Number Two, and lessons learned from both
(Note from the future: I’ve decided to reveal this post, which previously was password protected, with names changed to protect the parties involved, mostly to remember the things I learned from the times I have dated people seriously. Also, there are many references to orchialgia, which was a painful health problem I was going through at the time. I won’t explain what it is, but suffice it to say that it completely stopped once I stopped wearing tight pants.)
Two girlfriends in the past few months. I posted about them quite a bit on my private journal blog, and now that they’ve both ended I’d like to place here for readers’ benefit, what I’ve learned before, during, and after.
“Carmen was not the one. I think she liked me, quite a bit, but it was always awkward. We never had anything to talk about, not really, and it just didn’t work. The first week was all right, but was horrendously painful, due to orchialgia, and by the time that pain had faded away the relationship was already on the rocks. Her family thought it was going way too fast (which it was), she didn’t seem interested in my family (even though she was, but in her own antisocial kind of way), and she couldn’t believe that I liked her. She just couldn’t believe it. I told her that it was true, but she kept questioning and questioning it, getting more and more hysterical each time, until her dreams came true, that of me being, “Fine, if you’re going to be so freakin’ insecure about the whole thing then we need to split up.” I don’t think she liked that either, but I couldn’t have this giant burden of high-maintenance guilt pile-drived on me after a week and a half of dating. Plus the kissing was slobbery and nonmagical. I’m just saying. I don’t defend myself here. It was slobbery and unmagical and it didn’t do a thing for me (except for the orchialgia flaring up).
So fine. Now we get to Carmen. She’s liked me for a while, and I’d never had a girlfriend before. So I thought, hey, she’s pretty cool; let’s give it a shot. Plus, a few weeks before she wanted me to hold her because she was feeling down. Fortunately we both had enough self-control that it didn’t turn into a makeout session or anything, but it showed that she had enough trust in me to let me do that. So on Halloween I held her hand and we watched DS9. And like that, we were suddenly dating, despite not having actually gone on a date. Our first actual date came a week later, when we went and saw Wall-E at the Varsity theatre, then went to a playground somewhere and made out on top of a slide. It was her first kiss, and I was pretty inexperienced. But it sucked too. Maybe some of that was the orchialgia. Maybe some of it was the fact that by that point I knew it wasn’t going to work. After all, whenever we were together our conversations mostly consisted of pleasantries, followed by a once-in-ten-minute awkward small-talk question that had a short reply to it. I didn’t feel comfortable talking naturally around her. I never did. I can’t say exactly why, but I believe it was an issue of trust. I know she trusted me enough to tell me about horrible family and self-esteem problems she was having, which also didn’t help. Tip to ladies who may read this: if you’ve got horrible self-esteem issues, hold off on burdening the guy with them until you’ve at least gone out twice! Preferably more than that. A car can’t cross a bridge of balsa wood until it’s been reinforced by steel, and that may take a while. Also, don’t make out after a week, even if you think the relationship is going to work.
Maybe I could have been more sensitive and helped her through the issues she was having, always reassuring and having that open shoulder to cry on and etc. etc. But I was getting absolutely no enjoyment out of the whole thing, and it’s awfully hard to be motivated to help someone that intimately without some sort of bond and/or investment in that person. We had just started dating. We had little chemistry, at least that I felt. And by gum, she was burdening me with all these family problems that I certainly couldn’t do anything about, and then was scared silly of a future with me, and maybe she knew that it wasn’t going to work either.
And all of that, together, made the kissing suck. I hope. Maybe just intrinsically it doesn’t work for me. Who knows? The relationship sure wasn’t a healthy one, anyway.”
First post about Sandy:
This was the Monday after we started dating (we started on Jan. 24).
“Started dating again. She doesn’t seem to notice, though. How do I let her know without pushing her away? I want to go slower than last time, but seriously, she’s so busy; can’t she make some time? I suppose not. Even when I ask her roommates to tell her to come over when she gets home, no matter how late…whatever. Destiny isn’t kind sometimes. Whatever.”
The day before Valentine’s:
“Sandy doesn’t want to be very physical. Which is good, I suppose, for I have a tendency to push that because I didn’t ever get it. Also, from the outside it seems that that is what separates a dating relationship from the just friends stage. This will help me learn the other levels, levels that I never quite comprehended. Last night was an excellent eye-opening experience, when we finished Seiken Densetsu 3 and also had a walk ‘n talk.”
Last Wednesday, Feb. 18.
“I’m feeling in a funk. I don’t know how to start this. I’ve been dating Sandy for nearly a month now, but it doesn’t feel like dating should feel like. I keep telling myself, “Well, she wanted to go slow, so we’ll go slow.” But going slow isn’t standing still. Or going backward. To become attached to someone, I think I do it best through touch. Apparently it drove her crazy, so she asked me to tone that down. Now it feels like we’re not dating. Not that we hate each other or anything; far from it! It just feels like we’re good friends. Also, I don’t know if it’s my inferiority complex, but I feel like I’m doing everything wrong around her and with the situation. Like everything I say or want to do isn’t validated, but dismissed. The same type of thing that I get from Ben sometimes, which I’ve mentioned on my blog a few times early on.
It used to be great. I guess it still can be. I know she’s inexperienced and so forth, but galdernit, I have needs too in a relationship. She said she liked me. Once. I don’t want to press the compliments and stuff because it makes her feel uncomfortable. What I want to do is present [my girlfriend] with gifts and tell her I love her thirty times a day and hold her on the couch and smell her hair and etc. etc. but that seems like it will never happen with her, not at this rate, anyway, because it’s not what she said she wants. Is this a sign if impending break-up or just a hiccup? Am I overanalyzing things? Will this just take patience or does it need to end now before I get in a deeper funk and grow increasingly unsatisfied? I’m afraid that if I say what I want to have happen she’ll just break up with me there because she’s not ready or willing or whatever the hell. I’m trying to do what she wants; to make her feel comfortable. I don’t want to push too hard. But I’m increasingly feeling like I need to push somehow, lest we fall into stagnancy, and become friends who occasionally hold hands because Facebook says we’re dating. I mean seriously, what the crap do I do? Seriously! Is she in this relationship because of love (or potential love) or is it just a “What the heck, we’ll see how this goes”? Because that doesn’t work. I know. That’s what happened with Carmen. I guess we need another walk. I just don’t know how to broach the subject. Why doesn’t she want to give me a hug?”
Sandy, final version:
Posted this tonight, after we broke up.
“We had a walk. It was time to break up! She’s young and it was quite obvious she wasn’t into the whole thing. This just reinforces what I learned from Carmen, but from the other side now: being in a relationship based on “What the hell, we’ll see where this goes” is a bad idea. To be fair, the whole thing sucked. Not as horrible as the last one, but it didn’t fulfill the needs I had. True, she wasn’t all touchy-feely, but I think if you like a person that comes naturally. You want to be touchy with a person you like; I think that’s a natural human response for just about everyone. So if a person doesn’t want you to do anything beyond maybe hand-holding and an occasional arm-around-them thing, that’s a warning sign, yo! But I did stick with it, and I did my best to respect her, and as the earlier entry here shows, it just wasn’t working for me. So that’s that. We’ll now see what happens in the future with regards to everything, but we’re definitely done until she matures and figures out what she wants. And from all signs, it probably won’t be somebody like me. And if she’s going to be as frosty as she was, then I won’t be happy anyway, so let’s move on!
On the plus side (not to mention the shallow side), I’ve been able to take somewhat advantage of my dating situation with both of the girlfriends I’ve now had. With Carmen we were dating when I turned 26, so she got me a birthday present! A Calvin & Hobbes book! With Sandy it was Kjersti needing help with her set for her junior high school musical, so Sandy the aspiring set designer helped us build it, which she probably wouldn’t have done if we hadn’t been dating! Who knows what I can wheedle out of my next girlfriend! Maybe we’ll even be dating for an entire month the next time! Ha ha ha!”
Sandy and I failed because of a lack of communication. If we would have been better about that earlier on a lot of grief may have been avoided. Obviously, as stated above, there were a lot of other reasons too, but I think the problems were certainly exacerbated by a lack of communication. In any case, I’m going to bed.