I don’t like asking for things.
It’s weird. I know that sometimes, in order to get what you want and need, you have to be forthcoming, but, I often feel like I’m a burden on others when I make requests. I’m pretty sure it’s one of those Catholic guilt things that I’ll never quite shake.
I was talking to my therapist about Lars. How I want to spend a little more time together than we have been. Our relationship recently past the half-year mark, which is strange to think, much less say. I realized that I’ve really managed to keep my distance this whole time, which, honestly, was the plan. But, as things go on, I want to ‘upgrade’ our relationship level, if you will. We’ve past a certain invisible point where it’s OK to lower a few walls. And now that I’ve proved to myself (and hopefully to Lars) that we don’t need each other to be happy and sober, I think it’d be good if we got a little closer. Spent a little more time in each other’s space. I mean, after all, if this is truly going to be something serious, I know that I have to be more than a three-night-a-week, five-hour-at-a-time girlfriend if I’m going to be happy.
Lars is a busy guy. He works. He’s a musician. He’s got his own recovery to which he must attend. But, he also has bachelor routines that are time consuming that I know he doesn’t want to give up, or, isn’t used to being without. I’ve been afraid to bring up the fact that I want to commit to spending more time together because I’m nervous that Lars will think that I’m asking him to change everything for me. I’m nervous that all his patterns, routines, and commitments will take precedence over me.
Sure, it may sound silly, but, as I think I’ve made pretty apparent on this blog, I’m not a big fan of rocking the boat, especially when it’s one I’m enjoying being on.
My therapist assured me that my request for more time together was not unreasonable if our relationship is going to advance. So, as my weekend with Lars commenced, I ran over in my head how exactly I was going to go about bringing up this subject without sounding like a needy, possessive freak.
While Lars was going on about his busy schedule and all that jazz, my first instinct was to blurt out, “We’ve been together long enough that I should be more of a priority than these other things you’ve got going on!” But, my rational, sober mind knew better. My alcoholic mind assumes that everyone wants to leave me. No one has enough time for me. I’m not good enough for their energies. But, in sobriety I’m learning that you have to give people a chance to speak for themselves before you give your alcoholic mind a chance to speak for them. So, rather than “accuse” Lars of not making enough time for me, I came at it from my side of the court.
I told Lars that I loved him, which he knew. I told him that I really enjoy spending time together, that he makes me feel better. I told him I know he’s busy, but, despite both our schedules, I’d really like to see more of him. And, I left it at that. He didn’t really respond in that moment. Which I, of course, took as a bad sign. But, over the next few days, I saw Lars make a concerted effort to hang out with me more, invite me over, and do things together with me.
Crazy right? Letting someone know how you feel, honestly, and asking for what you want, and getting it?
I’m not used to this open and honest deal. Festering longing and hidden hurt has been my experience of all relationships of which I have been a part or witness to. It’s so strange that the simplest approach to the communication problem, is also the most effective.
It’s not a crime to let people know what you want. It’s being responsible about your feelings and needs.
That’s being an adult. It’s weird to learn how to function normally at my age, but, it’s also pretty awesome to discover, it’s possible!