Hello my babies. SF has caused me to think a lot about who I want to be
when I grow up this year. Which has resulted in a lot of writing for local site Broke-Ass Stuart:
What Have We Learned 25 Years After LA Rioted Over Rodney King?
Exploring the Kink in S-Town
4 Ways The GOP is Currently Fucking With Women’s Right to Choose
The Truth About Polyamory in 4 Real-Life Scenarios
5 Things You Need if You’re Moving to San Francisco
It’s resulted in even more writing and research on California housing policy that has yet to see the light of day.
I’ve also been trying really hard to make my new relationship work. Which has yielded a ton of insight.
Here’s the nut of what I’ve learned about how to be happy in a relationship illustrated through one real-life scenario: I’ve just put about an hour into my hair and makeup. I’ve poured myself into a cute little number. I’m teetering in heels. Live-in Boyfriend comes home. “Hello gorgeous,” he says, monotone.
Me, inside. “What the everloving fuckballs? All this effort for that reaction? Do you even like me?” Me, outside (I assume) *slightly withering look*. “Hi.”
This is what people with doctorates in psychology will charge you hundreds of dollars per hour to tell you is called a “pattern.” Our pattern was: He reacts in a way I find disappointing, then he perceives my disappointment, and it feels absolutely horrible. But he does not understand why I feel that way or how to meet my expectations and he’s afraid to ask because that usually generates more withering looks and also usually some anger from me. So he withdraws.
He loves me. He wants to help facilitate my happiness. He is capable of meeting all my reasonable expectations. Most of my expectations are reasonable. Those are the essential ingredients. They’re all there. The secret, for me, has been to learn how to be a safe person to communicate with. To be genuinely curious about why he acts the way he does, to perceive him, as much as possible, without judgment. To believe he’s everything I need him to be at his core and to seek to understand him better around the edges. The biggest challenge in this relationship has been to consistently tell my insecurity to fuck off and just believe him when he says he loves me, accepts me, cares very much about my approval, etc.
Once I started doing some of those things, like asking him what his reaction means because I realize I don’t know instead of assuming it means “You’re ugly and I don’t like you,” man. I got a LOT happier. And he got a LOT more talkative. He’s an amazing partner.
So it’s been good. More than good. Amazing. I am so in love. With him, and with this city. And with my new friends. And with myself.
Still trying to decide where to put my freelance writing energies.