a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by BLOB_CASTLE
BLOB_CASTLE  ·  3523 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Are You Most Self-Conscious About?

There's no shame in wearing your emotions on your sleeve.

lil  ·  3522 days ago  ·  link  ·  

BC, yojoy, and IntimidatingScones -- I could be wrong - but I think "wondering if I'm being a good boyfriend" might be a condition specific to the hubski demographic. Maybe boys wonder that in secret, but I've never seen it and I've never had a boyfriend ask me "Am I a good boyfriend? How can I be a better boyfriend?" Never and I've never heard a girlfriend say that her boyfriend asked her that. What I do hear a lot of is men saying, "I thought everything was fine. Why did she dump me? It makes no sense." Ha ha, maybe they should have asked the magic am-I-being-a-good-boyfriend question. Another thing I see a lot of here is men posting pictures of their newborn babies and toddlers, including thenewgreen. Maybe he can tell me who the others are - I know I see baby pix all the time here. It's a brave new world here in our tiny corner of the web.

yojoy  ·  3522 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A condition specific to the hubski demographic? So, 18-25 year old males according to the last poll, right?

I wouldn't be able to point this train of thought specifically to my peer group, as every friend I've ever had fits comfortably in the "I thought everything was fine" category. What I found most annoying was the amount of energy they all spent poking their noses into the lives of their friends' relationships. Early on I attributed this solely to girls because of the kinds of typecasts I'd seen on television and cinema -- but of course, everyone was at fault, not just the girls. When I was able to really see the corrosive effects it had not just on romantic relationships but the relationships of friends themselves I made a conscious effort always be completely focused on my efforts to sustain a worthwhile relationship with my own partner.

So, over the years there's been plenty to learn. I'd say the best benefit of turning away from the (very often, ridiculous) situations that my friends put themselves in was that, in putting my relation to the one I'm with into a perspective without the tainting effects of various failing bonds around me, really gave me all the opportunity I ever needed to reflect on how it is that I wanted a relationship to grow and progress. I stopped taking the advice of others, the dispensers of "knowledge" who themselves were the ones with the trailing list of exes. I stopped giving any kind of gravity to advice columns and editorials about the "Top 20 Little Gestures That Reveal How She Really Feels", and things like that.

After two years with my current girlfriend I am still always searching for ways to change my approach to our relationship. I do this because I realized in past relationships there was a point of acceptance where neither one party sought to do anything different in how the relationship was experienced. It flat-lined. In my present relationship, however, I've recognized that the both of us are independent individuals who are never satisfied with sticking around for too long in any one frame of mind. We are constantly growing as individuals, at our own pace. As a result, it may be that her opinions of the world are anchored to one particular period of history that she completely identifies with and uses that to interpret her situation now. But I may be at the polar end of her opinions there! So we discuss, we laugh, we cry, we learn. We agree and we disagree. We have built a relationship that revolves around our desire to continually learn and never rest.

Now. My fears of my being a terrible boyfriend come into play when I feel that she is growing tiered of what we have, that perhaps she'd actually like a standard or average for us to maintain. Am I not romantic enough? Would she be happier if I surprised her every now and then with cute little gifts? I worry that she'll meet other guys who are far more tuned in with what she is thinking and feeling and that I've grown apart from from her -- that the differences between us have widened a gap that we acknowledged long ago. Would she ever leave me if she found someone on the other side of that gap? I worry about that. And so I can never stop wondering what it is that I can do to ensure that this relationship is still worth something, to the both of us. She can explore the world and her spirit, always across the universe in principle and philosophy, and I can do the same. I want us to always be able return to what brought us together in the first place without compromising who we are. We are both so far along that I honestly feel if I ever just stopped wondering these things, everything would collapse around us, and we would be strangers to each other.

lil  ·  3522 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks for your thoughts on this, yojoy. First of all, I enjoy your writing.

    So we discuss, we laugh, we cry, we learn. We agree and we disagree. We have built a relationship that revolves around our desire to continually learn and never rest.
Has she read that passage? Does she agree?
    And so I can never stop wondering what it is that I can do to ensure that this relationship is still worth something, to the both of us.
All this wondering, it sounds like you are doing a lot of the emotional work in the relationship, or is she also thinking a lot about the sustainability of the two of you?
yojoy  ·  3522 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm positive she thinks of it as well, though certainly not as much as me. She is the hardest worker I know. She is constantly juggling school work with her volunteerism as well as extra-curricula. She loses many hours of sleep writing up new essays for scholarships and colleges, and she works on the weekends. The only time we have together is weeknights while she does homework. She's expressed to me that she's afraid I too may find someone else because there's hardly any private time for the two of us. So yes, she thinks of it as well, but because she's so invested in her efforts to excel in her academics, there isn't much time left for romance in our relationship. She'd love for there to be a time when it could just be the two of us, but again, she's got the rest of her life in mind.

No, she hasn't read anything I've written haha. As you can imagine, she hasn't the time. But I know she'd agree with me. Our discussions are about the only opportunities we have to grow as a couple.

"*I like your writing*" Thank you! I really enjoy your blogs, keep 'em coming!

thenewgreen  ·  3522 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There have been several others that I can recall, steve, mk, kleinbl00 and I'm sure some more. Many people have mentioned their children. I often try to think of how I can be a better husband. Heck, it was part of my NYE Resolution. "Be an even better husband/father". I think it may be the only part of my resolution I've stuck to :-)