Now just what the hell did I mean when I said that I would talk about walking through a door without it being awkward? It's not like every door I walk through is some kind of superhuman task for me that seems to confuse and befuddle. I don't just grab the doorknob and pray that everything will work out. I'm talking about entering environments that should be warm, welcoming and loving but somehow turn out to be awkward and strange for the first five minutes or so.
When I get home from work and find CC in the apartment sometimes I feel like I'm intruding on her. Like I've just interrupted her quiet alone time. She has told me that sometimes she 'doesn't know how to act' when I get home. What the hell is that!? We've been together for years now and it's still weird when I get home. As if we each need time to see what the other is feeling, what mood they're in, or where their energy level is.
I suppose some of this is natural and our desire to want to fall into place as soon as we occupy the same space may just be unrealistic. But I don't think it is. And, I don't believe CC thinks that way either. But why is it taking place? Why does it 'feel all weird' when either of us first get home and enter the space already occupied by the other?
My original theory was deference. I love to defer. Oh, whatever you like, or whatever you're feeling, I'll just match you or come to your level. But really my entrance issues boil down to the same thing most issues do... fear. But fear is easy to just say and explain away. After talking with CC I discovered that our issue in this circumstance was more along the lines of obligation,
Obligation comes from routine. Try waking up every morning for 20 years, making coffee, opening the door, grabbing the news paper, and putting that paper on the couch for your partner to read when they get up in the morning. Then say one morning you get up, make the coffee and then just go sit on the couch. Your partner comes in, looks around and says, "where's the newspaper?"
Was it your responsibility to get the newspaper? You probably just started doing it because it was 'nice' or 'it made your partner happy' and that turned into routine. Routine turns into obligation and obligation sucks. What do you mean I HAVE TO kiss you before I go to work? I HAVE TO be a certain way? I HAVE TO act a certain way? Whatever happened to being who I am in the moment and just being where I am? Could you see the look of utter disappointment and confusion on your partner's face after not seeing the newspaper on the couch that morning? How about the hurt on their face when you leave one day for work without saying I love you first? Sucks doesn't it? But guess what, you/he/she aren't obligated to do that stuff. You can be in a bad mood, you can be giddy, you can be frustrated when you get in the door in the afternoon. Don't perform. Be honest.
What happened with the door is simply this... neither of us knew how to act. That happened over a period of time and became a routine. An awkward routine. All we had to do was one of us had to call it awkward. Hey! This is weird! Is this weird to you? Yes! It's weird! Done.
Now there was a long talk about it and CC and I determined that there wasn't much more to that than "taking the lid off the jar" of the issue and letting it out there. Just let it out. Be honest. That was my lesson that day.
In writing this post I came across an early roadblock. I'm writing about one man's journey (this man) towards an intimate relationship with his partner. These post won't be scheduled, they won't be on a timetable because I have to do the work before I can write about it. Hard to talk about an issue and tell you what I learned if I haven't done it. What I learned this time around was a lot about just being open, honest and non obligatory. Don't place expectations on your partner and force obligations on them. Be honest about yourself and where you are in the moment. Don't put on an act.
Tune in next time when I talk about getting rid of blockers of intimacy and open relationships.