I’m really happy with her.

Tomorrow I will have known her for 1 month. I’ve learned a lot since our first meeting. I can honestly and genuinely say that I enjoy her company and conversation. I really appreciate her efforts and I can tell that she is also serious about getting to know each other.

I made a previous post about how I felt overwhelmed with the strong emotions I’m having despite only having known her for a short time. I am still adjusting, but I’ve come to a conclusion:

I don’t want to date anymore. I don’t want to search anymore. i don’t want to “prove myself” via texts and dating apps anymore. I don’t want to be another person’s coming out story. I don’t want to help anyone deal with middle school issues. I don’t want to play therapist. I want a partner in life that I can trust and rely on. I want equality. I want open communication. I want compromise. I want unconditional love. I want healthy pushes to think about things differently. I want to feel supported. I want someone who’s got my back.

I feel like that’s asking a lot.

It doesn’t really matter, though. I have been through some very questionable things and I’m just so tired and exhausted. I let many past relationships preside over my own physical and mental wellbeing. While trying to be everything for my partners I was doing some serious damage to myself. Well, I’m taking care of myself now and it’s going really great.

Since meeting this woman (I know I created a name for her, but it escapes me), I want this to be it so badly. I don’t care that I’m young- I’m not even pushing for marriage or an immediate future together. I just want to be done with the bullshit. And she feels like the complete opposite of bullshit.

Edit: I have discovered that the name I gave her is Chelsea. Woohoo!

Relationships Take Work

I hear many people talk about their ideal relationship and it always involves minimal conflict, disagreement, and never going to bed angry. While that would be lovely, I don’t think that’s actually possible and I believe that the strongest relationships actually do need disagreement in order to learn and grow and exercise compromise.

I had partners who always tried to avoid conflict by compromising their own interests instead of telling me they would rather do something else. I also had partners who would twist any sort of argument to be my fault and that lead me to believe that it was me that was the problematic partner in the relationship. Both of these scenarios are common and wrong.

My most successful relationship was my last one. It was short, about 6 months with less contact than I would have liked given the program we were in, but we made it work. We were very different, but I think we were very smitten with each other regardless of our differences.

I want to interject the fact that I hate conflict. I don’t like confrontation or arguments; HOWEVER, I won’t back down if I feel like a conversation needs to be had. I understand that while it makes me uncomfortable, the relationship will be more uncomfortable if I don’t speak up.

So, this 6 month relationship with this beautiful woman was a dream in terms of communication and respect. I never felt disrespected or taken advantage of. I always felt safe and open to voice any concerns or thoughts. This hasn’t always been the case.

When there were things that arose as potential problems, we were quick to talk about it and “clear the air”. That was hard work for me. It was easy in terms of it was easy for me to open my mouth and speak words; however, it was difficult for me to get over the fear of confrontation ending in the termination of the relationship.

Oftentimes, conflict seems like the end of something, but it’s just a bump. It’s an opportunity for growth, for learning, and for better understanding your partner and your relationship.

This previous girlfriend taught me that and I love her for that. I am now far more comfortable having conversations sparked by a possible issue in my relationships (both platonic and romantic). I understand that disagreements don’t have to be explosions, and they don’t have to cause the relationship to implode, so it’s okay to have them.

Getting to Know People is So Awkward

I think the commonality of getting to know other people is that we all put on these polished, filtered versions of ourselves as to not frighten the other person away. You might not voice your opinions and if you do, you mute the passion behind them. You might also tell them you’re super clean and organized because you happened to clean your apartment yesterday, but in reality you can destroy the zen of a room in 2 seconds after walking through the door by throwing shoes on the floor, a jacket on the couch, and your purse and keys on the table. It’s okay, you’re not alone, Karen.

You know, watching other people getting to know each other is even more awkward, though. You can tell when two people like each other and they’re just figuring out who the other person is. They’re smiling way too much and they’re finding reasons to laugh their nerves out of their bodies. They’re telling each other impressive things that sound so stupid to anyone listening, but if you’re on the receiving end, you’re talking to superman himself. It’s just so cringe-worthy. But we all act like that and we’ve all seen people act like that.

The first 3 months of a relationship is also a prime time to get to know how the other person truly is. You start to see their flaws they’ve been hiding, their quirks that are just too weird to share at the dinner table. You know their general sense of style. You might have a routine that starts to happen when you two see each other or when you go out on dates. It’s interesting.

Do you have any awkward “getting to know people” stories? Share them with me!

My second relationship with another woman.

I met Mary when I was in 2nd grade. We rode the same bus together and I remember us giggling on the ride home one day because all the girls had been given “menstrual kits”. We opened some pads and examined the tampons all while laughing like maniacs. I also remember attending a birthday party of hers and inviting her to one of mine.

Time went on and she moved elsewhere and started online school. The reasons aren’t really important and we lost touch.

Just a few months into my junior year of high school, I was at a football game (I was in the marching band) and it was 3rd quarter, so we got a break to eat and mingle. I ran into her at the food court. After quickly catching up on the past 5 years, for some weird reason, (I call it gaybie syndrome) I felt the need to immediately out myself and let her know that I was a flaming homo. Her physical appearance suggested to me that she, too, might be one. She did not disclose, but I wasn’t really fishing for an answer anyway.

We exchanged numbers without any intent on starting a romance. Nevertheless, about 3 months passed and by the winter of 2014, we were an item.

She made the first “move” via text by letting me know that during our last visit she really wanted to kiss me. I remember being shocked and a little turned on at her forwardness because previous conversations never suggested any attraction from her end. It was unexpected.

So, the next time I drove over to her house, as I was leaving, I asked her if I could kiss her. It was obvious to me that she wasn’t going to actually make the first move and I didn’t have an issue with that. I was the first female she ever kissed and I’m sure she was quite nervous. She was not my first kiss, and I remember thinking about how the kiss was so bad. It really was. It was an awful kiss and I was rejoicing in that fact because the same night that we bumped into each other, I had just split with my first girlfriend of 1-2 years.

I wasn’t over my first girlfriend. I was hoping that there would be no “spark” with Mary because I secretly hoped that my heart would forever belong to Maya. My story with Maya is something I’ll share in a future post because it’s a good one. It’s a little crazy and not all pretty, but I look back on what was happening between us fondly.

*I have changed the names of both of my previous girlfriends for at least some privacy; however, I purposely made them both “M” names because that was the case for me- 3 girlfriends in a row, actually. It must be a curse of some sort.*

Back to the story:

I kissed her. It was awful. I was happy about it.

Eventually, I did fall in love with Mary and she with me. She was a little more dominant in everyday life than I was; however, I was still very much independent, opinionated, stubborn, and strong-willed. I thought it was nice to be with someone who acted like they knew what they wanted. I liked giving up some control for once.

We did EVERYTHING together. We would text all morning and day while I was at school and then we would hang out when I got out, as long as I didn’t go to work. Even when I had work, I would get off at 10pm and drive to her house.

I, truly, for a time, thought she was the one. It’s a story everybody has gone through- especially lesbians, I think. It’s just so easy to feel so connected to another woman. I thought I was going to marry her.

6 months into our relationship, most of my family had met her and they liked her. She bought me a $500 promise ring. We went on date nights and she would insist on paying. After 8 months, she even went to Germany with me and my family. She also bought a new car in this time because she cashed in on her VanGuard account (or something like that). In the Fall of 2015, I was attending college. She became my roommate for about 4-5 months. She eventually dropped out and started pursuing a certification/degree in aviation maintenance at a different college.

The red flags were there before 6 months hit. They became even more prominent at the 8 month and 1 year marks. I don’t know why I stayed so long. The flags were small at first and they progressively got more intense and more abusive as the relationship continued.

When she told me she loved me for the first time (over text, UGH), she freaked out because I wouldn’t say it back.

She ignored my texts and calls for an entire day because she was mad about something I didn’t do or say. When I got to her house (I was worried SICK), she was sitting on a riding mower just playing on her phone and she made me guess why she was mad. I don’t even remember what it was about.

When she gave me my promise ring (something we had NEVER discussed before), she started pressuring me to buy her one.

When I wanted to go to bed after work, she would guilt me into staying at her house longer than I wanted to by asking me “Don’t you love me?”, “Do you do everything your mother tells you to?” (My mother had a 12am curfew for me, and I gladly abided by it because I’ve always enjoyed going to bed early.)

She was constantly telling me that my family clearly hated her. Not just disliked, but hated. She would also say negative things about my mother, who I fucking love and who has never done ANYTHING to hurt me, ever.

She started pressuring me to pay for more of our dates, even though I made it clear that I didn’t want to eat out or go on expensive dates. She would say “Let’s go here!” I would say okay, because as the person invited, I wasn’t expecting to get the bill, but when the bill came around, she would look at me. I should also note that her family is old money and she had cash to blow that no 18 year old should have. I had next to nothing.

She went to Florida with me and my family for my mother’s wedding. She would not conform to what the group did or ate and insisted that we drive around town until we found a Burger King. It was the most stupid and embarrassing situation and I wish to this day that she had not come on that trip.

There was just so much guilt and manipulation in everything she did, I can’t even pick out all of the scenarios.

One day, we were driving down from Atlanta from picking out her new bedroom furniture. I was trying to tell her something and she turned the music up. I turned it off and tried again, but she turned the music back up and refused to listen or talk to me the rest of the way home.

That same day ^^, we were almost at her house and I laughed at something I saw on my phone. She asked to see what was so funny. I said that we were almost home and I would show her when we arrived. She insisted on seeing it then and there and she leaned across the middle compartment to grab my phone, the car swerved and hit the curb, and she popped 2 tires. She blamed me for the popped tires and demanded that I pay for them both. I’m glad to say that this was about the time where I had had enough of the abuse and I did not pay for those tires.

There was a period of time when I didn’t want to have sex with her because I wasn’t finding it enjoyable anymore and I just wasn’t feeling well. She did not respect that at all and pressured me almost daily to have sex with her.

I felt isolated from my friends because she would get angry that I was spending time with them instead of with her. She would do the same thing even if it was family that I was spending time with.

There are more things and events, but they don’t matter. This relationship was abusive and I didn’t realize it until 1 year afterwards. I learned a lot about myself during this time. This relationship also affected how I function in current relationships, both romantic and platonic. It affected how I see people. It changed a lot for me.

We were together for about 1.5 years. I should’ve left after 6 months, but I didn’t have the courage, the words, or the support.