Relationships

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And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.

Nikon D3400
1/200 sec
f/5.6
55mm
ISO 2500

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Introversion and Pair Bonding

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Let people feel the weight of who you are and then let them deal with it. 

Status: better. not sure exactly why I insist on getting up at 5am, especially after yesterday. I think I would’ve been better off sleeping through (or at least sleeping in a bit later), so that I can replenish the stores, so to speak.

Anxiety levels: climbing. Must. Do. Shit.

Date.

Got together with G yesterday for a tour of Stackt and then a little stroll down King West followed by dinner. Forgot that there is an older section of the strip with the worst restaurants known to Man, and that is where we ended up dining. Piss Poor Planning at its finest.

The company was good, but I was tired and also distracted by the previous evening with M. Not sure I really gave G my best as a result, and that’s one of the problems when it comes to entertaining multiple suitors. I really needed some alone time away from people to recharge my batteries after a big night out; I could feel myself drifting away from her as the evening wore on and my energy levels dipped. I’ve noticed that as energy levels ebb, any interaction with someone (anyone) becomes abrasive – they’re asking me to give them something that I don’t have; it feels like I’m scraping off pieces from the edge of my soul to give to the person, and that’s painful. I get a little crabby as a result. That’s not fair on G, or anyone for that matter. I need to do a better job of managing that aspect of myself.

Photography.

Ticked off another item from the shot list yesterday. Keep forgetting how close everything is, and I also seem to get stuck inside, a slave to my schedule. In any case, with the latest set of pictures, I now have plenty of raw images to edit. That’ll keep me busy for a while. Full expect that I won’t be finished editing by the time I relocate, and that’s fine. I’ve decided that I’m going to re-list the equipment early next week at an attractive price, so hopefully I’ll be able to move it quickly.

Writing.

Despite the fact that I haven’t been working on my stories, I have been religiously posting to this blog. I’m well over 2k words per week, and I’ve been doing that consistently since the middle of December. I’d say that’s a trend worth celebrating. This is one of the things that I really enjoy doing, and maybe I need to view this as the thing that I’m writing instead of the stories. It’s certainly congruent with my (current) preferred writing style: plan, outline, flesh out and then edit.

And that’s one of the lessons that I’ve learned. I was doing that instinctively with the blog, which given I’m living the experience made it easy to stay consistent and produce a decent word count. I didn’t do that with the speculative fiction; I followed the Steve King method, which is to wing it and allow the story to lead that way. That’s not working for me, and not all writers work that way either. I need the planning and outlining parts of the process to be productive, without them I drift and don’t know where to start. That’s also true in my Finance job, I need the structure there as well – I should have seen this earlier, but now it makes sense.

In any case, that was a good epiphanous moment and is one of the reasons that I keep this blog and do the work. So that I can learn lessons like this.

M.

I feel the need to write something here, but I’m not sure I’ve finished processing what she told me on Wednesday night. I also don’t want to lose this moment and the words that I have at the tip of my fingers right now. If I leave it for later when I’ve had time to mull it over some more then this moment will pass, and the words along with it.

So.

Maybe I can do this in pieces. (I mean, who’s reading this fucking thing anyway).

I left her alone all day yesterday and late into the evening. Spending time with G helped keep me occupied enough so that I wasn’t tempted to reach out earlier. We’ve spent just enough time together that I can feel her imprinting upon me – I think they call it pair bonding (well done with the clinical description, bro). The good news is that I’m recognising it for what it is and can hopefully manage it accordingly……still, that’s a mighty strong pull.

I’m a little concerned as I transition from this chapter to the next that it’ll distract me from The Mission. I mean, I need to stay fully focused on The Next Thing as I get up to speed with the new job, and work on the objectives they’ll want me to complete for the remainder of the year. I could really do without being preoccupied by this fully awesome person I met.

Still…..

I like her.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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Late Start

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You can ask the universe for all the signs you want, but ultimately, we see what we want to see when we’re ready to see it.

Status: overslept this morning. I don’t feel bad, just a little disappointed that I got such a late start. My OCD is obviously poking at me, “this isn’t how it’s meant to be; you didn’t stick to the schedule and therefore the world has been thrown into chaos, so we have no choice but to throw this day in the bin and try again tomorrow when we can do it properly”. Yeah okay, hold on there……….(I need to give this aspect of myself a name….I think I’ll call it Chuck)….Yeah okay, hold on there CHUCK, you’re being a drama queen. Yes, we got a late start. So what? We were still able to tick the box on one To Do and am now sitting in Balzac’s drinking tea and writing, which is something we always wanted to do. I mean the sitting in Balzac’s doing some writing part, not the drinking tea part. We drink tea all the time……

(Pause)

Ummm, okay that’s a little weird (referring to myself in plural), but I’m still going to call my OCD Chuck (while picturing Jocko Willink and then hesitantly throwing a little Holy Water in his direction, “I anoint thee…”).

Career.

My new boss reached out to me via email yesterday looking to see if I can get an early start on the new job. Specifically, meeting a few people and starting the process of getting up to speed. I still have a month and a half before I start. He’s definitely a Type A personality, which is to be expected given the industry. I need to be prepared that he’ll likely be reaching out to me day and night because his work and life are integrated, there’s no separation therefore there is nothing to balance. Will need to manage this carefully as I have no intention of following suit and plan to utilise my spare time outside of work on writing and photography.

Date.

Reached out to The Tardy One yesterday to tell her I’m leaving Toronto. It only seemed fair to let her know up front that this was happening before she invested any more time in this. We talked about looking for an exclusive long term relationship up front, and I’m okay with that, but if that what she wants then better to let her go and find someone that can provide that locally versus over a distance (and on that note, long distance relationships are bullshit). In any case, she’s game, so we’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Alright, let’s stop there and move onto The Next Thing….

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/14
18mm
ISO 100

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Signs You Or Your Partner Is Emotionally Immature

Reblogged from Yangki Christine Akiteng’s blog: http://torontosnumber1datedoctor.com/blog/emotional-maturity-could-it-be-the-attractive-quality-missing-in-you/

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Emotional maturity is not something most of us look for in a partner. For many of us it’s not even a priority in the qualities we look for. We kind of take it for granted that if you’re attracted to someone then everything will fall into place.

If the relationship is casual and not expected to grow into something long term then emotional maturity or lack of it doesn’t really matter especially if you don’t spend much time together, meet up just for a “good time” and/or are dating several people at the same time.

But if you are looking for something long term, emotional maturity profoundly influences your ability to sustain a relationship.

Differences in the level of emotional maturity or lack of may not be obvious in the early stages of a relationship when everything is wonderful – no obvious differences that cause problems and no serious arguments. You’re at your best and your new man or woman idealizes you and you idealize him or her. But like all good things, this “honeymoon” phase of the relationship which can be anywhere from days to weeks or even a couple of months inevitably ends – as it should. And if you or the other person is emotionally immature, it begins to show in the way you:

  1. Deal with your emotions

People who are emotionally mature are more able to put feelings into perspective before automatically verbalizing or acting them out. They also take responsibility for their every action, word and thought – and the resulting consequences. The ability to self-regulate helps them handle different situations in a better way and cope with difficult times, conflict and frustration in a smarter way.

Those who are emotionally immature on the other hand get tripped up by their own emotions and feelings. They either fall apart (drama, drama, drama), numb out (ignore their emotions and live in a kind of zombie land pretending that they feel nothing) or distract themselves with obsessive behaviours all the while blaming others, society and the universe for their problems or disappointments.

  1. Deal with the emotions of others

People who are emotionally mature understand that the world does not revolve around them. When faced with an emotionally-loaded situation they focus on trying to understand and relate to the other person’s emotions and feelings and the reasons behind them. This helps them better identify the other person’s needs and wants, better solve problems in relationships, connect better and maintain good relationships over time.

Those who are emotionally immature when faced with a similar emotionally-loaded situation become all self-absorbed and entitled. They’ll try to force a resolution by putting a lot of unhealthy pressure on the other person and often become emotionally manipulative, exploitative and even abusive. These behaviours cause the other person to even pull away further making it harder to create and/or maintain a relationship – even a bad one.

So if you’re with someone who you know is into you (forget about that one who just isn’t into you), can’t keep his or her hands off you when you’re together and tells you how much he or she is attracted to you or “in love with you” but will not bother to call or arrange for a date because he or she is avoiding spending “quality” time with you, it might just be that working on your own emotional maturity and learning to communicate your feelings, needs and wants better may be the only thing that’ll save your relationship.

Nobody is comfortable with emotional immaturity – not even emotionally immature men and women. In a relationship where both people are emotionally immature, the emotional immaturity which keeps them together is often times also what they both instinctively resent in the other.

Emotional maturity is even more important with age. Being with someone who looks physically mature but acts emotionally immature is downright frustrating.

 

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On Being Alone: Rethinking The Single Life

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a man or a woman reaches a certain age, an age that one also generally associates with sexual attractiveness, fertility, the beginning of economic security and the decline of teenage angst, that he or she will seek a partner, indeed, fervently desire a partner, and do everything within his or her power to meet, marry, and mate. In my nod to Jane Austen, here, I am suggesting, as cheekily as I am earnestly, that the societal standards that are steadfastly ingrained in our psyches regarding relationships are still rather predictable, conservative, and normative. And, if I may be so bold to admit—being myself a young woman of a certain marriageable and fertile age—rather draining, dreary, and downright depressing.

As you, dear reader, can deduce, I am single. Solitary. Unbetrothed, unwed. As long as I have been “eligible” to date, I have generally been single. I have had relationships, sort-of-boyfriends even, although given a variety of factors, including but not limited to my own anxieties, my enjoyment of solitude, mismatches based on the naïveté of youth or differences in styles of communication and emotional needs or bad timing, rejection, or the sheer difficulty of sustaining a relationship over a long distance, I have been alone.

I have learned, over the years, that my description of my rather persistent singleness is not neutral. The reception and interpretation of my lack of a romantic partner has called up some of the most interesting, misguided, or presumptive statements and unsolicited analyses of my psyche and my behaviour. It has suggested to many that I may be too nervous to date, too preoccupied with my career, too picky about prospective partners, too conservative, too liable to pick “bad” matches, too this, too that. Funny how one’s personal life so quickly becomes open season fo armchair psychologists! And while these commentaries and assumptions can be only rather irritating at times, the banter of a nosy relative or well-meaning friend, I have recently noticed how awfully sinister, how awfully narrow-minded and rife with victim-blaming they can be.

  • How often they suggest that past relationships are failures, rather than experiences that can offer both parties the gift of insight, as if because something was time-limited or brief or is no more, that it was not fulfilling or wonderful or an occasion to learn.
  • How they imply that women and men who are single must be flawed, broken, undesirable, inflexible, psychologically damaged, unskilled at sex or love or communication, rather than, perhaps, individuals who may simply prefer solitude, prefer a different type of relationship arrangement, who may have done the emotional work that makes them less likely to enter hastily into (or stay in) abusive or unfulfilling relationships, who may have other types of partnerships and connections, or who may simply not have the desire to be in a romantic partnership (now or ever).
  • How they argue that there is one type of love and relation that is aspirational, against which all others pale. As if the love of our families, our friends, our colleagues, our communities, our lovers…were not enough. Eros trumps all, trumps philia, trumps storge, trumps agape.
  • How they infer that until we meet our (presumably monogamous) partner, and fall into some sort of nebulously and poorly defined thing called “love,” we singletons are mere shells of human beings, eternally waiting for our “other halves,” our “soul-mates,” or, at the very least, a person to co-habitate with, and at some point, possibly sign a legal contract that has nothing in actuality to do with love, despite social norms that try to convince us otherwise. As if we are less than whole people, always lacking.
  • How they advise that a single person must simply “love themselves enough” before they find a partner, as if self-love and worthiness were not things that people must and should do for themselves and for the many other relationships they have with their families, friends, and co-workers. As if self-love were not, above all, for one’s self. As if the very people who believe that they are worthy just as they are, who have developed communication skills, who can be vulnerable and sit with others’ vulnerability, are those who do love themselves enough. As if breaking up with someone cannot be an act of self-love, or, indeed an act of love towards others to avoid mutual disappointment or resentment.
  • How they discount the other accomplishments in our lives by assuming our happinesses or our successes are not enough if we do not also “find someone nice to settle down with.” As if the only occasions worthy of public and community celebrations are marriages (and having children).
  • How they presume that being in a relationship or being married automatically makes someone a more skilled communicator, empathic person, sexually open partner, considerate human being, or expert in love than any single person could ever hope to be.

I’m sure that I may be perceived as being too harsh here, or as making some rather broad and hyperbolic statements, or that I am assuming that these are simply things that the coupled say to the uncoupled. But these are also things that we single folks tell ourselves. They’re things that I’ve told myself, when relationships haven’t gone right, when I feel lonely, when I feel envious of those who have a partner, and when I get frustrated with the complexities and unpredictability of love and dating. And believe me, admitting to that is not easy. It is, however, useful and necessary.

The normalization of monogamy aside—and the aspersions it casts on the singletons—is that there is, of course, something more profoundly existential at play here, and that is that solitude and loneliness can call up some of our deepest fears and sorrows.

The fear of being rejected for our flaws.

The fear of not being able to handle the flaws of others.

The fear of not having our lovers’ snores or our bustling households to distract us from other sources of shame or feelings of unworthiness in our lives.

And that big fear: the aching, gnawing agony of our mortality. Death as the ultimate solitary event. Spinning silently through the vastness of space on this tilting rock, we cling to each other. The figure of a single person can remind us, painfully, of our need and desire to cling, to love, to make meaning in conjunction, even though we wax poetically about self-sufficiency, independence, and aloneness. If we are insecure or overdependent in our partnerships, the single person can terrify us, reminding us that we have not yet learned to tolerate being alone, to sit with the discomfort of being all by ourselves.

Singleness can also remind us also of how we exclude. How we don’t call up that friend, or that family member, or invite them over for dinner. How we can, so easily, take the companionship and presence of our partner for granted.

Singleness confronts us with how precarious and unpredictable relationality can be. That there’s not always “someone for everyone.” That even if you are emotionally healthy, even if you have a wonderful career, and a good sense of self, that you may end up without a romantic partner, or that the romantic partnership you envisioned in your late teens or early twenties—the fairytale romance—may not be exactly what you get. That your partner may suddenly become ill, or be unfaithful, or die long before you do: that you may once again be alone, and not through your own choosing.

Singleness reinforces the consequences of our choices and situations in life. That with togetherness, as with aloneness, comes compromise, different lacks of fulfillment, different ways of being, different sources of joy. And as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

As I enter my mid-twenties, I’ve decided to embrace paradox while I confront my own thoughts about singleness and about partnerships. While I have been told that I can be, at times, rather unromantic in my realism and cynicism about love, I have also been told that I am unrelentingly optimistic and hopeful. I can be wonderfully happy being single, and enjoy the freedoms that it affords me, but can also long for and dream of finding a partner who is my equal, my companion, and my fellow pilgrim on this strange and foreboding but curious and extraordinary road of life.

But most importantly—and I do hope this is the lesson that I can impart—I know, deep in my heart, that it is a truth universally acknowledged that we are all worthy of love, trust, companionship, acceptance, and kindness…whomever we receive it from.

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Lucia Lorenzi

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when a man or a woman reaches a certain age, an age that one also generally associates with sexual attractiveness, fertility, the beginning of economic security and the decline of teenage angst, that he or she will seek a partner, indeed, fervently desire a partner, and do everything within his or her power to meet, marry, and mate. In my nod to Jane Austen, here, I am suggesting, as cheekily as I am earnestly, that the societal standards that are steadfastly ingrained in our psyches regarding relationships are still rather predictable, conservative, and normative. And, if I may be so bold to admit—being myself a young woman of a certain marriageable and fertile age—rather draining, dreary, and downright depressing.

As you, dear reader, can deduce, I am single. Solitary. Unbetrothed, unwed.As long as I have been “eligible” to date, I have generally…

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