I have a little cold, so instead of meeting Jake out Wednesday night as planned, he came over with soup for me and a sandwich for him, which was very nice. We watched a little tv and then stopped watching tv. Eventually, we started to talk and I expressed in a vague way my uneasiness. Didn’t say I had doubts, but I did call him goofy and he agreed. I also said it was sometimes hard to tell when he was joking and when he wasn’t and he said it was hard for him too (see, joke!) and that it didn’t really matter. And I said, uh, yes it did matter because it would be nice to know what the hell he was talking about and he just looked at me like a puppy dog and said he was serious sometimes. I felt silly and said, yes I know. It’s not that hard to detect real, actual seriousness, but the borderline stuff is a little harder. There is a whole category of stuff that is hilarious if it’s a joke, but slightly troubling if it’s serious. So I asked him, was he really that sure? He said, yes and that he did find it a little surprising. Then he asked me what I was worried about going wrong. I didn’t know exactly, but pointed out that things can go wrong even when they start out well. I said, haven’t things gone wrong for you in the past? He said, yes, but they weren’t like you! Wow, now that’s the kind of compliment I can get excited about. And, yet, I know what he means and, while it’s wildly flattering, it also just plain makes sense. I conceded that I was worrying about things that hadn’t happened yet, but that I was a worrier so I was worried. He said he usually worries too but he wasn’t worried this time and he didn’t know why. I said, good, I could do the worrying and he didn’t have to and that would make me feel better.
I also introduced what I think was a red herring about my tendency to be get annoyed. It’s a fear of mine that I’ll just drop over this annoyance cliff and be unable to find anything redeeming in a boyfriend. Talking to Jake last night made me think (and it’s oh-so-obvious) that I get annoyed when I don’t like the guy anymore, I don’t get annoyed and then stop liking him (or vise versa). It’s more a reaction to a bad situation than a first order problem. Jake was very helpful, though and said we had to figure out how to avoid that. I tried very sincerely to ask him not to change his behavior for me and not try to please me and I told him the ginger ale story (see below). And…he seemed horrified! He completely got the point because his reaction was, ‘you have to have your own things.’ I realized that it really could work because we are so on the same page with this stuff that there’s barely anything to discuss. He also brought up the making plans question because he thought I said I needed to make plans. I said I was trying to figure out how he liked to handle that stuff. It was very helpful because I’d been holding the whole weekend for him (bad Jamy!) except for my long-term regular commitments (I’m not THAT bad). He asked what different ways were there to handle it and I said that there were two extremes, either assume you don’t have plans and go on as usual, or assume you do have plans and check in before making others. I said there was probably something in between, but I hadn’t figured that out and I asked him what he thought. He was a little confused and said his plans were usually last minute and he didn’t really have to plan that far ahead. We’d already decided to do something Friday and I said, and Saturday? He was happy that I was free and gave me a big hug. This all turns out not to be a problem with Jake. He is just operating from the I-like-you-and-want-to-spend-time-with-you place and that’s that. Nothing to worry about. He pointed out that we made other plans (without each other) last weekend and that it was fine. I agreed but said that last weekend he wasn’t my boyfriend so maybe now it was different. If anything, he seemed delighted by this and kept telling me he thought I was cute.
What can I say? I’ve met my match not in some crazy battle of wits, but with a goofy guy who finds my quirks delightful. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
The “ginger ale story:" DC boyfriend #2 (DC2) found out that I liked ginger ale (Jake says: who doesn’t?). DC2 thought this was cute and quirky. On every occasion, DC2 would proffer me ginger ale. If I went to his house, he would have some in the fridge. When I met him and his friends for lunch on the roof of our building, what was waiting for me? A can of ginger ale. I got annoyed. I told him later, "You know, usually at lunch I drink a diet coke. I don’t always want ginger ale." He kept bringing it for me, nevertheless. I found the ginger ale story to be a good way of explaining what was wrong with our relationship. DC2 was doing something nice that I should have appreciated. Instead, it drove me batty. The problem was that he spent more time figuring out how to please me and make me happy than he did trying to figure out what would make him happy. And then, when I would tell him it didn’t make me happy, he would either ignore me (more ginger ale, hon?) or get angry and yell at me. Not saying I never did any yelling, but he took first prize in that contest.
Final thought. I feel myself settling down into this thing with Jake. Like easing myself into a tub of too hot water. It hurts a little at first, and you have to stir some cold water in to make it comfortable, but then it's time for a good long soak. I think I'm ready for that. It's such a luxury to know that he's not going anywhere. If I don't want to worry, I don't have to. And, I can hardly wait to see him again.