I met my boyfriend online. We’ve been dating for almost six months. There might be some personal blog rules I’m breaking because I’m writing about him. I don’t know if he reads it. I told him about my blog. But after I told him about it, I asked once if he had read it and he said he hadn’t. I found that strange. I know if someone I was dating wrote a blog, it’d be my home page.
I’ll keep him nameless and call him ‘my boyfriend.’
It hasn’t been easy. Six months of anxiety and tears. Same as when I was single. We’re extremely different. We have different philosophies about life. He’s laidback. I’m high-strung. Opposites may attract, but our differences are drawing us apart.
We just got in a fight which is why I’m writing. I need to talk it out. I spend hours talking to my friends about relationships, including my own, but I get more confused than ever. Everyone abides by his or her own relationship rules.
The fight was about something silly. Aren’t they always? But I wonder if we are so fundamentally different that it will never work out. Is it bad to have these thoughts early in a relationship? Shouldn’t we be in some kind of honeymoon phase? That never happened. Romance? What romance.
I don’t know if it’s me, or whether we truly are incompatible. I want to figure it out. I need help.
My friend (who reads my blog) recommended that I talk to his former therapist. And I did.
I’ve been trying to reach my friend to tell him my thoughts, but I haven’t been able to get a hold of him. I want to thank him for the recommendation. A big THANK YOU to my friend.
I didn’t want to do it. $200/hour for therapy is way out of my budget. But I had one session and she is worth it. In one hour, she delivered all the insights I’ve gleaned from every self-help book I’ve read and more. She’s amazing, absolutely amazing.
She said I’m a relationship avoider. I lack commitment. I shot back, “That’s not true. I’ve had committed relationships. I’ve had boyfriends.”
“When was that, honey? Years ago…when you weren’t thinking about marriage. You could have a good time because you were young. Did you think you were going to marry any of your boyfriends?”
She was right. No, I never entertained the thought of marriage back then with them. It’s scarier now. Decisions now have serious repercussions. Is this going to last? Can I spend a lifetime with this person?
I told her about Nick, how obsessed I had been with him. She asked me why. “Because he’s so interesting, totally smart, attractive. I don’t know, he’s just so cool.”
“Do you really think that’s why you were attracted to him?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“No, Catherine. Come on. Think! You were attracted to him because he’s an avoider. Of course you liked him, he’s just like you. He doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Neither do you.”
I’d never thought of it that way before. It was a stunning revelation for me.
She’s expensive, but I’m going to suck it up. I might not take a big trip this year. Instead of traveling the world in search of adventure, maybe I should focus on fixing the cobwebs in my head first.
Here’s what I learned about myself. She made me write it down.
- I’m afraid to be in a relationship with someone I’m incompatible with.
- I am a relationship avoider.
- A relationship is a ticket to hell.
- I need to focus on breaking the pattern.
- I deserve love.
Homework: Watch ‘The Secret.’
I highly recommend it. It’s 90 minutes. It’s about self-empowerment and visualizing your dreams. It’s interesting. But as I watched more, I realized how much the secret had played a part in my own life. I thought about my dream of working for corporate America. I just knew I’d end up working for a reputable company and really liking it. I had the vision in my head. I didn’t know how I was going to get there. I dabbled from one job to another, eventually ending up getting my MBA and doing exactly what I had pictured my future would be as a kid.
The secret is about the law of attraction and how you will attract what you want if you truly believe in it.
So while writing this, I’m thinking about how aggravated I am with the differences I have with my boyfriend. Again, focusing on the negative, the incompatibility. That I forget how good he is to me, how much he cares.
I deserve love, I deserve love, I deserve love.
I can say it over and over. And write it down. But I’m still confused. Is the relationship I have love? I need the therapy. I need the help.