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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:18 pm 
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AP, you are so much like me. The other day, I made plans to ride with two of my teammates on July 4. Boyfriend had to work, and I had the day off. The night of the 3rd, he says he's going to ride before work and asks me to come. I tell him I've already made plans to ride with other people, but that maybe I'd ride with him first and meet them after, depending on where he was going and what time. I asked him where he was riding and when, and he was all noncommital and didn't really tell me, but then just kind of assumed I'd be going with him. On the morning of the 4th, I ask him again where/when, and again, he gives me a sort of noncommital answer. We start riding, and we're immediately going up some really steep climbs. I am getting more and more annoyed, because I'm on a training schedule and also trying to recover from the 200-mile race I did last weekend, so I need to be able to plan my rides, warm up properly, etc. Finally, we get most of the way up, and we stop to take off arm warmers and stuff, and I just said, "Hey, I know you didn't do this on purpose, but I asked you about plans for this ride a couple of times, and I re-arranged my day and my schedule a bit so that I could ride with you because that's what you wanted, and you not filling me in seems disrespectful of my time and my plans." We've had conflicts in the past that have arisen from his not wanting to plan things very well in advance, and me being mad because it results in me waiting around and not being able to make plans, but this was the first time I was able to express my frustration in a way he was able to hear and understand. He totally got it, apologized, and that was that.

So, that was long winded, but maybe stating it like that to T would work for you? In my case, I don't mind if he's not around all the time (I prefer it, actually!) but I don't like having plans and then having them change at the last minute because it means I could have been doing something else, but instead get sort of stuck waiting around, which I hate, since I have enough going on in my life that I hate wasting time waiting around. I think sometimes guys have a hard time understanding that when you want to know what's up that you're not trying to control them (which is weird, but I think a lot of guys (and maybe women?) have had bad experiences in the past maybe), but that you just want to plan out your day and do your own thing if that's how it shakes out.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Hey my uncle was at that same eagles concert! Old people and their eagles.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:04 pm 
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We're one week into cohabitation and it's been a pretty seamless transition. I do my stuff, he does his stuff, we do our stuff... there's just more of "our stuff," which suits me just fine, thanks. I noticed when we've gone away together that we inhabit a hotel room the same way and so far it's the same way at home. Same tolerance for clutter, lots of little habits in common, stuff like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:02 am 
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I this is probably the thread for me....my partner of 4.5 years told me a couple of weeks ago he wanted to separate, which was pretty sudden for me. No discussions, no trying to work it out. I think I'm still a bit shell-shocked at the moment as I'm just on auto-pilot, trying to sort my life out and untangle our lives after living together for 4 years. I've been pretty stoic about it so far but I have a feeling it'll hit me once I'm moved out and fully separated. We have a dog, furniture we are both paying for and all that jazz. It's pretty tough, and at nearly 33 I figured I was sorted and well on my way to buying a house, settling down, etc. It's scary how these things can come out of nowhere (though I guess not, for him).

I feel like I've taken a few steps back in the 'being a grown up' game, but just got to be hopeful and maybe try and appreciate single life for a while. I'm moving in with two really lovely folks, so at least I won't be spending my time alone eating custard donuts watching Buffy marathons on SyFy, and although they are wonderful people, and our new place is amazing, it's still not really what I wanted.

But yeh, it's a bummer. Just when you think you have that whole 'relationship for life' thing sorted.....how wrong you can be!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:41 am 
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That sucks, jennyg2207! I'm sorry you're going through that. :(

Don't let this make you feel like you've taken steps back in the "being a grown up" game, though. Being a grown up is not defined by your relationship status. It's about how you deal with the shiitake life throws your way, and it sounds like you're dealing with this crappy situation as well as anyone could.

Also, don't underestimate the recuperative powers of custard donuts and Buffy marathons!

Welcome to the PPK, and good luck with everything!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:51 am 
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Thanks lepelaar! Of course there have been many custard donuts and much watching of the Buffy marathons in recent days, which I think is helping a bit

I think to me the backwards step is more about getting nearer to buying my own place, settling down for a while, etc. It's frustrating that it's so difficult to do all that on my own and after 10+ years of renting, I'm ready to make a place my own really, and thought I was on that path :/

Still, I need to just rethink my plans and try to enjoy the next year for what it is!

There's barely been any time for actual heartache between looking for a new place, and dealing with a virus my dog got a couple of weekends back so I figure I am saving that for after I've moved.....maybe then, a few more custard donuts would help :D

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:11 am 
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Sorry to hear that jennyg, an out of the blue break up is a really upsetting and unsettling thing to go through because you didn't have time to prepare and it's hard to get your head around it if your partner hasn't explained things.
I think it's important for your ability to move on and for your future relationships to be able to make sense of what happened and this will probably involve having a heart to heart with your ex at some point in the not too distant future (once the dust settles and it's obvious you're not asking to try to win him back but soon enough that he is still able to answer your questions - perhaps discuss your need for this closure chat first so he can think about it and have answers ready for you as best he can).
I have a friend who is still wondering what happened and why her partner left many years ago and although she is happily married now it feels like unfinished business in the background of her life - there is a sense of not being able to spot the danger signs or avoid the same thing happening again. I hope there is not too much hurt and anger for a conversation to take place with you and your ex.
Try to embrace your single life and have lots of fun. I was single for too short a time and really wish I'd had longer and made the most of it before meeting my current partner, you never know what is round the corner so enjoy the now.

ap I wanted to raise a small voice of caution about having a big talk with T about how you have been feeling the past two weekends. I just wonder if this is the right time and circumstances to raise the issue. As you say yourself you've been a bit low (& had a lot of expectation on spending this weekend together as it's your last w/e off before restarting work) so are probably feeling more anxious and wounded by things than you might have been a month back or will be in a months time.
You've said this is T's first big relationship and I'm just worried that if you tell him you felt so upset about him being away on a trip and then taking up a short notice fun opportunity he might feel that this is what relationships are like and they are hard work, that he can't do the stuff he wants to (or has to do) without feeling guilty or upsetting you. I'm having trouble putting my thoughts down clearly, I hope you get what I mean. I'm not saying you should continue to sit on your feelings if this sort of stuff keeps happening . . . but I think if you raise it after these two weekends in a row (given that it was travel and the gig) it might do more harm than good because things have been going so well and in a better frame of mind you would have coped with it differently.
Of course if this happens again and it appears it is becoming a pattern I certainly think you should bring it up, I just feel maybe this is just an unfortunate coming together of circumstances and frames of mind rather than a real problem to be tackled at this stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:24 am 
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rentaghost wrote:
Sorry to hear that jennyg, an out of the blue break up is a really upsetting and unsettling thing to go through because you didn't have time to prepare and it's hard to get your head around it if your partner hasn't explained things.
I think it's important for your ability to move on and for your future relationships to be able to make sense of what happened and this will probably involve having a heart to heart with your ex at some point in the not too distant future (once the dust settles and it's obvious you're not asking to try to win him back but soon enough that he is still able to answer your questions - perhaps discuss your need for this closure chat first so he can think about it and have answers ready for you as best he can).
I have a friend who is still wondering what happened and why her partner left many years ago and although she is happily married now it feels like unfinished business in the background of her life - there is a sense of not being able to spot the danger signs or avoid the same thing happening again. I hope there is not too much hurt and anger for a conversation to take place with you and your ex.
Try to embrace your single life and have lots of fun. I was single for too short a time and really wish I'd had longer and made the most of it before meeting my current partner, you never know what is round the corner so enjoy the now.


Thanks rentaghost - I hadn't really thought of that. He did explain it to me in as much as he could - but really, it just came down to him realising he didn't want to be with me anymore, and otherwise he was very 'kind' about it, but for me it was still fairly out of the blue. I know that once he makes up his mind, there's no changing it (he's pretty stubborn like that). I guess there's nothing I can say if he doesn't feel 'that way' about me anymore - but I have no idea how I could have avoided it, and yes, it does make you worry about future relationships a bit.

We might have a conversation once we're both moved out (we're still co-habiting at the moment) but I'm not terribly hopeful that he'll open up to me now, as he's always found that pretty difficult anyway.

Right now I'm trying not to think about it too hard, and just get myself physically moved on. I think it might all catch up with me then, but I don't really have the time or space for heartache at the moment :(

I'm trying to be thankful for all the good things right now, if possible, and surprising myself a bit with my own stoicism! (not sure where it's coming from exactly....)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:33 am 
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You might also, when there is a moment for reflection, really think brutally honestly about how you felt about him - is it possible that you both just drifted apart? In that case he may have given you the best answer he can as he felt the drift and reacted to it.
I know what we write here is only a snapshot of how we feel and not the whole picture but from what you've said is it possible that it's the loss of footing on the path of life (buying a place, settling down etc, the 'yellow brick road' we imagine for ourselves) that's more upsetting for you rather than the loss of your ex as a person? When I faced a breakup some years ago I had to really think about and unpick why I was so upset and a good deal of it was about not being 'ready' to leave (or in control of the timing) and being attached to various material things and emotional ideas rather than wholly about my attachment to that partner.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:04 am 
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rentaghost wrote:
You might also, when there is a moment for reflection, really think brutally honestly about how you felt about him - is it possible that you both just drifted apart? In that case he may have given you the best answer he can as he felt the drift and reacted to it.
I know what we write here is only a snapshot of how we feel and not the whole picture but from what you've said is it possible that it's the loss of footing on the path of life (buying a place, settling down etc, the 'yellow brick road' we imagine for ourselves) that's more upsetting for you rather than the loss of your ex as a person? When I faced a breakup some years ago I had to really think about and unpick why I was so upset and a good deal of it was about not being 'ready' to leave (or in control of the timing) and being attached to various material things and emotional ideas rather than wholly about my attachment to that partner.


I get what you're saying - I think what I meant was that the 'step back' was more about settling down a bit more - but yes, I am definitely very upset about losing him too. Actually, I felt like our relationship had gotten to a really secure place, and I am very broken hearted about us separating. I can't imagine being with anyone else, or even on my own. I've been through 3 breakups of long term relationships before this one, and this is the only one I didn't instigate myself.......it doesn't feel so good when you really, really don't want it to end. I know of course that time will give me perspective, but right now I just feel so horribly sad that he gave up on something I thought was worth fighting for.

I hope that makes sense; thanks for the wise advice though, I'm sure I will feel different in time, but it's pretty tough right now. What can you do, I guess, when someone's feelings change? Not much, unfortunately :/

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:17 am 
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Big hugs to you jenny. Sounds like you're doing a great job of getting through it one step at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:47 am 
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Went to one of my best friend's camp for the long weekend, and ended up flirting horribly with his younger brother. He's a great guy, but I just never thought of him that way. We've been talking ever since, and I think this might be good for both of us. We're both going through a lot of crepe right now - might be a nice source of comfort.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:01 am 
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jordanpattern wrote:
In my case, I don't mind if he's not around all the time (I prefer it, actually!) but I don't like having plans and then having them change at the last minute because it means I could have been doing something else, but instead get sort of stuck waiting around, which I hate, since I have enough going on in my life that I hate wasting time waiting around. I think sometimes guys have a hard time understanding that when you want to know what's up that you're not trying to control them (which is weird, but I think a lot of guys (and maybe women?) have had bad experiences in the past maybe), but that you just want to plan out your day and do your own thing if that's how it shakes out.


Yes, this is me exactly. It's the sudden changes and the waiting around and not knowing that kills me. I know I should probably just go do other stuff and see him when I see him, but our time together is important to me, so I feel like he's worth waiting around on. To a point.

rentaghost wrote:
ap I wanted to raise a small voice of caution about having a big talk with T about how you have been feeling the past two weekends. I just wonder if this is the right time and circumstances to raise the issue. As you say yourself you've been a bit low (& had a lot of expectation on spending this weekend together as it's your last w/e off before restarting work) so are probably feeling more anxious and wounded by things than you might have been a month back or will be in a months time.
You've said this is T's first big relationship and I'm just worried that if you tell him you felt so upset about him being away on a trip and then taking up a short notice fun opportunity he might feel that this is what relationships are like and they are hard work, that he can't do the stuff he wants to (or has to do) without feeling guilty or upsetting you. I'm having trouble putting my thoughts down clearly, I hope you get what I mean. I'm not saying you should continue to sit on your feelings if this sort of stuff keeps happening . . . but I think if you raise it after these two weekends in a row (given that it was travel and the gig) it might do more harm than good because things have been going so well and in a better frame of mind you would have coped with it differently.
Of course if this happens again and it appears it is becoming a pattern I certainly think you should bring it up, I just feel maybe this is just an unfortunate coming together of circumstances and frames of mind rather than a real problem to be tackled at this stage.


And yep, that being said (my reply to jopa), this is why I'm hesitant to talk to him about it right now. Like, exactly. I have been feeling rather off and him going away for vacation and then on this overnight trip wouldn't normally put me in such a funk. He is usually very, very good about letting me know about things ahead of time, because he knows that I am a planner. If it happens again, then I'll definitely say something, but I've been way more sensitive lately than I usually am, so I know a lot of it is my stuff and not his stuff.

He was acting super sweet at first last night, and then I think the stress started to settle in again, because he got a little isolated. I know he doesn't mean to, and that it's nothing to do with me, but it hurts when he does that. I ended up writing him an email this morning (easiest way for me to get it all out) saying, in a very casual way, that I get that he's stressed, that it hurts when he pushes me away, that I know it isn't about me, but that I still have feelings and to please let me get them out now and then. He responded saying that now he is being audited, so even more stress. I wish I could fix it, but that's not up to me. And I suppose it's really a matter of whether I can live with his grumpy moods when he's like this. I'm trying to play it cool, because I don't want to smother him and make me a part of his stress, but it's hard sometimes.

Fee wrote:
Hey my uncle was at that same eagles concert! Old people and their eagles.


Ha, weird! T said that it felt great being the youngest guy in the room, haha.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:56 pm 
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My boyfriend, Anthony told me he loved me last night!!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:48 pm 
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This Eagles stuff is cracking me up. I'm 27 and a big fan!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:03 am 
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How exciting, fupa! (PS, that is my boyfriend's name, too, but he shortens it!)

So even though my T didn't really respond to that email I sent him, I know he read it and took it in. He always has been more of an action guy than a words guy. He kept his hand on my knee/leg last night and was generally being very sweet. Not that that in and of itself is weird for him, but when he's stressed (like he is right now), he closes off and doesn't touch a lot. Anyway, I was super crazy tired and had wanted to have sex, but then I was too tired and said something to that effect (he hadn't brought it up at all, haha, it was just me) and he said, 'It's ok, we have plenty of time to have sex in the future.' Future talk! And then he tucked me in to bed and it was sweet and adorable. Nothing big or anything, but it just felt nice and easy and comfortable and safe. I like feeling like that. Oh, also a friend of mine was talking about how when you're single there's no one to take care of you when you're sick, and I mentioned that none of my boyfriends have ever taken care of me when I was sick, and they pointed out that that was totally forked up. So I asked T if he would bring me tea and gatorade and soup if I was sick and he was like, 'Duh! Of course I would!' :)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:18 am 
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Jay and I had what I think was kind of a marriage breakthrough yesterday. I stupidly locked my keys in my car and he didn't get mad. We just called BCAA and sat down on a bench in the parking lot and became BFFs with this random guy drinking a smoothie. Jay paid for the tow truck guy to break in to my car (it took less than a second! Wow my car is easy to rob), and it was just nice because I felt really dumb about it but normally he's hard on me for my discombobulated daily mistakes but yesterday he was just loving.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:38 am 
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Ha! I expect he has been reflecting on you living in China for a year!


I'm pleased for you fupa.

Let us know how it goes flavabean!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:21 pm 
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GUYS. My boyfriend just moved into his very own apartment (well, rented, but still!) this monday. I couldn't help out with the actual moving, but I did clean every single surface of the kitchen for 7 hours and helped with the unpacking and sorting through stuff and I am SO happy for him - and for me, because this is the first time we've ever been able to hang out all alone, without a roommate in the other room, EVER. Also, this place is so cozy and the kitchen is totally tiny but very well organized and he has some decent cookware. And there is this huge balcony, and the area is totally awesome and so much quieter than my neighborhood, but it's only 10 minutes on bike from my place.
I've been staying here since monday, and tomorrow he's going to Norway to do a concert, but WOW. It's wonderful to just relax and to see him relax and I can just feel how good this is going to be for us.

The backstory is that he's been staying at my place/his mom's couch for a year because of financial reasons and because he was waiting for this apartment to be vacant and it got dragged out because of the people who lived here before were migrating to Australia and it was problematic. So after a year of him having no private life, now he has this awesome apartment and he gave me a key and said "I want you to be here all of the time". He's even agreed to not smoking inside while I am here (he's a big smoker) and he's keeping the windows open all day, so it's pretty nice and non-smokey here.

I am so happy that we get to spend summer here, because I love the change of scenery and I have a summer course of 7 hours of french every day, so I am going to be super exhausted and it's always been a problem for us to see each other during long days when we're both busy, and now I can just come here. I even bought extra shampoo and conditioner and toiletries to keep here! It feels so surreal. To just be able to relax together, all alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:07 pm 
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That sounds amazing and luxurious, smoothie! Are you thinking about moving in with him?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:55 pm 
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Not right now, but definitely one day! He's only 22, so he needs to be living on his own for a while, figuring out how he likes to do things, how he likes to live and what kind of tooth paste and toilet paper he likes :) I moved away from my mom's house almost 9 years ago, so it's been a bit weird to be with someone who was basically still living with his mom, no matter what the circumstances were. So mostly I'm just glad he's moved in. Now he needs to find a job. That is going to be.. interesting. Haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:14 am 
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smoothie, that sounds awesome, I'm happy for you!

I've gone and said something stupid, and now T is mad at me. We haven't been having much sex lately, which worries me. I know dry spells happen, but he just seemed so sexual in the beginning and made a big deal about how important sex is to him in a relationship, so for us to not be having it is a concern for me. It's not really like I don't feel like my needs are being met, but I miss the intimacy and wonder why he isn't into doing it much anymore. I figure a lot of it is his epic stress that I'm always talking about, but he barely even kisses me. Of course, when I try to talk about this, it's 6:30 in the morning (what was I thinking?) and it comes out like, 'Why won't you have sex with me, I'm self conscious' and he's all 'You're only in this for sex and I'm not 15 anymore and it's all about you' which makes me feel awful, because I'm not only in it for the sex, I didn't mean to make him self conscious about his age or libido, and it's not all about me. He's just so terrible at communicating, when I try to explain myself better, he just interrupts with 'Whatever, I get it, no big deal, etc' in this really impatient tone of voice. I just don't even know anymore. I know we need to have a conversation about communication, but he will just brush it off, because it makes him so uncomfortable. And frankly, it makes me uncomfortable, too. I wonder if he thinks that this is worth the trouble. I know that life as a bachelor was much easier for him. So anyway, of course I wrote him one of my emails, because the only way I'm any good at organizing my thoughts is to write them down, and that way he can't interrupt me. No reply yet. It just sucks because when things are great, they are so so great. I'll feel secure and happy and loved. And then his mood will plummet and I feel like I'm in the way and bothering him. Nothing I can say when I feel like that is the right thing to say, so I should probably just back away and give him space and wait to talk about this stuff until the time feels more right. Blegh. This is just a lot harder than it was in the beginning, which...duh, but I really thought this was just going to be awesome the whole way through. I guess things rarely are.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:52 am 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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Posts: 7563
Location: Portland
Dude, you're allowed to have feelings and anxieties and issues, and you're allowed to talk about them. It seems like you're really beating yourself up over not being perfect, while letting it completely slide that T is being a jerk. It's great that you are working so hard to be a good partner and communicate fairly and not put things on T that aren't worth it, but that effort has to come from both parties in a relationship. It can't be all on you.

Sure, maybe 6:30 in the morning wasn't the right time to bring it up, but why couldn't T have said, "hey, I am not up to talk about this now, but let's talk about it later"? It sounds like he isn't very willing to put in the work to make the relationship work, and that seems to have been a pretty consistent theme throughout your posts about him. I know that feeling. It's tough.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:35 am 
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WELFARIST!
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Location: WV
Yeah, it is tough.

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55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Relationship advice, decisions, smiles or tears
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:44 am 
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Aired her grievances, lost the feat of strength
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Location: Brighton, England.
Like jp said don't beat yourself up about it! Communicating is a two way thing and it doesn't sound like he's doing too great at it to be honest!

One thing I might suggest is that if writing e-mails is what helps you get your thoughts and feelings sorted out then maybe try writing the e-mail but not sending it. Use the writing as a way to organise your thoughts so that you can have a conversation about them later. I've learnt myself that talking about relationship issues does need to be a proper face to face convo, I used to be terrible at actually saying what I was feeling out loud and I'd write Nick these epic text messages which just drove him crazy!

I feel like with the e-mails you have no idea why he isn't responding, maybe he hasn't even read it, maybe he's too busy to process his thoughts, but then you have all this time to sit and wonder why and what's going on and you could save yourself all of those feelings by waiting and talking at a mutually convenient time.

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