Gia and I hung out with Bee a few nights ago while Eric worked. I made dinner, she took care of some things, we juggled the boy, it was very chill. Near the end of the evening, Eric finished what he was doing and put the baby to bed, leaving her and I a little time to relax.
She asked me if I would rub her feet. We sat facing each other, in separate chairs. I rested my feet on either side of her thighs, she rested hers in my lap.
"My New Year's resolution," she said, "is to make sure that you have opportunities to use up the rest of this bottle."
It was a lovely thing to hear. I know that she has a lot of trouble accepting people doing things for her -- it can make her feel passive and anxious and even trapped. And I know that she knows how much touch and service mean to me. So, this is something she'd be doing both for herself and for me.
As I rubbed her feet, and she sipped tea, I talked a little. I told her that I felt silly for having so badly misjudged things during our art class date the other week
. I mean, months ago we actually discussed the idea of going to this very art class as a date and explicitly agreed that we could have a date and just do an activity together and not do anything else
. She waved it off and said it was ok. It's nice -- and, actually, really important -- for me to know that it's ok for me to be unreasonable now and then. Obviously I don't want to make unreasonableness a habit, but when I'm always the calm, measured one, I begin to wonder if I'd still be accepted if I were to slip up. Now I know that the answer is yes.
The main thing that I take from that whole sequence of events is that this is what can happen when you try to push past your limits and it turns out that, no, that wasn't something flexible -- it was actually a hard limit. I knew that, if we were only going to commit to dates every other month, I needed them to include some time for intimacy (not necessarily sex). She pushed back on that. I yielded because I felt that I had no choice. Indeed, if I had held firm on that point, I think our relationship might have been in trouble -- she strongly felt like she couldn't offer more than she was already offering. So, I tried to let go of something that I felt to be a need, I tried to push myself past my limits. But once it came to the point of the situation being tested, I reverted back to what I knew I needed without even really thinking about it.
Witnessing that, Gia chose to accept my need and work with it. Maybe she needed to actually witness it in action to understand and accept it, I don't know. But I do know that she made time for us to have what I needed as soon as she could, and that she's committing to changing herself in ways that will make it easier for my needs to be met in little ways, on an ongoing basis. I know that she's here in this with me, working like I'm working, to honor and support the connection we've forged together.
It feels really good. And, in feeling good and connected and supported, in feeling safe, my heart expands, and I look forward to the day when she can excitedly tell me how things went with Dexter. Maybe when it happens I will even be able to say, genuinely, that if they wanted to do it again, sooner rather than later, it would be ok with me. Or, of course, maybe not -- we'll see. It's interesting, to be someone who needs boundaries about my partner's newer relationships. I've actually never been in this position before.