The space in between

the space in between

is my weakness in relationships.

I mean the space between the fate of the relationship and negotiating the present without being overly influenced by the unknown future.  I often walk the fine line between picking my battles and communicating enough to allow the other person to continue getting to know me.  This entails work.

I let the small shit go but sometimes the small shit ends up being kind-of a big thing which doesn’t rear its ugly head until…well, until it does.  Communicating after (what I deem) the ideal window of time is difficult.   I’m usually emotionally annoyed at the point of confrontation but I know it’s because I let little things pile up and since my person isn’t aware that I take issue with something they’re (not) doing, it’s not fair to lash out.  Still I’m annoyed.  People in long-term committed relationships understand how to broach this, or better yet, circumvent this pile-up and I want their wisdom.

I recall a friend’s words from many years ago:

“You know, people always hate on ‘selfish takers’ but what about those who can’t accept?”
For example, her very generous neighbor who was good for any kind of support.  One day, my friend tried to give back to the woman and said woman literally couldn’t accept my friend’s generosity.  She didn’t know how.

At the time her story struck a nerve but I didn’t understand why.  I thought, I can take.  When my person does things for me, I can earnestly accept.  But over the years her words echoed in my head from time to time.  I realise now that I was successful at many things during my long-term relationship history except communicating my needs.  I have never known how to ask for exactly what I want.  Ultimately, I didn’t give them a chance to make me happy.  Does this mean I was a commitment-phobe, deep down?

It’s been very easy to segue my dissatisfaction into, “We need to break up.”
Which isn’t exactly kind.  Or fair.  (And I call myself an equality nazi; but I do also call myself a hypocrite.)
S has said that I tried to break up with her every month.  Sigh.  She’s right.

It’s obvious, even to stubborn me, that my past behaviour is lacking and stupid so I try to correct this.  After all, I like relationships.

So I try.
Convey your shit, Rumi.  Tell him what’s wrong and give him a chance to fix it before you quit before the fucking miracle.
First, breathe.
It is so new, this type of communication, that I feel bewildered and incredibly unsure of myself.  I figure this isn’t the time to dance around so I am blunt.

“I need more from you.  I really understand that you’re busy but these recent days of long silences are damaging…distance creates distance.”

I am hopeful that if I can name the thing and he cares, we can get through this.  WE can work it out. Maybe it’s a combination of redefining distance, how long is too long, what kind of communication I need.

I wait for his reaction.

“Rumi, this is the best I can do.”

That wasn’t what I expected.

And what can I say to that?

Turn inwards, question my issue…He’s doing his best…but it’s not enough and I really don’t want to articulate that because that means this— we— can’t go anywhere and I don’t want us to end because I thought there was a tangible future.

Ouch, this hurts.

But I can’t do the work if the other is already maxed out.
I can appreciate his honesty and…move on?

But what else is  there?