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.

 

Self Reflection

I’ve been on a vacation adventure that is only 1.5 weeks, but because there is so much happening, each day seems like two full days.  I don’t think much about vacations when I book them and only get excited about it when I am boarding the plane.  All of my vacations without a significant other have been very introspective.  Just being away and being able to think about things outside of my usual routine at home allows me to have clearer thoughts.

That said, I feel much more aware of how good this healthy relationship with volleyball coach is for me.  This is exactly what I needed.  When people say they just “know” when they’ve met the one, I never thought that could happen to me, but now it has.  In my last post, I expressed that I didn’t know how I felt about never feeling that crazy excitement from being in an emotional rollercoaster of a relationship again.  Now after having time to contemplate on things, I can say that I am done with that forever.

I just want to go home and be content with what I have with volleyball coach.  It isn’t about settling, and more of being able to feel a stable and content feeling.  It is what I’ve now realize is true happiness in a relationship.  What I had in my past relationships were feelings of fun and excitement.  I recently heard someone preaching about how those feelings are just distractions to what true happiness actually is.  I couldn’t agree more.  My relationships with some friends in the same circle of friends as mystery man fall under the same category of just distractions too.  I finally feel like my life is falling into place, and this vacation has helped me to just accept it.

It’s not that I believe that volleyball coach and I are perfect for each other, we are not.  We are imperfect in our own ways and even together we are not perfect.  What I think makes it work is because we’ve both mentally decided that we want to be with each other.  This goes beyond compatibility and chemistry – while those things are important too, and is a factor in the decision, it is the actual conscious decision to want to be together that is more important.

I remember doing an internet search when I was feeling insecure while being with mystery man of whether chemistry is important in a relationship.  I didn’t receive a clear answer from the internet, but I think I got my answer by reflecting on my experiences.  Mystery man never made the decision that he wanted to be with me and that is why our relationship would never work.  It was as simple as that.  I cannot resent him for it because I’m sure he has his own personal reasons, but now I can move on from it with that understanding and an actual explanation that finally makes sense to me.  I feel like I absolutely made the right choice in distancing myself from him and our mutual group of friends.  I had to put myself first and discover what it is that I wanted to find my own happiness.

At the time when I was with mystery man, there was nothing more that I wanted in the relationship than to feel that my love for him and feelings to be with him were reciprocated.  Even after we parted, I still wanted these things.  I am now more at peace with what I have and I am able to accept that we will not be together.  I know that with each passing day, what we once had together will become more distant and I will be able to accept it as part of my journey.  It will help me find more appreciation in what I come to find in the future of my relationship with volleyball coach.

Stability

I realize that I’ve never been a relationship quite like the one that I am in with volleyball coach.  I’ve never been in a relationship where my significant other had a stable routine that he is content with.  Volleyball guy wakes up every morning to walk his dog,  shows up at work before 9am, then leaves around 5pm.  After work, he either has a social activity, sports activity or just goes home.  He sleeps at roughly the same time everyday.  This may  sounds like a typical routine for many people, but definitely not characteristic of the men that I’ve ever dated.  It is the first time in my life where I am coming to a realization that having a routine can be a good thing, and can bring about productivity.  I feel like volleyball coach is good for me in that he brings stability in my life, something I don’t think I’ve ever had before.

While I’ve worked a regular corporate jobs before, I’ve always been the ambitious kind and outside of working the usual core working hours I will also sporadically put in extra time in the evening and on weekends.  I seldom made an effort to make anything a routine, because I thought that was boring and so I guess I was also attracted to the same traits in the men that I dated.  I previously identified that all of the men that I like were really ambitious, but I think what really threw me for a loop were the lives that they lived.  

Thinking back, mystery man was self-employed.  The few months where he did have to go into the office he still had the freedom to come and go as he wished and he became so fed up with having to be in the office and that along with a few other factors had him leaving the company.  Socks jock was a student with 4-month co-op rotations.  I met him when he was on a work term, then he returned to being on a school term, and then he left to Miami on a work term.  We finally broke up when he moved back to school and decided to join a program that required him to live on residence.  After we broke-up he spent some time in Hong Kong.  It was an extremely turbulent relationship and we were not at all in the same spot in life.  Before that, I dated the traveller who was at first unemployed, then he worked an evening gig over the phone and eventually became an outside sales person that travelled very frequently.  My ex-boyfriend of four years before that was juggling full-time school with full-time hours doing pizza delivery until past midnight and a full social life.  We saw each other almost every day for a coffee and I would go stay over his place sometimes when he picked me up past midnight after his delivery shift.

Actually, dating these guys made my life crazier as I would sometimes meet them in whatever city they were currently staying.  I am myself a bit of a jetsetter and it’s no big deal for me to get on a plane to visit my significant other.  My previous job required me to travel roughly one month a week and that was one of the reasons why I took it.  I could travel and get paid for it, plus all of the additional bonuses of collecting frequent flyer points.  It made me feel like a big shot, and kept my life exciting.

More recently my life has been very structured.  I’ve been working a contract position that is relatively stress-free and has a bit more of a rigid schedule than what I am used to.  My life is more predictable and stable, and similarly my relationship with volleyball guy has become more predictable and stable.  Though it all seems very normal, especially when I type it out, the whole not being in a crazy relationship is all very new to me!

I do like volleyball coach a lot and this relationship has so much long-term potential.  It is just something that I am not used to, and I wonder if I can come to love volleyball coach as much as I loved my past partners.  Those partners that I’ve mentioned were all people that I thought I could be with long-term even though our relationships were so dynamic.  I was drawn to the volatility of those relationships and I know that being with volleyball coach will likely not feel quite like that.  I just don’t think that the love that I might feel for him in the future will compare to the intense feelings that I had for say, mystery man.  

I know that I am done with being with someone like mystery man ever again in my life.  There is no way in hell that I would knowingly sign myself up for that kind of rollercoaster of a relationship (if you’ve seen my Mystery Man series, you will see how insecure and unstable I was).  But to never feel that crazy high of a lover that burns hot and fast is something that I am afraid to come to terms with.  

Every morning I wake up now and I think about volleyball coach.  I think about volleyball coach throughout the day and I think about him when I am aroused.  When he sends me sweet messages, I gush and I appreciate all of the small things he does for me like opening doors and showing up at my place when he misses me.  I like him a lot.  The way that I am falling for him is different and I can’t help but wonder whether I will have to let go of this relationship high feeling that often comes with these unhealthy relationships that I was in before.  

If you’ve never felt this feeling before, it’s like an addictive feeling, like some kind of drug and when you break-up it’s like a crazy crash where your entire life is going through withdrawal from the toxic relationship mentally, physically, everything.  

An Easy Love

Volleyball coach makes it easy to be with him.  He makes the effort and reassures me of his desire to be with me.  Last week he was away for a few days for work.  When he got back, he asked what I was up to and made the effort to drive all the way downtown to see me.  We went for late night eats and ended back at my place where things got hot and heavy during a comedy special we were trying to watch.

We had sex together and he performed oral on my butt, yup, he tossed my salad.  I’ve never had that before and it was certainly a new feeling that threw me off.  It wasn’t so much of a turn-on as it was exciting and weird.  I think that would enjoy a move like that more if I was more comfortable with him.  I already know that volleyball coach is kinky from the way he puts his hands around my neck when he kissed me once, and I like it.  The idea that there’s so much more to discover and try is what excites me.

I wanted him to stay the night, but he couldn’t so he said he would stay over on Saturday instead.  Saturday we took the dogs out and he was so patient with the pups, we watched a late night movie and I was too tired afterwards so I just fell asleep.  We had our own things to do on Sunday morning, and Sunday evening we arranged to meet with my cousin and her boyfriend on a dog play date.  We had 3 troublesome puppies in the mix and he was oh so supportive and patient.

After that weekend, I thought he’d be sick of my company, and in past relationships, I usually try to give a little bit of space after a weekend spent together.  Volleyball coach still continued to message me and even phoned me for a chat before bed!  I am so impressed!  A man that picks up the phone and rings you is so rare to find these days.  He makes it easy to be with him.

I realize that I am so much more appreciative of these things that volleyball coach does, because I’ve been in one too many relationships with men that just was not ready to love.  Volleyball coach is not at all perfect, but all of the things that need to be there for this relationship to work seems to be there.

I realize that a smooth and steady relationship is not one that is interesting to read about, but if you want a crazy and turbulent kind of story, there are plenty to choose from in my past posts.