Monday, September 21, 2009

From "I" to "we"




Being in a new relationship, even a long distance one, is a challenge.

As a single mom, I am used to planning my time WITH my children and WITHOUT my children. Because I live alone, and because my man is 3 1/2 hours away, I can continue to do that.

Mostly.

Gentleman Jack and I do our best to see each other every other weekend. The next time we see each other, though, will be three weeks since our last visit. *sigh*

However...

I'm sort of looking forward to this weekend when I'll have time to myself.

Don't get me wrong. To say I ADORE my time with Jack is an understatement. But I have spent nearly every weekend (that I would normally have to myself) with him. I feel like I need a breather, you know?

Now, I'm sure I'll have some anonymous commenters who'll say I'm complaining but I really am not. Every new change in a person's life requires some adjusting.

I enjoy my alone time. In moderation.

I enjoy my Mommy time. In moderation.

I enjoy my Gentleman time. In moderation.

I guess I just need balance.

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Funny how I remember writing a post last year about the opposite effect - going from "we" to "I".

I was trying to explain to Soldier how I had been a "we" for so long. When he would ask me about my past... well... that past always included my ex-husband. He felt uncomfortable when I would use the word "we".

Now I've been an "I" for so long and I'm trying to readjust back to a "we" again.

I feel like some things have fallen by the wayside because I haven't made time for them anymore. I feel behind on household or domestic duties because I'm spending that time on the phone with Jack. I need to get back to some semblance of an athletic training schedule again.

And oh how I miss my yoga...

When I want to make plans for the time I spend with GJ, I have to get another opinion. That can be frustrating when our opinions don't mesh.

I was used to deciding on my own! Now I have to compromise?!

Ha ha! That sounds funny to even write. How many times did I want someone else's input on what to do?!

Sometimes, when I'm feeling overwhelmed or tired or just want to be alone, it should be easy to have my space, right? He lives a state away!

But there are still misunderstandings or misperceptions even when my silence has nothing to do with him.

He is trying to find balance too. As a single person, there are things that he did or I did to maintain a sense of belonging or love. Going out with friends. Hanging out with single people.

Now? Well, we're both adjusting to new feelings and new views about life, love and each other. Sometimes those adjustments have to be worked out between the two of us.

Different expectations. Different fears. Different pasts filled with different baggage.

---

I believe that two whole individuals coming together is much healthier than two people who lose themselves in each other.

It makes sense that, though we've fallen for each other, there are going to be some growing pains or adjustments that need to be made.

We live in different states for reasons that each understands. Will either of us move? At this point, both of us say no.

We've each been single parents for so long. Both he and I have opinions on that too... raising children and parenthood.

The adjusting, sometimes, can be quite complex.

There is much more to be discussed. More compromises to be made. More learning opportunities.

Still, I think that we will be better for each other if we are able to maintain a sense of self in this relationship. Balance is good.

I am grateful and thrilled beyond words to have someone to grow with and adjust to, wherever this takes us.

22 comments:

  1. New relationships are challenging...and when they're long distance relationships, even more so.

    You're on the right track talking about balance. Finding balance is key, and that's something that I certainly struggle with. It's easy sometimes to blame the growing pains of this relationship on "the distance", but the truth is, you're right when you say that all relationships have growing pains. The ones in a long distance relationship are just...different.

    Enjoy your alone time! :)

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  2. T, how funny. I just posted about feeling a little on the opposite end. I'm adjusting to the "me" life again.

    This made me feel better, "Every new change in a person's life requires some adjusting." Amen. It's an adjustment period (for a lot of things in my life) and I'll get over the hump again. Wonder if a year from now I'll be writing the opposite as well. :-)

    What a happy ajustment for you!

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  3. Right now I'm sitting in the house while Veronica and the kids are out for a bit. I LOVE my alone time. And I LOVE the time with the kiddos.

    I know exactly what you mean about that balance. It can be so hard to find...

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  4. I know how much I love my 'alone time'...but as I've continued my LDR with Sunshine I've come to two realizations:

    1. If we were in the same city, we'd either be living together or spending a LOT of time together...so my 'alone time, would be greatly reduced anyway.

    2. As time has gone by, I'd rather spend my spare time with Sunshine than be alone any day of the week.

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  5. it's the worst part about being a single mother in a relationship...balance. (I SO don't miss the long distance thing)

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  6. Absolutely every relationship has growing pains. The good thing is that it's growing and not regressing or becomming stagnant.

    As for alone time; it's essential. Enjoy it!

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  7. Maintaining a sense of self is key to the success of a long term relationship. If we don't maintain a sense of self, if we are not true to our self then we become lost and eventually that lost feeling turns into resentment and frustration. It is good that you are so very aware of what is happening in this relationship. You are keeping both feet on the ground and are still able to poke your head into the clouds.

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  8. Doing the LD thing with Mr. V (opposite sides of town - 45-mins each way) was super frustrating. Living together is highly preferable because we can be together yet apart.

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  9. If there weren't growing pains, if you weren't trying to find balance, if you were just loosing yourself in him, it would be unhealthy. Congrats on finding a happy health realtionship. Glad I found your blog!

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  10. I know these feelings too well -- and we currently live 30 minutes, not 3 hours, apart! It is very hard, especially in the beginning, when two people used to doing their own thing on their own time and in their own way try to meld their time and lives together. It does become easier, though -- just keep on communicating and negotiating. I still love and crave my alone time, but now I can't imagine being without my "together time" or J.

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  11. Its funny, but i struggled with this throughout my 8 year marriage. I was a WE person where as my ex was an I person, sadly enough not just in the way he spoke but in the way he viewed the world. After 3 years of separation, i am finally discovering my I, and he is finding that concept very frustrating.

    On the flip side, i am now realizing that balancing both a we perspective and an I perspective is so important in a relationship. There is nothing worse then loosing your sense of self and becoming an extension of someone else. You wake up one day, wondering who you are and where you are going.

    Alone time is wonderful! I am glad you have the ability to have it. I think it is one of the most important things to have as a single parent, regardless if you are in a relationship or not.

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  12. T, you are so great at capturing the nuances of post-divorce (or is it "post-marriage"?) relationships (with kids). I'm struggling to find this kind of balance right now myself--trying to see the time spent apart as time to grow and avoid being too dependent on the relationship...and the yoga makes the time together that much more, um, flexible! :)

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  13. Making the transition from I to WE is tough. Now that I have a kid I long for ME time and usually don't get it. Having alone time is very important. Don't ever feel guilty about this!

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  14. I TOTALLY get this!

    When Mr Roses was here for a week earlier in the year - by the end of the week I was craving my own space but didnt want him to go!

    It is the same with Plane Boy! First time round I was with him every weekend - it got exhausting - this time round we are working it a little better and getting a balance!

    I realised tho that my "alone" time is VITAL to my sanity!

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  15. I appreciate the eloquence of this post, T., and the way you captured what so many people experience.

    After not being in a relationship for a long time, it does take adjusting--LDR or not. And not losing yourself and the things that you know you need, while also compromising and giving to your partner what HE needs, all of it takes a bit of juggling.

    But it's absolutely worth it. ;)

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  16. I am definitely missing my alone time with The Man now living here. (But I wouldn't trade it!) Balance, balance, balance. That IS what it's all about.

    Enjoy your time and do something just for you!

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  17. Sounds like healthy balance. You're doing good to find your "I" and not get lost in the "we". Fun times!

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  18. Someone once said there is no I in the word team. Or some shit like that. HOWEVER!

    T, you're a smart cookie. Any man or woman can see that. I love this post, it reeks of intelligence.

    Smart Cookie *tapping forehead*

    -QT

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  19. as much as i look forward to some time away from my son from time to time to relax, no sooner do i get it then i feel guilty.

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  20. I would give my left ovary for some alone time. Enjoy it!
    Are you cleared for yoga yet? You could hit a weekend class!

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  21. It's all about balance baby! Do something cool for yourself. You deserve a little YOU pampering.

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