And Now I Need To Take a Break
I read an article recently predicting that a lot of relationships that started when COVID hit will now come to their natural conclusion. The novelty has worn off and real life comes crashing in as things open up. You’re trying to figure out your new normal, which is frustrating, scary, depressing and dull on a lot of days. And you’re also trying to figure out if you really work as a couple in this new weird world. Do you get along with their families? Do your new schedules mesh? Do you enjoy real-world things together as much as hunkering down and exploring a new relationship during the exciting and terrifying time of quarantine, which produces a bit of an “end of the world” feeling?
For me, the most difficult thing to process while moving into this next phase has been accepting that at some point our little relationship bubble will need to include “the daughter”. This thought sends me into pure panic. After our disastrous camping trip I realized that the only way I could continue dating my dude, was to compartmentalize and almost pretend that she didn’t exist. At least for a little while while we solidified our bond. I just couldn’t see how it would all ever successfully merge. I couldn’t envision a time in which she would not be a third wheel in our relationship, and vice versa for me in their family.
But I was open to slowly re-introducing ourselves when it made sense, which ended up being for my dude’s birthday. And man did things go south. We had an extremely bad evening and it was really shocking for all of us. She was in a terrible mood and lost her cool. I lost my patience. My dude had no idea how to handle it all.
I read a bunch of articles the next day on how to deal with a moody teenager, and I had basically done everything wrong. Not entirely my fault, as I am of course not a parent of a teenager so can’t really be expected to know these things. But nonetheless. I made these mistakes:
- I took her mood personally.
- I guess their hormones are raging and they have no idea how to make sense of things and aren’t really behaving in a way that they want to.
- I asked her direct questions related to her mood (and related to life in general which apparently is a bad idea when they are in a bad state).
- Drawing attention to their less than ideal state only adds fuel to the fire. And questions can feel like an attack.
- And I got frustrated with her.
- She was terrible. But I’m the adult. I’m meant to have some space and reason to just let it go (please tell me when I will catch up mentally and emotionally to where I’m meant to be as an adult!)
All classic mistakes.
My dude and I had to take a weekend apart to sort through what had happened. There was no communication and I was mess. We both thought the other was over the relationship. Apparently he spent the weekend preparing for the end, while I spent the weekend crying and grieving over its probable end. Missing him, feeling like a tool for ruining things yet again, and feeling quite hopeless. You see, I truly feel (no pressure lol) that this relationship represents my last opportunity to meet a guy that I might actually have a child of my own with. If and when it ends, time will have run out. I will either need to decide to go it alone or accept that it will likely not happen for me. This was a much bigger grief. While we ultimately decided it was just a bump in the road, it’s left me with a lot of anxiety and I’ve gone into meltdown mode.
At the start of this pandemic, I was totally in support of those memes that talked about how we’re not meant to have accomplished all of our life goals during this trying period, and that we need to give ourselves a bit of a break. But I hadn’t really listened and I’ve been trying to do too much. And it’s lead me to shut down.
So I’ve decided I need to take a tiny pause on a bunch of things to get my head and my life sorted. To figure out how I’m feeling about everything and what my next steps are. For the next little bit I’ll only post if it’s being used to sort things out in my brain. Writing is good for that. Hopefully I’ll be back refreshed and ready to tackle all the things.
Hope you are all giving yourselves the self care and the permission to take a rest as well. This is not an easy time!