Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Letting go of control in romantic relationships

That's how I want to be. That's how I think I should be. Though I'm having difficulty. 

I'll explain what I mean by "letting go of control in romantic relationships."

I'm not talking about falling in love. That's a different kind of letting go - feeling all your feelings. Important. But that's not what I'm talking about here. 

I'm talking about not knowing how your relationship is supposed to progress. Until it actually happens.

Not knowing what the path to getting to a serious relationship commitment is supposed to look like.

Not knowing what the path to getting to engagement is supposed to look like.

Once married, on a daily basis, not knowing whether you'll really end up staying married. (This doesn't mean that I'm okay with divorce. I'm not. It's about embracing the fact that, no matter what, marriage is always a risk in some way).

I like this uncertainty because then you're not focused so much on what you WANT your relationship to be. Instead, you're just letting your relationship BE and living (relishing) in whatever it IS, at that very moment. It's fuller this way. More pure. It's first and foremost, totally about the human connection between the two of you.

This is probably why I could never explain mine and Jesse's relationship to people. 

It doesn't follow the standard form of dating in our culture today. 

It might be more like a courtship relationship (where the man initiates and pursues a marriage relationship, from the very beginning). But it also hasn't been like that either. 

Of course, I'm not a total hippie living in anarchy or on a deserted island. I still do follow some social conventions and social structures for romantic relationships. This is where part of a romantic relationship's legitimacy and substance comes from. So I do have some expectations (in line with society) of how our relationship is supposed to progress and about its future state. But it's really not very much. 

So here is what I can explain of our relationship. Here is how it follows societal norms: 

In the beginning, Jesse and I were great friends. We talked about all sorts of things and had fun talking to each other. We also talked about personal things. That was deep. 

At the same time, he started being charming and flirting with me. He made it known to me that he was pursuing something with me (that was more than just sex or a good time). 

The whole time, we were coworkers in a small office. We got to know each other in our natural environments. We knew that we came from really similar backgrounds, were both decently moral people, and were older single people probably ready to settle down at some point. 

So it was sort of courting. Or maybe a precursor to dating. Either one. 

What I want with him now is a serious relationship commitment, then engagement, the whole works. 

So that's the part of our relationship that makes sense to people. And that I can map out.

The rest of it, which is A LOT, doesn't follow any kind of dating or courtship progression. 

I can't explain to people what me deliberately drawing away from Jesse for a year, not talking to him at all but just giving him significant looks, meant for our relationship. At the time, I couldn't explain to myself either why I was doing this, why exactly I needed to do this to move our relationship forward. Or how long this was going to go on for and what the next step was. I just knew that for that moment, it was the right thing to do for our relationship. It was hard - to draw away from him, and to do this not knowing exactly why it was necessary for our relationship.

That's just one example of our relationship being unstructured. 

Currently (and only for a little while longer), Jesse is my coworker. Most of the time, there's absolutely zero interaction between us. Instinctively, I feel like we're moving our relationship forward. But I don't rationally know how our actions right now are actually leading to a serious relationship commitment. 

I also don't think in specifics of how the next day, week, month, year, few years, etc. with him, relationship-wise, will look like. All I know is that I want the commitment, then engagement, etc. "soon." And I can't give a timeframe for "soon." I just know that it means I won't wait forever, and that there definitely is a window, even if I can't articulate it. When the window actually closes, that's when I'll know the time has passed and it's over. But I can't tell when it would be, beforehand. 

The last thing I want to talk about is - how did my relationship with Jesse get to be this way, being unstructured?

I don't know. Maybe it's the type of people we both are. I consciously live the rest of my life this way, relatively unstructured. Maybe he's like this too, or at least in love. And when we met, this is how it was fated to happen. 

To be honest, I feel scared and kind of sick now. Totally letting go of control of things, especially REALLY IMPORTANT things like this, does that to me. It's not easy.

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