August 13th, 2012

Baby Chicken

Failure to pick up on behavior clues = epic communication failure

It's been a bit since I've posted, so time to post about several things in a row, yes?

On Saturdays susandennis has been picking me up to join her for Aqua Aerobics at a pool a decent ways north of here. By bus it would take around an hour, but by car it's only ~15-20 minutes or so. For the previous few weeks we've made this trip without much incident, but this last weekend things just went wrong in so many ways. There was road construction, we missed the interstate ramp, there was more road construction, and then the maps voice navigation just kept telling us to plow through the road construction like it didn't exist. I couldn't tell it at the time, but this immensely frustrated susandennis. Without realizing it I made matters much worse by laughing at the voice navigation telling us to u-turn back into road construction at every intersection as we traveled away. I was trying to make the best of a bad situation, but failed miserably. She let me know that I was not helping matters, and I suddenly realized that I had crossed a line and shut up. We did eventually find our way onto the interstate and made it there without missing any of the class, but the rest of the trip was in awkward silence and I suspect she was hoping to stop by the gas station on the way in.

This has made it crystal clear to me that I need to do something to compensate her for taking time out of her schedule and the added potential headache in picking me up. I'm not sure if it should be a nominal amount of money, like the price the bus would have cost, some form of food or baked good, paying for brunch with her once or twice a month, or something else that she would appreciate. I could probably offer assistance with her network issues, or buy some yarn for her bear or other knitting projects. I'll give it some more thought then ask her what she would like. She previously turned down gas money, but I'd still be willing to do that from time to time as well. It's not fair for her to do this just as a favor to me if I can't give something back.
  • Current Mood
    mellow mellow
Guys Cuddling on Couch

Differences in Communication Expectations (& meeting the folks)

Brian and I are doing good at the moment, although we've each had our issues over the past few weeks. We still have a ways to go but only time will allow us to work through these issues.

Our main issue is in different expectations of levels of communication. It wasn't that long ago that I lived with the person I was seeing, so I'm used to having/wanting frequent and easy communication, including things like "How was your day?", "What are you up to today?", or seeing each other regularly. On the other hand Brian hasn't had a major relationship like this before and is used to, as he put it, being able to disappear for a day or four because no one was interested in his day to day. He's often very busy and/or easily distracted with things, like family, friends, events, or even work. These polar opposite expectations led to a time when I smothered him with too much attention, and then he starved me with too little for a while.

It has also led me to realize that I'm leaning on him too hard and expecting too much. When we send a text or skype message I may sit there waiting anxiously for a reply, but it might be quite a few minutes or several hours before one comes. This leaves me getting anxious and disappointed, potentially moody, and likely to get snippy. Now, though, I'm beginning to understand and accept that I can't, nor should I, have that and will be trying a new method of communication of "fire and forget" or, put more appropriately, "send and move on". I also can't expect to know the details of what all he's up to, as that's bordering on controlling (even if I'm not trying to change anything) or obsessive. So ultimately I will accept what he wants to tell me, ask if I don't have enough information to understand, but not pry into anything he doesn't volunteer.

Only time will tell where we go from here.

Oh, I did get to meet his mom and brother last week. We were about to depart from the game night before eventually leaving separately when his mom called him saying she was going to stop by to meet the group. She actually only met me, and then I went back to their place to play more games and even spend the night on the couch with Brian. It was nice, and I would do it again.