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I can't believe that what I feel is really happening to me
Relationships are supposed to be work, however rewarding, but there are no rules to abide by in order to figure out exactly how to make one function positively. Sure, there are self-help books and writings about how to keep your marriage going, etc etc etc, but there is no possible way to know how to keep two (or more) specific individuals together for an extended period of time. What works for the general population may not be what will become the base of your relationship.
When entering a new relationship, not many people would immediately start to wonder how long it will last. Not many people will think about what the break-up would be like. Not many people would ponder over how long the heartbreak would take to pass. There are many people out there who are hopeless romantics, forever looking for (some may think they have already found) their "soulmate". Those who believe that there is one other person on this planet that is supposed to be the other half of their everything, a single being who is the final piece of the puzzle, the sole human who makes both hands clap. Is there actually such a thing? If so, how are we ever supposed to find that person? A quote from the delightful movie "When Harry Met Sally..." comes to mind: "All I'm saying is that somewhere out there is the man you are supposed to marry. And if you don't get him first, somebody else will, and you'll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that somebody else is married to your husband."
A relationship cynic is someone who "consciously or subconsciously no longer believes that [he or] she can find a lasting relationship" (from Dating Sabotage). That cynic would be me. Those stupid things where you are supposed to picture your life 10 years from now to be able to see if you will still be with your s.o. (significant other) are stupid. Picturing the future involves an imagination and, with mine being rather vivid, I could picture my life 10 years from now with the Easter Bunny just as easily as I could picture it with my partner. I don't romanticize my relationship. An example: after seeing trailers of movies I'd like to check out that don't get into theatres till mid-late 2006 (Over the Hedge, Happy Feet, Ice Age 2, etc), Joey and I mentioned that we'd like to see them, but realized that we may not necessarily be seeing them together. Who knows what the future holds?
Is being realistic going to save me from heartbreak if we do break up? No. Do I plan for us to break up? No. I have a tendency to say "when we break up", not "if" and I do wonder if perhaps the difference those two words have makes a difference in my view of the relationship. I don't like break-ups and I don't think many people do. I also don't know how long this relationship will last. It may continue on for years or it may not make it through this week.
When it comes to relationships, I am very bitter and cynical. Sometimes I envy those who can romanticize their lives with their s.o. I have a friend who "knows" that she and her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years are going to get married. I have met a girl who "knows" she wants to be engaged to her boyfriend of 10 months. I have a friend who has no freakin' clue if she will marry her boyfriend of almost 5 years, but "assumes" she will. I have a friend who "thinks" she may never have another relationship again. I have a friend who does not "want" a relationship any time in the near future. I have a friend who is desperate to start "dating" again just so she can have a boyfriend. I have a friend who has recently married her boyfriend of 5 years. I know a girl who has gotten engaged to her boyfriend of less than a year. I have a friend who has given her boyfriend of 4 years an engagement ultimatum (he has to propose by Jan '07 or else).
All of these people feel the pressures of society to be in a relationship. For some reason, it isn't a good thing to be single anymore and the pressure to be coupled only increases with age. I am only 22 and I have felt it already from my mother. I spent a few years not bringing home anyone I was possibly involved with to meet my parents and around April of last year my mom asked me if I was ever going to get another boyfriend. The underlying message was "if you can't get a boyfriend there must be something wrong with you" (she was possibly also thinking "is my daughter gay?" ). I was, and still am, a student. I don't think I should be looking for someone to "settle down with" while school is sucking away all of my resources. My mom has two sides to her. Some of the time she is hinting that I should find someone to settle down with and some of the time she is hinting that I am too young to think about settling down with anyone. Personally, I agree with the latter.
I have friends who can feel the pressures of society to be in a couple. I find nothing wrong with being single. I enjoy it. A lot of the time I miss it. Sometimes when I am out with female friends it is easy to pretend to forget that I am not single. For those I know who are currently in happy, fulfilling relationships, I am thrilled for them. The cynic in me does start to raise an eyebrow at relationship future assumptions, such as those who "know" they will get married. Monday evening was spent studying at a friend's house with friend A (who was the host) and friend D. Friend A took a quick phone call from her boyfriend when he called her to say hi during our study time. Friend D said something like, "I didn't know you had a boyfriend. Do you have a picture of him?" to which Friend A replied that she didn't have a picture of him in her possession at the moment. Friend D seemed to think that was strange. Why? I don't have a picture of Joey on display in my room (I used to have this one up for amusement's sake but replaced it with one of Delta & Truffle instead). One of my friends has several pictures of herself & her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years in her wallet, framed in her room, on her computer's hard drive and as the wallpaper on her computer's desktop. No wonder she thinks that someone not having a picture of an s.o. on display is out of place.
I haven't the faintest clue how to make a relationship last. The longest one I've had kept on for a year and a half (add on a few more months on the "getting back together" bit... which worked out SO well *<--sarcasm*... but I'd prefer to erase those from memory). I was once asked if I was "nuts about" Joey and I didn't know how to answer that. Yes, I do feel a lot for him (more than I'd like to admit, and he'll probably end up reading this) but I can't say I am seriously able picture myself with him X years from now. What spurred this ranty post was a very simple thing blown entirely out of proportion by my mind which is currently thinking irrationally and overanalytically again due to my period. It was a small conversation regarding the whole use of "when/if we break up". As I had already known, but had to dig through my memory to find it, Joey uses the same language I do when it comes to relationships. He had been talking to his little brother who, in a rather inebriated state, ended up saying that he liked me. The response referring to the relationship was "it won't last".
Why is it that when I say things like that I barely even notice but when he sees this in a similar way it... irks me? I mostly blame the crazy hormones but I know a teeny part of me wants to be able to romanticize and think that maybe, possibly, someone out there wants to stick by me. I don't know where the relationship is headed and I don't know how to keep it going (but everyone knows how to end one). He and I did not break up today so we will still be together tomorrow. I take it one day at a time, sometimes throwing caution to the wind and making plans for the near future. I don't know if we'll end up together or on opposite continents. We didn't break up today but what does tomorrow hold?
Only time will tell.
*stupid link of the day* Bubble Baba Challenge: floating blow-up dolls? kayaks? a contest of some sort? I don't understand, but the pictures alone certainly merit the award of "stupid link"! JeN's mind ejaculated @ 2:37 a.m. | |
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