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one of my girlfriends reminded me of that age-old, cliché quote: ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result’. blah blah blah, yakkity shmakity. you know the quote. it was during a tear filled (mine) conversation with her where i was basically telling her about a frustrating day of miscommunication i’d had with the latest guy i’d found myself having a ‘thing’ with. a relationship? i suppose. yes. i’m just trying to sound tough. but we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend officially. we had no label. we were just getting to know each other, exclusively: not seeing/kissing/sexxing anyone else. his request, not mine. but i had NO desire to see anyone but him. however, we were NOT boyfriend and girlfriend. i mean technically it felt like the definition of what a boyfriend and girlfriend are… but we’d yet to have the talk. but not having a label is fine.

here’s the part where i come across as slightly bitter and confused re. labels:

personally, for someone like me, a label can be scary. maybe he was unsure. maybe i was unsure. and maybe it’s just nice to have a new level of relationship to graduate to; even sexy! as opposed to just rushing into bfgf. really it’s more about the quality of the time we spend together, how we’re treating eachother, the time we’re having; as opposed to a label that can make a person feel, well, labeled/antsy/trapped. and in the meantime, having no label means we’re together cuz we want to be together. not out of obligation or because we’ve put ourselves in a box that we might be afraid to tell the other one we want out of. but, in all honesty, i’m never afraid to leave… so, there goes the anti boyfriend/girlfriend label argument i’m trying to pound in a little too hard! what was wrong with me? why didn’t he want ME to be his gf? even though i didn’t want the label, my ego was bruised! i wanted HIM to want the label!

i’m sure i’m just forgetting about all the things i’d said/done to make him think i don’t want/am not ready for a boyfriend. perhaps that time i said: ‘we are NOT boyfriend and girlfriend.’ or  ‘i’m completely afraid of commitment!’ or ‘when do you think this is gonna end?’ or ‘how do you think this is gonna play out?’, ‘NO labels’. oh shit, i did say those things, didn’t i? plus the countless jokes about wanting to date other people (even though i don’t), references to ex’s, checking out dudes in front of him…. fuck! what a little monster i am.

anyway, back to my original thought:

during this chat with my girlfriend (who i later found out was STONED- wait, what’s a bigger betrayl, not telling someone you’re on the phone with that you’re stoned or not telling someone you’re on the phone with you’re on adderal?)  i told her how i was disappointed by the guy that day. our plans got confused and i was so angry for being made to wait around for him.  but the real reason for my moodiness wasn’t actually because of what happened (as it was a total non problem) it was this: i was terrified and furious and so uncomfortable that i’d found myself vulnerable. i hated that i was affected by him. even though the day was a bit fucked and didn’t go as planned (possibly cuz mercury was in retrograde- ugh, i just threw up in my mouth… but like, you never know, ya know?!) i was enraged that i was emotionally vulnerable. enraged that someone i was slowly giving myself to disappointed me. i felt like maybe i was out on a limb by myself and thought about how there are no guarantees. ‘why should i put myself through this?’ ‘it probably wouldn’t last anyway. nothing did.’ was i bitter? was i jaded? i was terrified.

but then i also thought, if i don’t learn these relationship ‘people skills’ soon… i might never. and then where will i be? i almost need to surrender to loving someone, and being loved by someone; surrender to all the uncomfortable nuances of a relationship. like miscommunications and feeling feelings. being affected. being vulnerable. not knowing. uncharted territory. co existing with someone. trusting someone. being annoyed by someone. and learning how to walk through it all. if not now, when?

after all, i would have the same uncomfortable experience i’d had today with any guy. i had in the past and i would again. it was just a question of being open to it. it was a choice i had to make. i’m in charge of my choices. i could easily choose to close my heart, shut down and say to myself ‘i don’t wanna do this. i don’t wanna feel this way. i don’t want to be affected by someone like this. i don’t want to be so attached to someone emotionally. i’d rather just go back to being alone & casual makeouts with guys i’ll never let into my heart.’

but if i don’t surrender to being with someone in an honest and monogamous way, and learn how to communicate with someone and be completely seen and raw, etc, i would never build that muscle. i need to practice experiencing/getting through all the awkward uncomfortable moments that come with being vulnerable. if i try to control everything and only stay with someone when it’s easy and new… i’ll wake up at forty and be alone. but that’s ok, right? sure it is, but wouldn’t diving into something uncomfortable and scary NOW make my life expand and help me grow?

i’d met someone who was a good person with a good heart. we have tons of mutual friends. our sexual chemistry is epic. i respect him. he’s smart. he has morals. he’s sexy. he’s strong, he has an eight pack. he has that unspoken badass/cool factor. he’s a good dresser. i mean, wasn’t this a good jumping off point? my therapist says that when you meet someone, you’re doing a dance with them and your goal is to meet in the middle; two people help eachother balance eachother out/help eachother heal. i think i’d found someone i’d like to dance with; someone who could help me learn to trust and remind me of what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship/all the wisdom and experience there is to gain from a real relationship.

but i was so frustrated. his disappointing me that day, cuz we didn’t see eachother when i thought we would, made me want to use that as the perfect excuse to ruin it and run! i wanted to be angry and close my heart… something i was just beginning to give him. fuck, i was so annoyed. just a day earlier i told him ‘of all the people i might trust, i’d like to trust you’ and then i placed his hand on my privates as we spooned and said ‘this belongs to you.’  just before drifting off to sleep. and then the next day he lets me down? i was furious. my mind was reeling with thoughts and questions- moments of clarity and freak outs: maybe he wasnt into it like i was into him. but i was ONLY following his lead! why was he tricking me? this was just a reminder that nothing was guaranteed. why was he telling me about the rewards of a solid real relationship and telling me that i’m addicted to ‘newness’ and unable to trust… but then not wanting to call me his girlfriend and yet basically act as such? why did he screw up our plans? and why did i feel like when i was out of sight, i was out of mind? how much of my insecurities were just me? i’m guessing MOST! did i even LIKE him? i did. but i still felt a bit disconnected. did that mean he did too? or was i just burned and scarred by my last relationship and all my previous relationships? were these daddy issues? of course they were. fuck, how boring of me! how long can THAT be a crutch? yawn!

isn’t it weird how self-aware i /you/one can be about behavior… but as logical as you are and as smart and aware of your issues you can be, putting them into practice and behaving the way you know you should and cutting out the behavior you know you should cut out is so difficult? self-awareness and life practice are two different things. should i just be nice and forgive and keep moving forward? or should i get angry and sabotage it and run? well, my girlfriend said that if that’s what i usually do, i should change it up and not be the definition of insanity. hmmm. ok. i would continue to get to know him; decide if i like him; and not give him all the power. i’ll tell him how i feel when i feel stuff; when i’m calm; without being angry. i won’t freeze up and run. i won’t  try to ruin it just so i can get out of being with someone in a real way.

so, to officially talk myself off the ledge:

yes, my feelings were really hurt, but i’m only THIS UBER sensitive cuz i really like him and felt disappointed/strung along. i wanna be with someone who wants to be with me in a real/crazy/intense/beautiful/epic way! and being left in the lurch gave me the impression he could take or leave me. i hope i’m just being dramatic. I’m so afraid of being sucked in just to have the rug pulled out from under me. but that’s the thing about life: there are no guarantees. that’s what makes it exciting AND scary.

i thought this could be something real. i want it to be something real. whenever i become vulnerable with a guy, i get so sensitive. i analyze everything; get mad so easily. this is nothing new for me. i think i just forget these emotions exist, like how women forget their period is coming or how painful birth is. if we remembered, we’d never let it happen again.

opening up my heart and letting someone in to potentially break it just seems like too great of a liability. as women, we already do so many other frightening things when we date/sex/love a man: we are seen at our worst, ride on the back of motorcycles, make ourself susceptible to getting pregnant/stds, fall into habits of unprotected sex, and worse… are asked if we’ll have anal sex!

but i’m gonna try it! (and by ‘it’ i’m referring to a relationship, not anal sex. but maybe. who knows? how dare you?!) cuz keeping my heart closed to the infinite possibility of a relationship would be an even bigger liability. right?

20 Responses to “trying something new:”

  1. Story of my life.

  2. Dear Alexi,
    Thanks for being awesome and writing this, which perfectly reflects how I feel 90% of the time now. You Rule.

  3. Is it weird that i feel this way about my best friend? Thanks Alexi for writing this, i really needed it.

  4. This is me. This is the same exact thought process I go through on a day to day basis. Thank you for putting it into words. This makes so much sense, it is perfect.

    I always run too, ALWAYS. It’s easier to be guarded and act like we don’t care than to be vulnerable. I don’t like being vulnerable, but just like you, I need to learn to let people in. AH! YOU RULE <3

  5. thank you alexi for always writing how i feel

  6. let me make this easy for you: when you find the right person, really the right one, there will not be any drama at all. it will just be easy and you will never need, or even want, to break down the daily details with your friends. don’t get me wrong–talking over boy dramas with friends is perhaps the best part of dating–but you won’t need it when you find the right person. keep looking, keep searching, it’s all part of the process and you will get there when you get there. but a boy who freaks you out and disappoints you is just a part of the larger puzzle, not the last piece. enjoy this stage though, it may seem like an exhausting struggle but you will look back on it wistfully. signed, been there/done that & married 10 years (i love your blog because it’s like me 15 years ago!)

  7. It scares me how much I am this post. The last time I was in a relationship that was in definition limbo, I freaked out over it and forced definition, which ultimately freaked out the guy and ended the relationship. If I can say anything, it’s just enjoy the time you get to spend with that person. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone but yourself. If you know he cares about you, that’s all you really need.

    And most of that ended up being my own form of talking myself off the ledge.

  8. I really needed this. Just a sign that I ought to get out of my familiar habits of just loving and leaving, never letting anyone in because I’m afraid of getting hurt. I’m like you, once I get comfortable I get SENSITIVE and every little mistake leaves me so disappointed. What your therapist said about finding someone to dance with is what I’ve realized I want in a relationship. Thank you for writing this. *bookmarking!*

  9. Thankyou for being so honest and sharing your vulnerability with us!
    And also for putting into words, what so many of us experience – fear !

  10. This rant came along at exactly the right time for me. Go all in. If it doesn’t have the potential to hurt it’s not worth getting involved in the first place. I admire your constant introspection and public vulnerability.

  11. “why was he telling me about the rewards of a solid real relationship and telling me that i’m addicted to ‘newness’ and unable to trust… but then not wanting to call me his girlfriend and yet basically act as such? why did he screw up our plans? ”

    BECAUSE: “i felt like maybe i was out on a limb by myself and thought about how there are no guarantees. ‘why should i put myself through this?’ ‘it probably wouldn’t last anyway. nothing did.’ was i bitter? was i jaded? i was terrified.”


    we all need to remind ourselves of that all the time. it’s so easy to forget.

  12. “cuz keeping my heart closed to the infinite possibility of a relationship would be an even bigger liability. right?”

    right! 🙂

  13. So you guys all feel the exact same way? That’s scary…

  14. “but then not wanting to call me his girlfriend and yet basically act as such?”

    Maybe he’s put off or confused by the fact that you went out of your way to make out as if it meant nothing to you. Saying things like “No labels”, “we’re NOT boyfriend and girlfriend”, “how long do you think this will lat” etc,is either telling him that he’s just casually banging you or that unlike him you’re not interested in any sort of definite relationship.

    Maybe you should just sit down and actually talk it over before it goes to shit.

  15. there’s a reason so many women DO like anal sex:) i have a lot to say on the subject but for now let me just say “keep an open mind” -i’m a full on convert after many years of anti-anal vigilance.
    cant believe everyone just brushed past the anal sex bit (shakes head) lol

  16. After I read this passage about 4 times I studied it for 72 hours before posting my response because it is a passage comprised of complex unresolved emotional turmoil. I guess I was lucky, privileged ,whatever, I was raised in a sheltered intact nuclear family. My parents did not divorce and they have been married for fifty years already (there were fights and dysfunction to varying degree), but for a large extent my parents modeled for me a monogamous nuclear family, an endangered species for this culture this day of age. What I mean by modeled is that I benefited from the windfall of complexities of watching, participating and working alongside my parents in their everyday humdrum affairs. In modeling, I had a reference to work off of as did my parent’s parents generation to generation. The reference provided me with a focal point upon which to work off of a blueprint and map would be my best analogies. As a blueprint it provided me with a guide upon which to build a foundation. As a map it prevented me from just fumbling and bumbling along blindly, getting lost or pursuing paths of folly.
    In your case Alexi or Ms. Wasser I do not know which you prefer to go by you were the unfortunate victim of popular culture. Your parents divorcing when you were at a young age prevented you from having you benefit from having the marriage model demonstrated before you. In addition, you were released from the fetters of being micromanaged growing up. Unfortunately or fortunately my childhood was micromanaged by both parents who were deeply involved in my upbringing. Alexi on the road of life you are an architect without a blueprint, but you are struggling to construct a foundation by trial and error, oh its painful in many ways, but I salute you because you are struggling with sweat and tears. At the same time you do not have map to guide you. A young person without a reference point is like an explorer without a map they get lost. This example also applies to you as well, your traveling down the beaten path.. However, on your own by probing via toils, troubles, trials and tribulations you are carving your own path its emotionally painful and grueling, but you are finding your way via self discovery.
    In your latest encounter, it would seem that you have met someone who wants to engage you primarily on a psychological level whereas you want to engage him on a sexual level. Sex for you is a tool, it makes you feel good, you can manipulate those around you with it, it is something that you are very comfortable wielding. However, a man wanting to engage you first on a psychological level “feeling communication” instead of “sexual communication” is holding for the time being the higher ground. The reason for this is that feeling communication is the blueprint for an emotional foundation of a relationship. This is something you might not have encountered or experienced before or perhaps you have, but because it is unfamiliar to you is the reason you become angry, panicky and confused. The man in this relationship via of feeling communication is requiring you to utilize faculties that you are not adept with or an alien to you. As a result, you are overwhelmed with emotion. “OMG! What the hell is this?” That’s why you quickly go for the relationship ejection button and parachute to what you feel is safety and security. Keep it up and you will be definitely in alonehood. When the psychological foundation for a relationship are being made, as the web of emotional entanglements become more complex for each partner there are no rules as nature takes its course. The final finale is perhaps the greatest leap of faith marriage. Perhaps, the two of you will learn to surrender a little bit of each other to one another, but many intricacies lay ahead and depend on the couple. Alexi and to the others people out there reading this just because your parents had a bad marriage doesn’t mean that you will follow a path of generational divorce and dysfunctional. Finally, this is addressed to Alexi Wasser. You have a great aptitude for love, it’s just that the ability of how to manage and apply that love is where you are struggling, but I have faith that you will succeed and find the true love that you are seeking. Finally, when you are in the thick of it that is you begin to journey into unexplored aspects of a relationship the “daddy issues” will become remote and removed.

    With Sentiments of kindness,
    Dr. Dan Assistant Producer KABC Radio

  17. Thank you for writing this.

    You have managed to convey exactly how I have been feeling. In fact, I didn’t realize the full extent of it until you wrote this.

    When I read it, it hit me. It was a bittersweet moment to read it in black and white.

  18. Just found your blog. Pretty sure I have to read the whole thing now! Le sigh there goes another day at work..

    Anyway – relationships. Oh man this was me to a T. It was like.. I was fighting so hard against myself and not letting myself be happy. I was mindf*cking myself.

    When I met my husband (been married about a month and half now) it flowed. There were no games, he wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with him. Called, texted, saw each other all the time when we first started dating. I couldn’t believe guys like him still existed in this world. He is my very best friend.

    You just need step off that ledge and let yourself get hurt. It can be so worth it!

  19. Have been exactly in the same situation. You know what, the guy is just not really into you, easy as that. I know what you are talking about and why you are confused, you did nothing wrong, in order to really feel something and maybe to start a relationship, one has to put himself out there and take a risk. What sucks is that this guy played you and made you feel comfortable, he was not straight forward and even if you two did not directly discuss it, he gave off the vibe that this heads in a more relationship-y direction. Well, when in reality he was never intending to do so, he just had a major crush at you at first and then slightly, when you started to be more open and trusting, his feelings cooled down, but hey, you are not in a position to say something, because technically there is no label and he doesn’t own you anything. This is the worst kind of jerk imo, because this is the fakest of the fake. You don’t make a person to let down her guard because of the ensuring, loving stuff you say, unless you really mean it. There is nothing wrong with having a fling as long as it is exciting and fits, but please men, don’t disguise your intentions as something deep and meaningful when they are not. Sorry you had to experience this, these guys are the worst kind of time thiefs and sooo not worthy any emotions and thoughts.

  20. To follow up on my old comment from July, I let my guard down 3 weeks ago when he made it seem like everything was getting more serious. This was after he said things about trust and vulnerability and wanting to be with me more. He just vanished after I tried to get in contact again. I didn’t call/text obsessively. One text, one phone call, one Facebook message (stupid me giving him the benefit of the doubt about a broken phone). I’ve been in emotional pain like I’d never known (like you said, if we could remember we wouldn’t let it happen again!) Reading these comments have helped me more than any “move on” comments floating about the internet. Thanks, Alexi. I won’t hide myself away the next time but I know my time is worth it and I’m not going to treat myself so fragilely again.

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