When a relationship is new… actually, back up. When you first start seeing someone, before it’s labelled anything at all, you’re on best behaviour. You do your best to look good. I mean things like paying extra to get your hair trimmed/styled so it’s decent even though you’re not due for another 2 weeks, you use the exfoliating scrub, and you make sure it’s clean not just under the nails but your bellybutton too. But once this whatever-it-is becomes something, you get more confident and you start to relax. This might evidence itself in a few different ways.
- Physical appearance. You might notice your hair is a bit flat or that you don’t have on the scent you know they like. You aren’t going to rush home and fix it because this isn’t a big deal. This state of “not giving a crap” isn’t a bad thing. It’s hardly pragmatic to try and always look perfect. Frankly, it’d be exhausting.
- Actions. You might deny that your body has the capability of producing farts. Well, pull out the beans and pull up the sheets for a dutch-oven because you’re going to let one rip eventually. I’m joking. Because those are gross. Mind you, it took me just under 1.5 years before I felt comfortable doing a #2 at P’s house. I did it while P took a shower, flushed 3 times, sprayed air freshener, flushed again, and then ran back to the couch.
- What you say. Again, this can be a good thing. No one wants someone who agrees with them on everything. Jeez that would be a boring conversation. But once you’re comfortable enough to call someone on their crap, that’s tricky.
After P&I went for dinner with my work mates, we were chatting before we got into our cars. P said, “I don’t know how much [LS] is doing, if any. I’m not seeing much get done.” I didn’t say anything. I seethed and kept it inside. Ok, it’s true, I haven’t been nearly as focussed or productive as I need to be. But you know what, I’d prefer that you didn’t make me look bad in front of my work friends. I went back into P’s to pick something up and made to leave. P had originally said probably no sleepover that night, which is fair enough. I honestly didn’t mind. But then he asked,
P: Aren’t you staying?
P: Well, would you like to stay?
me: No, that’s ok.
P: You can stay if you want, I don’t mind.
me: No thanks. I’m fine.
And I drove off. I talked to my erstwhile supervisor N, who I became friends with even before we stopped working together, who had also been there at the dinner. N rightly pointed out, regardless of whether it was true or not, that P would be unlikely to see me study. Why would you go over to your partner’s house to study? It’s to see them. So I got over myself.
But then, last night, I went to go see Star Trek Into Darkness with P and two of P’s good friends. It was really good and I enjoyed it. Don’t worry, no spoilers. Anyway, when we were picking up tickets and then again in the car ride home, P said something similar to his friends. Again, I didn’t say anything. But what the hell. I’m right here! At mine, P came in to pick up a cake tin I’d borrowed.
P: Will I see you tomorrow?
me: Uh… no? I have study group in the morning remember? And I have to study.
P: Oh. Well, ok, I’ll see you during the week, alright?
I don’t know. What do I have to say or do to give the impression that I do study? I’ve gone upstairs and studied while P watched TV. In fact, last time, P was having a look on dating websites. I didn’t say anything, but P said, “I just like to have a look.” I’ve known P’s had wandering eyes, but so long as it doesn’t go anywhere… This sounds really bad. Other times, P says such lovely and unexpected things. Yesterday morning when we were in the bathroom about to step into the shower, I felt P’s arms wrap around me and heard a murmur of, “To me, you’re perfect.”
I’m confused. Right now, my emotions are wild and I don’t dare follow those thought processes too far. I wish I could be like Spock and better control my emotions; really, that’s just emotional intelligence. It’s not suppression, but acknowledging feelings I have while not being ruled by them.
Can I not have the sniping comments and jabs? I want to say something, to stand up and assert myself. But P’s right. That’s why I’ve kept silent this entire time. In my mind, if I get back on track with my notes and study schedule, then I can say something. Otherwise I don’t have a leg to stand on.
Or am I wrong?