In my head, and in my heart, I suppose, I have certain things that I expect to be done or felt between people who love each other. That if A loved B then X wouldn't really matter but Y would. Now, wait, I sound like I am writing an algebra equation.
I have been quite the observer - particularly over the last three or four years - of people's relationships. Trying to figure out what makes them successful, and where there are signs of failure. Trying, I presume, consciously or subconsciously, to figure it out so I have a better shot the next time I jump into the relationship waters. Trying to figure out what behavior is loving and what is not loving.
And I think I have a pretty good idea of some of the important ingredients necessary for a successful and loving relationship. Some things are pretty straightforward. Things like valuing what your partner values. Being respectful even when you disagree. Realizing that being right doesn't always mean you need to win, and that winning often - at least with arguments - isn't really winning. Lots of good trite guidance, but stuff that nonetheless I believe in. And maybe one day I will write a post about these things. (Or maybe I already did?)
After my marriage came to an end, I was told by more than one person that I needed to find someone who would love me like I loved them. Seems reasonable enough, but what does that really mean? I think it means some of the things I discovered in my observance above. That someone who really loves me will find the things I find important simply because I do. And won't worry about the things I find unimportant. Who will love me for me, and not for my things, or for what I can do or bring to the relationship. Who will love me despite my ADD or maybe even love me for who my ADD has made me - flaws and human and all.
If you have been reading this at all, you'll know that I have dipped my toe into the relationship waters, again. Actually, I seem to have dove in head first. Or more accurately heart first. I tend to do that sometimes. I did bring wee bit of baggage. Criticisms from girls past. Things that I know shouldn't matter but often do or have.
And so, in these early stages, we have traipsed along some of these issues and as I have left myself vulnerable to her and exposed my insecurities, she reacts as I would to someone who would do the same to me. Laugh, basically, and call me silly. Silly to worry. Silly to care. Silly to think that she would care. But not silly in an emotionally abusive intentionally hurtful way, but in a way to help me realize that these matters I take so seriously, and worry so much about, are not so serious, and do not deserve worry. She reassures me in the moment. And then, later, as she's had more time to think on my concern, and perhaps in an unconscious (or conscious? who knows? She's very smart - much smarter than me!) effort to make sure I didn't feel dismissed, she usually will write a follow-up e-mail saying, "Look, Borg, I've really been thinking about Y and how you feel, and I want you to know, I really do believe..." and reassure me again. AND THEN, because that may not be enough, she'll bring it up later in a conversation, gently, and reassure me once again. And IF I am too silly to realize I don't need to be silly, still, and I tentatively express a concern or a worry, she hears my underlying insecurity and addresses it again.
WOW! I mean really.. WOW, right?
I'll give you an example. My most recent insecurity has been coming to accept and acknowledge (although really I'm still in denial) that I am a slob. I am still in denial because I will tell you I am better than many. It is all relative, after all. But I am not the standard that *I* would like to be at, and I do feel, often, that my environment is chaotic. I would prefer to be neater, but there are some bonafide and perhaps less bonafide obstacles standing in my way. (Being Human, see earlier post, is one of them.. SHOCKER!). I do pride myself that I don't have anything growing outside the fridge, but I do also have dust bunnies copulating in the kitchen and the bedroom. They entertain me.... (okay, not, but it sounded cute for a moment in my head).
I worry, needlessly, that she'll step into my home for the first time, see the stacks of papers and go screaming in the other direction. And yet, in addition to her reassurances, I know I don't have to worry. She's the kinda gal who gets upset at people who tweet how much better they feel about themselves after watching Hoarders and pleading for them to have compassion for the mentally ill (although I think she phrases it even nicer than that..) So, it's good to know she'll have compassion for me and my mental illness.. No.. wait.. that isn't where I meant to go. Hmm....
She's coming to visit me soon, and I created a 72 point list of things I'd *like* to do before she gets here to get the house in order (Remember #3 in the list of So Who Am I? is that I'm a geek). But God has a sense of humor, and life, unfortunately, has gotten in the way. Actually, more accurately, death - a parishioner in our church passed away Saturday morning, and I sat with him and with his family the last two days of his life, and will now be with the family in preparing for the funeral arrangements, and prepare at the church for the service itself. As much as I would like to get to those 72 items (or at least, even, 25 of them) the reality is I probably won't get to more than another two or three that are really important and the rest will go by the wayside.. Or, in a fit of idiocy, I'll take everything in the rest of the house and shove it all into one room where I will never let her see... Oh. Wait. She reads this blog... that won't work.. she'll be too curious to open the door NOW!
And she's said to me, quite often, "Look, Borg, the only place I want to be when I come is in your arms. I don't care about the rest...." You know something? I actually believe her.
Now that, my friends, is love...