|07-14-2008, 07:23 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
A few things I've learned...
Most of my posts have been desperate pleas for help. However, in this one I'd like to share w/ others things that I've learned about intimate relationships. Consider this a form of journalling that maybe someone else can benefit from.
First off, I'm a thinker and my g/f is a feeler. I over analyze and she's a bit of an airhead - and I don't mean that in a bad way, just descriptively (my counterpart has its down sides too). I've learned, for instance, that just because she forgets to text me when we had plans and something came up that she doesn't care or that I'm not important to her. She just doesn't think some times- it doesn't mean that she doesn't care. Bottom line: if we commit the same action it means different things to each of us. I've learned that I need to interpret her actions subjectively to her personality.
Her challenging me to go find "the perfect girl" is really a need for reassurance. I think... too much and I'm "a bit" of a perfectionist. I'm learning that (silly) mistakes on her part are something I need to accept, something that I can't/shouldn't/won't get upset at her for because it makes her feel inadequate and criticized.
Nothing is all her fault nor all my fault. We both have a tendency to want to deflect fault towards the other person. Often, our individual prides are more important to us than the welfare of the relationship. Lesson learned: forget about how upset I am and think about maintaining the relationship. She is not out to take advantage of me nor am I her.
Listen. Genuinely listen. Some times I assume what she means w/o truly listening. Also, in a disagreement it's not all about what I think- Even if I tend to be more rational it's not all about me settling the situation. She has feelings - irrational as they may be - that need to be considered. I need to try harder to listen to her when she tells me what she wants in life - even if it makes me feel insecure in the moment, I need to listen to her lousy day at work w/o trying to fix the situation, I need to just listen to her no matter what and give her my attention- simple as that.
I have one of the moderators to thank for this one- Give. I need to stop being so damn concerned about what I need from her or what I'm not getting from her and try to be good for her. This one topic could branch off into many, many sub-branches but I'll keep it concise for this. It's not all about me. I need to consider how good I am for her. She has needs just as I do. Ultimately, I've learned to give w/o considering what I need.
Lastly, I've learned that I don't need to always "perform" around her. She's much better than I am at letting go and enjoying the moment. It's ok, I don't have to match her mood and be as she is. I can be myself and enjoy the moment in my own way. I don't need to constantly analyze the situation. She's my polar opposite in this way and some times I wonder why she's w/ me because we are so opposite in so many ways but I'm learning to not worry about that and enjoy the moment w/ her.
Before I go, I'd like to make it clear that by saying that "I've learned" these things that I still slip up. I still need to remind myself of all of this. But it's ok because we're both trying. Oh, and have a short term memory. Ya, that's a big one. Forget about all the crap that happened in the past. Focus on building a relationship and enjoying her and the times w/ her and just move the frick on to positive things. Ok, I'm done. Hopefully this helps somebody in some way.
|07-14-2008, 07:39 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
I need to remember to give her the benefit of the doubt. I'm a pretty negative person and tend to try to explain and think of things in the worst way. I need to remind myself that she's choosing to be w/ me! There's nothing negative about that and I need to remember that she's not some ill-willed creature trying to take advantage of me; she's doing her best and I need to accept that and realize that there's nothing more that I can ask for.
|07-14-2008, 10:00 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2008
I am smiling at ya right now! Can you speak to my husband for me?
I remember not too long ago you not knowing any of this. You are a quick study! It is nice to hear your growth in words. It is neat to hear them from a man's perspective while going through them. You are really on the mark about a lot of what you are explaining and how you are trying to grow.
You are smart to distinguish between personality types/love languages. It can be difficult when they are different b/c it comes off as not caring, but that is not the case. People just give and love differently. I am a feeler/giver and my husband is a thinker, (not too deep mind ya) so, I understand where you are coming from. Forgetting to text you that she has to cancel plans might not exactly fall into the "feeler" category. I think feeler types think of other's feelings. I know that I do. That doesn't mean that because she got into a busy situation where she didn't have time to text you earlier, that she couldn't at some point, take a quick moment to sent you a text. That could be contributed to being young. With age comes some maturity and the ability to consider more than one thing at a time. You are right, it doesn't mean that she doesn't care, she just didn't think. Everyone can be guilty of that, and I am glad that you are understanding. Let's just hope that she is as understanding when it happens that you get caught up in something and don't have the time to let her know. Juding actions subjectively to each person's personality is a very smart realization. I don't think I really realized that until sometime in my 30's.
You hit the nail right on the head about how your being a perfectionist, negativity and criticism makes her feel inadequate. She put her trust into you when she accepted you into her life as a partner/mate and that is a trust that you have to hold very carefully in your hands. Negative and critical comments can roll off for a while. But, when they come on a daily basis and diminish her efforts, confidence and self-respect, that is where your feelings have crossed the line. Everyone needs their significant other to be in their corner to love, support and motivate them to become their best self. Anything less is not going to meet her needs. Same said for you too. You have to understand that if you tear her down, she isn't going to feel like giving much of what she has left to you. That in turn is going to make you feel like she doesn't care. She is young and trying to forge her way professionally while growing into the woman she wants to become. She has wants, goals and dreams that have nothing to do with you, and they are her right to have as a seprate human being from you. I am glad to hear that you are realizing that.
Her challenging you to find the "perfect girl" is a challenge to you because there isn't going to be a perfect girl out there. No one is perfect. You may have your standards, but you cannot ever hold someone else to them. That is not fair to anyone. I have always said this, and I will tell you, "You can't ever aim for perfection. Perfection doesn't exist. Aim for excellence, work hard at it, and you will be happy with your achievements."
You are both young, so any mistakes whether silly or not are just a part of growth. You will always make mistakes, you can't turn them into mountains. They are normal. Deal with them, find the solution and fix it. Hopefully, you will learn from your mistakes. Really, that is all you can do, besides love and support her anyway and continue to love yourself despite the fact that you aren't "perfect." Accepting people for who they are is one of the best gifts you can give them and yourself!
It is natural to want to deflect fault towards the other. The key is to own your actions. Maturity and confidence will help you there. Pride is the age old problem. It is hard to just be real, humble, understanding, but yet confident in your capabilities and in who you are. If you have too much pride and ego, it will get in the way of your relationships with anyone, but especially the person you are supposed to let that guard down for. If you are in a mutually supportive, accepting and loving relationship with someone who is honest and has integrity, you shouldn't have to worry about any advantage being taken. Just make sure that you don't ever take advantage of her either.
Communication is the KEY. You are correct. Listening, really listening is probably the hardest component of communication. It is not always what you think or the way you "see" it. You should both ALWAYS consider each other's feelings. You are right, it isn't always about "fixing, settling" the problem. Discuss it, sooth her concerns, then if she asks, give her advise to remedy the situation. Empower her to handle it. Don't shove your opinion down her throat. My husband tends to do that, and I don't need that. Empowering her will help her grow and give her confidence. There is no way around really "hearing" when listening. I bet she listens and is supportive of what you want in life - out of life. So, you absolutely have to listen and support what she wants/needs out of life. If you don't, she won't live a fulfilled life. You wouldn't expect that or ask her to do that would you? Remember, you have to be confident in yourself and your abilities (and of course love yourself) before you can be good for anyone else. Relationships have to have trust, encouragement, understanding, acceptance, and selfless sacrifice. Sacrifice is hard. The longer you are together, the more you have to sacrifice. If you ever have kids, boy, you will have to sacrifice. A mate, a home, kids, take a lot of time and sacrifice. This is after a long day at the office when you just want to come home and relax. No rest for you! hahaha. Wrapped up in sacrifice is the giving. Because to give means to put yourself, your effort, actions out there for someone else. I have to say that most of the time, it is for someone else. It has to be a balanced sacrifice though. You can't give it all away. It is learning to love how you take care of the other, learning to like the appreciation (also to show appreciation) shown versus always resenting/disliking doing something for the other because you would rather be doing something for yourself. That is just selfishness. There is no room in any relationship for selfishness. If she is a good partner and both of you are on the same page, your needs will be met. You will at times have to discuss/explain your needs as she may not realize exactly what you are needing. How very astute of you to realize that it isn't all about you and how good she is for you! You do have to be for her and good for her too. It you want a strong, confident, happy, fulfilled woman to share your life with, you have to do all you have discussed and more. If you continued on that negative, insecure route you were on, that would only bring you an insecure, probably unmotivated woman who would settle for being treated like that.
As you gain more confidence in yourself and get more comfortable in your own skin (that comes with a little age) you probably won't feel the need to perform around her. Just be who you are. Let your guard down and let her help you in this arena. There is really no need to analyze a situation at all unless it demands it. That just takes away the fun. Just relax and enjoy the moment (every moment!) If you let it work for you, being opposites actually can help eachother grow.
You summed it up correctly, forget about the past and focus on building the relationship, enjoying each other's companionship while building a solid future. It seems like you are doing great. You have taught me something. Thank you for sharing with us. Keep up the good work.
|07-16-2008, 01:46 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pueblo West, CO
|07-18-2008, 07:58 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
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