Friday, March 7, 2014

How Things Would Be Different (the Second Time Around)

I wrote the title of this entry, and saved it as a "placeholder" draft in September 2013. It's now March 2014, and I'm just getting around to writing this. And I'd say there's a fair chance that I don't make it through. I'm not sure why I've waited SO long. I think at first, it was just too depressing to write about. Then, I started to feel like maybe K reads this blog, and maybe this post would be just enough to change her mind. This made it such an important posting, that I never felt like my head was in the right place to write it. It would have to be perfect if it was going to work. That went on for a while. Then it switched to me being, almost afraid to write it. As I have slowly started having more good days than bad, I felt like writing this article would turn a good day into a bad day. Easily solution, write it on a bad day. But of course, on bad days, I just don't feel up to it. And today, today is the day. I'm actually having a bad day, and I don't feel up to it, but I'm writing this anyway. I couldn't tell you why I feel the urge to write it today.

As far as K reading this, I don't think she actually knows of this blog. If she does read it... hi K :) I don't really think that this post is going to be a magic bunch of words that are going to suddenly, and completely change her mind, make her break up with her boyfriend and start dating me again. Not after all this time. And so, I don't have any intention of sending her a link to it. I'm pretty sure girls don't dig miserable, depressed guys. Chicks dig scars, everyone knows that. Perhaps some day, if it feels right. I'm not sure what I even mean by that. I don't know what scenario will make me feel like I should show her this blog.

One thing that's not a reason I waited to write this, was that I haven't been thinking about it. That sounded weird, what I mean is that I have been thinking about this a lot. And what I'm going to write today, is much different than what I would have wrote in September. Back then, I was thinking of more specific things I would do differently, whereas now I feel like I'm thinking more big-picturesque.

So to talk about how things would be different, I need to also talk about how I felt about things while we were together. A lot of what I say may be re-runs from older posts, but it's relevant. Before I met K, I had never been in a long term relationship. I had also never been in a relationship that felt like I was truly with the right person. I had also, sadly, started to believe that I never would find the right person. I had sort of an abstract idea of what this hypothetical "right girl" for me would be. When I finally met K, I was amazed that I was so lucky in life. I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. I used to drive home from her house, just grinning from ear to ear. Being in this situation, is very different than thinking about being in this situation, with just hypothetical 'perfect' girl. I never really thought of what I wanted my future to look like, in real terms. So once I got into this relationship, I didn't really have any long term goals, or expectations. I just sort of got into this relationship, and was "along for the ride". This is the biggest thing that would be different. I've been in a long term relationship, and now I know that's what I want. A second time around, I wouldn't just be going along for the ride. I would be trying really hard, to make it last, and hopefully last forever. That would be my goal, but it wouldn't just be my goal because I'm single and lonely now. K really is the perfect girl for me, and I've thought that since the day I met her. I've never had so much in common, and never connected so much with anyone in my life. And it just so happens she's also super beautiful. Being in a relationship that lasts forever, with K, would be my goal because that's what I really want. I really didn't understand it before. For example, when my oldest cousins got married, I sort of scoffed on the inside. I didn't understand why you'd want to get married, especially at that relatively young age. But now I understand. Life is short, like people always say. When you find someone that you truly connect to, you need to hold on tight.

Is it weird that I wrote that whole long paragraph and didn't mention the word love? I just noticed that, and realized that I was avoiding that word because I don't want to "scare her away". But she's not reading this. And even if she is, it's old news at this point. When you love someone so amazing, you friggin' marry them! I've talked about this at length in previous posts too, but, I really didn't understand my own feelings. I did not have a lot of relationship experience when I met K, and I had never been in love with anyone I was dating. I did think I was in love before, but even that seems silly now compared to K and I. (I as in, me, not an initial). Believe me, if there is anyone in the world that can fall in love and not realize it, it's this guy. So before I was unsure of my feelings, second time around, I would be very sure. Does this mean I'd treat her better? Well not exactly. I mean I already treated her like she was my princess. (Excluding the latter half of our relationship when I was being intentionally non romantic, but still very best-friendy because I had decided we should break up) Although looking back, even towards the middle of our relationship, I was holding back a little, because I was afraid K was going to start throwing "L" words at me, and I didn't know how to handle that. In fact, this was a quiet issue for me fairly early in the relationship. I had never held a girl in my arms, looked in her eyes, and shared an "I love you" with her. The thought of this was terrifying, so much responsibility to share words like that! What if it didn't work out? To me, the word love has no time frame. To say I love you, it so say I love you forever. Overthink things much? Yes.

All of this would be over. I wouldn't hold back. I wouldn't think of nice things to do for her, and then not do them because I didn't want to go "too far". I would quite literally just follow my heart. And I think life would be wonderful.

I would try to encourage her to talk about her feelings more, and I would try to talk about mine more. I mean we sure had no shortage of talking, about common interests, and about our days. But we both didn't really talk about our feelings so much. For me, it didn't help much that I didn't understand them. We would just lay on the couch and cuddle, but never really talk about things. I don't mean just negative stuff either. We not once had a conversation about our relationship. If it's going to last forever, you're going to need to talk about it. Make sure everything is good for both people. Fine tune if needed.

Sex! So I don't really want to get too detailed here. But there was an issue, which made it really good for her, and good yet frustrating for me. The frustration got worse, and instead of trying to work on the problem and fix it, I kind of just gave up. So we started to have less and less sex. We never really talked about sex, it was something I found very difficult to talk to her about. I'm not sure why. But per the previous paragraph this is something we should have talked about. Instead of suddenly getting shy and awkwardly waiting for the conversation topic to change. We should have worked out the problem, so it was great for both of us. Then, we could have lots of fun, regular sex. Like all the doctors say, healthy relationships need sex. It didn't seem like a very big deal at the time. However looking back, I think this sex thing played a big role in the failure of our relationship. I'd rather not get any more detailed than this.

So my friend was telling me, "when you're in a relationship, you have to do things you don't want to do to make her happy". This didn't apply exactly the way he was saying it, because I don't think he fully understood the situation, which was I decided we should break up, I tuned out of the relationship, ended it, then regret it. Before my point of regression, I did do things. We did lots of things, and many of them were things I wouldn't have done without her. (apple picking, what is with girls and apple picking anyway?). But you can always do more. Like I always joked with her that I refused to ever take her to a Christmas Tree Shop. I knew she'd absolutely love it, and me being a man, I absolutely hate it. She's never been to one because she isn't from this state, so she doesn't even know what they are. I wasn't like that about very many things at all, but still it was an attitude that I would like to change. I would like to be a 'yes' man, in the good sense. Even doing something you don't like, together, can be an experience that helps you build an ever stronger connection. And taking her to a store you hate, that she'll love... what an easy way to earn bonus points.

We didn't spend enough time together. I didn't want to spend more time with her, because I was afraid of things getting "too serious", but I didn't want to spent less time with her, because I wanted to stay with her. So we ended up, after the first few months, spending Saturdays and Wednesdays together. Which doesn't seem like much, but it was all day saturday, from whenever i woke up till whenever she fell asleep at night. And Wednesdays after work, until bedtime. So we did spend a lot of time together, but we really should have spent more. Beyond that "too serious" junk I was feeling, I also kind of felt like, we couldn't do things when we were together. Meaning, like I couldn't work on something I needed to work on when we were together, we had to treat the day like an 8 hour date. This wasn't any pressure she was putting on things, it was just this weird thing I had going on in my head. At the time, I felt like this was putting more pressure on me to spend less time with her. But now, looking back, it feels like it was the opposite. If we had spent more time together, that time would have felt less "special". But less special in a good way. I mean we spent plenty of time just hanging out doing nothing together, especially during the winter. But if we spent more time together, we could have gotten to a different better place. A place that could ultimately lead to us living together. Something that would absolutely be a goal, or tentative plan of a second relationship. Though the first time around, I didn't think I wanted that because I wasn't sure what I wanted. Her apartment lease was up while we were dating, and it never occurred to me, for us to look for a place together. It was like, our relationship was working, so don't make any changes. Plus logistically, I couldn't move in to her place, there is no parking (literally) and I own two vehicles. And I felt like I wanted to stick to my plan of buying a house and living on my own for a while before living with someone. I didn't have any particular reason I felt this, other than maybe an abundance of confidence that comes from dating an amazing, beautiful woman. And I was also very set on buying a house and fixing it up, which I don't think is something that is on K's radar right now. Of course now, with the reshuffling of my priorities, in an ideal world, we could forget about a house and get a nice condo together now (now meaning, if we were back together). There would be many an advantage to doing this. Then in a few years, if we were to get... married :) we'd have enough money between us, to buy a lot of house. Or not buy a lot of house, and have a lot of money saved. I know, I'm over-planning. I mean, in a sense this whole posting is over-planning, but especially the end of this paragraph. When I'm in my own head, I tend to over-plan like crazy.

The first summer we dated, we had only been dating a short time before my family summer vacation, so I didn't invite her to come. And the following year, we had already broken up by summer vacation, so I didn't invite her to come. She went home a few times, but I didn't go. And for other completely unrelated reasons, I didn't take a Winter vacation to Florida like I had in previous years. Now, I regret never spending a week, or even a long weekend, together doing nothing, and having fun. These aren't even expensive trips, they are very cheap per person. But there was always a reason for us not to vacation together. And my desire to keep things from getting "too serious" stopped me from finding reasons TO vacation together.

More things: I would do more little things, like visit her at work/go out to lunch on days I'm in the city, or days when work is slow and I have nothing to do. And we should have had lots more sleepovers. Which would take some work. I have trouble sleeping at her house. It's so noisy and bright. And she's a total bed hog :) I'll never forget one time I slept over her place when our sleeping schedules were perfectly lined up. We both woke up on our separate sides of the bed, and we came together, both wrapped around each other, and both fell back to sleep for another hour. But even with awesome things like that, it was still hard for me to sleep over. But I want to be able to sleep in the same bed with someone. Like probably almost all single people, almost every night I go to bed, I wish someone was there with me.

So this is, in a nutshell, how I think things would be different, if me and K tried dating again. I hope this happens, but I don't know if it ever will. She is still seeing someone, someone she's been seeing for a while now. And the likely hood of it happening... well ask me on a good day and I'll tell you it's only a matter of time, ask me on a bad day and I'll tell you it's never ever going to happen. It's been as amicable a breakup as you can get. We still talk all the time over the internet, but we've only hung out twice since it happened. People often say, if she still messages you all the time, she must still have some feelings for you. I guess I'll never really know, unless she does, and one day decides to tell me.

Before I wrap this up, I want to summarize the only important point of this entire article. If she were to read this, the most important thing I'd want her to take away from it, is that if we dated a second time, I know without any doubt, that I want to be with her. And I would work as hard as I could, and fight for our relationship, to try to make it last forever. . . And I think it would be a pretty easy fight, we made such a good pair.