I think everyone I know is using the first of this year in a similar way, assess, evaluate, create lofty aspirations of what is to come. I did something yesterday that became a topic of conversation in my circle and then branched out to others. While the idea that I had a ripple effect makes me feel, well, weird, maybe there is something to that so I thought I would share.
I am in a new relationship. Granted, it’s with someone I have known a long time and we dated previously, but this is new. While much about us is still the same as it was 21 years ago, large parts of what has occurred in our lives since has defined who we are now. I am not sure that’s the way it should be, but it’s the way I think most people tend to end up. After a discussion with him about a recent visit we had, I started thinking about expectations. How we see things, what we imagine things will be like, what we hope for and if the reality ever really matches up. Also, I wondered, why do we not clearly define that for someone we are involved with? Have any of you sat down and written out a letter to tell your partner how to meet your needs? Unfortunately, I think that is the kind of thing that doesn’t happen until you are in couples counseling and it’s likely to be too late.
Well, I think that is fucking retarded.
Me, feeling all psychoanalytic, sat down and penned such a letter. I told him what I wanted to accomplish for myself this year. I spoke about the reasons I hadn’t, what I have let other people influence and why it would be a good change for me. I explained where I hoped our relationship would go this year, how I see it growing, the things I am most looking forward to. I also said that my goal is to savor every single minute of it.
When I started, I meant it in an informative way, sort of a road map of what I am thinking, but it changed. After I sent it, I realized that I was filled with such an all encompassing love, like I had given it as a gift. I am not sure if that was really for him, or I, but it became something sacred.
Again I will ask you now:
Have you ever told a partner how to meet your needs?
Suddenly I found myself asking my friends this in conversation through out the afternoon and each of them seemed to have the same light bulb moment as I. How can anyone ever live up to what you want them to if you never give them a fucking clue of what you expect? I know I have always been real clear in my new relationships, this is what I want, this is what I can accept, this is what I can’t, but the problem is, people will often nod their head and say “yes, me too, okay lets run off into the sunset together.” Romantic at the time but hardly a solid foundation. And guess what?
What if you talk about things in the beginning but never revisit it? People grow and change. Did your expectations change? Do you want something different now than what you did when you first were so full of excitement and love? Did you bother to tell the person you were connected to that, hey, I have changed directions? Yeah, and we wonder how we end up so damn unhappy.
Heavy stuff if you really think about it. I am hoping by having honest and continuous discussions, I am able to build something real, something deep and life long. It seems to me at my old age, that is what love is really supposed to be.
Eh, but what do I know.