This is why I don’t bring stuff up right away

As you might be able to tell, I’m feeling a bit sensitive about The Pedant lately – wondering if he’s as into me as I’m into him, blah blah blah.  And as it happens, he hasn’t been in touch with me since Saturday (today being Tuesday), even though I’ve sent him an email and three texts in the interim.

And it’s fine.  Y’know?  It’s fine.  Overall, he’s been a pretty steady presence in my life for two years; I know that sometimes he gets busy with other things and falls out of touch for a few days; it happens.  This urge I have to go “OMFG WHY AREN’T YOU TALKING TO MEEEEE?!?” is all just paranoia coming from me and me alone, and if I confronted him with these feelings I’d look nuts, like I’m forbidding him to have a life.  Like I’m wanting to plant a tracking device in one of his teeth so I can monitor him at all times.

That’s how I feel pretty much any time I’m angsting over him: like it could very well just be my anxiety acting up and nothing he’s actually doing.  And so I keep my mouth shut and try to figure shit out on my own so as not to be bugging The Pedant every two days and looking irrational and weird.

In retrospect I think this has been kind of unhealthy and that, within reason, I am entitled to say “it would make me happy if you did __/stopped doing __.”  Because, really, whether or not his actions are actually unreasonable is kind of irrelevant.  If he’s doing a thing that upsets me, and that thing is not vital to his well-being, why not have him stop doing it?  If he’s not doing a thing that I wish he’d do and that wouldn’t take much effort, why not ask him to do it?

Poly folks are always talking about “owning your feelings” – that nobody makes you feel a certain way, it’s all coming from you and you have to acknowledge it – and I guess maybe I take that concept too far at times.

And yeah, there’s a certain amount of inadvertent shaming at work here, too – The Pedant, like many guys, makes many offhanded references to crazy/irrational/overemotional women (he doesn’t say all women are like that, but it’s a distinct and common personality type to him).  I want to impress him by being all cool and rational and shit, and not like a “typical girl,” so I bottle things up inside and try to present a neutral front.  Although in fairness I never asked The Pedant what constitutes craziness to him – it’s possible that even my “freak outs” actually wouldn’t be in this category for him at all.  I do tend to be pretty restrained and Vulcan-like even when I’m having it out with someone.  I guess I’ve convinced myself that any show of negative emotion is gonna get me branded with the “crazy” label, and I don’t actually know if that’s true.

So now I’m trying to figure out (as usual) where the healthy boundaries lie.  When should I confront The Pedant on things?  When should I stay quiet and try to fix things by looking inward?  I just don’t know.

 

Edit: speak of the devil – The Pedant just responded to my accrued texts and email in one big clump, as he often does after a silence (it’s like my latest communiqué will remind him that he forgot to answer the previous ones, so he does it all at once).  He says his doctor is booked for the next month so he’ll be going to the free clinic in the next day or two to get his STI tests done.  It pleases me that he’s prioritizing this.  (On my end, I got the icky cervical-swab part of my tests done today and need to go to a blood lab for the other, needle-y part.)  Also, he might be coming over later in the week to help me schlep some heavy crap to the new place where I’m selling my art.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “This is why I don’t bring stuff up right away

  1. Brugmansia

    OMG it drives me batshit fucking crazy when people talk about how emotional and irrational women are. (Yes, I see the irony there.) And the positive slant – that women are more intuitive and empathetic – is equally ridiculous. I also do the ‘look, I’m as cool as a boy!’ thing, but the bottom line is that boys have emotions, too, and insecurities, and they want attention and sometimes overthink things, and some even blog their angst.

    Anyway, in general social etiquette it is usually rude to ignore text messages, though it depends to an extent on the nature of the text. But between two specific people all that really matters is their mutual expectations of each other (and two years of you accepting his occasional nonresponsiveness does represent something of a historical precedent).

    But the issue is not really whether or not The Pedant’s behavior is socially acceptable or justifiable, ie whether or not you have a ‘right’ to be displeased and a legitimate cause for complaint; the issue is whether The Pendant likes you as much as you like him, whether he has feelings of falling for you.

    I have ignored texts from boys for exactly the reason you fear – I was not super into them and found their attention-seeking “how are you doing?” type texts annoying, boring and clingy. I have also had huge crushes on boys and gone for weeks without seeing or communicating with them, at all. I’d be quite thrilled when I eventually did see or hear from them, but I could easily spend the in between time distracted by life, wrapped up in my other problems.

    It is perfectly obvious to me that The Pedant likes you, a lot, regardless of how much time he is willing to go without seeing you. If he’s falling in love with you, cool. If he’s not falling in love with you, whatever – he still likes you, and is a good friend, and cleans, and you have great sex.

    Is it healthy to want more attention? Why not? I do not think wanting more attention/affection implies low self-esteem or dependency or a destructive imbalance or anything like that. Positive affirmation from people we like is nice. I draw the line at unhealthy where you are harming yourself or others. As long as you’re not stalking him or crying yourself to sleep every night, I don’t think it’s so horrible to admit to wanting him to fall for you.

    • OMG it drives me batshit fucking crazy when people talk about how emotional and irrational women are.

      Me too! Especially since it’s so often used as a tool to keep us in line.

      Is it healthy to want more attention? Why not? I do not think wanting more attention/affection implies low self-esteem or dependency or a destructive imbalance or anything like that.

      Perhaps not. The thing I struggle with (when it comes to pretty much everything I wish The Pedant would do…) is that I figure if he wanted to do those things, he’d already be doing them. Some things, I don’t mind a guy doing specifically because I’ve asked him to and he’s humouring me. Minx used to randomly reach out and caress me solely because he knew I liked it, and I thought it was sweet that he wanted to make me happy.

      But asking a guy to see or contact me more often who – I presume – doesn’t have any urge to do that…that’s difficult for me. I kind of don’t want to be humoured in this regard. And I don’t want him to feel like I’m smothering him.

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