Unrealistic Relationship Expectations

I’m having a moment with volleyball guy where I am having a hard time coping with his personality.  I know we’re very different people, and some things are making me feel unsure and not comfortable.  I still believe that he has the best intentions, but he is really set in some of his bachelor ways and it seems hard for him to maintain a relationship.  It seems hard for him to find time to simply be with me.

We see each other fairly consistently, twice a week.  We usually do dinner and we’ll usually spend one to one and half days during the weekend together.  I guess the amount of time is alright, but I’m just unhappy about the quality of time that we spend together.  Okay, so as I am writing this I realize that I have this complaint about pretty much every single guy that I’ve dated, so maybe it’s just me.  My complaint specifically is that guys are often mentally distracted and not focused when they are with me, and this makes me feel like they aren’t trying.

Today, volleyball coach came over for dinner at my place.  I thoroughly enjoyed cooking this meal for him, and he is grateful but I can clearly see that he is mentally exhausted from work and he had a bad day.  We talk about it a bit, and I allowed him to rant on about it while I listened then I asked if we could take a moment to enjoy the meal and said we can resume in a bit.  We never have plans for these weekday dinners, so we go walk the dog as usual, and then ended up vegetating in front of the television until he went home.  We did talk a bit, but as I talked to him, he didn’t seem so focused.  I wanted him to stay the night, but he decided to go home and I was a little annoyed by that.

I think I expected a relationship to be a companion, and I feel like volleyball coach is just not around enough to be a companion.  He coaches volleyball 2 days a week, and if he doesn’t coach, he is playing volleyball.  He likes his after work routine most weekdays and he always tries to find time once a week to spend with his parents.  Frankly, I think he’s got his life figured out, but to fit a significant other into this picture seems a bit difficult.  I honestly want to come home to somebody, and be comfortable enough to spend long durations of time with them… and this isn’t what this relationship is, at least not at this time.  I do wonder if expecting that so soon in the relationship is unreasonable, after all, we’ve only been together a few months.

I want to do things with my significant other.  I want to do rock climbing, go on adventures, take photographs, make memories together.  I think I just like the idea of going out there and doing things, though sometimes just chilling is fine too, but I find that we do the latter way too often.  I think we have a lot of ideas, we talked about going to wineries, making yogurt, going to food festivals, but when we do hang out we always have no plans or he seems way too exhausted so we just take it easy.  Again, this has been something that has been a recurring problem in my past relationships too.  I think I just want to do things more than other people do.

He does seem willing, don’t get me wrong.  This coming weekend, he’s voluntarily coming to one of my friend’s birthday party even though it’s totally not his kind of thing (it’s a totally over the top planned birthday party with all sorts of over the top, elaborate things).  He willingly goes to my family wedding, and has invited me on a camping trip and is trying to plan a vacation together.  I have no doubt that he wants to be with me, and that he has every intention to do things with me, but I guess I get tired of what I feel is a relationship that feels like it is on autopilot.

But as I think about it, it makes sense.  He is a man of routine.  I keep saying that, but it’s true.  Maybe a relationship on a bit of a routine is not a bad thing if the intention is good.  Maybe it is actually a mature relationship as opposed to two people just wanting to be together to do things together and for the sake of companionship?

Maybe I just need to get my life together.  I felt that I was doing well with having my own things going on.  I mean, starting a business, working a full time contract and taking care of 2 puppies is quite a bit already.  I was even in a weekly volleyball league up until last week.  It’s possible that I feel this way because I’ve been working from home and feeling all cooped up this week.

Maybe I need perspective.  I have someone that really cares about me, wants to be with me.  It’s a new relationship, and he is quite introverted.  We complement each other, and maybe more time to focus on me and my business is something that I should embrace.  It’s certainly not a deal breaker, but it is causing me some frustration.

A Whole New Life

The way I act around volleyball coach is starting to feel more natural.  I feel less judgemental than when I first met him, and am finding myself feeling giddy, goofy and happy just being with him.  We see each other about twice a week, and it’s quite consistent.  It feels a bit planned and calculated with him, and he likes to think ahead for these kind of things.  Sometimes I feel like that’s not enough, and it feels like he has to put in quite a bit of effort to orchestrate the whole thing.

I’m more spontaneous and I’m used to being with people who are more spontaneous, so this is new to me.  I know that he coaches volleyball every Friday and Saturday, so it makes it easy for me to make sure that I have something else to do during those days.  I remain connected with my coworkers and foodie friends, and he seems very okay with that despite me having many male friends.

I’ve thought about hanging out with some of my old drinking friends, the ones that mystery man and I shared in common, but I’ve realized that even now that I’m not heartbroken about it anymore, it was still the right decision to let them go.  When I made the decision to not see those people anymore, I figured that it would make me feel less awful about mystery man and I.  But, as I’ve come to realize now, letting them go also allowed me to open my life up to new groups of friends that I would otherwise have no time for.

I used to always tell people that I was too busy, and even joked and said that I’m in a cult.  I was spending a lot of time with people who were at times fun, and had good intentions but did not have a real connection with, or lived a similar lifestyle as I did.  Now, if I saw these people I would be friendly with them, but we just aren’t in the same walk in life and that’s okay.  Is there really a point in maintaining friendships for the sake of maintaining them?  I’ve always felt guilty about this, but I think it should be a conscious decision who you spend time with.

I’m grateful that more people want to spend time with me than I have time for.  When I first became single after mystery man, I felt so lonely.  Keeping myself away from all of our mutual friends made me feel like I had nothing, that I was starting from scratch.  I kicked myself for not keeping in closer touch with my high school girlfriends, but in reality, those friendships also became more distant for other reasons.  Removing those people from my life really created the space that I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my career, and go out and meet people.

I told myself that I would put myself out there and my intention was to find a partner, but not only have I found my boyfriend, I also found new friends, and reconnected with old friends.  Of course I found many people that I didn’t enjoy the company of, and activities that were not as fun as I thought they would be, but my life feels whole again now.  There is no need to try to keep these superficial ties to people whom I don’t feel a genuine connection with.

I feel like I’ve basically created a whole new life for myself that I’m much happier with.  A new boyfriend, new groups of friends, rekindled old friendships, new career trajectory, new hobbies.  I feel empowered to choose these things for myself now and it wasn’t too difficult because I made the space in my life to bring in these new things.  I feel proud of myself that I did something about it.  I didn’t wait for these things to come to me.  I really did work for it.

Now, when I wake up next to volleyball coach, I still feel like I’m just starting to get used to my new life.  The idea of being with him, and even the idea of being content feels foreign, but I like it more as I become more aquatinted with it.

Growing Sexually

I can tell that volleyball coach is kinky as hell because he’ll do certain things like gently choke me, or suggesting buying toys for me.  Finally, somebody that thinks about sex as a continuous build as opposed to just quick and dirty fun that is short-lived.  Orgasming during sex has always been difficult for me, and I am slowly realizing that orgasms are not all the same.  When I play with myself, I am used to clitoral orgasms with pressure on the pelvis area, which is quite strong.  I’ve experienced mental orgasms that are triggered by sexy thoughts and limited physical stimulation and I think these feel like a body tingle, especially in the breast / nipple area.  Orgasming during sex with penetration and limited clitoral stimulation is just much different.  It’s just not as apparent, and it requires a lot more mental focus, at least for me.  I have to feel like I am fully immersed in the experience and I have to feel comfortable. The orgasm is intense, but because it is intense, it’s hard to tell when the orgasm is over and thus it’s also hard to tell when the orgasm starts, because it’s a really slow build.

People always say that when you have an orgasm, you will know what it is, but with this kind of penetrative orgasm and slow build, it’s difficult to tell when it has started and because of that it’s difficult to recognize it as an orgasm.  When it’s over, it is satisfying, except since it’s a bit of a build and plateau, rather than a few seconds of intense pleasure, it’s difficult to register it as an orgasm.

Volleyball coach is patient with me, tries different things and I think it has really allowed me to grow sexually.  I’ve always been self conscious about riding on top and doing the work.  I will do it and it is enjoyable, but I could never finish or finish my partner this way.  I think not being able to do the work to finish my partner has been something that has perplexed me, and made me think that I’m doing it wrong.  I’d always get tired, and felt that I wasn’t fit enough for that position.  Okay, so volleyball coach has really shown me how to do this position so that he can finish and wow was it a boost of confidence for me!  For the record, the move that seemed to work on him was more of a pelvis thrust movement rather than an up and down movement, and the closer our legs were, the better it was.  Sex continues to get better with volleyball coach, and it’s because he puts my pleasure first.  At first I felt that the pressure to orgasm (because he was trying so hard) was too much, but now I think I’m really enjoying it more.

After a strong sexual connection, I feel this attachment to my partner.  Volleyball coach is still a man after all and he seems to only be able to focus on one thing at a time.  He seemed a little distant earlier in the week, but it was because his work was busy.  I started feeling like I was getting the cold shoulder, but because I’ve been in enough relationships now, I knew this was normal.  He has assured me so many times that he wants to be with me that if he gets a bit busy, I know to let it go.  See, a relationship newbie might pry or “do something” or be passive aggressive about it all, but I know now that a long term relationship needs to be treated a bit like buying a long-term stock.  Sometimes the stock is going down, but most of the time you need to just stop looking at the small fluctuations, otherwise it will drive you crazy.

Feelings Validated

Volleyball coach validates my feelings for him.  He texts me everyday and he even calls sometimes.  It feels delightful to be with someone in this way.  It isn’t an elated up in the sky feeling like I had when I was in some relationship highs, but it feels like a content and stable feeling that fulfills me in a wholesome way.  I feel like I’m learning how to love someone in a way that is different than what I’ve experienced in the past.

See, when I am with someone that I really like, I usually get all excited about doing stuff together.  Going to festivals together, going to the movies together, and even unconventional things like working out together.  I think now that I have more experience and realizing that volleyball coach is really an introvert, it actually makes me see that we really don’t need to engage in all of those activities together.  Volleyball coach may never come to one of my bootcamp classes, meet my entrepreneurial friends or go to the spa with me.  I think I love the idea of immersing myself in my partner’s life and having him immerse himself in mine, but now I am realizing that not doing this has its own benefits.  These are the things that make us unique and what keeps us interesting to the other.  It is actually important to have these things that are just your own, because then you can bring that into the relationship.

I think we’re both trying to figure out how much time is an appropriate amount of time to spend with each other given our schedules.  I feel that I am more flexible with this now.  I too have many things going on in my life that also need nurturing.  It is these things that give me a unique identity.

I realize that I can come off as needy sometimes in past relationships.  I’m the kind of person that if I’m excited about some new idea, I get really excited and want to immerse myself completely in it.  I think he makes it easy to take it slower because he gives me comfort and security in the relationship.  This in turn allows me to realize that we have lots of time together and we should cherish what we have rather than to need to do everything immediately.

 

Steadily Moving Forward

As volleyball coach stayed over for maybe the third time ever at my place, I stared at him while he was falling asleep and I was thinking how not too long ago it was mystery man that was in the very spot.  I wasn’t confused.  I was just pondering about how it really doesn’t feel like it was all too long ago that another man was deeply intertwined in my life.  I can’t help but compare volleyball coach to mystery man.  The relationship that I had with these two men couldn’t be more different.  It was such a struggle to be with mystery man, to fight for attention and for what I wanted.  I was internally conflicted every time he disappointed me.  He and I were so similar, which made me think that we had something special.

I guess I’m thinking about the idea of love.  I felt that I loved mystery man, but that now I’m falling in love with volleyball coach though it feels so different.  I feel that I can move on with volleyball coach and live a full life, but I also don’t want to forget what I had with mystery man because I think it actually helps me appreciate what I have with volleyball coach more.

Volleyball coach could not be more wonderful.  We spent the entire long weekend together and basically babysat our dogs to make sure that they got along.  I introduced him to a few of my close friends.  My friends were so thoughtful to note that they liked him the most out of all the partners that I’ve introduced to them.  It makes me feel good to feel like my feelings about volleyball coach are validated.

So we decided to go to McDonald’s for breakfast and guess who I happen to run into?  My ex-boyfriend, whom I dated for 4 years.  This is the one that I left, and then he tried to get back with me, but then my best friend betrayed me and hooked up with him and they’ve been together since.  Our interaction was brief, and only slightly awkward.  Volleyball coach saw through it all and at the right moment he asked about it in a non-intrusive manner.  I’ve been wanting to share with him a glimpse of my relationship past and this was a good opportunity to do so.

Volleyball coach is surprisingly more experienced with relationships and is more emotionally mature than I had thought.  I’m very impressed.  I asked him later on that night (because he wanted to have dinner with me too) if he’s ever been in a relationship that wasn’t seriously going anywhere.  He said he had, but it ended because the girl wanted more though he didn’t feel that she was right for him.  This answer was profound to me in two ways.  First, it confirmed my thoughts on how men fall in love.  They have an image that they are looking for, and the other partner needs to fall within this image before they can feel that they can emotionally move forward.  For volleyball coach, I happen to fall within his ideal image of what he is looking for.  Second, I thought it was kind of sexy that he has standards and that he had that experience before.  A man that is sexually experienced is sexy to me.

What I really like about volleyball coach is that he wants to do things with me.  We do stuff together that feels like we’re not just living our mundane lives together like doing errands, chores, cooking dinner and dining out.   I say this because many of my past relationships felt like it it was on auto pilot in that way.  Volleyball coach actively thinks about what we can do together and even puts in effort to get to some of these things.  So after dinner, we played this computer game together and it was so much fun.  He suggested shopping during the week (though our weekday schedules are a bit packed) and this coming weekend we are taking the dogs out to a dog event.

My relationship with volleyball coach can best be described like climbing stairs.  It feels like we are steadily moving forward through a bit of effort.  I am confident that eventually we will get to where we want to get and the journey is enjoyable.  My past relationships however felt more like skiing over unknown terrains, blindfolded.  There were times where it was smooth, exhilarating even, but I have no idea where it was headed.  Sometimes I had to climb back uphill, and it sucked but I kept at it because it seemed that eventually I would go back to hitting those smooth slopes.  It was scary, though the thrill overcomes the fear.  Eventually though, I’d wipe out and it was over.  I am so over doing what is basically the relationship equivalent of going skiing blindfolded.

 

Relationships and Money

I was getting all excited about being in a relationship with volleyball coach, and things have been moving fairly quickly too.  Even though I’ve been sick since coming back from Asia, I’ve taken him out for dinner, slept over, and met his friends at a house party.

See, what I like about him is that he complements me well.  He is much more stable and responsible.  He is also very straight, and he has high ethical standards.  I think this revelation that being with someone like volleyball coach is exactly what I need is something that required a big leap for me personally.  Everything has been going very smoothly, but what I’ve also come to realize now is that the reasons for why I like him will also be the same reasons for why I may feel like we may clash.

Money – I am already starting to see that we will have an issue here.  He is responsible with his money, very responsible.  A pet peeve of mine when we get into a relationship is having to split the bill.  I feel like if you’re together, the bill shouldn’t be split.  It seems petty and I’d much rather take turns getting the bill.  In the end, it should end up more or less even anyway.  Volleyball coach on a few occasions has suggested splitting a bill right down the middle, and I find it a little annoying.  I just split a grocery bill with him that was divvied up and then when I accidentally didn’t send the money transfer, he reminded me to send it.

When it comes down to it, the underlying issue is that money has never been a huge issue for me.  It’s quite apparent that I make more money and spend more of my disposable income.  On the flip side, I’m spending money on a handyman and a maid.  I don’t have the time to deal with fixing things in my home and I’d be lucky to have enough time to do the basics chores around my house.

Our lifestyles are very different, it kind of boggles my mind.  The last 10 years of our lives have been very different.  I’ve spent the last 10 years focusing on working and climbing the corporate ladder, studying for my professional certification to advance my career potential, partying, travelling and working out.  That basically sums up how I’ve developed myself.  What fascinates me about him is that he has spent the free time in the last 10 years in organized sports teams, building close relationships and being independent on a tight budget.  In some ways, I envy him for being able to do things that I’ve not been able to do.  Being in organized sports teams has been an area of my life that has been a failure.  I’ve tried doing organized sports teams, but have never been skilled or athletic enough and finally found my space in individual physical activities like yoga, bootcamp, dance, rock climbing and occasionally recreational team sports.  I’ve also struggled to keep close to a group of friends and while I have close friends now, generally friendships for me have been a bit superficial.  Basically, he has succeeded in life where I’ve faced failure, or rather, challenges.  What this means is that we had different life priorities in the last 10 years, we chose very different ways to live our lives and develop ourselves.

What it comes down to essentially is whether we can compromise on these things.  So far, I get the sense from him that he is willing to compromise, though I don’t think he is as far along as I am in analyzing the situation.  He knows we are different and he also seems to think that our differences are good and that each of us brings in a different perspective.  I already notice that he has prioritized me in some very big ways.  This year he decided to not join his volleyball league and instead coach a more junior league.  Part of the reason is that he knows this volleyball league will be demanding in both time and money, which would take away from developing our relationship.

So, money… it’s a sensitive topic.  He’s definitely not as well off as I am and I think the real question is whether I am okay with living that lifestyle if I were to be with him.  Simply put, yes of course I’d be willing to compromise.  I’ve basically been living the single life where I am selfishly spending a lot of my disposable income on myself.  If I want to build a long-term relationship and have a family, it makes total sense that I won’t be able to be so selfish with my money.  Right now I have this attitude that I work hard, so I deserve to spend it on me, but I think I can be more mature about this.

In reality, being responsible with money means a lot of not so fun things like not hiring people to clean my place, taking economical and planned vacations, eating out less.  These things aren’t completely lost on me.  I grew up with immigrant parents that had to save money and were not able to afford luxury things such as vacations.

While my parents were careful with where they spent money, they were also very generous, especially to their direct family.  If their siblings needed a loan, they would lend their hard earned money.  They also give generously at weddings.  My parents also did not cheap out on food, and they would never want to be a position where they owed someone else money.  I hold true to these values, and this is very important to me and items that are not negotiable.

One area where I feel that we could have disputes about is being generous.  I feel like I am much more generous than volleyball coach.  I always try to give more to my friends and never want to be in a position where I owed them anything because that makes me uncomfortable.  Volleyball coach is very particular about what he shares and what he gives to even his closest friends.  He has a thought process that he went through in what liquor to bring to his friend’s house party.  He also thinks to bring back the unopened bottle of wine that he brought.  See, if that were me, I’d just leave the bottle there as a gift to the friend.  I wouldn’t even think twice about it.

When it comes down to it, I do not have control over his level of generosity.  I think I’ll have to see whether I can live with it.  I’m hoping that by being generous myself, I can influence him to be more generous.  On the other hand, I think I can work on being more compromising and being more okay with living a lifestyle that is more money conscious.  It would be good for me, and admittedly it is an area that has come up in small ways in past relationships (not enough to rock the relationship, but it has definitely come up).  What this mean is that I’ll respect his decisions to save money.  I won’t disagree to them, and at the end of the day it also means that I will save money too.

It’s a very small thing, because personally I don’t have to change my spending habits.  I can still continue doing what I do on my own.  I just have to be okay with it if he suggests more economic choices in the relationship, like if we go out to dinner together or if we go on vacation together.  I think it would be a compromise that would be good for me and something that I’d be more than willing to do to be in a relationship with volleyball coach.

He Could Be ‘The One’

I’ve been seeing volleyball coach for about a month now and even as I warmed up to him I had this doubt in my mind about whether I could love him as much as I loved mystery man.  Internally I struggled with that a bit and I found myself comparing the relationships and the way I felt with mystery man versus with volleyball coach.  When I was with mystery man, I felt like I was winning in life, because in my own head I thought we were a dynamic duo.  We were both entrepreneurs at heart and I thought together we would be amazing.  In reality though, no two relationships will ever feel the same.  Every relationship that I’ve let go of will have a dynamic that I will never have again with anyone else.  The way that I feel with any one of my past partners will never be replicated again with another person because it is the experiences that we had together that creates the relationship, the bond.  The reason I think about this relationship with mystery man because it was the closest, and the last relationship that I had held dear to me.

Volleyball coach does a great job of thinking of me and putting me first.  He is consistent and he always reassures me that he cares about me and that I matter to him.  The more time I spend with him, the more I realize that he is what I’ve wanted.  He complements me in a way that makes me feel more rounded.  He is not just more of what I am.  I am dynamic, fast-paced, spontaneous, ambitious and full of ideas.  He is stable, responsible, caring, rational, but in a way that doesn’t clash with me and at the same time he able to see me for who I am.  Where I am a clumsy and aloof, he is coordinated and nurturing.  He is so many things that I cannot be.  After dating for just one month, I know it feels premature to say this but I already know that he is the one that I’ve been waiting for.