Anyway, I always prided myself on how I carry myself in my current relationship with Paul. I rarely have outbursts whether it be of jealousy, anger, or irrational (he may disagree), I do not play mind games, and I've communicated more and more rationally than I ever have in a relationship before. In prior serious relationships I couldn't say I practiced the calmness I practice now.
With John Paul, likely my 1st love and best friend, I acted like an unstable psychopath. While he tried to put up with me, he soon gave up. I would keep my mouth quiet while he did something I didn't like or felt was disrespectful, only to blow up in his face at a later date. I expected to be able to monopolize all his time, as if I was the only one who mattered. I would hint at what I'd want from him without being strait only to be disappointed when he didn't get it. I definitely didn't help that relationship grow, instead it flourished and began to flower, fruit and seed, but like all flowers, it began to wither and die.
With Paul, I took a different approach. Having undergone the heartbreak of losing John Paul, I walked into the Paul relationship (less than a year later) with very little expectation. I'd thought of it as fun... talking to him late into the night. He'd shamelessly flirt and bring up the happiness that was left in his memories of our past (because honestly I remembered little). It was flattering and uplifting. It was like the drug I had needed to get out of my lonely rut. Mind you - all of this was occurring long distance while Paul was in Atlanta, GA and I was in Queens, NY. As our relationship took on a more tangible form, we realized we really do care for each other more than just for ending the months of loneliness we both felt after losing our significant others.
Paul's 1st trip home to NY in February 2005 to visit me after not seeing each other since 1998. And it snowed like crazy the 2nd day he was there... we were meant to love the snow in the winters!
With this new understanding regarding our relationship, I decided it was time to act like a mature girlfriend and talk openly about everything from my past, my feelings, my expectations, and my needs. For the most part it's worked. There have been times where honesty was maybe too much to handle, but in the end we really both thrive when we are able to speak to one another openly. It doesn't mean we always agree, but at least we know where each other stand. I'm greatfull for this new translucent approach to our relationship. Because of this we have been able to survive 2 1/2 years of long distance split between 6 months of Paul in Atlanta, GA, 1 1/2 years in Dearborn, MI & 6 months in Louisville, KY, all the while I stayed in Queens, NY.
While living together in NY, we discovered that we weren't as compatible as we though. We live differently, and it was hard to fall into place, especially in our very small Manhattan apartment. My Grandfather's illness and death seemed to bring us further apart than closer together. We both dealt with grief in different ways, but after a few weeks, I discovered that I rather go though these happy and sad events in life butting heads with him than alone. It was around this time that I moved back in with him from staying with my Grandma into a larger apartment closer to my family in Queens, NY. What a change it made. We had space to breath and found our way to fit like a jigsaw puzzle while living together.
Unfortunately that was short lived, because only after 1 year, Paul was moving to Cambridge, MA with his acceptance letter to MIT Sloan. I'm proud of him... but that adds another 2 years to our lives being long distance. That isn't something anyone would be looking forward to. So here finally at the end is where I get into why it's a catch-22.
Our entire 4 1/2+ years together, I've been communicative and honest about my needs. Well one of my needs lately for surviving this 2 year stint apart was to bring back some of the old Lil & Paul. The mushy side... what we call mush ball. It makes you feel good on those lonely nights when the bed feels too big and too cold. I needed a little added romance - a little extra verbal love to hold me over till his next visit home. Instead I got a very formal Paul... one who would only talk about his day and when I would bring up anything remotely involving our relationship he'd make jokes and couldn't keep it serious for 1 second. Last night I decided to bring this up saying, "I don't get you. When I am content and say nothing you are all over me, covering me with hugs and kisses and saying the sweetest things ever - being romantic, but when I tell you I need you to be a little mushy and romantic and that I'm sad and feeling a bit lonely, you become cold and not even remotely romantic. Whats up with that?" His response is priceless...
"Well I don't want to be romantic because you tell me to be, I want to do it all on my own, so if I all of a sudden act all mushy and romantic now, it would seem like I'm doing it just because you told me to."
So despite his being non-romantic, I can almost sort of understand his reasoning... in any event, it did make me giggle a bit before bed.