Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baby Steps

I'm not very good at relationships, truth be told. I tend to freeze up, close off and sabotage them some how. This is not a confession, this is the truth.

I am not very good at relationships.

When the boyfriend and I started dating, we agreed to take things slow. Real slow. We are both romantics turned realists who have gone through the wringer several times with bad relationships. To say we are jaded or damaged is too cliche (even for me) as I believe that almost everyone who has ever dated ends up with some sort of emotional baggage. The good news is that we know we have personal issues and are still committed to making an effort to overcome our damaged selves.

This is round two for us. Moving forward has been one foot slowly in front of the other. We are using honesty and sometimes forced communication to avoid making not only the same mistakes we made the first time, but also the mistakes we've made in other past relationships.

ED and I have been dating for just over 2 months and things have been going really good! I have tried my best not rush things along. A few weeks ago I tried to push him to re-meet my parents, but he wasn't ready. Once I understood that I backed off, recognizing that he just needed time to do things at his own pace. So you can imagine my surprise when last week he asked me if I wanted to have dinner at his brothers restaurant, and by the way, his brother and wife will be joining us for a drink afterward. I held my enthusiasm and nervousness in. You see, while ED met my family during our first go round, I never met his.

Despite my nervousness, it ended up being a really great night. ED and his brother greeted each other with an enthusiastic "Brother!" It was very amusing for me to watch them interact. Their mannerisms and the way they speak is so similar. I guess my younger sister Staci and I are the same way. We ate amazing wings, shared a few pitchers of beer and watched the March snow fall. Honestly I couldn't have hoped for a better casual meeting of a beloved family member of his!

ED and I are opposites in so many ways. Sometimes I start to fall into my same horrible self sabotaging ways of closing off and distancing myself, but he catches me doing it before I even realize and calls me out, asks me to communicate and actually listens to what I say, now that's a first! While it's not easy to be called out on my childish lack of communication skills when it comes to matters of the heart, it is pretty damn cool to have found someone who is starting to recognize it and cares enough to say something.

We are not running a marathon or even speed walking. It's baby steps all the way.

Blogfully yours,



kel said...

Honesty and forced communication? What the......

And, I'm sorry. I hear the term "ED" slung around so often in my daily life that I'm forced to assume your young man has an emotional disturbance.

But I'm glad ya'll are making it work!

Frank said...

Look up on the ridge and you will see that the pine tree and the aspen do not grow if one is overshadowing the other. Some distance is healthy too. I once read that even the pillars of the temple stand apart, which makes the structure stronger. What you view as a weakness, when used correctly, is actually a strength.

Karina The Russian said...

wow, look at Frank go! I must say i agree with him. Distance is healthy!
Love you!

Sarah Bellum said...

What a great post! I love your raw honestly here.

Relationships can be scary, but I admire and applaud you for putting yourself out there.

Erin said...

Wow, I think it takes a really thoughtful and non-reflexive attitude to make a 2nd go-round work this well. I think it must have a bit to do with being a grown up and a bit to do with both of you really, really wanting it to work. I'd feel pretty good about that level of hope if I were you.

Thanks for the great post!