Accidentally good bad-advice.

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.


In Termit[e] Tent.

The contact that I have with Ben is intermittent. And by contact, I mean the deep and meaningful conversations that I feel are building on what we have, not simple the hellos/goodbyes/how-was-works/I-miss-you-toos/etc of everyday texting.

But last night I was lucky enough to have had a conversation with Ben that has helped to reduce some of my stress (well, for now at least).

Mostly we were talking about some of the finer details of me moving down – thankfully great minds think alike, so that was one of the easiest set-ups of a Roommate Agreement I’ve ever seen (not completely finalised, but will be easy enough from here).

We also covered Valentine’s Day – and, again, we agreed completely on this topic (relationship is too new, neither of us believe in it as a holiday anyway, we’d rather spend a romantic time together that’s not on a day dedicated to couplings, we think gifting flowers is a waste of money, and so there’s no need for us to celebrate it next Friday) = allover win 🙂

We also touched briefly on my neuroticism and that it seems to be worse at this distance; things are easier when he’s around. I tried to explain it’s less about worry that he’s sleeping with someone (or multiple someones), and seems to be more concentrated on the potential for him developing feelings for someone else, or reigniting any feelings from past someones.

Naturally, he reassured me, and offered that I can talk to him if I have any worries or thoughts.

There was more to the conversation, but basically I came away feeling so lucky to have someone patient enough to be able to handle me, and to know just what to say to calm me down. I’m still smiling, and that’s even after a night shift!

Theory #20: Trust is easier to give when you get a little intermittent reassurance that your trust is well placed.

– Dr O.


Society determined the rule: you are not to talk about your ex with your new partner. But I figure that’s more about the post-break-up feelings – either you’re talking about them too much because you want to be back together, or you’re complaining so much about them and/or how it ended. Neither of those situations is great for the new person to have to listen to.

But I wonder exactly how compulsory is this relationship ‘rule’ is supposed to be?

What if you want to know about someone’s ex? Are you allowed to ask questions that encourage someone to break the ex-silence rule?

My mind has been on the Ex-Files. As in… Ben’s Ex-Files.

He’s shared some of the stories with me, but not all of them, and not all of the information I’ve recently become privy to was welcome. As an Orist, there are just some things you do not need to know.

But all the same, I’ve been obsessing about the stories pre-Ben&me – the Prequels, if you will.

It’s not about whether he might go back to any of the exes if given the opportunity – he just doesn’t seem the type (please don’t laugh at me for how lame and naive that sounds).

It’s not about discovering any possible flaws of his – because, as we’ve established, he seems fairly perfect at the moment.

It’s not about learning the mistakes those girls may have made so I can strive to be the perfect girlfriend – I might be insecure, but I’m still my own person: I’ll do what I want to do; I ain’t putting down any eggshells to walk on.

Trouble is, I haven’t been able to quite put my finger on the source of this neurotic obsession with Ben’s exes.

If you’ve not experienced this before, it’s the kind of obsessing that comes with crushes (particularly of the unrequited love category), or in the post-break-up analysis phase: either you just want to know them better, and that includes knowing their past and their people too; or you’re wanting to know their every move to be able to determine whether they’re happy without you and/or if they’ve moved on already.

It’s not quite as stalkerish as it sounds… Ultimately, social media does not help in this phase.

I think I’ve figured it out, on a few levels.

Partly, I’m jealous. I want to know him better, and I wish I could have been with him a million years ago when we first met and it could have saved us both some heartache and trouble if we’d known where this was going. (But I’ve learned things along my own path, and we weren’t parts of each others’ lives then, so I do just have to let this one go).

I’m impatient. And I like stories. They’re pretty much the point of human existence – the stories of our short, insignificant lives. It’s why movies and books are wonderful. But since works of fiction have endings already, they don’t invade and persist in my thoughts quite as much.

And finally, I realised… I’ve not been with someone with a history before. Not for long enough anyway. Mitchell, and Scott were firsts in that category; Peter and I had been friends long enough that I knew his already; Alex, I didn’t get to be with long enough; and Arni, I didn’t want to be with long enough. 

I don’t know whether I should try to explain this to Ben – that since he’s the first guy I’ve been with whose stories I don’t know well enough, I can’t help but try to find out more. Maybe then he’ll understand why this is a topic that exacerbates my neuroticism; and maybe he’ll share more of his history with me.

But do I even have the right to know any of Ben’s stories that may have come before this one with me in it? (And just as importantly – do I even want to know?).

Histories are complicated. They help shape who we are. But that doesn’t mean you need to know and understand any part of history to be better equipped to tackle the future.

This is all especially difficult when you’ve got someone who isn’t big on communicating.

I don’t think I have any theories today; it’s all riddles. Which makes me think of Doctor Who:

“The Silence will fall when the question is asked.”

– Dr O.


So I haven’t blogged since Monday since there has been a lot going through my head, and because of NYR, I’m trying to live in the present and not worry too much.

As you know, my latest mini-weekend away lead to a really big decision – which I’m still sticking with, strangely enough. Talked to my mum about it – gently though, as that’d be a big change for her, and we share custody of the three dogs so there’s a big impact for her too… Also strangely, she was not as against the idea as I was expecting – she was actually supportive, and only cautioning me about the green-ness of the relationship and the logistics that I’ve got to have sorted before being able to leave.

I’ll get back to that though – they’re on my list of things I’m trying not to worry about too much.

However, the main thing I’ve had on my mind is kind of complicated.

Part of the conversation Ben and I had over the weekend delved a little into our past relationships. Not to say that either of our histories is very exciting or extensive, but now my insecurities are back.

And just when I was used to dealing with things on my own with the minimal contact/reassurance from Ben, too. (Except when I’m with him – he’s amazing at completely sweeping away my worries).

I don’t want to go into details, partly because they’re not my stories to tell, and also because I’m trying to focus on the “honesty and trust” side of it all. We each shared things we mightn’t tell other people, but the information has the potential to put in some doubt and could ruin things.

Theory #17: Try not to invent any doubt; be honest and trust where you can; if there are actually things that make you doubt – hesitate like mad until it’s sorted one way or another.

Might be too messed up to give advice to others.

– Gigi.

Selective Honesty.

Honesty is the best policy.

Though I think most people follow the other theory:

Theory #10: Keep your mouth shut about shit they don’t need to hear, so you stay on their good side.

Y’all know I’m a bit on the crazy side. And because I’m fairly impatient – though I think you know this too because I’ve gone on about it just a little bit – I’ve been wanting to breach the divide and give Ben the everything on my honest list.

But my Theory #10 is holding me back: I’m terrified it’ll push him away, and quickly too.

On the other hand my Theory #9 makes a good argument: better that you get it over with, be yourself, and if they’re going to run for the hills, why delay the inevitable?

Though, can there be such a thing as revealing your crazy too early that makes them run when you could give them the chance to get to know you and so they might’ve stayed?

Ben did try to get me to consider that “all’s fair in love and war”, which is a saying I haven’t overly agreed with before – mainly because it’s an absolute statement and they bother me a little. But my thinking is, that if he’s broached the “all’s fair” topic already, I may have a shot with the “Here’s me being 100% honest and now you know my full extent of crazy” and hope it doesn’t make him flee.

Truth is, I don’t have the answer yet. Honestly.

– Dr O.

Top 10.

No theory on this one. Just still trying to live in the now and not stress too much about the future and where things are going.

That’s not really my style though…

So instead, I’ve typed the questions I want to ask Ben but am refusing to let myself ask him just yet since I’m just trying to focus (thanks NYR). Here are my Top 10 anxiety ridden questions of the first fortnight of 2014:

1. What are the plans for the Aussie Day weekend – can I lock in some sort of meal for you to meet my bestie and her fiancé?  (I wrote this as a draft yesterday and clearly I forgot that this was Q#1 since I essentially asked this today. Oops. Told you I was bad at this NYR thing.)
2. What are we? I’m sort of hoping this is more than just booty calls. Otherwise they’re fairly expensive booty calls… Also I feel like this could be something special. I’m trying not to read into it – I’ve seen “He’s Just Not That Into You”, remember?
3. Are you free on specific-weekend in April? Can you be free? I would love to take you as my date to a friend’s wedding.
4. Or is that a bit too much, too soon? See Q#2, I’d like to know where this is going and what it means, even if the definition is “I don’t quite know yet, just seeing where it takes us” – that’d help me not fantasise about potential things you might propose or props you might need in such a situation…
5. Do you really want to move in together? It’s also not too soon? We’re both probably likely to jump the gun on things, and I’m keen, just nervous; but don’t know if we’ve just been joking about it or if this is actually something we’ve both considered enough and still both want?
6. What would happen if I fell pregnant? How would you react? You missed out on the first pregnancy scare of 2014 because I didn’t have the answer to this question yet. (For the record, I was feeling a bit weird at work and one comment from me about feeling dumb lead to coworkers implying I had a bun in the oven. Fast forward a few weeks later (with the joke still ongoing about me being pregnant) and I’m five days late. Pregnancy test was negative bee-tee-dubs.)
7. What is your middle name? I feel like I should know this already.
8. Are you happy with the current plan of only seeing each other every month? Or would every 2-3 weeks be better for our sanity and we just ignore the impact on wallets?
9. How long do you think you can stand the long distance? I’m willing to give this a few more months but I might go insane. There’s just a lot of things to consider between now and then, and remember, I’m not supposed to think too much too far ahead.
10. Even though it’s not usually the done thing, I want to know about your past relationships and how they fell apart. (Technically not a question, I know, but I feel like it’d be rude to demand that in question form). Also so I can judge things a bit and see if: (a) there’s something wrong with you like I suspect because you’re a bit too perfect not to have been snapped up yet. Seriously. or (b) there’s a chance you might drop me quick-as-look-at-you if one of your exes was to offer themselves to you throw themselves at you.

I do actually intend to ask him these questions eventually, it’s just a little difficult while I don’t have the answer to Q#2.

Fretfully yours,

– Dr O.


Proactivity – I’ll come to that later.

I concede – I too think Kiki is awesome.

I think/hope I can see what Ben meant about her – she’s awesome, they’re friends, he can only love her in the best-friend way, and couldn’t ever see himself with her in a relationship.

And now I can’t remember if she’s the one he’s got the backup plan with… You know the backup: “if we’re both 40 and single and haven’t found anyone yet, let’s just get married”.

Ok, so I can’t completely get rid of all of the jealous anxiety just yet.

Ultimately, I’m waiting (however impatiently) for the moment where I’m that comfortable with him, and comfortable with how he feels about me, to not be jealous at all.

Imma be waiting a while, aren’t I?

I blame the newness (surely there’s a better word than that), the distance and the lack of official commitment yet.

NYR reminder – focus on the present – try to be patient, the future will come and it will sort itself out one way or another.

Theory #9: Engineering situations to ensure a specific future is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact I’m hoping it’s a way of getting what you want sooner, rather than having to wait for it.

I’ll expand on this thought later.

– Dr O.

Monkeys aren’t zebras or leopards.

Ok, so I have a few confessions.

I know it is only two weeks into the year, but I’ve been finding it hard to stick to the NYR and focus more on the present.

By this, I mean that I wanted to become this cool, relaxed, laid-back person who can let the world rush over them and fear nothing, worry over nothing, and ultimately live a happier, more peaceful life.

Yep. Well. That’s not really me at all.

Theory #7: Monkeys don’t have stripes, but that doesn’t mean you should go looking for the spots that probably aren’t there either.

So you already know that I think my new guy, Ben, is amazing, but I have a small issue gnawing at me. Because of our frustratingly long distance relationship and his insane number of hot single female friends whom he catches up with regularly … it makes me fairly jealous.

And I’m the jealous type.

But I try not to show it. I’m trying to be a cool, calm, collected breeze of relaxed indifference, with a lack of self-esteem issues and complete confidence in my ability to hold onto a catch like Ben.

Outwardly, and mainly out in the direction of Ben, I am able to hold together a shady version of this goddess. In reality, I am a phone-checking, self-conscious, giant ball of nerdy anxiety.

But here’s the kicker. One of his many hot single female friends, who caught up with Ben most recently, has a vlog. A proper one. With followers and all.

(Let’s call her Kiki.)

.. I’m trying to convince myself that having found and watched some of the videos isn’t stalking because links to said vlog are all over fb and it is on the internet after all…

Depressingly, I actually kind of like Kiki’s vlog. I want to tell her to stop pushing her boobs out and try not to gesture so much, but it’s her vlog, and the whole point is to be able to say and do as you please.

I did ask Ben last time I was at his place whether he had dated or ever wanted to date this particular outstanding looking girl. His answer was no, that she’s not really his type as she’s outgoing and exciting and an actress and all; he’s always gone for more the girl next door type.

So here I am, scrolling through her vlog, searching for signs of a reference to Ben – in case she’s secretly pining for him which would put her higher up on my jealousy-watch list (and she’s already gorgeous enough for me to have a little worry there to have her on the list).   (…The list doesn’t exist, I promise. I’m not that bad.)

Instead, after going through her vlog, all I’ve found is the dating advice she’s posting out to the internet void and now I’m back to square one NYR-wise.

One of her posts was about dealing with long distance relationships. She lists the things she feels are important:
– you should know the person really well because you need to know their insecurities to be know how much time/energy you’ll need to give them from the distance;
– you should be able to trust each other completely – if you’re going to be jealous from afar, you’ll probably be jealous even if you were there;
– there needs to be light at the end of the tunnel;
– and if one if you is going to move – make sure you’re moving for other reasons as well, not just for the person.

… Ah dammit. Good advice. And it’s relevant.

So while the jealousy trouble is calmed by Ben’s reassurance (and that I really don’t see him as the cheating type), Kiki’s tips have brought up some of my major points of stress with my relationship with Ben:
– do we know each other well enough yet;
– we still haven’t defined things yet;
– are we both really okay with the distance;
– where (and when) is this going;
– is moving to his state really a good idea;
– and how soon is too soon for moving in together anyway?

Awesome. So much for trying not to worry about the future. See my point? NYR fail.

See a monkey without stripes? Don’t go looking for spots. Take a deep breath, let every worrying thought slide, and hand the poor monkey a banana.

Dr O.

Exceptional rule?

Here’s where I test my Theory #1 and begin to see whether I made correct choices at the beginning of this journey. …Because, you know, it was so long ago I can properly assess the situation.


It’s probably easier if I start with explaining where my relationship currently stands.

So there’s this guy (for argument’s sake, let’s call him Ben) I’ve been sort of seeing for two months now. “Sort of seeing” is the only definition that currently fits since it’s not 100% clear, and because we live in different states. We have not had the conversation that specifically explores the what-is-this/what-are-we/what-does-that-mean side of the what-we-have-together. In other words, he has not asked me to be, nor told me I am, nor stated that I might be in any way his girlfriend. Which also means, officially – we have no exclusivity pact nor claim to potential future hurt feelings as a result of any consequences of this lack of definition.

However! Don’t despair for me yet and tell me to run for the hills as fast as my little legs might carry me (not that fast, I can assure you) – because there have been some positive signs.

I hear you groan, but I’m a romantic, so judge away (and comment if you really feel the strong need to tell me what I should be doing or saying     – actually please comment, I could use all the help I can get here).

We have talked about future plans (both short and long term, with our plans matching up); I’ve met some of his family, and he’s met almost all of mine; things are wonderful when we’re together; we make plans to see each other next well ahead of time.

But he doesn’t communicate as much as I’d like. Or as much as I need to feel more secure. …I’m pretty insecure – maybe I’m just expecting too much of him…

It’s just still very new so I don’t know if HJNTI[me], or he’s trying to play it cool, or that’s just him.

So I’ve been playing things as cool as I can, but my anxiety is building each day, and it’s another 4 weeks until we see each other again. I’m hoping to clarify things better either before or by then, but raising the topic seems like something the guy should do… or is that too old fashioned?


But of course, I was watching “He’s Just Not That Into You” with my mum last night. (I worked today, so my 1st January 2014 wasn’t ever going to be that exciting – though feel free to judge me as you wish). HJNTIY – the movie that contrasts the frustrating hope of being “the exception” and the annoying reality of “the rule”, and in the end basically implies that you’re probably the rule, but you can hope for the exception (gee thanks). 

I identify best with Gigi from the movie (Ginnifer Goodwin’s character; the cute one who is a bit desperate and reads a bit too much into the ‘signs’), but I worry that even I might have read into this a bit too much.

Since Ben has seen HJNTIY, when my mum asked, in jest, if Ben is the exception or the rule – I mention it to him, but adding that since I’m not confused about anything really, it doesn’t count.

His reply?

Well, the part that mattered was that he figured “we’re not quite at the 9 year mark (or whatever Ben Affleck/Jennifer Aniston were up to)”.

Gigi-style mini-freak-out: the use of “we”.

And mini-freak-out 2: he went to the perfect couple, the long-term committed one, as his first thought about what represented us. ‘Nuff said in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s so amazing I’ve got no reservations beyond the speed of it all if he was to propose on our next date – I just can’t see it happening yet.

And then he avoids the topic and I get no further into deciphering his mind. …Damn.

The whole point of the movie kicked in, and I worried – what if he’s just not that into me?


Theory #3: All’s complicated in love and war.

Theory #4: Best not to judge relationships by rules and exceptions and instead just go with the flow.   …which is much easier said than done.


So here’s me hoping one of us is the exception,

– Dr Gigi Orist.


Follow The Orist. on


Of Fries And Men

Fries and Men. Two things women can't resist. Warning: Content may contain detailed description of fries consumption. Not suitable for those on diet.

Coco in México

medicine, love, life...

The Orist.

Speaking an infinite deal of nothing (Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice).

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.