How many of you are with someone who is the complete opposite of you?
Not hobbies, interests, or morals.
I’m talking sensitive vs. nonsensitive. Sentimental vs non sentimental. In depth vs short and sweet. Conversationalist vs. quiet. Cuddling vs. “his side/her side”. Emojis vs. punctuation.
Can you guess which one I probably am, and which one my boyfriend is?
In my past relationships, and even occasionally with this one (mostly around certain times of the month…whoops 😉 ) I would put so much pressure on someone to love me exactly the way I wanted them to love me. And when they didn’t, I would get upset and in turn, that’s part of why all of my relationships before failed. I never accepted the love I was given. I started realizing this after my most recent failed relationship, and again when I saw my current relationship start to take a change. I noticed I was asking him to do things that he just, well, simply doesn’t think to do. It’s not by choice, it’s not by spite, it’s simply because it’s not wired within him to do certain things.
My therapist and I talked about this a lot, and I realized I needed to see all the good and love I was receiving and living, instead of wishing for things that, honestly, don’t really matter.
And don’t worry, I’m not accepting less than I want/need/deserve.
I’m just accepting it differently. I’m seeing his side of love. I’m choosing to enjoy and bask in the love he knows how to give. Like when he spends 4 hours down in the garage and when I asked what’s kept him from spending our time doing something together, he brings me downstairs to an absolutely spotless, totally detailed car (cue the tears that started to form because I was sitting upstairs a little moody to be by myself while he was literally scrubbing away at my car). Is that how I would have chosen him to “love me”- not particularly- I would have liked to snuggle on the couch or play bananagrams, but he chose to selflessly spend his time on me in a totally different way.
I’ve learned through therapy, through long conversations with him, through reading (the 5 love languages is a seriously insightful book)- if I want to keep the amazing love and relationship I have, then I need to work on not making things exactly how I want them. This doesn’t mean letting things go that bother me, it doesn’t mean lowering my standards- it means communicating what I want and need, and then paying attention to how he gives it to me. Like when I say certain things mean something to me, or that things “off routine” tend to cause me a little anxiety (whether it happens on purpose or not)- he takes that, and he plants a kiss on my cheek at roughly the same exact time every morning. He makes sure the M&M jar on the bar top is always filled. He picks his q-tips off the floor when he misses the trash can. He draws a heart on my windshield when it snows. He adds extra garlic to my food because he knows I like it. He’ll buy a dozen eggs instead of half dozen because he knows I like to use a few each week to do an “at home face mask”.
He may not speak to me for hours (even if we’re sitting in the same room), but that’s him- that’s how he grew up. Words didn’t mean love. Presence meant love. Small acts that made others smile meant love. But words- words were never a thing. (Whereas in my household- words were everything).
I’ve learned to let go of some of my, well, fantasies. There are things he just will never say or do, and that’s okay, because he does some things and says some things that are what he wants to say or do to show me he loves me.
Letting him show me his love for me the way he wants to has been one of the best things for not only our relationship, but for us as individuals as well.