Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To love is to be vulnerable

I did ask Gentleman Jack to come with me to San Francisco for the wedding and he declined.

I understood. He felt he wouldn't know anyone or would be in the way. He was a little unsure about my mourning over Jim and thought it best that I share that experience with others who knew Jim.

He was very supportive of the trip and was excited for the fun I was having.

Yet, as happens occasionally, we both felt a disconnect. I suppose since our primary means of communication is over long distance and since there was a 2 hour time difference, lots of downtime between communicating left us both feeling a bit off. We were unable to work out a routine of texting or talking, like we have normally. Even short phone calls don't always work with us. We're never talking for less than a half an hour, at least!

By Sunday evening and Monday morning, we were both more than frustrated. On my flight home, I could feel his hurt and I was angry.

I wasn't angry because he was feeling hurt or disconnect or worry or jealousy.

I was angry because he hadn't TOLD me his feelings yet! There's nothing I loathe more than passive aggressive behavior!

I arrived in Dallas on Monday afternoon and immediately had a text from him. I'd been praying the entire flight home that I would be given the strength to allow him space. I wanted to give him room to feel comfortable sharing his feelings... instead of attacking him out of pure assumption.

I called him from baggage claim.

After a brief chit-chat about the flight home, he spoke gently, "Baby, I'm feeling very disconnected from you right now. It scares me. I'm so afraid that you're going to want to live that life, out there, and leave me far behind. I keep asking myself why you are with me?"

My heart melted like butter.

"THAT is exactly why I love you, my sweet, sweet man!!!!"

***

We talked more about the trip that evening. We also discussed the myriad differences in our lives, what sort of friends we have, activities we love, etc.

I think he would have enjoyed the trip. I didn't know that many people either. He assumed it was going to be a bloggy convention of friends who all knew me. I loved the people watching and the gorgeous views. He would have enjoyed that too. There were many romantic moments that I would have loved to share with him.

He didn't know. Because we were unable to talk, he was conjuring up scenarios in his mind, feeling further and further away from me.

I'm guilty of this too, when he has a busy weekend.

[sarcasm font] I guess it is also one of the joys of a long distance relationship. [/sarcasm font]

We both decided that over time, we will learn to be comfortable and trust in the silence of the other. Time away from each other doesn't take love away.

***

Our discussion about this was interesting to me.

All of the things we don't have in common could be frightening. We very obviously enjoy different things and have different outlooks on certain things in life.

However, the very fact that he shares who he is with me... even when he isn't always proud of the "him" that he's sharing... the fact that we are accepting of each other, even when we disagree... those things seem so much deeper and beyond the superficiality of hobbies or types of friends we keep.

He has my heart. He's earned it. He makes me believe in true love.


11 comments:

  1. love this post on so many levels! BUT I think the level I love the most is honesty with you!! Being apart must be very hard! BUT it could not work at all if you did not share your 'heart' thoughts with one another!

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  2. You know from my own posts that I struggle with this vulnerability a lot. You should feel so proud that you have the strength and bravery to open yourself up and allow someone to love you.

    I'm not sure I'm totally there yet, but I want to be. I just have to hope BLT is patient enough to wait for me to get to this place too.

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  3. Despite the ups and downs you guys have here and there, you always come back together. That takes a lot of strength and communication. If I can even come close to that in whatever relationship I enter, I'll be more than happy. XO!

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  4. I have always been a 'wear my emotions on my sleeve' type of person... except for some reason when I am really scared and hurting....is the time I have the hardest time sharing.
    It is something I get better at. I am sure he will too. BIG step for him.

    So happy for you both

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  5. It's amazing just how truly vital good communication is to a relationship. And not just getting along or talking (I had that with my ex-wife), but REALLY opening up and TALKING with your partner.

    That, above all else, will be the key that holds the best relationships together.

    I'm sure that's what you have with Rascal.

    :-)

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  6. That's a tough spot for Rascal to be in. I can totally see myself in his shoes saying "you go, have fun without me." I can also see myself going along as a supportive partner. Live and learn, see what's best for you two. It was one weekend, not the end of the world!

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  7. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about, T. All of the differences don't mean a damn when the other person really "gets" you.

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  8. Here's to being vulnerable!

    (That was the perfect quote, by the way...)

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  9. I love it when the tension that you feel melts away in a moment of vulnerability. BTW- I hate weddings of people I don't know. They can be very awkward unless you are a real extrovert.

    Sounds like a lovely moment!
    xo_molly

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  10. I am emailing this post to a friend of mine. It is speaking to me so loudly, you have no idea. I think it will to him too!

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  11. i am so with you on this post. My guy is my very best friend and because of the distance we see each other every 4-6 weeks but talk, e-mail and text throughout the day, and very late into the evening. So when we're unable to, it is rough.

    But I love what you said, "Time away from each other doesn't take love away." Soooo true!


    You and your mate can have different friends, different routines & lifestyles and even different interests, but the glue that should hold you together is the genuine love you have for each other. Believe me, I know!!

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