How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:51 pm

Hello everyone, it's lovely to be back.

So I'm in a good-news/bad-news/what-to-do-because this-is-complicated-news sort of situation.

Recently I've started hanging out with someone whom I am really into. I've known him less than two weeks, and we met through a mutual hobby. We've spent a good amount of time together though, so we've gotten to know each other better that we might have otherwise. I won't get into all of the details for anonymity reasons. But suffice it to say that we have a good amount in common and a good amount not.

A major complicating factor in all of this is that my current living situation is untenable (and far from any prospects of a job or other activity), and that his landlord has rooms to rent that really fit into my tight budget and absolute must-haves. So it's about 98% certain that we'll be living under the same roof within a month.

Given that I will be living there, he invited me to stay the night (in one of the spare rooms), the other day. I did and we had an amazing time, we did lots of activities that I find fun.

Then we had sex.

We didn't talk much about the things y'all say that people should discuss. So perhaps that was the first thing that I would do better in an ideal world. I feel good about the sex though, for the most part. It's really the not discussing it afterwards that gets me. I don't know exactly how he felt about it, and that feels really weird.

Then there was the next morning. Now this guy is a late sleeper, and I woke up super early that day. And I kept waking him up. I was bored, I wanted to spend time with him, and the lack of sleep set of my mental health a bit. I guess those are the reasons. Then when he finally did wake up, I was really bugging him and not letting him sort of be by himself but also be near me. Again same reasons that are obvious in retrospect.

And that last paragraph has me feeling like a pile of crap lit on fire. I wish I hadn't done it, and I won't do it again.

I sent him a text yesterday apologizing and I haven't heard back. Then today I sent him another text asking to stay at his place again because I have something to do in town (this is something that he had suggested to help me get used to the place).

I haven't heard back and it's been over a day in the first case, and at least 10 hours in the second.

And I know it's New Years, and he's probably busy and he did have plans.

I'm here at the boards because I know that I am at risk of falling into those interdependent patterns that I fell into with my first boyfriend (some of you may remember this, I can dig up any links at the old boards if this is helpful). I'm here because I know that on the surface, engaging with someone romantically or sexually while also navigating a new roommate living situation is not ideal - but I need to move and I want to live where he does, he makes the house more than just a house, plus the other roommate is really nice. I'm here because I don't want to feel like shit when he doesn't text me.

I guess it's also relevant to mention that I will be looking for a job, and considering going back to school when I move, and that I don't have any friends at all. So a major part of why he is so rapidly becoming a major part of my life is that I don't really have much going on right now due to my isolated living situation.

Ultimately, I'd like to learn how to pace this relationship, if it ever turns into that. And how to prevent codependency in it's early stages. I really don't want to make a mess of this.

Thanks

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 4670
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:03 am

Hi Moonlight, good to see you again!

Since it sounds like you're already feeling low for thinking you bugged him the morning after you two had sex, I think it's better if you leave off texting him for the time being. As you said yourself, there are plenty of reasons why he may not have texted back that don't have anything to do with you. Too, you've already told him what you wanted to tell him so now the ball is in his court to respond. If you keep texting, it's likely you'll end up feeling the same way you did after that morning. Does that make sense?

If you're looking for ways to not feel crappy when you don't hear back from him, a good strategy would be to find other things to focus your energy and attention on for the next little while. That way, if you do here back, it's a pleasant addition to an already good or productive day. Those activities could be fun things, like a hobby or an outing, practical things like tidying your living space or checking things off your to-do list, or things that are related to getting ready to move.

I'd also suggest waiting to think about how to pace this relationship until you have a chance to talk to him again, because how he's feeling about what happened is going to influence how you need to proceed in a relationship with him, be that a romantic one or a roommate one. When you have a little more information about the situation, we'll be happy to help you brainstorm ways to make the relationship and the living situation work in a way that's healthy for everyone.

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:09 pm

Hey Sam W,

Thanks for your reply. I did hear back from him and I will be staying there soon when I have to go into town. So I will try and have a conversation with him.

Do you have any tips about what I should say?

I'm thinking something along the lines of: so, we had sex and since we are going to be roommates, maybe we should discuss that briefly. And then just let the conversation lay it's course?

Or is it pushing things to even say anything?

The second thing I wanted to talk about is the sense of relief I got when I saw that he had texted back. I recollect that horrible pit of my stomach anxiety, that was so easily cured by contact with my first ex. Is this a warning sign to not let things go that way, or am I just overthinking things?

Thanks,
moonlight

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6566
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Heather » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Hey, moonlight. Happy new year to you. :)

I'd start here, so we can get a better sense of this (both us here at Scarleteen, but also you, for yourself): what do you WANT to do or say? What feels best to you in this situation? What do you think you need, and what do (or don't) you want or need to say to try and get those needs met?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:01 pm

Hi Heather. Happy New Year back at you, hope you've been well.

Oh boy, what do I actually want out of this situation? That's a really good question.

I want to talk about the sex and get a sense of what it meant to him, tell him what it means to me (to me it means that we might be in the early stages of some kind of relationship be it sexual, sexual and romantic, etc), and ultimately make sure that if we do date in any sense of the idea, and that goes south, that we both still have a comfortable living situation. I don't want to turn it into any super huge or intimidating conversation, however, because I think that that would be too much for what things are at present.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6566
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Heather » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:09 pm

Okay.

So, since he's not answering your texts, it seems to me that you can't really have this conversation until you can have ANY conversation. So, for now, I think your best move is just to wait for him to either answer your texts, or if he doesn't, until you run into each other again. I don't think sending any more texts or making calls is probably the way to go here, both because of how you already feel about the ones you sent, and because you obviously don't want to harass someone in general.

Can you manage just letting this breathe for a bit until you know what kind of opportunity you're going to have to have any kind of conversation from here on out? And maybe check back in here if and when he does text or call you back?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:25 pm

Oh, he did actually text me back. We must have sent our messages around the same time.

I am going to stay there in a few days for what I have to do in town, and when I see him, try and have that conversation. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Until I see him I'm only going to send one text back to return his new years wishes and let him know I will be staying. And I'm going to make myself cool my heels on that until tomorrow.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6566
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Heather » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:35 am

I'm sorry, I obviously misunderstood.

I think when you do talk to him, I'd see if you can get a good read on his feelings first. You do have to live in the same building, so I'm concerned that if you share a lot of vulnerable feelings or thoughts he doesn't share, or doesn't have, that you will be left feeling uncomfortable in your new home.

Personally, I would suggest maybe scaling back all you are thinking about talking about. That sounds like a lot to me to pile on after just one one-night stand, basically. It could be pretty overwhelming to the other person all at once like that. Is it possible for you to maybe be at least a little more chill, and perhaps just start this first conversation by saying you had a good time, and seeing how he responds first? I think talking about it as "meaning" the start to an ongoing relationship is iffy, since unless you two talked about that already, and it doesn't sound like you did, all it probably means right now is that you wanted to have sex and had sex, you know?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:51 am

Thanks Heather, those are all really good points, especially about being vulnerable and living in the same common spaces.

I will take your suggestion. I guess I struggle not to have a lead foot when thinking ahead on these things, if that makes any sense at all. I mean that I jump ahead too far and too fast.

I dont want to overwhelm him, or myself. I guess I just struggle with uncertainty and there's a lot of that right now with how our relationship be it as friends, roommates, or something else may pan out.

I know I need to slow down. Perhaps it's insecurity that if I don't nail down something with him right this minute then I won't ever be able to. Which I recognize is not only unhealthy, but patently untrue.

So I guess for now its just (in more eloquent words): hey we had sex and that was enjoyable. And then leaving it to him if he has anything to say. And beyond that just coexisting in the way that seems to make sense at the time, hopefully involving hanging out a bit.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6566
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Heather » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:18 pm

Great sex -- oh, who am I kidding, even just good sex, or having a good time in a sexual encounter -- can really spin your head. It's not just you, I absolutely promise. :)

But for sure, if and when we're going to engage in more casual sex, and/or if you're struggling with moving too fast (which you already know some of the downfalls of, and those can include winding up making relationships big or serious before you even know if that's something you really want or that seems likely to work with somebody), you may need to be extra strict with yourself about getting carried away.

I think we've known each other long enough for this to be welcome instead of weird, but apologies if I'm guessing wrong about this. I've been where you're at at times, and certainly had to do some learning about how to not rush ahead or put myself *too* out there right from the start. I'm heading back into some casual things myself after having been outside of that for a while, and I have thought back about times like these lately, just to sort of remind myself that while I think I have it all down pretty well at this point, and usually do, it's always smart for me to remember that I do sometimes need to have some caution when it comes to my heart and when it comes to wanting to make things stick that a) maybe weren't meant to be sticky, or b) maybe I don't actually really know yet I want sticky in the first place. (Sticky is maybe a really lousy choice of words for all this, but oh well.)

I'd love to tell you that I had some formula for working that out you could just duplicate, but in my case, it mostly just took a good deal of feeling like an ass, winding up making some things serious fast that I was then like, "Oh crap, this is not a good thing and now I have to get out of it!" and just a lot of time and practice. And plenty of heartbreak. But now, just reminding, I think, something it sounds like you're at with yourself, as well. I think you can do this.

One thing that did help me during those times, though, was recognizing that actually, trying to nail things down way too early was more likely to assure a further relationship did NOT happen than that one did. Having been on both sides of that situation a few times, it can feel really suffocating, even a little scary, IME, from the other side. It can make you question that person's stability, or their interest in you as a person rather than you as just someone available. More times than not, I think it's fair to say that giving things way more room to breathe and grow makes it more likely that when you find the good stuff, it'll be able to grow into something good and bigger than trying too hard to make it happen. You need to have some faith, including in yourself, probably, as a desirable partner.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:22 pm

Heather wrote:Great sex -- oh, who am I kidding, even just good sex, or having a good time in a sexual encounter -- can really spin your head. It's not just you, I absolutely promise. :)


Thank you, because I was really thinking that it was something wrong with me. So to hear that it isn't just me really helps.

I certainly agree that I need to be careful about getting carried away. I so often when there is the tiniest glimmer of relationship possibility let that become all-consuming. So in recognition of that, I'm going to respond to what you've said, and then restrict myself from focusing more attention on him, be that here or elsewhere, until I actually see him, and instead focus my energies on the other things going on in my life (though part of the problem is that there won't be too much until I do move).

Heather wrote:I think we've known each other long enough for this to be welcome instead of weird, but apologies if I'm guessing wrong about this. I've been where you're at at times, and certainly had to do some learning about how to not rush ahead or put myself *too* out there right from the start. I'm heading back into some casual things myself after having been outside of that for a while, and I have thought back about times like these lately, just to sort of remind myself that while I think I have it all down pretty well at this point, and usually do, it's always smart for me to remember that I do sometimes need to have some caution when it comes to my heart and when it comes to wanting to make things stick that a) maybe weren't meant to be sticky, or b) maybe I don't actually really know yet I want sticky in the first place. (Sticky is maybe a really lousy choice of words for all this, but oh well.)


This is absolutely welcome and helpful. I really admire you, and gosh well if the person who founded Scarleteen has to remind themself of all of this, then I really am holding myself to impossible standards if I expect it to be effortless and thoughtless for myself. (And I like sticky as a word choice, it feels, appropriate for the meaning).

Heather wrote:One thing that did help me during those times, though, was recognizing that actually, trying to nail things down way too early was more likely to assure a further relationship did NOT happen than that one did. Having been on both sides of that situation a few times, it can feel really suffocating, even a little scary, IME, from the other side.


This is really helpful. I was actually getting concerned about if he were to be pushing things too fast, which he didn't do, and I need to remember that I don't want to go at lightning speed, so I need to not go at lightning speed.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6566
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby Heather » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:06 pm

All sounds good to me! :D
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

moonlight
volunteer in training
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I do improv as often as possible.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Canada

Re: How to Stop Myself from Falling into Unhealthy Patterns

Unread postby moonlight » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:14 am

Hey :). I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

I just wanted to drop in to let you know that I did get to speak with him, and although our conversation didn't ultimately lead in the direction of a relationship right now or maybe ever, it was better. It was a very good conversation, that really made me think about how the sort of connection I crave with a partner, or people in general, is the sort of connection that only can develop with time.

And as much as that sucks because I really crave that connection now, it isn't something I can have without time and reaching out to others ( and witout not putting my eggs all in one basket). Any relationship that I form without time is going to be, ultimately, different in nature to what I am craving.

Which is okay as long as I don't get my expectations up about what is going to be what.

Ultimately, this all good news. I got through the conversation with my friendship and roomate relationship intact. Plus it spurred a lot of really good thinking.


Return to “Relationships”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests