friends. He’s met all of my family…ugh.

Relationships Aren’t Simple

I’ve been learning a lot about relationships. I’m anticonfrontational, and I don’t get passive aggressive, but I am not quick to bring up something that’s bothering me, either. I’ve gotten better, but I’m still a work in progress on that end. I’m not used to someone being open to changing behavior without wanting to end things or reacting dramatically. There are few people in my life with whom I’m open about all the things I feel, because most times people don’t want that much information. Hence this blog. People don’t delve deep with one another frequently, and I’ve been burned a lot by assuming the people wanted information when they didn’t. As a result, I’m not great at being forthcoming with that type of emotional information. And, when I am forthcoming, I end up needing a lot more validation for giving it than some others would. Overall, being insecure about things like that has gotten in my way. I’m working on being more confident in who I am so that I care less about the reaction I’ll get and more about getting what I need.

The dude has been good with things, though, and has given me no reason to feel any of those above things. He has a level of admiration for me that I haven’t even grasped for myself at times, and his desire to promote my happiness is evident, which is awesome. He’s also been really open to listening and never makes a big deal of things I think are going to be big deals, which is helpful in encouraging me to open up. He needs to communicate more, at least I feel that way, because he’s a “show I care through actions” person, and I’m a “hear he cares with words” person, so we’re working that part out.

And, sexually, things are great. He’s not kinky, per se, in that he hasn’t gone to events or participated in any lifestyle things. He’s super into being dominant, though, if only in the bedroom, and we’re working on exploring that a bit. He also likes choking, is into bondage, and is stronger than me…which is good. He’s into denial in ways that I am too. We haven’t gone all that far in exploration primarily because I have roommates and he’s been out of town on weekends (making going to his place, far out in burbs, difficult). I’m hoping that in time I can bring him to some events and get him experimenting more with things.

I’ve been struggling a lot with asking for permission to get off when I’ve been alone. I’m supposed to call. I find it impossible to do, no matter how much he says he likes it when I call. I feel like I’m interrupting him, and that it’s degrading, and I don’t know why because I also find it sexy. I think it’s because there’s been a lot of travel in the last month so I haven’t seen him enough, making me feel less secure. He also doesn’t seem to notice if I’m not calling, which makes me feel like I want it more than is normal, which makes me embarrassed of my desires. I don’t know. If anyone has tips on that, do share.

November Arrives

Welcome to Fall, officially! Daylight savings time still throws me, having spent a good deal of life in a state that didn’t follow it. I like light in the mornings, but I miss light in the evenings. Such is life.

I welcomed fall with a party with many of my good friends.  I mixed several different friend groups, which worked surprisingly well. We baked lots of goodies – I now have a fabulous recipe for both deviled eggs and spinach dip – and drank lots of alcohol. I haven’t danced and had that much fun in a while. It was really great to see so many people I care about in one place. I forget sometimes, in my hatred of groups, that the point of parties is to see all the people you like in one place. I may need to have parties more frequently…

I had a couple of friends really show me how much they care. I was in some awkward situations romantically, and they sort of saved the day.

I’ve talked a lot to friends this week about some difficult dating situations. It’s hard. I want to find love and a partner to share my life with. I feel ready for that. At the same time, being single is better than settling. I need to feel excited to share my life with my partner, not worrisome.

Moreover, while D/s appeals and is of interest to me, I’m still working out how to build trust to have such a relationship. Fundamentally, I still want someone to be a partner in life with, to respect me and cherish me as I am. I am ok with sexual manipulation, but I don’t want someone to mind fuck me in everyday life. I don’t want someone to manipulate me into being codependent or surrendering control. I want open, honest communication, and as I care more about you and trust you more, as I submit to you more, my need and desire to please you will naturally increase. It doesn’t need to be manipulated further.

The problem is, if you’re unclear or vague in order to get me to need or think about you more, than I’m left unsure. Yes, I may think about you more, but it isn’t in a positive way. I want my partner to inspire and motivate me to be the best version of myself (and I the same to him), and if I’m constantly questioning your level of desire, affection, happiness, I can’t do that. Insecurity is not my best self. Make me secure, be open, and then I’ll think about you all the time in happy ways. I’ll want to go out of my way to make you happy.

On a totally separate note, I’m debating trying to participate in NaNoWriMo. I wouldn’t commit to 30,000 words, but I really want to write a new story, maybe more than one. The question really just goes back to what level of character development I want, how much romance v. kink, and are there are new themes I can bring into my writing?

Links and Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, all the blogs I follow are bursting at the seams with mentions of love and such. Being single and having had a number of…interesting, shall we say?…dating adventures the last few months, it’s a tad annoying. My personal motto for getting through this holiday when not in a relationship: single doesn’t have to mean solitary. I’m blessed to have great friends and a lot going on, so I don’t really get lonely so much as horny. That said, ick at the preponderance of hearts and pink.

That aside, some interesting love-related articles:

My favorite is from Madagascar: “Love is like seaweed: you go to her, she leaves you, you leave her, she follows you.”

Favorite line: “Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
-Veronica A. Shoffstall

Other randoms:

Finished another book in all of 3 hours the other night: Easy by Tammara Webber. It was a quick read, and reminded me why I enjoy trashy fiction.

CoCo Sala has fabulous brunch, but be prepared to go into a sugar coma.

I need more routines in my life. I say that a lot, but I’m finally working on getting some down.

Winter Fire in T-minus 3 days! I’m nervous and excited. I can’t wait for all the shows. My friend said it’s like they designed this year’s programming just for me, and she’s right. That said, I’m a little bummed that a lot of the classes I’m interested in are at the same time. I’m also nervous since I don’t have many play dates scheduled – I hope I don’t end up wallflowering too much. I’m worried that my room will end up too crowded or people won’t pay me their portion. I’m also hugely excited to spend a weekend with some of my favorite kinky friends.

In yoga, they have time for meditation. We’re supposed to relax and focus on not thinking. All I can do is think about how I can’t not think. Yes, it’s ridiculous. I think the only times I really relax fully and surrender to the moment are when I’m doing rope or kinky things and I’ve given up control, or when I’m full of adrenaline from a new adventure.