Author Topic: Relationship/s  (Read 15317 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #570 on: July 27, 2020, 08:32:03 PM »
Well, at the risk of giving y'all a case of the head-snap...
I'd like to say I just had a lovely Zoom chat with a very nice gentleman.
(I think deep down, I have a fair amount of tolerance for risk taking.)

What happened was that on a neighborhood website, a man posted a sincere request for recommendations for good couples counselors, because he was trying to help friends of his. I leaped to recommend the Sikh with a few descriptive lines. The man wrote me back his appreciation, saying it was the "fullest" response he'd received.

I thought: nice, clearly my generation, educated, why not? So I replied, I'm finding this quarantine really wearing and wonder if you might have a nice divorced/widowed friend who likewise might enjoy practicing Zoom conversation?

He replied he did...gave some details. I replied again, great, happy to, give him my email, etc. And then he replied...it's me.

Long story shorter, we yakked away for almost an hour and a half this afternoon and both enjoyed it. I'm sure we could be friends in "normal" life, and said so. He said the same.

Just FRIEND stuff, but I feel proud of myself for reaching out. One never knows!

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #571 on: July 28, 2020, 04:50:14 AM »
Oh, Hops, that's great news, I'm really proud of you as well!  How lovely, a new lockdown friend, that interesting 'getting to know you' phase and I like the fact he was looking for a therapist for friends of his - indicates he values a bit of outside support and introspection when needed, I would have thought :)  Aw, how lovely.  That's really nice, positive news.  Does him posting on your neighbourhood website mean he lives in your area as well or is the area his friends live in?  I'm very excited to read this update :) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #572 on: July 28, 2020, 07:13:01 AM »
:D

Good news, Hops. There's not a thing wrong with adding a new friend. And who knows? Perhaps at some point, things will shift into something more later. It does happen. But being friends first, is the perfect way to determine how many layers of masks there are to the person - and just what they might be trying to cover up. Without having so much at risk yourself.

For as much as you are clearly an introvert, you genuinely have an interest in people; and care about them as human beings. And you value your connection with other people. I'm happy you reached out to this one - and that it's evolved into occasional companionship already. As far as I'm concerned, a comfortable companionship is 90% of what makes long term relationships work. Sounds old fashioned - but we're already from a past century right? LOLOLOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #573 on: July 28, 2020, 01:27:55 PM »
Really good news, Hops.

I have more connection, now with COVID, than I have in the last 15 years before.  People are reaching out more on neighborhood boards, as your new friend did.  We have chances to encounter more people, and people seem to be posting about smaller things they're interested in.  I just learned my new moss friend moved into the neighborhood the same year I did.... we've been a mile apart for FIVE years!  Just crazy it took COVID to find each other. 

And... of course this gentleman was impressed with your recommendation. You're a wonderful, thoughtful writer.  He's likely enchanted.  Have fun!

Another bright spot in quarantine, IME.

Lighter




Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #574 on: August 01, 2020, 02:24:21 PM »
Thanks, everybody. I truly enjoyed it...no regrets.

I've noticed, however, that despite me saying at the end of our chat how much I enjoyed it, and that we could do it again (and him agreeing)...crickets.

I'm not too focused on this, but notice that my thoughts are running in the direction of reciprocity (lacking). I reached out in the first place, he did respond, and so I'm thinking (like an adolescent)...who moves next?

And I have a sort of stubbornness about not wanting to contact him again. I am very leery of being the bold one, the one who drives some connection. I want it reciprocal. At the same time, he did mention that he's "shy."

So perhaps I'll contact him Monday to say something. Maybe like, Want to Zoom again? And just see what he says. That's not too vulnerable or revealing.

But if I do that the once, I think it'd be wise to actually tell him about how I feel about reciprocity.

I've been down the one-way who's-pursuing road before, and never want to again.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #575 on: August 01, 2020, 03:05:15 PM »
Hops, that makes complete sense to me.

YOU being completely authentic, honest and up front about yourself, and your expectations.... that's good information and you're entitled to speak and have your opinions and make your moves.

Dropping expectations, around what he does, is important too, I think. 

You can only control yourself and your choices.  Step up.  Listen to your intuition.  Be brave.  Don't fear the outcome.  Get curious about it.

I think bravely being yourself will move you through decisions and outcomes more quickly. 

I have no problem asking someone for time or attention, though it's morphed through the years into a what I want, rather than what I need.... as something OUTSIDE myself to BRING ME HAPPINESS.   Now it's just desire for healthy connection, and I'm entitled to that.   It's not a big thing to ask for.  It's OK to seek it out and it's OK when it doesn't work out the way we would have hoped.

I guess the big things is.... to remember you aren't asking for a wedding date here.

It's just a chat, or coffee, and it's OK no matter what happens.

Lighter

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #576 on: August 01, 2020, 03:10:43 PM »
Hops,
I think you should contact him again on Monday. He might be shy. Or distracted.

But I dont think you should say anything to him about how you feel about reciprocity. That just adds a layer of "ought". If he can reach out to you and initiate, he will. If he can't, I think it would be great for you to know that. If you contact him on Monday and you wait to see what he does, and he doesnt call back, it's not weird to let it float away like it would be later in a relationship.

How do those things work--the neighborhood boards? I'm on one, but I have only checked in a couple of times. I dont know if they include real names or addresses or anything. Would it help to have any of that?

Love
CB
When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails.  Elizabeth Edwards 2010

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #577 on: August 01, 2020, 07:31:17 PM »
Thanks, Lighter.
I agree with and appreciate all your advice.
Nope, no wedding bell accelerations...just was a little sorry he hadn't been in touch.
And you're right, it's okay no matter what.

But I'll remedy that with what CB suggested...just contact him (email) and see what happens next. I also appreciated your wisdom, CB, that getting all heavy about "reciprocity" would be more weight than this skimpy contact merits. Look for actions rather than instructing him, sounds very smart.

I so appreciate youse guys. Thank you.

hugs
Hops

"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #578 on: August 28, 2020, 09:54:03 PM »
Well, new friend and I had our fourth Zoom yak today and it was very pleasant. We agreed nothing at stake, and just nice to have such very frank conversation with a new person. (He mentioned "we're not looking for marriage" which was good for me to take note of, not that I'm viewing him romantically, at least not now. I am firm on the "friends first" philosophy Amber mentioned, so if that's the level it stays on, that's fine too.)

He's uber-cerebral and makes M's use of high-flown vocabulary seem lightweight. Whew. It's fun, but after an hour and a half I need a nap, kinda thing. Both brains steaming and the words and concepts flying.

It was nice hearing him talk about a long and happy marriage. Despite it being two years, he's clearly still healing and grieving. He's quirky and in some ways kind of antisocial, or emptysocial is more like it. But I enjoy the company and the talking. So that's that. I didn't tell him about the ED visit. Did tell him in summary about my D, and his response was comforting, attuned. What a contrast. He understood what had happened and didn't play out "oh I'm traumatized you even told me" kind of thing I've dealt with 50 too many times in the last 8 years. I appreciated that.

We may do an outside-sit kind of meet before the cold kicks in. I'd enjoy that.

Meanwhile it's a low-stress adventure via Zoom!

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #579 on: August 28, 2020, 11:26:45 PM »
Nice, Hops.
 A relaxed face to face sounds like welcome diversion to me.  I bet he's glad to talk to someone who can understand all his big words; )

That he understood your situation with dd seems comforting.... not to have to comfort the listener is a relief.  Finding a compassionate ear is validating and welcome.  I'm glad you had a positive experience.

I picture you and Pooch greeting him on your patio with snacks and beverages.  It makes my heart feel glad.  I wonder if he'll ask if he can bring something.  What would you say?

Lighter


Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #580 on: August 29, 2020, 07:40:51 AM »
That sounds nice, Hops, he sounds like good company, virtual or otherwise, and I like the fact he was happily married.  It implies less baggage to sift through, friend or otherwise.  And nice for you to just be able to talk to someone and not have all the mental mind leaps that go with a possible relationship.  Good to have a Zoom buddy and maybe a real life one, too xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #581 on: August 29, 2020, 10:43:54 AM »
Excellent Hops! Be friends; get to know him. Let him get to know you too. Just be together.
No expectations of more - just be together and respect each other; learn each other's boundaries and enjoy yourself.

That's more than enough to entertain, right now.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #582 on: September 08, 2020, 08:44:38 PM »
Had another Zoomyak with new friend this afternoon and it was very enjoyable. We're both verbose and really enjoy lively/intense conversation. He's firmly in friend-zone in my head and I think that's mutual, so it's comfortably low-pressure entertainment/company. We alternate booking Zoom, and he mentioned "8-10 days". I think that's a good indicator of how although our enjoyment is mutual, neither of us is fantasizing about anything further.

Meanwhile, I've hopped back on findageezer.com (where I met M) and though anticipation's pretty low given the pandemic, it feels like a healthy question to send into space. Check it every couple of days and let it go, which works fine for me. Nice people. Mostly very *blue-collar guys from surrounding counties and not many highly-educated types, but I don't care. It's just good for me to remind myself I'm viable.

*I love and respect blue-collar guys. Many I know are among the wisest of my effete friends. But because I'm hyper-verbal, a similar if not matching education level does make dialogues more fun. I may learn that a strong and silent working or retired-working man is a much better bet for me. But I think I need another blabber. (I'm not as driven by sexy muscles these days....ain't blind but ain't young either.)

I've been thinking I will be seeing M in about a month for a reunion conversation; we'll likely meet at a winery and catch up that way. I do hope it goes well so we might be friends. But I'm still firm in my clarity about not committing to him for life or for marriage. Disappointing but self-preserving. I'll be genuinely delighted to see him, but not with the hope of rekindling some fantasy future. I don't really know where he'll be about us, but I'll learn that when I see him.

Future fears are present again, which makes sense, and I'm trying to address them calmly.

Relationship right now needs to be primarily with myself, my friends, my familiar UU community. I remind myself I am phenomenally lucky to have two friends right here--one next door (less intimate but very loyal to the idea of neighbors being neighbors), and one across the street (the one I called for a ride to the ER in the middle of the night, who offered "sisterhood.")

We don't check in or talk daily but I'm sure as we all get even older we'll be there for each other if someone needs help. I've also taken some bread to a guy two doors up who came to my house one day with next-door friend to help with a plumbing crisis. He's just had surgery. He's not friend-material but just having that neighbor-conscience is a good thing to do.

Back to M...what said a lot to me was that I felt real loss and grief for only a couple weeks. I bounced back into myself and felt great relief. And that was a big clear message that my perceptions of the personality obstacles (and how I could handle them or not) were right for me to respond to by breaking it off. HARD decision but I'm still convinced, the right one.

I might have lived longer (and definitely more comfortably economically) with M, but on the other hand the stress of always having to push back against his unconscious and automatic dominance was undermining my well being. Haven't changed my mind.

Who knows, one day I might regret it. So far, though, I truly don't. I wish I had a mate and still hope to find one, but day to day I'm a lot more relaxed.

hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 01:16:36 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #583 on: September 09, 2020, 08:51:46 AM »
I think I overstated "only two weeks" of real loss and grief. That's not really accurate. I have felt the loss of M for months, but stuffed it by overeating. Just got aware of that cause-effect last week, I think.

What was happening in July after the breakup, I think, is that at the SAME time I was feeling grief over the loss of M and a dream partnership  ... I was simultaneously feeling such relief. The chronic tension flowed out of my shoulders. I didn't feel as though I had an invisible leash on. I wasn't rewiring my brain to live in a subtly always-stressed state and accept constant tugs on the leash. (Ritualistic emails with no content and loads of XXXXXOOOOs during the day. Loads of self-praise in most. No substance....and instead of reading them as hugs I read them as "pokes." Poor M, I'm sure I misjudged him often and likely unfairly, but that's the truth of how it felt. I think because he had demanded attention in such an INTENSE way when our relationship was growing...it was hard to relax into responding to him in a mellow way. Every inch yielded to his forceful energy about how life should go left me feeling an inch more lost. Plus, I brought in my anxiety over control and dominance inner-contradicted by a reflexive desire to please--got busy learning HIS stuff and losing track of my own.)

I hope I never do that again, if I'm lucky enough to find a new partner sometime. Somebody with thicker skin and clearer boundaries might have done better and still be with M, enjoying the pleasures and security without all the stress.

Nothing nefarious about them, but M's OCDish rigidities and rituals came smack against my decades of freedom to float and find out where my mind wanted to wander. He liked to have me for dinner every Wednesday and every Saturday. Every time it was a performance and I learned my role: to admiringly watch and comment on and praise his clever cooking and likewise during the meal to keep it up. It either wore me out or bored me out. Sad, that I couldn't be generous enough to keep that ritual afloat, because it obviously anchors his life. And I sure enjoyed the eating...

It's just that it was so unvarying. Nothing spontaneous, except ingredients. Even if I'd suggest, how about I pick up Indian (wishing he'd say sure, that'd be great--and we'd be done with it) -- every single decision about what we were going to eat was discussed with such over-seriousness that I wanted to escape. Discussed at ponderous length. Discussed as though it was the most important decision of the day, which to M it likely was. And that's no crime on his part! I just couldn't handle the intense and endlessly repetitive focus on food. He needs a foodie-woman.

Why am I repetitively discussing M again all of a sudden? I think it's because I'm excited about seeing him again next month, and when he's crossed my mind lately I've felt a little surge of love and affection over how good it will be to see his face.

I know it's not common for ex-mates to become just-friends but I hope we can pull it off.

Thanks for listening, y'all.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship/s
« Reply #584 on: September 10, 2020, 01:13:36 PM »
Hmmm. Glad I wrote the above since it helps me remember what happened and why.

One thing about the daily several emails....in other circumstances, with another personality, I'd probably LOVE that form of staying connected and close.

I couldn't with M. And until I re-read my summary above, I'd forgotten.

M's emails were ALL and almost ALWAYS about him. I know he thought he was being affectionate with the XXXXXX and OOOOOOs. For him, he was. But I would honestly say that 1 in 25 of his breathless emails about everything he was doing and thinking...would he say something like "how are you doing?".

The man did not ask me any questions about myself. I was a human sound absorber. That was the deep downside. He just didn't have insight into how his personality affected others.

This was helpful, though it's probably boring to revisit. Skip at will! It just helped me to remind myself that I had multiple very good reasons for my choice. I'm remembering dazzling- or cute-puppy M. Not regularly deaf-to-me M.

Whew--
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."