This is a thing that I am not very good at.
I have opinions. A lot of them. And I tend to make my opinions known. It’s something that I am aware of and am trying to take more notice of. I don’t want to be “that guy” that always voices their unwanted opinion. And I think that I am not “that guy,” at least not with most people.
It’s much easier to keep my thoughts to myself when I am with people whose decisions don’t really affect me. Friend making a bad decision for a guy? Or letting their boss walk all over them? I don’t really care. They can do whatever they think is the best decision for them. But if the situations are the same and the person is my partner, you bet I’m not keeping my mouth shut. I’m going to point out how horrible the guy is. Or the boss. And question if the whole thing is even worth it. And question her decisions.
I’m sure that this is horribly annoying for her, or it was in the beginning and now she’s just learned to tune me out. But this all works for us in particular, because she accepts that I am a nosey partner. She is also confident enough in her own choices that she can take my opinions with a grain (or a cup) of salt and use them to help her address situations while still making her own decisions.
This has been learned over years though. I know that I don’t have to worry about my opinions affecting her decisions. And even if they did, if it’s something that could affect our relationship it needs to be talked about. I don’t know these things with other partners. In reality, I can pretty much assume the exact opposite. If I am in a new relationship with someone and I have a lot of opinions about how they are living their life, it’s pretty safe to assume that I should keep my mouth shut. Because it isn’t my place. Even if they are struggling with something and want my advice, it’s very dangerous territory.
Example: new boyfriend (who is married) wants my opinion on something that he and his wife are working on.
Sure, I could give him my honest opinion. But what if it isn’t very nice? Or not what he wants to hear? Or it’s based off of the one side of the situation that I’ve heard and he then makes a decision based on that when there was actually so much more going on and now my advice has affected their marriage. That’s probably the most likely. And that’s not something that I want to be a part of. Even though I am now also affected by the marriage, my opinions don’t need to be floating in his head the next time they have problems. And My words don’t need to come out of his mouth the next time they have a fight. Even though I believe all of this would happen unconsciously, it still puts a lot of unnecessary stress from a biased source into their relationship.
So even though it is incredibly hard for me, I try to stay as uninvolved as I can. Other relationships need space to grow and develop on their own, without other opinions shoving their nose into the middle of things.
I spend a lot of time thinking about various “what if” outcomes. Sometimes this ends in me having arguments over situations that have yet to or will never happen. More often, this ends in me making assumptions about what future me would do, given specific circumstances. Mostly, these circumstances never come about and I don’t know if I have a good grasp on my personality. But sometimes, I get the chance to prove that I’m not full of shit when I boldly proclaim how I would react.
You talk to a lot of exes. How would you feel if your boyfriend was talking to his exes.
You’re still on various dating sites and messaging people. What if your boyfriend was doing that?
Go for it. Talk to whoever you want. Flirt if you want. Send dick pics.
It’s not about who you sleep with, it’s about who you come home to.
I think that I may have mentioned this idea before. And I’m not saying that I want my boyfriend to go out and sleep with whoever he wants to. But the idea applies. As long as you’re coming home to me, and not taking time away from us, talk to whoever you want. About whatever you want. Everyone needs an outlet.
You talk a pretty big game, but how do you know that’s how you would actually feel?
First of all, imaginary asshole antagonist, doesn’t everyone talk a pretty big game? Isn’t that what life is? It isn’t as if we’ve experienced even a small part of everything there is to experience.
Second of all, I don’t. I don’t know that’s how I would actually feel. I just have to take what I know about myself and apply it to the unknown.
So when life hands up one of my imaginary scenarios and I am proved right, I feel vindicated. To myself and my imaginary asshole. There isn’t anyone else to flaunt it to, but that doesn’t take away the sweet taste of victory.
I recently received a message on Instagram from a chick, calling my boyfriend by the wrong name, and claiming that he had been cheating on me for two years. Which is, coincidentally longer than I’ve known him. She had some legitimate evidence that she probably knew him. And when asked, he said that he knew her because she had added him and started up conversation a couple of years ago. But she lives across the country. They just talk on Facebook every few months.
Maybe her version is true. Maybe his is. More likely it’s probably a version of both. And that’s okay. Were they both calling it a relationship? I don’t care. If so, it was a long-distance relationship with someone they had never met, carried out online through messages and maybe pictures. And he was in bed with me.
I went through all of this in my head in a few minutes and realized that whatever was going on, it was okay. Just like I had always said it would be. But this was real life now. And I was right.
I am polyamorous. I have a partner that is not my boyfriend. I sometimes text exes. And sometimes I message people on dating sites about the parameters of a watch that could stop time. And that’s okay. Because I’m still coming home to my boyfriend.
..baby don’t hurt me…
But really, what is it? What are you expecting from it? Everyone has a different idea of what it means when you tell someone that you love them. In my mind, people believe that once you say “I love you,” you are now attached to that person. Through hellfire and brimstone. You are already entertaining the idea of marriage, even if it’s far off in the future. You are willing to go through a lot more shit for that person now that you officially love them. You’ll compromise for them (that word comes up a lot).
You want to move to LA to take a job, but they like Portland better. Well, you love them, so you have to figure out who wins, and who moves to LA. Because love means sacrifice. Sacrifice everything and everyone so long as you stay together.
At least that is my perception of love. Once people decide that they are in it, they have made this huge commitment that now takes precedent over most other things. Right? Why else would saying “I love you” be such a big deal?
I would say it a lot more often if I didn’t think that it was going to take on unnecessary weight. If telling your partner that you love them was just another form of describing emotion, strong emotion, I would be much more likely to say it. To me, loving someone does mean that I feel more strongly towards them than most other people. I am willing to put more effort into working through problems and devote more of my time to them. But I’m also going to break up if something better comes along for either of us. I won’t spend time agonizing over whether that new job is really worth moving away from a boyfriend. It is. Because it’s my career. And if the boyfriend is a good match for me, he wouldn’t ask that I stay. We’d make it work. Or we break up. And that’s okay.
I had always assumed that this was a different way to frame the idea of loving a partner. A selfish way to go about it that most people wouldn’t be on board with. I’m still not sure that it isn’t. But I was just talking to someone who challenged this beliefs. We were talking about what my boyfriend and I were going to do when he moves four states away (we’re staying together but opening the relationship), and she asked if I loved him. And I went through the whole spiel. Yes, depending on your definition. I would break up tomorrow if it were a better decision for both of us. Etc…
She is a self-identifying romantic. Just got engaged. Super happy. Love is great. Blah, blah, blah. So I’m waiting for a response about that not being love, or something similar. But she says that she thinks it’s a better definition of love than most people.
No, no, no. She must have misunderstood me. How can someone who is so romantic be on board with being ready to jump ship so easily?
She says that wanting what’s best for someone is the best indications that you love someone.
I say what if it’s what’s best for you and not that person? Isn’t that just selfish? At least that’s what I’ve gleaned from society and everyone around me saying to just wait for the right person and then I’ll understand.
She says that it’s healthy. Not selfish. That it’s easy to just give and give to someone and not car about yourself. You have to take care of you while also sharing the number one space with the other person. And sometimes that means recognizing when it’s time to cut the other person out of your life. Upon realizing that, it would be selfish to string the other person along.
And that sounds perfect. And reasonable. And maybe not quite how I look at relationships (I don’t share the number one space in my life, there’s only room for me on that seat). But it is also much more rational than what I believe that most people think about love.
So now I’m not sure what to think. Do most people see this? Do they think that it’s acceptable to look out for yourself first in the relationship, but then get so tangled up in feelings that it becomes too difficult to be rational? Or is it like I originally thought and I am still the outlier? And what does it say about me that I don’t get tangled up in the feelings part?
Basically I’m looking for a psychologist on the internet. Now taking applications.