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Congrats on your daughter going off to college!!!! Wow!

 

As far as your boyfriend this sounds like a change in your attitude:

 

"I have always loved my bf as a human but as my bf, not yet. It takes so much time to feel that love, it happens well before I am aware of it. I think things I have no business thinking. I think sometimes about slush, will he ever see what my presence in his life has been trying to show him? I don't know what it is exactly but it feels something like love, like, what it means to love, in its most basic and neighborly and human form. To love as a daily habit. I sense that is my purpose, not for me to teach but for him to observe and reflect. It is a confusing and arrogant idea, and one that makes me wonder what lessons he is evaluating these days. "

 

From what you posted early on you were and (did?) fall in love with him romantically, as a boyfriend.

 

Your first post here -not the word "love" for sure but what you wrote was: Came here to say

 

"Wow.

 

He steps up in so many ways, he works hard to understand me, I am so happy in his company, and I am happy to have him as my partner. He has met my boss at work, my besties are hearing about him and meeting him, and I am comfortable with all. My bff with most familiarity is telling me not to screw it up; his bff is saying the same to him.

 

I am so happy with my choice."

 

And

 

"It's scary for me, because failure is an option. We don't have to do this. More than that, its freeing, leavening. ts clear we both want to make this stick, and we already feel like we are better people because of the others influence. How great is that?"

 

To me that means even more than saying "I love him as a bf" - that is action on your part, not just feelings of love. Proclaiming you "love" him "as a bf" would just be the icing on the cake if not redundant -those earlier posts certainly reflected your strong interest in him, your excitement about him as a boyfriend, not just as some "human" you have loving feelings for.

 

Thinking is thinking. Then there are actions. As you wrote about the wonderful human beings you made, that took a lot of thought but I bet it took a whole lot more doing and giving and pure action on your part? So it seems more like you are falling out of love or out of infatuation or out of your prior committed feelings (and actions)to him as a boyfriend. It's wonderful that your daughter wants him to be a part of things -do you?

 

I hear you about getting older -we are the same age- there's more of an urgency to get certain things done, for sure! And you are doing them!

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Congrats on your daughter going off to college!!!! Wow!

 

Thank you! We all are ready, prepared, and excited. She is excited for her opportunity to study higher math. Haha That's when you know grad school is next....

 

As far as your boyfriend this sounds like a change in your attitude:

 

"I have always loved my bf as a human but as my bf, not yet. It takes so much time to feel that love, it happens well before I am aware of it. I think things I have no business thinking. I think sometimes about slush, will he ever see what my presence in his life has been trying to show him? I don't know what it is exactly but it feels something like love, like, what it means to love, in its most basic and neighborly and human form. To love as a daily habit. I sense that is my purpose, not for me to teach but for him to observe and reflect. It is a confusing and arrogant idea, and one that makes me wonder what lessons he is evaluating these days. "

 

From what you posted early on you were and (did?) fall in love with him romantically, as a boyfriend.

 

Your first post here -not the word "love" for sure but what you wrote was: Came here to say

 

"Wow.

 

He steps up in so many ways, he works hard to understand me, I am so happy in his company, and I am happy to have him as my partner. He has met my boss at work, my besties are hearing about him and meeting him, and I am comfortable with all. My bff with most familiarity is telling me not to screw it up; his bff is saying the same to him.

 

I am so happy with my choice."

 

And

 

"It's scary for me, because failure is an option. We don't have to do this. More than that, its freeing, leavening. ts clear we both want to make this stick, and we already feel like we are better people because of the others influence. How great is that?"

 

To me that means even more than saying "I love him as a bf" - that is action on your part, not just feelings of love. Proclaiming you "love" him "as a bf" would just be the icing on the cake if not redundant -those earlier posts certainly reflected your strong interest in him, your excitement about him as a boyfriend, not just as some "human" you have loving feelings for.

 

Thinking is thinking. Then there are actions. As you wrote about the wonderful human beings you made, that took a lot of thought but I bet it took a whole lot more doing and giving and pure action on your part? So it seems more like you are falling out of love or out of infatuation or out of your prior committed feelings (and actions)to him as a boyfriend. It's wonderful that your daughter wants him to be a part of things -do you?

 

Thank you Batya for your keen observation. I definitely have been feeling more guarded, less committed. As I have been standing back to observe me/him/us, I have noticed all good things. How we are good influences on one another in various ways. Its also been a time of shining a bright light on him, so that if he has a silly morning with his office colleagues I would think Does he even work that hard? (He has been there for 20 years, has advanced, been given pay raises for which he has negotiated, meets regularly with the chairman one on one... 🙄 he probably works a bit, huh). In short, I have been wondering - "Where's the beef?" What if he has less money than it seems, spends it carelessly, has no gravitas in the office? What if he is selling me on a mirage? What if his decision making is short term, unsophisticated? It wasn't the dollar amount but the decision making -- what if he is irresponsible?

 

Last night he brought it up. He too has a keen ear. He spends well less than he makes, has a plan and a current budget and all of that. He also observed my challenge at being a full leader, at modern day equality versus 1950s gender norms. And in the course of all this, framed it that he views it as me letting slip my long term perspective for him, and that makes him happy.

 

Oh my goodness. I doubted him for and pulled back until I saw substance. And he (rightly) saw me evaluating him as a long term choice, respected that, said it makes him happy when he sees that, addressed my concerns forthrightly. Never once said "You doubted me and that's never going to work!"

 

Then, like whipped cream on the dessert - topped it off by talking about my behavior in terms I often use to describe others' behavior, including ways we objectify ourselves when we follow certain traditional dating constructs. Earning a person, just the phrase, being one of his examples -- and a mindset I reflect in my speech.

 

So. I got respected, loved, and improved upon using my own mirror. And fed. And at the end, he thanked me for a great date.

 

I think he's a keeper. Bonus: I woke today feeling more free again with my emotions and my affection for him.

 

I hear you about getting older -we are the same age- there's more of an urgency to get certain things done, for sure! And you are doing them!

 

You're right about that; I hadn't seen it that way and its exactly what I have been feeling. And I HAVE been doing them! Thank you thank you thank you.

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Great news! I don't think this has anything to do with your label of "traditional dating constructs" -that's an interesting abstract conversation to have with a partner -my husband and I talk in general terms and dissect all sorts of human behavior, general patterns we see, how people relate. -And sure it might relate to us as individuals and it sure is interesting to ponder, analyze, etc - but in your situation it seems to me you turn to that kind of analysis when you want to shift the focus away from attending to the simple truths and simple honesty-well, much much simpler - that comprise your reactions to this specific person. It is really interesting how people can objectify themselves in all sorts of environments -dating, the workplace, when pretending to like the opera in front of your cultural acquaintances, etc. -and your boyfriend sounds like a really smart, insightful person who loves those topics too.

 

And- - maybe do you turn to those "complex" general, label-trigger-happy subjects to avoid that this is you, individually and simply means that you were looking for reasons to bail, partly due to Slush texting you as of late, and it reminded me of your friend's advice as far as the risk of you sabotaging a potentially good thing. Obviously you don't have to discuss that with your boyfriend -that was your thing and you were shining a light on him because you were imagining Slush waiting in the wings, and part of that imagining was that you've been dating him for a few months, things are getting serious and that can be scary. That's my somewhat simple take on it -we don't need to agree!!

 

I'm so glad you're going to give this a real chance again.

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Great news! I don't think this has anything to do with your label of "traditional dating constructs" -that's an interesting abstract conversation to have with a partner -my husband and I talk in general terms and dissect all sorts of human behavior, general patterns we see, how people relate. -And sure it might relate to us as individuals and it sure is interesting to ponder, analyze, etc - but in your situation it seems to me you turn to that kind of analysis when you want to shift the focus away from attending to the simple truths and simple honesty-well, much much simpler - that comprise your reactions to this specific person. It is really interesting how people can objectify themselves in all sorts of environments -dating, the workplace, when pretending to like the opera in front of your cultural acquaintances, etc. -and your boyfriend sounds like a really smart, insightful person who loves those topics too.

 

And- - maybe do you turn to those "complex" general, label-trigger-happy subjects to avoid that this is you, individually and simply means that you were looking for reasons to bail, partly due to Slush texting you as of late, and it reminded me of your friend's advice as far as the risk of you sabotaging a potentially good thing. Obviously you don't have to discuss that with your boyfriend -that was your thing and you were shining a light on him because you were imagining Slush waiting in the wings, and part of that imagining was that you've been dating him for a few months, things are getting serious and that can be scary. That's my somewhat simple take on it -we don't need to agree!!

 

I'm so glad you're going to give this a real chance again.

 

Good points in here.

 

I doubted him because of certain observations I've made, and because I can't afford to carry him unless I plan differently. I can't afford to misjudge on finances and that makes me have a heightened awareness. It bled into a question of respect because if his finances were weaker, his spending habits seemed to be unbridled in support of a facade.

 

My questions were addressed in so respectful a manner, and he acknowledged the presence of clues that might cause me to wonder. He makes more than I thought, researches purchases that he never makes, and chooses to live below his means. Its as thoughtful and intentional a budget process as I had known him to be, and his outward manner is genuine.

 

Indeed we spent yesterday talking about human behavior, while canoeing, driving, cleaning up after the gym... and he has an ex that has been wanting attention lately and we talked about that too. He even tossed out a Slush joke that was actually funny.

 

All this communication is paying off, I guess because we have aligned values. It stretches me and I learn all the time. Love that.

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Great! So I don’t think you really meant you don’t love him yet as a boyfriend but rather that you had had strong feelings for him romantically and as a boyfriend but now that you are getting to know him better you started to have doubts and focused on slush’s apparent interest in you. Glad you resolved the doubts.

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Great! So I don’t think you really meant you don’t love him yet as a boyfriend but rather that you had had strong feelings for him romantically and as a boyfriend but now that you are getting to know him better you started to have doubts and focused on slush’s apparent interest in you. Glad you resolved the doubts.

 

Ha, I love how you put slush in there as a cause. So you. :)

 

Ironically, bfs ex was bidding for his attention at the same time as Slush was bidding for mine. Bf and I were together for a long weekend, and we learned afterwards we each had refused to reply to the others while away with each other.

 

For Slush, I found a way to reply that reinforced my generous spirit towards him and closed off physical; he kept the door open. Bf found a way to reply yet disengage that felt right for him. I would say it reveals other areas of concern, but that's his journey and not for here.

 

I would say it differently, that my uncertainty re bfs financial judgment made me more open to hearing from slush; once we addressed my doubts everything fell back into place and felt as exciting and compelling as before. I dont think slush pulled me away, at all, i do think I was already uncertain and therefore open to distraction. I am grateful even bf said hearing from slush as i did would cause someone pause. I am grateful he is so free of blame and so full of understanding. And he thinks the same of me. Phew!

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Ok so a funny, different bf topic.

 

We went for a walk. Before the big talk about money, so each of us still in our own head space. I asked if he had goals for the walk. He said I dont wanna talk about that. Um. Ok, so we didn't. WTH?? I thought, how far back to the car? I don't need this walk! Maybe I leave him with some alone time, maybe I have seeped into his calendar more than is comfortable for him. But, I kept walking.

 

He thought I said, what are your goals for the fall? In his mind he was saying Back off! I have my business handled, and you don't need to handle it for me. What is your problem, woman? But he kept quiet, kept walking. We relaxed slowly, chatted endlessly, negotiated some rough spots about whether we would eat afterwards or go our own ways.

 

The next day - yesterday- afternoon, he said, Like when you asked me... and I was like, What? I said "walk", like, did you want to do push ups every mile, run, take it easy, do stairs... Big laughter ensues. The difference one letter makes!

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Oh! You meant exercise goals not communication goals? LOL!!

I don't know what you mean by "so you" - I didn't mean to sneak Slush in as a cause. You've been in regular contact with him and thinking about him in a way that is inconsistent with being in a committed relationship -we all have thoughts -no worries about that -but yours were getting closer to potential actions that would have involved pursuing him again instead of your Bf. I do think it's circular like I think you do - sometimes the doubts comes first ,sometimes the person from our past but often it's circular.

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Oh! You meant exercise goals not communication goals? LOL!!

I don't know what you mean by "so you" - I didn't mean to sneak Slush in as a cause. You've been in regular contact with him and thinking about him in a way that is inconsistent with being in a committed relationship -we all have thoughts -no worries about that -but yours were getting closer to potential actions that would have involved pursuing him again instead of your Bf. I do think it's circular like I think you do - sometimes the doubts comes first ,sometimes the person from our past but often it's circular.

 

Bf thought i wanted a rundown of his goals for 4Q18. Omg. So funny.

 

Yes, you are right. And slush texted again today, simply about going running. I took it literally and replied in kind (but re tennis). Nothing further from him. I think he heard my subtext "not available for tonight" and disengaged. Therefore I think it was a bid for attention and that it is better to not reply at all.

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Uo oh.

 

Slush texted again today... just a few words each time about flying out of town, plane delay, getting in a workout before the trip. I think the workout texts are because he finds that a safe, shared territory - we have disagreed vehemently on topical matters, but enjoyed similar perspectives around eating healthfully, work travel, etc.

 

I say uh oh because its like coming home to me after trying to make it work with someone else. Or its like trying to be proper friends but with an interest in more/different as well, given recent communication.

 

I say uh oh because i am going to have to take control and I haven't been doing that. I have been replying, today, in kind. Five words of small talk back, for example. And, it isn't right. My imagination of him is alluring, the spark and the incredible peace is alluring: of course it is! I was interested in him for three years! Even so, I am well aligned with my bf and keeping an option on the horizon is poor practice when working towards long-term potential.

 

It is time I woman up and maintain a silence, at least until something changes that incents me to offer the respect of a reply. Indeed, it is time. I deserve the simple beauty of it.

 

For me to remember: even if he WERE to remain constant and committed to me... even IF. I am not going there, and I like what I have, and my job and desire is to protect what I have. Remember: the rewards go to the person who will be responsible enough to protect them.

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Great night tonight. As bf gets more comfortable with me, he relaxes, he becomes his fully grown self, he becomes still. He said he would work on letting himself be happy, that he has been focused on letting me do whatever I need to do. He has been protecting himself a bit. Its changing and as he becomes more certain of us he relaxes even more. Fabulous. Stillness! Yum! ,

 

I am a changeling and a triple guesser, but its superficial. Underneath, i am so very grateful

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Weird! Got an email from that guy - MWFN? What were his letters? Anyway...of the sort,: text me sometime, here is my number, kids asked about you... hope everything is going well.

 

Why? Why would I reply? Because its kind and an expression of my faith in humanity? That's true, and I can think of nothing further to warrant my conversation.

 

Maybe I will email -- thanks for saying hello all good here hope you and your kids all are happy healthy and on path.

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Got what I asked for, plus some. I sent a polite, 7 word reply. Alls well, basically. Mwfn seems to be newly single and sent me a follow up brag note about awesome kids, new home, etc etc. No gratefulness, no responsibility. An apology for his impact on me -- okay dude well its years later, whatevs. The apology was for yourself, not for me, and it serves me no purpose whatsoever.

 

He appears to have learned very little about life, only a continued habit of compromising himself to survive and rationalizing that its okay because he is a victim of circumstance. But happy to claim the wins as his own. Ick.

 

I must have him blocked, and that's okay! He asked to text. Nah. Not gonna happen. I am working to find my charitable non judgemental self, and finding it with "much for which to be grateful" as my best reply. Leaves the door closed. May send any further emails automatically to trash bin.

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Bf and I have had some bumpy moments and I am glad for it. To me they represent the tension of further integrating ourselves into one another's habits. In truth, I am requiring more accommodation from him than him from me-- I have more responsibilities and need more time dedicated to practical matters, so I am learning to decline or request his company while I work on things. He jumped in yesterday, helping with some home projects, and it made a difference. He is not a handyman, doesn't like these sorts of projects, and finds them overwhelming. I have been tentative to include him, but he offered and it worked out great.

 

I have been late, so annoying, then he got over it. That's a tough one for me, the subject of long threads here, and I now mostly have it under control... but I need more work on that.

 

Anyway... its good. I am looking forward to college weekend in a few days. Woo hoo!

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We've been away for the weekend... bf, too, staying in different accommodations. We had a lovely time, no doubt about it. The bf is grateful to have the experience, drove, paid his way, paid for our family dinners, insisted ahead of time. It makes him feel good to provide and allows him to adopt a role in the group - a group that operates as a family would operate.

 

It all went so naturally I have to make it a point to remember that it isn't like that with everyone.

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Fuzzy idea taking shape, something about my identity, the slow shift from being a lone wolf to part of a family.

 

It's odd. I am not a lone wolf and I will still be me.

 

Its fuzzy.

 

There was a time when being coupled felt like a diminishment of me. It doesn't, now. It doesn't even feel like a part of me. More like an adjunct or a special interest or a job or...its something I do.

 

As I say, its fuzzy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bf gave me the greatest birthday. The activities he picked - comfy, then to "who knew that was here and who else would do this??" to yummy somewhere neither of us has ever been; the way he chose the opposite of what his friends suggested, trusting his own knowledge of me; the way he wrapped the presents; the way I laughed myself to tears trying to fall asleep after. Happy happy happy.

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Bf gave me the greatest birthday. The activities he picked - comfy, then to "who knew that was here and who else would do this??" to yummy somewhere neither of us has ever been; the way he chose the opposite of what his friends suggested, trusting his own knowledge of me; the way he wrapped the presents; the way I laughed myself to tears trying to fall asleep after. Happy happy happy.

 

Wonderful!! Happy Birthday!!

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... and today, "what will really be fun is when we can take [kid #1] to the bar next door [which is a few years yet]

 

I am enjoying the day to day experience, and enjoying the comfort with it as a part of a future, while not needing the future to make today worthwhile

 

Did I mention that Slush sent me a HB text? first time ever. I replied. I think a simple "thank you" would have been appropriate but I asked him a silly weather question as well. Perhaps, subconsciously, I was testing how much he wanted to engage -- but not because I wanted to engage. I ought not to have done it; thankful that he did not reply. We are in a pleasant detente. Then yesterday, an article popped up on my phone that I read, and it reminded me what being with Slush is/would be like.

 

The payoff of being with him is knowing that he has solved all problems and, in general, and is prepared to "handle it" whatever it is, at every moment. That is fabulous. The challenge is, I enjoy being in the fray as much as I enjoy being protected from it. I don't want to be kept in bubble wrap. My source of personal power includes my ability to win ugly. As a result, our contributions and needs are in conflict.

 

Anyhow -- I read this article, and contemplated the two experiences - being with my bf, and being with Slush. I am having way too much fun and finding too deep an engagement to choose any alternative. Lucky me! Comforting to have that knowledge for the days I am sure to wonder, because there will always be days when one wonders.

 

Current struggle is to get bf to the dr. Hasn't been in several years. Admits it is an act of denial; family history of a late onset health issue is his fear and I think it is a legitimate concern. I want to know; I want participation in trials; I want to confront. But then, I have had already 5 intimate experiences with disease and death. It prepares me, at least more than otherwise, for the kinds of truth that we would rather ignore. We agreed on a different sort of doc; that's one in the win column for both of us.

 

We have cemented a morning schedule in the gym, sometimes with morning and/or evening walks or easy runs added in. Slow and steady is paying off. My strength has improved, others comment on the visible change. Want and will need to add in more controlled fueling plans and intense speed intervals, and I will have the strength to do it.

I am practicing my own nascent skill of believing in the process. But I wouldn't get it done without having him as a workout partner. It gives me that extra sense of purpose and energy to know I am not in this alone, to focus on meeting a human and not on checking off a task, and the anxiety I get when I am focused on my own goals recedes.

 

Grateful.

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Poor bf lacking clue. No kids. Wondered where did our private time go. "It's too early in a relationship for that," he ventured. "The kids are on auto pilot."

 

Omg funniest thing ever. Or, jaw dropping.

 

Um. Bae, where do I spend all my evenings and with whom? My offspring! That has an impact, doncha think? / Bf: Oh. Yeah. I guess it does.

 

Facepalm.

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