FINE. I used my words.

I used to work with a girl whose boyfriend worshipped her – and so did all her previous boyfriends (all I have to go on is her word, but I absolutely believe her.  She exuded such a confident vibe, and it probably helped somewhat that she was movie-star hot.  For real).  I’ve always wanted a boyfriend who was worshipful toward me, and occasionally one would be, in the beginning…but then I’d be too clingy and squish the respect right out of him.

I wanted what this girl had.  And she got what she had via behavioural conditioning and manipulation.  She’d pull back to make a guy chase her; she’d ignore him if he pissed her off and “reward” him when he did something right; sometimes she’d pick a huge fight with her boyfriend over absolutely nothing and wind him up until he was literally screaming and begging her not to break up with him.  That last thing is horrifying and sounds like it would be really exhausting to execute, but the rest of it seemed like a solid enough plan.

So that’s where I was coming from with my last post or two.

But I frankly don’t have the patience for all this cloak-and-dagger shit, and it’s been pointed out to me that just saying what I want would work just as well, anyway (or at least it would on anyone halfway worthy of my time).  So I just wrote The Pedant an email:

Hey,

I’m SO glad I kept this day for myself…I’ve had places to go and people to see for the last few days in a row and really just needed a day to decompress.

For future reference, I prefer plans to be solidified as quickly as possible – precisely BECAUSE I need frequent alone-time and have to try to budget some every week (and I’m already dealing with the added complication of getting random last-minute job offers I can’t afford to turn down).  I feel like a lot of the time when I try to set something up with you, you’re kind of vague/don’t know when you’ll be free/agree to a day but then don’t follow up with a time/etc.  I really like spending time with you but the plan-making process has been frustrating me lately.

Can you be more concrete from now on, and also initiate more often so I don’t feel like I’m doing all the work?

So there we go.

I don’t anticipate him reacting badly to this – not in the sense of blatantly saying “I don’t give a shit how you feel” or “let’s not hang out anymore.”  It wouldn’t surprise me if he reacted annoyingly, though – like taking forever to answer and then saying something that doesn’t give me any kind of closure.  Like the time (before we started sleeping together) when I told him I’d like to progress the physical stuff with him but couldn’t guarantee I’d go really fast, so if orgasms without sex or nakedness without orgasms would be too frustrating for him then he should let me know and I’d keep things the way they were (clothed making out and nothing more).  His response was “We’ll work it out when we get there :)” which…could’ve been worse, but wasn’t especially illuminating.  And now that I’ve actually done bedroom things with him, it turns out he is totally fine with sensuality for its own sake (not with an end goal of penetration or getting off), so why the hell didn’t he say that?!?

Anyway.  Let’s hope The Pedant actually gives me an answer I can work with.  It would be particularly awesome if he incorporated a solidification of Friday’s nebulous plans into his response (for those of you who don’t remember, I asked him via text, “How’s this week looking for you?  Wanna hang?” He replied “I do” and nothing else.  I gritted my teeth and texted “How about Friday?  We could go to [nightclub] and back to my place after” and that’s when he said “Sure, but I’ll need to see you before that so I can drop off that Blackberry to you.  Preferably this weekend.” which in turn kicked off the whole dilemma over Sunday).

So we kind of made plans for Friday in passing, but once again there’s no set time.

Ho hum.  I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

Edit: he responded already!  Look look:

Good evening,

I’ll definitely initiate the making of plans more often, and I’ll make a point of being more precise about dates and times when doing so. The issues we’ve had have mostly been on my end, and I’ll make every effort to address or work around them. I enjoy spending time with you, too — I’ve just had trouble keeping track of my schedule with it being so irregular lately.

I was on the phone with someone when your last text arrived this past Thursday, and didn’t see it until I looked at my texts the next evening, otherwise I’d have made more specific plans on Thursday :s

Regarding the BlackBerry, it’s fixed (and actually works better now than it did at any point while I was using it). I’ll keep it in my backpack until I see you next. I’ll be out and about for most of this week, so if you turn out to have any free time this week while the Mobilicity stores are open, call or text me to let me know and we’ll see if we can get you ported over sooner.

Quite a good response, if I do say so myself (except he’s acting like his whole week is up in the air…has he forgotten we were gonna hang on Friday?).

I’m…not entirely sure I trust him to do what he says he’ll do (he was equally sweet and apologetic when we talked about his chronic lateness, and that didn’t change).  But time will tell.  And it’s a hell of a nice message.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “FINE. I used my words.

  1. So, a) definitely hooray for words and good responses, and I hope stuff works out well.

    But b), I wanted to say that I find the description of the girl you used to work with’s relationships *really, really* disturbing. Like, ‘this is emotionally abusive’ levels of disturbing. Withholding emotional affections, only responding to your partner when they’re acting like you want them to – even without the picking fights and using break-ups as a threat, those read as bullet points from a ‘red flags’ list. Certainly don’t sound like part of a respectful, healthy, relationship that makes everyone involved feel good. Like, imagine if this was a guy you worked with describing treating his girlfriends like that.

    And, I mean, obviously that’s appealing. Having that much power over someone – I was just reading a writing on abusive relationships with the line “It makes you feel powerful to be feared, to exact pleas and apologies. And it feels good when you have so much temporary power over a person that they forgive you or blame themselves and choose to stay with you and keep on loving you”. But the problem is the other side. Is the person who’s being hurt. Would you want to be on the other side of a relationship like that? Would you want someone close to you to be on that other side?

    (er, I’m sorry if this sounds accusatory or high-handed anything, I don’t mean it that way at all. I only mean that our culture normalizes all sorts of stuff that is actually deeply problematic, and that can make it hard to see that, and this happens to trip those ‘eep’ buttons for me).

    • I think I misrepresented this chick a little bit and made her sound worse than she is…but also, yup, I do feel more lenient about that behaviour when it’s a woman perpetrating it against a man than vice-versa – a little motherlode of sexism in my psyche that I hadn’t been aware of until you poked at it. It’s embarrassing to realize I feel that way, but now at least I know I have some work to do, so thank you.

      The other thing about the chick I worked with is…I have to think she can’t have loved any of these guys very much. I mean, to take the risks that she did, you have to have less at stake than the other person. I tentatively believe that it’s only possible to have a worshipful partner if you care about them less than they care about you (and they sense this, and it makes them feel insecure). And I’m not really okay with that – both because it’s mean to the other person and because I don’t see the point of having a relationship with someone if I’m not head-over-heels for them. So really, I knew from the getgo that I’d never be able to do what Scary Work Chick does, and I’m trying to make my peace with the idea that this fantasy can only be a fantasy.

      Just…I’ve spent so much of my relationships feeling clingy and desperate – realizing that being a doormat wasn’t making the object of my affection like me, and trying to fix it by…being an even bigger doormat! And this chick was the polar opposite of that. Guys generally didn’t dare disrespect her, and if they did she would stand up for herself. So she kind of became my hero, albeit a problematic one.

  2. I tentatively believe that it’s only possible to have a worshipful partner if you care about them less than they care about you –

    It’s not – and I have the proof! Just look…

    (I. Wonderboy comes home and I sit on the couch just looking at him with a giddy smile.
    – My honey is home! This makes me so happy.
    – Oh, you look so pretty, he says looking at me adoringly.
    Later.
    Wonderboy and me sitting on the couch watching Youtube, I adoringly look at him.
    – I love you so much.
    – I love you too.
    – You haven’t commanded me at all today.
    – I just came home.
    – I know. But you could command me right away.
    – Okay, I’ll just have to think of something… Go make us some tea.
    – Okay, daddy.
    We gaze adoringly in each other.)

    I don’t think you’ll end up with what you want by playing games. Only with a relationship that neither can trust. If he’s playing games, there’s nothing you can do except talk to him about it… And if it doesn’t change? Oh well…

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