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  #21  
Old 04-01-2016, 12:53 AM
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To be clear, Spork, the man who calls me every few months is not making a booty call. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but the fact is we've been in this relationship for going on two years and, actually, we usually do not have sex when we get together. He calls me for my company - to have a meal together, to be affectionate, and to talk. We might see each other for two or maybe even three dates within a span of two weeks, and then not see each other for three or four months. It may sound rather platonic, but it's not. We make out, fondle, and snuggle with each other, and we both consider it a "romantic" relationship. As for sex, now that I think about it, we've only had full-on intercourse twice in all this time. We are very fond of each other, I care about him a great deal. I am not just a booty call to him.

I simply don't need frequent contact in order to be in a relationship. It works for me. I am not recommending my approach or pushing how I do relationships on anyone else. I described how often I need to see or hear from a lover, shared my views on expectations (at which I arrived after years of working on being self-aware, present, and living in the moment, along with a little Zen philosophy), and a little bit about how my views come into play in one of my relationships, because I was asked.

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Originally Posted by Spork View Post
. . . sometimes we need what we need. And while it sucks to be into somebody who isn't aligned with your needs, and be hurt by that, it doesn't mean that your needs are not valid, or your position needs adjustment.
Well, see, if you (the general you at large, not specifically you) are into someone whose needs/philosophies/approach do not match your own, why indulge in feeling hurt? It is an indulgence, because if one is present and seeing things clearly, one would know that the object of their affection is not going to meet their needs, and so then the hurt is a choice that they make. It absolutely is the attachment (to wanting something from someone who cannot give it), the wistful hoping (that you will get the kind of relationship you want from someone who is incompatible), and the expectations (that people will meet needs they cannot meet) which set us up for disappointment and hurt. The other person isn't actually hurting you; your unrealistic expectations/daydreams/fantasies about what you wish you could or "should" have are what hurts you.

So, yes, one's position does need adjustment -- with regard to that person, not necessarily with everyone. It's perfectly valid to want what you want, but unrealistic to assume or expect that you're going to get it. Either you leave a relationship and look for someone who can realistically meet your needs and wants, or you adjust your expectations and make compromises you can live with.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-01-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2016, 01:58 PM
Nadya Nadya is offline
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Originally Posted by FallenAngelina View Post
This is cool if it's what you want, but recognize that you're looking to him to define your relationship. Nycindie's relationships work for her becasue she defines what she wants and gets involved with people who match that. You can have a non-escalator relationship in which you would be a girlfriend and a high priority and see your partner frequently if you're clear about wanting that. The key here is to be solid in yourself about what you want, not to look to your partner to tell you how it's gonna be.
Karen, I always appreciate your wisdom! Obviously there is more to the situation than is possible to write in one short post. I think it is time for some serious soul-searching and then some discussions about what we both want and whether it is going to be possible to fit it together. We will see.
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2016, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
To be clear, Spork, the man who calls me every few months is not making a booty call. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but the fact is we've been in this relationship for going on two years and, actually, we usually do not have sex when we get together. He calls me for my company - to have a meal together, to be affectionate, and to talk. We might see each other for two or maybe even three dates within a span of two weeks, and then not see each other for three or four months. It may sound rather platonic, but it's not. We make out, fondle, and snuggle with each other, and we both consider it a "romantic" relationship. As for sex, now that I think about it, we've only had full-on intercourse twice in all this time. We are very fond of each other, I care about him a great deal. I am not just a booty call to him.

I simply don't need frequent contact in order to be in a relationship. It works for me. I am not recommending my approach or pushing how I do relationships on anyone else. I described how often I need to see or hear from a lover, shared my views on expectations (at which I arrived after years of working on being self-aware, present, and living in the moment, along with a little Zen philosophy), and a little bit about how my views come into play in one of my relationships, because I was asked.


Well, see, if you (the general you at large, not specifically you) are into someone whose needs/philosophies/approach do not match your own, why indulge in feeling hurt? It is an indulgence, because if one is present and seeing things clearly, one would know that the object of their affection is not going to meet their needs, and so then the hurt is a choice that they make. It absolutely is the attachment (to wanting something from someone who cannot give it), the wistful hoping (that you will get the kind of relationship you want from someone who is incompatible), and the expectations (that people will meet needs they cannot meet) which set us up for disappointment and hurt. The other person isn't actually hurting you; your unrealistic expectations/daydreams/fantasies about what you wish you could or "should" have are what hurts you.

So, yes, one's position does need adjustment -- with regard to that person, not necessarily with everyone. It's perfectly valid to want what you want, but unrealistic to assume or expect that you're going to get it. Either you leave a relationship and look for someone who can realistically meet your needs and wants, or you adjust your expectations and make compromises you can live with.
And what you have is cool, because it's good for both of you.

As to the rest, I think that there is a learning process involved, and that we should give ourselves that and forgive ourselves the need to take some time and figure things out. It's OK to not realize that a situation is going to cause issues for you, and to learn it from experience. It's OK to work your way through your feelings in whatever time you need to do so...much like grief, sometimes what we know and tell ourselves might be much more controllable than what we feel. And sometimes we don't know just how misaligned we are with someone until we try and it doesn't work out. The important thing is to gain what wisdom we can from the whole deal and move on with new insight and not repeat any mistakes we might have made.

Now I'll say right now that I think the man I was involved with was more aware of what his emotional limitations and boundaries were, but he deliberately obfuscated them to get what he wanted. I believe that he was deceitful, and I think he probably continues to be. I see no reason to make any excuses for him at this point...it really doesn't matter... I, on the other hand, was also deceptive, but more along the lines of being wrong about myself, what I needed and wanted and was capable of. I needed to learn. And he was a pretty strong lesson for me.

I'm just saying that it's OK and the OP need not beat herself up over things not working out there, not being whatever it was that man wanted, it's no failing of hers. The thing is to accept the gift of self-awareness and growth and wisdom and take it into the future. Not worry about what HIS deal was, even though that's hard to do, but to focus on "I have this need. It is a valid need to have. It doesn't make me 'needy' and 'clingy' and it doesn't make me a bad partner. I simply need to seek someone who aligns better with it next time around." And accept that it's alright to mourn the relationship and let the process happen in its own natural time...so long as it doesn't become the sort of wallow that has a negative effect on her quality of life.
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  #24  
Old 04-01-2016, 05:21 PM
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Of course it's a learning process. That's what relationships are for, IMHO - learning about ourseves and others. Nowhere in anything I wrote did I say anyone has to "get it right" the first time, as far as staying in the moment and letting go of expectations. Staying present takes practice, and we cannot let go of expectations if we don't first recognize that we have them and examine whether those expectations are what is tripping us up. In fact, by simply seeing what aor expectations are, they no longer have power over us. We get into the most mischief when we operate blindly and unconsciousy.
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  #25  
Old 04-01-2016, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Of course it's a learning process. That's what relationships are for, IMHO - learning about ourseves and others. Nowhere in anything I wrote did I say anyone has to "get it right" the first time, as far as staying in the moment and letting go of expectations. Staying present takes practice, and we cannot let go of expectations if we don't first recognize that we have them and examine whether those expectations are what is tripping us up. In fact, by simply seeing what aor expectations are, they no longer have power over us. We get into the most mischief when we operate blindly and unconsciousy.
I am also not really on board with totally letting go of expectations. I'm just more wanting to be honest and upfront about them so that no one is confused or blindsided.

And I think that to some degree, it's impossible to have NO expectations.

I expect that my partners won't deliberately deceive me in ways that are hurtful. I expect that my partners will not place logistical or financial burdens on me that I cannot bear right now. I expect my partners not to make assumptions about emotions or stages in our relationships without discussing these things with me. I expect my partners not to freak out and declare themselves emotionally unavailable and push me out of their lives, should I develop emotional attachment to them. I expect my partners to not demand monogamous fidelity of me.

But I've learned to communicate this stuff, and so I do communicate it. As early in a potential relationship as possible. Because I'd much rather that someone back away from me (reject my interest) BEFORE I have an investment of any kind in them, than after.

What you are saying reminds me just a smidge of the "desire is the root of all suffering" concept...but like "expectations are the root of all disappointment"...which is something I've read elsewhere, but again, I'm not certain that it's entirely possible to eliminate both or either.

(this is REALLY interesting. Thank you for discussing these ideas with me!)
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  #26  
Old 04-01-2016, 09:56 PM
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I think letting go of *general* expectations is difficult, if not impossible, and not necessarily something we need to do. One of my *general* expectations in a relationship is that I am never placed second to a partner's other partners; in other words, I expect to not be called or considered a secondary, and I expect that if my partner and I have plans, he will not cancel those plans or change them in favor of one of his other partners. (Unless it's an emergency.)

But letting go of expectations in a *specific* relationship or with a *specific* person, I think, is necessary and possible. Or maybe it isn't so much letting go of the expectation as it is letting go of the person. Woody, fortunately, is very strongly opposed to hierarchy and treats each relationship as entirely separate from the others, so he meets the expectation I mention above. But if he suddenly decided to declare Stella, for example, as his primary and call the rest of us his secondaries, I would then have to decide whether to let go of the expectation of not being called or considered secondary when it comes to my relationship with Woody specifically, or whether to let go of Woody.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:11 AM
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One of my *general* expectations in a relationship is that I am never placed second to a partner's other partners . . . . I expect that if my partner and I have plans, he will not cancel those plans or change them in favor of one of his other partners.
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Originally Posted by Spork View Post
I expect that my partners won't deliberately deceive me in ways that are hurtful. I expect that my partners will not place logistical or financial burdens on me that I cannot bear right now. I expect my partners not to make assumptions about emotions or stages in our relationships without discussing these things with me. I expect my partners not to freak out and declare themselves emotionally unavailable and push me out of their lives, should I develop emotional attachment to them. I expect my partners to not demand monogamous fidelity of me.
See, all these things that both of you listed as expectations - I see as preferences. Certainly, I prefer not to be considered "secondary" in a relationship. I prefer that a lover not cancel on me because someone else he's seeing wants his time. I prefer that a lover be honest and not lie to me. And so on. I prefer... I prefer... I prefer a lot of thing -- but I don't expect them. To me, having expectations places a demand on someone else, but preferences belong to to me. I see not indulging in expectations as honoring both my autonomy and agency and that of my lovers.
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  #28  
Old 04-04-2016, 02:31 PM
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See, all these things that both of you listed as expectations - I see as preferences. Certainly, I prefer not to be considered "secondary" in a relationship. I prefer that a lover not cancel on me because someone else he's seeing wants his time. I prefer that a lover be honest and not lie to me. And so on. I prefer... I prefer... I prefer a lot of thing -- but I don't expect them. To me, having expectations places a demand on someone else, but preferences belong to to me. I see not indulging in expectations as honoring both my autonomy and agency and that of my lovers.
And I would place the question of "preferences versus expectations" on a scale of how strong and drastic my response is likely to be. Is the thing something I can deal with, if the person is worth it, or is it going to be a dealbreaker? A preference is something I might say "I'd rather you didn't do that, but I guess I can cope with it if I want you in my life badly enough" where an expectation is "No matter how intoxicating I find you, this will hurt me in ways I just can't put up with, and I respect myself too much to allow it. I'll discontinue the relationship if I see this going down."

Probably one of the biggest and most vital pieces of growth I've been working on, has been the "power dynamic" concept in my relationships. And no, I don't mean "power exchange" a la BDSM, this has nada to do with that. It's this pattern that took hold when I was a teenager and burned through partners like wildfire...persisted in my marriage...and occurred in at least the first couple of love interests I had after marriage. The pattern was that one or the other of us in any given relationship/interaction would have far more intense loving feelings than the other. The one who didn't care had all the power, the one who was in love had none. And got hurt. Always. Sometimes I was on one end of this spectrum, sometimes the other. If I had intense feelings for somebody, it was a guarantee they would have no feelings for me and leave my heart feeling stomped on. And to connect this to our speak about preferences and expectations, they would usually treat me with a great deal of disrespect and disregard along the way...I'd put up with anything, because I wanted so badly for it to work, I was so emotionally invested in them. I'd put up with them not loving me back...but when they turned away and deprived me of their time and attention, I was a mess.

So. I have to have the self respect to not grasp onto people who don't care about me. To not tolerate being disrespected or disregarded. This has to be enough of a priority, to be an expectation...by saying, "I have no expectations of you"...in the sense that I told guys I was so into them, but it was ok if they wanted to play it casual, they didn't have to love me back, etc...I allowed myself to be treated like crap and eventually kicked to the curb. I won't be doing that anymore. If that means that I don't fool around with people for whom I feel "the bonfire" but stick to the ones where we are both at a more comfortable level of feels that is in better balance, then fine.
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  #29  
Old 04-04-2016, 04:04 PM
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Cyndie, I understand what you're saying. I think it's a difference in approach, that's all. I *do* place a demand on my partners that they respect me and my boundaries. One of those boundaries, as I said, is that I never be pushed aside or have plans canceled on me in favor of another partner *unless* it's an emergency. That's one of my "you push this, you're done" things; it's a hard limit for me, because to me it's disrespectful and tells me that I am unimportant. I have enough trouble with my self-esteem without having partners reinforce the negatives...

So for me, that is an expectation. It's a demand I make. My partners can choose whether or not to meet the demand; if they choose not to, they'll probably lose me, but that's still their choice.

There are other things I would probably say are preferences, based on what you've said. I *prefer* that Woody sometimes be the one to call me or set up us getting together at a time other than our scheduled night, because if I'm the only one making those overtures, I wonder if I'm pestering him, or whether he actually wants to see/speak to me or just does so because he feels sorry for me. Those are thoughts I work to correct, based on BS from the past, and I have told Woody that. So because I know he's busy, and because I know the request is based more on past issues than on now issues, while I *prefer* that he be the one to sometimes initiate contact or invite me over, I don't require it and it isn't a break-upable offense if he doesn't meet the request.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:02 AM
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To be clear, putting my wants out there as preferences does not mean that I would just accept whatever crumbs someone throws my way. It simply means I acknowledge that I have no control over the universe, or what other people do. I prefer or want a lover to show up when he says he will. But I keep my expectations low. Though I don't expect anything to go the way I prefer, if I've been dissed or lied to or given too many ridiculous bullshit excuses, that guy is gone and it's over. Because two of my personal boundaries in love relationships are that I feel respected and that I feel valued. But those are my boundaries to protect, not rules placed on someone else, so it's up to me to choose what to do about it if I feel disrespect etc., just as my preferences are mine to own and let them be known if need be, but without placing expectations or obligations on anyone. I want to be treated well because a guy likes treated me well and finds joy in doing so, not because he feels obligated to meet my expectations.
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Last edited by nycindie; 04-05-2016 at 01:06 AM.
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