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Before you can make things better, you have to stop making them worse... Have you considered that being critical, judgmental, or invalidating toward the other parent, no matter what she or he just did will only make matters worse? Someone has to be do something. This means finding the motivation to stop making things worse, learning how to interrupt your own negative responses, body language, facial expressions, voice tone, and learning how to inhibit your urges to do things that you later realize are contributing to the tensions.
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Author Topic: Re: Part 2: Dating while detaching. I don't know what the hell I'm doing.  (Read 610 times)
BasementDweller
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« on: August 25, 2018, 10:39:56 AM »

Hello!  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)

I agree - Skip makes a very good point. I also agree that rebound relationships are often not well thought out or can be doomed to fail. I've never had one. I know that they CAN work, but it isn't the best idea. I also take into account that timing marches to the beat of its own predestined drummer, and sometimes we have no control over when someone will just "show up" and make an impression.

When I met this guy, I was about 2 months out from my previous relationship w/exBPD (meaning I had moved out two months ago) but the last two months he was dysregulated and psychotic and we had no intimate or loving contact. So - about 4 months since I had "been with" anybody... .in THAT way. I had taken that time to start running and exercising regularly, eat better, drink very little alcohol, focus on work, and get well. I would have continued on that trajectory without thinking about dating if this guy had not introduced himself to me. But he did, and that was out of the blue, and I couldn't deny that I liked him. He's a solidly interesting person.

That being what it is, I decided to compartmentalize this as a separate and unique situation having nothing to do with my ex. That relationship ended... .he is gone both physically and mentally. He looks like a stranger to me now... .simply because he acts like one. I never saw this new guy as a rebound because I didn't feel needy when I met him. I wasn't looking for a crutch. He just sort of showed up and was very likable. In his own odd way. It was quite unexpected.

So I approached it like that. No pressure, no expectations, but an open mind.

So the date. Because that's the real nitty gritty.   It was really lovely. We met after work and went to the store and bought groceries and I made the mussels and he made a cheese plate, and poured wine and played music. Just like our last meeting, it started pouring rain after a warm, sunny day, and it was gorgeous and really romantic. We sat outside, had our wine and cheese, and talked about places we had traveled, and our impressions of different places we had been to. We are very much compatible in our world view. Due to his work he has lived abroad a number of times. He's European but has lived in the middle east, Africa, and Asia, and is very culturally aware and worldly, and has an extremely open and sharp mind. He's seen a lot and lived in the middle of war zones, designing housing in places torn apart by conflict and in the process of trying to rebuild. His compassion and understanding of the world around us is really genuinely refreshing.

After the balcony chat, I made the dinner, and I felt silly and awkward because I didn't know where anything was in his kitchen and I can be a control freak so I felt like I was clumsy. He said his impression was that I "shined" and looked like I really knew what I was doing and that he was super impressed because I cleaned as I went along and there wasn't a single dirty dish or spot on the counter when we sat to eat. Everything was impeccable, right down to the plating. I'm a perfectionist in the kitchen. We laughed about how we can't relax or have fun until everything is in order. We are exactly the same that way. I recall him looking at me with real warmth and fondness as I prepared the food and told him step by step what I was doing and how to combine the right ratios of acidic flavors to fats/savory flavors to make the notes really come alive. He was impressed.   And he was truly blown away by the food. YES!

We talked at the table for hours and hours by candle light, and sipped gin and tonics which he made and they were GOOD. We didn't get drunk but got a bit pleasantly buzzy. He showed me that he could juggle with grapefruits. It was hilarious, because at first, he kept dropping them. He is really reserved, and therefore, a bit goofy when he tries to be funny. He never REALLY stopped being totally measured, but I liked it. Still waters run deep. After what seemed like hours and hours of banter - really deep philosophical stuff, we kissed. (His initiation.) It was giddily nice. Like, weak in the knees, silly good.

I'll keep it clean here, but after some rather intense kissing we went to the bedroom. And he told me that he wasn't sure he wanted this to happen so fast, so I said. "Ok, I totally am ok with that." Clothes stayed on, and he fell asleep wrapped in my arms with his head on my chest, and some soft music playing. It felt really nice. Not weird, not sad, not awkward, not conflicted, just genuinely nice. I slept like a baby like that for hours, with him in my arms.

But... .yeah. The dragon woke up. Many hours later. With both of us sober and clear-headed, and better rested. We talked a bit first, agreed it's what we wanted and everything was... .safe.   

But that "eyes rolling back in the head, seeing God even though you're an atheist, not a single awkward or wrong move?" Yes. It was exactly as I expected it would be. I knew it!  Sweet Jesus.

And this worldly guy, whom I would imagine has had no shortage of romance in his adventurous well-traveled life was genuinely, rightly stunned himself. He was properly rocked, I must say. More of that this morning, another awesome breakfast made by him, and then we walked around the city for hours. Later we took a ride in the car, (Mr. Worldly Fancy Guy drives a Volkswagen!   More points, scored!)
Afterwards, we went for greasy but delicious burgers at a 50's type diner, and I left at about 1600 because I have friends who are visiting from Norway and I want to meet them for dinner. I also don't want to jump into some intense whirlwind thing and hang around for days on end. *rational approach* He's cool with that, being an introvert and a low key, emotionally reserved dude.

We talked about what we think we're doing and decided it doesn't require overthinking or for us to put pressure on ourselves or each other about anything. We agreed that we very much enjoy each other's company, have no regrets thus far, and we will see how it goes. I told him a very brief blurb about my break-up being what it is, and he said he understood and sometimes life is like that, and it's a learning experience. It wasn't at all difficult. He took it in stride.

Right now I feel fine. Not weird, not uncomfortable, not regretful, and not like I'm in some serious love or will be crushed if this doesn't progress. I'm not opposed to it progressing either. I can't imagine being unhappy with either continuing to be lovers OR just friends. I see nothing to indicate we could ever dislike each other, though. We are far too rational and calm together, with or without some drinks, BTW. He's really easy to be around, but there is a tremendous amount of passion and sexual chemistry too. I mean... .tremendous. But afterwards we can just go eat burgers and chat about life... .easily.

My head space is good right now. I'm kinda glowing, actually. ;-) I can't lie. I needed that. The time was genuinely right.

My break-up is in a separate compartment. Still a reality, I still need to heal, but having a genuinely satisfying and romantic night with a man who touches me with affection and doesn't insult me or say hurtful things? It was long overdue. And I see it as just that. A really nice experience that I feel we both handled safely, respectfully, and maturely. No complaints. 

I will answer everyone's other posts separately, because you know... .my novels. 



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« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 11:03:27 AM »

Wow!        

I'm so happy for you, BD! Great food, easy intelligent conversation, unexpected passion, genuine normalcy, kindness, sincere friendship--you really needed a night like this to remember how healthy people interact. 

Thanks for sharing. It makes my heart sing for you! 

Cat
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« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 11:11:10 AM »

Ooohhhhh BD
Reading your post made my day!  I'm so, so happy for you because, gosh darn it, you deserved this and more!  Getting to "know" you online via these threads really made me aware of what a great, funny caring, emotionally mature and awesome person you truly are and how DARE your ex try to stomp out all that delightfulness in you!

Maybe karma truly is a thing!

Wonder who is gonna play you both in the movie?

Warmly
B
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JNChell
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« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2018, 11:18:29 AM »

That being what it is, I decided to compartmentalize this as a separate and unique situation having nothing to do with my ex.

It sounds like you had quite an evening. Paint me envious.   I’ve been reading your posts, and there is a lot of unsettled pain in them. What do you envision for yourself moving forward? The picture you painted about your date was wonderful. So many of us here crave that, but I have a question. What about your trauma? Just be considerate of yourself and the architect.

Your story here went from dread to bliss in a matter of days.
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BasementDweller
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« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2018, 11:18:49 AM »

Hi, Cat! Yeah, I saw it as that as well. I really just wanted to have a romantic evening with someone not disordered - with no drama and no bickering. Someone comfortable with me physically and mentally.

I have to say that it really did feel healthy. I woudln't have done it if it didn't. However, the funniest bit was in that afterglow moment when we were staring stunned at the ceiling as if we'd just been bowled over by a hurricane, and he turned to me with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, and said rather breathlessly, "I didn't enjoy that at all. I only did it for you." And we both laughed uncontrollably. That felt good. To laugh like that - in that situation. To be able to have a healthy sense of humor about what might be an awkward experience for two people. But it wasn't at all.
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2018, 11:39:54 AM »

Ooohhhhh BD
Reading your post made my day!  I'm so, so happy for you because, gosh darn it, you deserved this and more!  Getting to "know" you online via these threads really made me aware of what a great, funny caring, emotionally mature and awesome person you truly are and how DARE your ex try to stomp out all that delightfulness in you!

Maybe karma truly is a thing!

Wonder who is gonna play you both in the movie?



Baglady, thank you so much for those kind words. I really appreciate it. I don't know who will play me... .if Calista Flockhart were my age, that might be a good choice, because I used to get told I look like her a lot. But she's several years older than me, but I suppose that's ok. The architect would definitely have to be played by Alexander Skarsgård. ;-)

That being what it is, I decided to compartmentalize this as a separate and unique situation having nothing to do with my ex.

It sounds like you had quite an evening. Paint me envious.   I’ve been reading your posts, and there is a lot of unsettled pain in them. What do you envision for yourself moving forward? The picture you painted about your date was wonderful. So many of us here crave that, but I have a question. What about your trauma? Just be considerate of yourself and the architect.

Your story here went from dread to bliss in a matter of days.

Hi, JNChell! Yes, I agree that it's a delicate situation and needs to be handled as such. I will absolutely not be disrespectful or hurtful toward this guy, nor toward myself. And I do have unresolved trauma. Was the timing of this ideal? No... .but after a while, I began to feel more human again, and realized that I still can feel passion and attraction, and decided after really thinking it over, I wanted to have that experience. I felt safe in it, because he is so level-headed, and I can't see, no matter WHAT happens between us, him becoming unstable or emotionally difficult to deal with. He has had a pretty full life himself, and seems to be a very "go with the flow" kind of person because of that. We also had a rather open agreement that this was a bit soon, but we aren't going to overthink it, and we feel fine about it. If we want to see each other romantically again, we will, but there's no pressure or weirdness right now. It is a little complicated due to my recent break-up, but it does seem to be on the table that the timing is what it is, and we can't beat ourselves up over that. To be honest, it was somewhat simple in the sense that I felt attracted to him, and that was the first time I felt that way since I left my BPDex. I guess I just wanted to give into feeling that - like a human again. I don't know what the future holds... .but right now I feel quite ok. He seems to as well.
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« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 12:04:05 PM »

[quote author=BasementDweller link=topic=328393.msg12995545#msg12995545 date=.

My head space is good right now. I'm kinda glowing, actually. ;-) I can't lie. I needed that. The time was genuinely right. 

[/quote]
WOW!
It was exciting reading your post BD... .and I know I’m not the only one here who can say that it is truly inspiring. You’re right, it does sounds like a page from a novel. And we can’t wait for the next page. Lol!
He sounds like a very interesting man and I hope all works out for you. Enjoy every moment and take it one day at a time. Cheers!
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2018, 12:13:42 PM »

Fell over dead when you described his work, the G&T's, the spotless kitchen even (I like that too!), and juggling. I have to admit I have also been wooed by juggling! hahahahahaa. I won't even mention the unicycle! Those European guys! ;) hahahhaha.

Okay, but good! This sounds like a nice, mature step as I read it. You are balancing a lot. Like you, this was my only major relationship with someone with these issues so going back to a regular guy... .I bet has such a nice and easy feel to it!  Nice to hear he was so accepting and understanding of the situation you came out of and that you were able to deliver the tale comfortably!

wishing you happiness, pearl.

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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2018, 12:14:57 PM »

[but after a while, I began to feel more human again, and realized that I still can feel passion and attraction, and decided after really thinking it over, I wanted to have that experience.[/b]

Right? Again, paint me envious. I don’t know if you felt the same, but after things ended with my ex, the sexual thoughts were only about her. I felt tied to her in every way. Lately, I’ve been thinking about breaking that sexual tie. The thing is, with time and parenting constraints, I’m not quite sure on how to do this. You can’t deny that this one fell in your lap.

I guess I just wanted to give into feeling that - like a human again.

Copy that. The emotional drain of an abusive relationship takes this away. I’m glad that you were able to experience it with the architect. Hell, the meal alone would suffice at this point!  

Be mindful and trust your gut.
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2018, 12:48:16 PM »

I don’t know if you felt the same, but after things ended with my ex, the sexual thoughts were only about her. I felt tied to her in every way. Lately, I’ve been thinking about breaking that sexual tie. The thing is, with time and parenting constraints, I’m not quite sure on how to do this. You can’t deny that this one fell in your lap.


That is exactly how I felt. I believed I could never be attracted to anyone again, and I was actually mildly annoyed when this guy started talking to me, because I did not want to be bothered. But he ended up being very calm and extremely comfortable to be around. Then things began to awaken in me, because I have always been attracted to a soothing personality. Someone who doesn't overreact. It was strange that I fell for my BPD ex, because he was really outside my norm. And I did love him, but that relationship was extremely difficult. You will eventually find someone you click with and the time will be right. You have a lot on your plate right now, but the time will come. And we will all be here in support! 

Fell over dead when you described his work, the G&T's, the spotless kitchen even (I like that too!), and juggling. I have to admit I have also been wooed by juggling!

The juggling was random and hilarious. He also had a very large cylindrical glass vase on the kitchen table that was filled with citrus fruits - lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits... .for cooking and breakfast and such. And... .in there he has placed one random baseball. I just immediately laughed when I saw it. He saw me laughing and knew exactly why, and said "Oh yeah. The baseball. It's ridiculous. No idea what compelled me to do that. But there it stays." I realized he's kind of the odd male version of me which is why I think I feel comfortable with him.


WOW!
He sounds like a very interesting man and I hope all works out for you. Enjoy every moment and take it one day at a time. Cheers!


Thank you!   Yes, I agree one day at a time is indeed the healthiest way to do it. That's my plan. 

Wow!    Me too. It must be the INTJ thing.

Cat, the way you described yourself right down to the physical appearance sounds EXACTLY like me. I even cut and filed my nails before the date, haha. So weird - but cool! I told him when we were talking after dinner that I could see he was reserved, but I had the charm of a bull in a china shop when it came to flirting and seduction, so if he found me at all attractive, he needed to just be brave and lunge across the table at me, because I had no idea how to initiate these things. He did it! So, I guess my approach, while not smooth, did work, haha.

Hi BD,

This is your life and these are your choices and we are here to support your healing process.

In your gut what feels right now for you and your life? What is the healthiest way forward?

with compassion, pearl.

Thank you, pearl!   I really appreciate that. My gut tells me I have a lot of healing to still do, but I don't regret my choice yesterday. Going forward, I am open to the idea of seeing him again, but not rushing into a deeply entrenched relationship that is fully loaded with expectations. I'd say I feel comfortable proceeding with caution. I think with him being the very measured and logical type, he sees it the same. I'll give it a chance, but I'm not putting all my eggs in that basket at this point either.

Agreed... .but don't forget the red lipstick and eyeliner for a dramatic look=) Enjoy your date!

I had to opt for clear gloss and a little mascara, because I'm SO crappy with make-up. If I try to do anything dramatic, I end up looking like a demented clown.   


Ah, a quote from Shakespeare.

Be careful BasementDweller.  While there is an old saying that the best way to get over a bad breakup is to get under someone... .or the best way to get over a bad breakup is by having rebound sex, researcher's have found this is a high risk antidote. In surveys over the years we know that many of the relationships that brought members here were rebounds or relationships started a time when the member was wounded or vulnerable.

Enjoy your date.

Is that... .actually Shakespeare?   Thank you, Skip. I appreciate your words of wisdom, and I know you're right. Unfortunately, the beast made an appearance, but it was handled in a mature way, and the plan forward is to proceed gently and without heavy expectations. I feel ok about it, but not like it was a "rebound recovery event". I do genuinely like the guy, but not in an "Wow, I need a replacement!" kind of way. Timing-wise, it was a bit soon, but mentally, it felt alright. I will think things over in the coming days, and be sure to keep trying to process the detaching situation in a healthy way. 
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2018, 03:38:55 PM »


My break-up is in a separate compartment. Still a reality, I still need to heal, but having a genuinely satisfying and romantic night with a man who touches me with affection and doesn't insult me or say hurtful things? It was long overdue. And I see it as just that. A really nice experience that I feel we both handled safely, respectfully, and maturely. No complaints. 


Whoo! I'm so happy for you, BD! Your joy is infectious! 

Of course, I'm "polyamorous" so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I have, at various points in my life, genuinely been in love with more than one person at a time, or have had one relationship end while I was already in another and had to process that grief while actively dating another.

I think if you're mindful and careful, you can absolutely manage your grief about the relationship that just ended while building something entirely new.

What you are discovering with new guy in no way diminishes what you had with ex, the good and the bad. That was real, and so is this.
 
PS Alexander Skarsgard=yum. I'm SOO straight for him!
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2018, 06:15:27 PM »

Go sister! Xx
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2018, 08:15:17 AM »


Of course, I'm "polyamorous" so take what I say with a grain of salt, but I have, at various points in my life, genuinely been in love with more than one person at a time, or have had one relationship end while I was already in another and had to process that grief while actively dating another.


Ms. Itone, I would take what you say with more than a grain of salt, as it's always been apparent that you're an intelligent woman, and your life experiences only give you more insight into these matters of the heart, not less. What you said about processing the grief of a failed relationship while developing another, can and will happen to many people, polyamorous or not. I have always had a pretty "vanilla" life style... .just long term relationships, sometimes with a gap of a year or a year and a half in between, with no dating. Nothing too earth shattering, yet I can safely say in some way, I still grieve the loss of every one of those relationships. Because I loved those men while we were together, I stil love them as human beings, and while I have no bad blood with any of my exes (save for BPDex who doesn't really like me right now) something did eventually cause those relationships to end. I was, of course, responsible for my 50%. I still reflect on each of those situations and the lessons I have learned, and the loves I have lost. I am still grieving the divorce I finalized at the end of 2014 after a separation. We have known each other for almost 25 years, and he is still one of my best friends. The split was amicable. We still talk. But I still regret that our marriage wasn't meant to be, though it was healthy and respectful. In the end, we returned to the platonic state we had always had since the 1990's. Maybe that's all we were meant to be. But we tried. I'm never not grieving something or someone. So I guess when The Architect was interested in me, I said "why not"?


PS Alexander Skarsgard=yum. I'm SOO straight for him!

Haha! I remember when Melissa Etheridge said that she'd go straight for Brad Pitt, and people got angry, as if she were implying that a person can just "change their orientation" at the sight of a person that's considered attractive or good-looking. Point taken, but I *think* she was simply joking. And it was funny!

I kid you not, the resemblance is real.   I never was one to swoon over actors on the TV, but if I had to compare the dude to any actor, they're pretty similar. The hair and eyes are a dead ringer, the rest of the face and general build is pretty damn close too. They're close in age, and both are 100% ethnic Swedish. It's as good a guy to play him in the movies as any. But he'd have to learn to juggle!

Go sister! Xx

Thank you, Enabler!    I'm doing my best to take it all in stride. I'd say the biggest bother isn't the emotional struggle of detaching from one relationship while thinking about "getting back out there." It's just the hassle and uncertainty of the early stages of dating again! I hate that. Having to worry about "Where is this going? Did I say the wrong thing? Will he think I'm too clingy if I text him? Will he think I'm not interested if I don't? Wow he saw me without make-up! What if I have to pass gas?  (  ) Is he going to be annoyed if I spill a beer in his immaculate kitchen? (I didn't.) What the heck is with that baseball in his fruit bowl?" Sh!t like that. One of the things I guess that IS awkward for me, and a little hard about the transition is... .that. At least with my ex, unhinged or not, he was "the devil I know". Sorry to be gross, but we could have farting contests, and it was all good. We knew each other. Nothing was shocking. He held my hair and the bucket when I had food poisoning and projectile vomiting last year. Hell, he did the same thing when I cried so hard I started throwing up on the day I moved out. (I guess I had forgotten that detail. He actually did that.)

Pretty sure that nonsense would not fly in the Dragon's Lair. Especially since he is so damn serious, haha. So yeah... .the "getting to know you" stuff has always made me nervous. I can say with 100% certainty if I were to "let one fly" on our next date, or lose my stomach contents all over the place... .it might not go over as comfortably. 

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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2018, 02:54:34 PM »

BasementDweller  Welcome new member (click to insert in post)
What an enjoyable read. I'm glad to see the date when well. Thank you for sharing.   
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2018, 01:30:13 PM »

Aw, thank you, gotbushels!   It was really cathartic to write it out and have everyone's input.
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