Theory #22: Masquerades make it difficult to be properly seen. Gamble letting your guard down, and there’s always the risk of being hurt, but the prize is being found by the person you’re meant for.
So after my last night shift of the last two weeks (thank god – I’ve been in zombieland for too long now), my (married, male) friend and I went for breakfast at Maccas. He was trying to coach me on how to approach some things with Ben. He’s very perceptive and he hit the nail on the head about my neuroticism. Maybe I’m so transparent anyone could guess I’ve been falling a bit too hard and fast for Ben. Here are some of comments/advice from my friend (paraphrased because the conversation was long):
I think you’ve come across too needy, a bit neurotic. You don’t want to do that. He’s probably experienced that before – you don’t want him to think you’re going to be hard work.
Make your texts shorter, just try it out. It’ll make him want you more.
You want to look cool, laid back, easy going.
You need to have a conversation with Ben about him seeing other people – you want him to think you wouldn’t worry or care so much, and he can tell you about it or not, whatever he wants. If I was Ben, I’d not see other people because someone told me not to (or worse, begged me not to), I’d not see other people because if she said it was okay, I’d feel bad about doing it*.
How do you know he isn’t seeing other girls now? There’s nothing stopping him from going out with other girls while you’re in different states – how would you know if he did anyway and he’s just not telling you because you know you don’t want to hear it? There’s 300+ days a year you’re not together – he could be doing what(who)ever he wants in that time.
Obviously the thing you don’t want is for him to have a relationship on the side – casually seeing other people doesn’t mean anything*.
I’m worried that you’ll make this big move and things won’t work out and you’ll have messed everything up here just to go and “why not” things with Ben. I don’t want you to get hurt.
While I mightn’t understand some of the *boy logic… His advice made sense – I didn’t want to drive Ben away by being too stressed about everything, and I honestly couldn’t be sure that he wasn’t seeing anyone else. Even right at that moment I imagined him having breakfast with one of his gorgeous single friends.
Initially I was thinking – I can’t use this advice. It’s not me. I can’t make things up and pretend to be this other amazingly cool, relaxed person. I tried that. Bottling did not help. What helped was talking to Ben about it. ‘Cept then I was concerned I might have already made it more difficult for myself because I’d already shown I’m a worrier.
So I tried to formulate the conversation so that I wouldn’t come across too needy, nor too bossy, nor too flippant… and I brought up the whole ‘I realise you could be seeing other people because of the distance, so if anything ever happened you can tell me or not’ thing.
I suppose my friend is like other guys – they want a girlfriend who is low maintenance, someone easy-going and carefree.
I guess I have found the perfect guy for me – one who isn’t like other guys.
Three seconds into the conversation I dropped the easy-going, carefree facade and was my honest self instead. Perhaps it’s some kind of exception-to-the-rule situation here, but instead of having to act like this totally cool/calm/collected awesome chick who’s the epitome of every guy’s dream girl.. when I’m completely myself I get to be Ben’s dream girl.
There was a lot more to the conversation, obviously, but here are the highlights between Ben and myself:
“There’s no-one else because I don’t want there to be anyone else.”
“You’re everything I always wanted.”
“I’m not the lying type, if anything I’m usually in trouble for being too honest/blunt. I gave up on games a long time ago. I decided that whether people could handle the truth or not was up to them.”
“Alright. I trust you, and I’ll not worry about the what-ifs. We’ll be bluntly honest with each other if we have to be. … You might be the one to always jump in the deep end, but I commit for the long run. I’m stubborn like that, and very loyal.”
“I don’t want to dabble, I want to jump in.”
“I don’t want to dabble either. I feel like I’ve already jumped – just haven’t hit the water yet. I just meant you might move fast, and I’m okay to, but I’ll likely be sticking around, if you’ll have me.”
“That’s the idea : ) I’d say so if I wanted otherwise.”
I guess in the end my friend’s advice was very helpful – just not quite the outcome they’d have expected, but it’s certainly the one that has made me happiest : )
I don’t care that I’m letting my guard down completely now – I’m ecstatic: he likes me for me.
Once again, trust your instincts.
– Gigi, Ben’s girl.