Here’s a question from Feeling Vulnerable – and I wanted to answer it right away:
“Rori, I need a little guidance. I think I have been doing a decent job in my relationship, using your tools Rori, but I’m starting to feel insecure. I recognize it and am doing my best to keep the relationship healthy and positive regardless of how I am feeling.
I have been using your tools and programs for about a year. I really understand the concept of leaning back, though that is the hardest thing for me to do. I think I do really well with feeling messages though.
I have been in a relationship with a guy for almost 2 1/2 years. We started as friends and have been getting closer and closer. It is a physical chemistry like I’ve never known before and it has become a very loving, caring relationship over time. There is an issue of distance. I know how you feel about distance, Rori, but due to family situations, that is where we are at for now.
I’ve never asked him where our relationship is going and have stayed away from drama. He is not a man of many words and does not share his feelings easily. I have consistently used feeling messages with him, and even when I’ve wanted more phone calls, text messages, etc, I’ve made it about me and how I feel when we don’t connect and how excited and nice it feels when I do hear from him. He has said that he trusts me and has since day 1, which surprises him, b/c he doesn’t trust people easily, and that has always made him feel close to me.
In the last few months, he has elaborated on his feelings for me, and recently admitted that he loves me. He has really opened up a lot and I’m not sure if that’s why I’m starting to feel more vulnerable, b/c I’ve also been more authentic and let him see my vulnerabilities, which has been difficult for me. It’s funny b/c ever since we’ve admitted loving feelings for each other about a month ago, I’ve acted the “worst” and I’m just hoping I’m not pushing him away and would like a little perspective from an objective third party.
A week or so after he told me he loved me, I admitted an episode of feeling jealous about a girl I perceived to be flirting with him. I told him that was an uncomfortable and new emotion for me. I told him I felt afraid he would like her more than me. He was sweet and said that would never happen and he wasn’t about to replace me and that I should know I “have him” . I told him that made me feel better. He said he liked that I felt comfortable enough to share that with him.
We get to see each other only about once a month, though the past few months, we’ve been able to see each other once a week. It’s been amazing and such a great bonding experience. I can feel how much he loves me when we are together. Most of the time we don’t even do anything except sit and talk and hug and kiss. (Don’t get me wrong, sex is in there when the opportunity is there, and it is the best I’ve ever known, but we don’t NEED that every time. We have a lot of other depth to our connection at this point.) Well, the weekly dates have recently ended, due to some changes in work schedules, so we are back to how things were before, which is once a month or so. This is a hard transition to make now.
We had an amazing date about two weeks ago, great connection with sex, conversation, just being…it was juicy and amazing and he even made the comment, “It just gets better every time.” Then, I didn’t hear from him for three days, which isn’t terribly unusual, and I know guys like time to re-group after being really intimate, but I started feeling like I wanted to connect, so…..I leaned forward and texted him. He texted back and we did this off and on throughout the day, but it wasn’t the full attention that I was craving and I told him so, but not in a blaming way. I said that I could tell he was busy and not able to give me the attention I was wanting and I was going to stop interrupting his day and go find something else to do. He got all sweet after that comment. “Sorry, honey. Later cutie, etc”
The next day he emailed me just to say he was thinking about me which was sweet. But, I didn’t open or respond to the email for about a day and a half. Not on purpose. That was just when I got around to seeing it. I responded that that felt really nice to hear and that I was thinking about him, too. So, another few days went by and we ended up talking in a group text with friends, trying to figure out some dates for us all to get together.
So, then, he and I ended up texting and he told me how his kids had all had been sick for a couple of nights and he was up every hour with them and he was working on a work project with his boss that was causing him stress. I told him I was feeling disconnected and yucky and the transition to not seeing each other was hard. He admitted that he got that and that we had been spoiled recently.
The next night we texted after kids’ bedtimes, too, but it was short lived b/c his were still sick and each one kept waking up crying. At one point, they were both up crying so he had to go and take care of them, obviously. The next afternoon, I sent a text that said I hoped he and the kids were all feeling better. He said they weren’t and the night had been awful. I told him that I was appreciative of his effort to chat with me the night before even though there was chaos in his house. He didn’t respond to that text. And then……my inner drama queen emerged.
Ugh! I hate to even admit this. But, even though we had had consistent communication that week, I still hadn’t gotten the full connection I was craving. There was no flirting or anything to make me “feel good”, I guess. So, I started over thinking and getting all those nasty voices in my head. I tried to call him b/c I knew if I could hear his voice I would feel better. I rationally knew he probably had no idea I was feeling so awful and rejected. He didn’t answer his phone, so I texted him that I was starting to feel self conscious.
A little while later he responded very sweetly calling me honey and telling me not to feel self conscious, I was being silly and he stopped to have a drink on the way home from work with a buddy he works with, and asked if everything was ok with me and that he was starting to feel anxious. So, I told him I’d like to catch up on the phone, but to go enjoy his beer and his buddy and we could talk on his way home.
He didn’t respond. So, I started getting more anxious and texted 45 min or so later, asking him if this was a plan. He responded immediately, “Is what a plan?” I said, “Talking on the way home.” He said he was on his way home then.
So, he called and said he had turned his phone off while in the bar b/c it was ringing like crazy with a bunch of people wanting his attention, so he hadn’t seen my msg about talking on the way home. About 30 seconds into the call he got another call, and said he’d call back. Well, I’d taken all I could take by that point and started texting to please call me back, I was feeling sick to my stomach, etc.
I tried calling him 20 min or so later, and it sounded like he answered and got disconnected. I called right back and left a voicemail that I was confused and asked what was happening and I felt weird. He called about 5 minutes later. He was calm and cool and had no idea why I was flipping out.
Said he’d gotten stuck on the other call the whole way home, had run into his house to grab something, had no reception in there, and called me back as soon as he got back in the car to go get his kids. He proceeded to ask me what was going on with me and if everything was okay, and I admitted I was not proud of my “girl moment” but that I had just felt rejected for about a week b/c of not really having good quality time to connect. He apologized that I was feeling disconnected and I apologized for creating a little afternoon drama.
He assured me that everything is “always okay” and I shouldn’t get insecure b/c I haven’t heard from him. He was sweet and kind of laughed it off and said, “Yeah, you were totally having a girl moment. I guess that’s part of why I like you. You’re a girl and you have feelings.” Wow!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, Rori. He even seemed to appreciate my inner drama queen. I think it’s because I did not make it about him or what he did or didn’t do at ALL. I owned my feelings and just said I felt disconnected and weird and self conscious since we hadn’t had a chance to connect.
The rest of the conversation was nice, just catching up, etc. That night he sent me a short, sweet email just complimenting a picture he had seen of me. I felt good about the fact that he reached out to me even though I felt awful for being a drama queen earlier in the day.
We emailed back and forth over the weekend. At one point I thanked him for saying he liked the girl in me, even with my occasional girly moments. When he responded he said, “Yes, you were a girl and I guess that’s what you are supposed to do. ” And then he moved on with the conversation. He seems totally cool and unaffected by the whole thing, but I now feel unattractive to him!!! I’m sure the best thing to do is just sit back and wait for him to come towards me, but I sent him an email yesterday, kind of a racy, flirtatious one, and he hasn’t opened it yet.
I could get in there and delete it before he opens it. Should I or should I just let it ride? I was the last one to email in response to one of his messages and then I sent that other one. I don’t want to give too much, but I also feel like a nice, light hearted, fun email would be a step in the right direction away from the serious talk, and at this point in our relationship we are past the playing games or keeping score, etc.
I just want to work myself back into an attractive light (in case I’m not). He actually was more flirtatious in our emails over the weekend complimenting the picture the night of the drama and then telling me he has had many fantasies about a certain outfit I was wearing.
At this point I think it’s just my insecurity that is making me feel like he’s finding me unattractive but I know I need to make sure he doesn’t continue to get an insecure vibe from me, so I know I need to lean back.
I know the email I sent is a small thing in the grand spectrum but I’m wondering if I should get rid of it before he sees it. Any thoughts or third party opinions on this? I am quite certain I am being my own worst enemy here, but need confirmation on that. Thank you for any help.
Feeling Vulnerable – You may not like this, so please don’t read if you’re not sure: Here’s the problem: “I’ve never asked him where our relationship is going and have stayed away from drama.”
After 2 1/2 years – not having talked about where a relationship is going – ESPECIALLY a long-distance one – is emotional suicide.
I don’t believe it’s possible for ANY woman to live like that. Asking where things stand and what he sees for your future and coming up with a plan to live together is not “drama.”
It’s common sense.
I know you’re afraid to bring it up – and that’s because of the insecurity long distance naturally brings up. Unless this man talks about living together and marriage – you cannot – and I’m saying this firmly – cannot be exclusive with him at the level you’re at now.
The only way to handle long-distance is as a temporary measure until you can be together. Otherwise, you’re both just doing the easy thing and caving into your fears of intimacy.
You’re taking WAY too much responsibility for how this is going, and focusing on short term contact instead of long-term plans.
Your insecurities are NORMAL! No one could do this.
Just please – understand that your anger and resentment and confusion are all being caused by there not being a plan in place, and your counting on him as your “one” before that’s even settled.
Your calls are those of a woman in the grip of crazy – STOP doing that!
And instead – start writing some scripts about “Where do you see us in the next 6 months? Year? How do I stay sane with this kind of arrangement?”
You have no alternative but to get this conversation started – IN PERSON! – and starting to write it out and practice speaking it to him out loud (with him in your imagination) is the beginning of it.
If you need personal help – try a coach – Virginia Clark knows first hand how to do this http://www.itsnevertoolatetomarry.com – and I’ve done it myself. Virginia can give you the mental state and the words she used – perhaps that would work for you, too!
This is not about an “ultimatum” – it’s about asking him for help getting through this by discussing your options together.
It’s about being honest with yourself and with him, about not playing games or pretending, and not trying to get the small things from him – when what you TRULY want is the BIG TICKET!
And you need to be cool as a cucumber when you have this talk – and it has to be about (this is in my Love Scripts program) your concerns about whether you are both “on the same page.” In other words, you want to explore if you two are a good match, if you want the same things, if you have the same goals.
And you have to be ready to walk – WITHOUT anger!
This is tricky, it’s advanced, and it’s necessary for your mental health – and the health of the relationship, too.
If a man gets “weird” because you ask for clarification – he was never yours to begin with.
AND – the way in which you ask for clarification, and state your concern about how much longer you can hang on in this situation without a plan – will be either helpful or not.
You can DO this – it just needs some practice and planning on your part – and you hanging back and not being so eager to hang onto him the way things are now.
He KNOWS this is not a great situation for you. (Either that, or you’ve succeeded in convincing him that it’s okay for you to go on indefinitely like this.)
And so – your speaking the truth in a calm, loving, smiling, non-desperate, easy-going way can only increase his respect for you.
This is what you need to practice right now.