let the night come soft and low
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about soundtracks. I suppose, on some level, I’m always thinking about music, though–because I’m a big ole music geek. I’ve found myself humming a couple songs all day, every day, lately.
Both of these songs are part of my life soundtrack, and I find that I continually come back to them. (See more of a VERY limited version of mine here and here). I don’t remember when I discovered these two bands, but I instantly fell in love with them. (Actually, I think it was when I went to a festival with my friend D a few years ago).
I realized recently that most of the songs that really mean something to me come from people I’ve really loved…even if I hated the songs at the time. They always seemed to grow on me. These songs accumulate and influence all our future musical loves. Like–my mother, for example–loved country music and Elvis. You can sorta hear that influence in both these songs, I think–even though I’m not all that into country. I’ve noticed that the great loves of my life all knew the same obscure artists that are so much a core part of my music tastes now. And for me, musical compatibility is a HUGE part of connecting with someone. My last ex and I were polar opposites–though I did eventually get him to listen to Tegan and Sara–and was shocked that he liked them since his music was basically screaming men. Ha.
What’s on your life’s soundtrack? Where did they come from?
I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships and etc since things have finally settled down with Ms. Fogg (who is doing fantastic, btw).
Maybe it’s because I’ve never been one to really date at all, but I find the whole dating thing confusing and weird. Especially as a 37 year old woman. Online dating makes my heart hurt. Earlier this year, I was super hopeful about the whole thing and actually met a great person, but things fell apart–mostly because he did something disappointing–but not really wrong and then I basically opted out.
It came down to expectations and boundaries–something I’m not too great at observing or establishing!
I’ll admit it…I’m a little old fashioned, but also pretty open-minded and progressive about some things. I’m old fashioned in that the idea of dating multiple people at once pains me. I don’t know how to do it, and when I have done it, it’s been a disaster–mostly because I’m not really built to like more than one person at once. Or rather, I may like many people, but there’s always just one that gets under my skin and drives me crazy. Often, this person is not the wise choice for me.
The guy from before is a good example of that. Before him, I was involved with an ex boyfriend last summer and into the fall. And that was a big old betrayal extravaganza and was pretty demoralizing–though the actual cheating thing was almost beside the point at that point. I was super pissed. But oddly not heartbroken and decided to immediately plunge into online dating–which probably was a bad idea–but I was sick of mourning relationships and really didn’t feel that bad. I met this guy fairly immediately, and he turned me off–big time. I think part of it was that I had defenses up, and he was so totally in a fucked up situation that I wanted nothing to do with it. Still, he seemed like a potential friend, and that was part of why I was on the site to begin with. So we began this awkward friendship. But then he was clueless and said something totally off-putting–so I just stopped responding–which is not at all my way.
But he wouldn’t go away. Weeks later, he said hi again and mentioned he was in a crappy situation and that he was just there to make friends. I found his honesty refreshing, and so, I let my guard down. It was also a really difficult time in my life–and I needed a friend since so many of my friends were AWOL. In any case, the whole thing snuck up on me–and feelings showed up quickly. Things escalated, and I basically felt like this guy could be it for me. It was my typical pattern, though. 0 to 360–usually contradicting what I knew was best for me–with a guy who clearly had enough on his plate who seemed to follow my same patterns.
For him, though, he was dating many other people. I didn’t want to label it yet, so I didn’t and because of that? He never committed. And then he liked someone else more. But I broke my pattern by not fighting for him. Like I always had. He knew me well enough by then to know me, and I figured he didn’t think I was worth fighting for. Yes–he still wanted to date me, but I’m not someone who is really into that kind of thing. In fact, it’s probably my worst nightmare.
Recently, I’ve discovered ever more ways we’re incompatible, and it’s made me breathe a big sigh of relief that it didn’t work out. In the time after, when we were trying to be friends, we had a bit of a fight (which was very rare for us), wherein he got huffy because I seemed to judge him for never really being single for more than six months ever in his life. My history has been all or nothing. I’m either fully committed or terminally single. I don’t waste my time with bullshit in-between, but it does take me some time to get there. I’m only able to commit like that, though, because I am so-so-so comfortable with being with myself. I went through a major phase in life I call my nun phase that really forced me to look at myself–where I worked very hard on my relationship issues. I kind of feel like everyone needs that. If you can’t be comfortable with yourself–if you don’t know yourself–it’s hard to really be with someone else.
Anyway, we became friends again recently after a few weeks of not speaking. (He didn’t even notice…ha). He mentioned that he had seen this girl every single day for hours on end since he first met her. And while that may be his idea of romance, to me, it left me cringing. I’ve done that, of course, and it feels great when all you want to do is be with that other person. But–my God–that sounds stifling and clingy to me now.
Like unless you’re married–why do you need to see this person every day? I think there needs to be room to breathe. I’m not saying go dark on your girl–but man–can you guys just have a few things that don’t involve the other person? It reminds me of those weird people who share social media accounts, or those people who only post about their loves or only comment/like their love’s posts–and do it on every update.
I guess it irritates me because so much of who I am is an individual, and just because I’m in a relationship, that shouldn’t mean I disappear from people’s lives or stop having my own interests. It shouldn’t mean I’m a yes girl. I should mean I’m inspired to be more myself. Whenever I’ve disappeared like that, it’s a sign I’m getting lost…and it usually means I’m very depressed. It’s only happened once–when I lived with someone–and it totally wasn’t his fault. It was the nature of our unhealthy relationship and probably contributed to its end. I went from being this vibrant person to this girl who isolated herself. It was interesting because–months after it ended–a love interest asked me what I liked to do–and I couldn’t answer him. I honestly didn’t remember. It was a wake-up call that I let someone else sort of decide my life for a long time. Which was totally not who I was. And not who I’d ever been in other relationships. I was dealing with a lot at the time, so that was why it happened.
Now? I realize just how important that separateness is to me. Like I will be all in when I’m with someone, but I need to express who I am and find other outlets to fill me up that have nothing to do with him. It’s boring to spend every waking moment with someone, and how else are you going to learn/grow?
It’s kind of that alone-together thing. Like there’s this thread between us that connects us–but we don’t have to be shackled to one another to still be crazy in love and have a wonderful relationship. I’ve always most valued the amazing things my partners have shared with me that are so foreign to me and vice versa. I really need that back and forth, actually, of constantly being surprised by someone and constantly learning all the layers that make them “them.” And I love sharing all the things that make me “me.”