I spend a lot of time awake when the rest of the world is sleeping. This leads to a lot of time for reflecting. Are we really going to call it reflecting? How about we be honest and call it overthinking, overreacting, and in general driving yourself insane.
What if the problem is not that I am overthinking?
Sometimes another person’s behavior affects me in ways I wish it wouldn’t. Their inability or refusal to communicate hurts my feelings and I become frustrated and passive aggressive. No, apparently I am not enough of an adult to talk about it like an adult. I would rather make snarky comments. Apparently.
Having an adult conversation about hurt feelings feels weird. I don’t even know how an adult is supposed to feel about things. The first moment of disappointment and my inner twelve year old comes leaping to stage ready for her melodramatic moment in the spotlight. Oh! Woe is me! My life is over. No one will ever understand what I am going through right now! No one has ever been through this. I’ll show him! This is all fine and good except no one, including me, has time for all that nonsense.
So, I have to usher my little self off the stage, shush her, and give her something to distract herself with. Just so I can do all the grown up stuff I need to do. Every so often the twelve year old shouts out something to keep the drama stirred up, she hates to be ignored. She’s the one who makes the snarky comments and collects the shitty memes, just in case she needs to prove a point. No adult would ever do that. What kind of adult uses memes to communicate important things?
If I read enough crap on Facebook, I will convince myself all men become amazing communicators when they really like a girl. They call, send flowers, text, move mountains to see her. They will eschew all responsibility to make sure they can be next to this girl.
Now, I wouldn’t do that. Why would I expect a man to? Why does society expect me to have expectations I wouldn’t want someone to live up to? Worse, why do I find myself trying to expect those things?
So, then I have not only an internal battle about my inability to commit because I don’t want the kind of relationship I think I am supposed to want, but I also struggle to define what behavior is acceptable.
I don’t know what I want! That’s the whole point.
I have determined some things are no longer negotiable though. You have to make time to talk to me. Maybe not every day, but most days. I have to make time for you as well.
I like to be flirted with. I like to flirt back. It’s part of what makes relationships fun. I want to have this with the person I am in a relationship with. I don’t want to have to find it somewhere else.
My schedule is crazy. Chances are his is too. This means we have to make plans. It’s never going to just happen to work out. It will take effort and planning by both of us. We both deserve for the other to be willing to make this effort.
We have to care about the day to day stuff going on with each other. You should be interested in my life and I should be interested in yours. This is especially important if we can’t be together all the time. It’s going to require talking about things. Even the boring stuff.
We have to respect each other’s need for space, while still being cognizant of the other’s feelings at that time. For example, if I am needing space that day but he is needing intimacy and closeness I should still be willing to reach out to him a bit despite my desire to avoid the world. We have to be receptive to each other’s clues.
I am responsible for holding my inner twelve year old at bay, but I also have to protect her feelings. I can’t constantly place her in the position to be hurt and expect her not to act out. This is when the grown up me has to face the uncomfortable and be honest with myself.
Sometimes it’s not that I am overreacting, sometimes it’s that I need something to be different. It doesn’t mean I am angry or that the other person is bad, it just means this isn’t working. We need to find a solution. Because that’s what grown ups do. Or so they tell me.