Saturday, April 25, 2009

Relationships: now vs before

My computer died almost a month ago, and I've been dilly dally-ing and taking my sweet time looking for a new one.  (Hence, the one I have now is AWESOME and I got it for a sweet price - $599.99 CND, baby!)  It's got the pattern below on the cover, but I can't seem to find the inside part with the same design along the bottom.

Nothing too crazy has been happnening in my life, and I did not want to bore you with the details of my new relationship.  Gushy over what a great guy he is.  I think it's more interesting to talk about the parts I'm uncertain about and mull over while I over analyze everything.  But, really, he is a great guy, and we've been having a lot of fun over the past little while.  AND he is even got a little romantic side, too.

Thanks to my readers (I'm sure there's only a couple of you out there) for checking back.  The funny thing was that I got comments on my bday, and even though you guys don't know it, it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  **Waves to Greears and Andy**  

Just a quick reminder.  Almond is my ex, whom I dated for almost 5 years from high school to third year in university.  LeBlanc is the guy I'm dating now :)

So, now that LeBlanc and I have been dating since November-ish and "officialized" it in February, when he told me that he was going to start referring to me as his girlfriend, we've had our share of misunderstandings and moments.  It's interesting to look back and reflect on how I look at this relationship, and how I look at how I deal with our mishaps.

Last night, one of my girlfriends and I were comparing the me's before and after.

When I first dated Almond back in high school, I had not gone out much (strict Asian parents, I tell you!).  Everything was new with Almond.  First walk home.  First hand holding.  First kiss.  First touch.  Much like in Twilight.
Then after Almond, I hadn't really been in a relationship for very long.  I had dated my share of guys.  None had made it to the "boyfriend" level, with the exception of Hagan Daaz.  Most of them were nice guys, a couple were jerks.  Such is the single life.  Le sigh.  

What I found was the nice guys seemed too nice.  Too proper.  That I felt like I should like them, but I didn't.  I wanted someone who would make me laugh, not be afraid to tease me, and someone who made me excited to be around.  I remember one really nice chap, would always ask me out to do things.  And he would really put a lot thought into where it was, whether it be out for dinner or a picnic, or a movie.  But it felt like he treated me like a piece of glass, afraid I would break.  I'm actually a very easy going person, and not too many things would offend me.  So I guess he was just nervous.

Anyhow, all I'm saying is that I haven't really had, what I refer to as, "transitional" relationships.  You know, high school relationship(s), university relationship(s), post secondary relationship(s).  I believe that since we are all at different times in our lives, we also veiw our relationships differently and treat them accordingly.

For instance, phone time.  I remember in high school, Almond and I would stay up all night talking.  It felt like whatever we had to say, we just needed to say, at that very moment.  I mean, what the hell did we talk about til 3, 4, 5 or a couple of times, 6 a.m., in the morning?!  Now I look back, and I can't remember / imagine what it was that we talked about.  

Now, I would much rather sleep.  Although, I like it when LeBlanc calls in the check how my day was or what I am up to (though he does not do this every night).  But when 11:00 p.m rolls around, I'm ready to say good night and hello to my beauty sleep :)

Another thing was my security in myself and my phsyical appearance.  See, I've never been one to really dress up, or be the girly girl type.  It was more out of necessity, than choice.  When I was little, I would wear the hand-me downs from my parents' friends' kids (who were all boys, might I add.)  Then, in middle and high school, I never had the money to buy all those fancy clothes because I knew I had to save to pay for university.  

So imagine my surprise and rush of adreneline when Almond told me he thought I was pretty.  And not just pretty, he thought I was the prettiest girl in the world (naive, I know).  The conversation probably went something like this:

Almond:  Des, I think you're so pretty.
Des: Really??  You think I'm pretty??  No one has ever told me that before.  
Des (in my head): Aside from my mom.
(Stomach does summer saults and has a grin that stretches the circumference of my face.)
Almond:  I think you're gorgeous.
Des melts.

Though I'm not the type to ask constantly, I remember thinking to myself:  Does he really think I'm pretty?  How pretty?  Prettier than her??

Le sigh.  Such is the insecure life of a teenager. 

Anyhow, with LeBlanc, I don't believe I've ever questioned it.  I just assumed that he thought I was pretty and attractive.  lol.  Seriosly, but not in a I-am-full-of-myself kind of way.  I just feel more comfortable in my body, and I have also learned to buy clothes that fit my body (hooray for having cash flow!  Engineering paid off!).  Besides, he must be with me for a reason (aside from my uber intelligence and awesome personality, of course).  

Though, he has told me on several occasions he thinks I am pretty hot, or pretty.  (Which I don't think are the same thing.  I would much rather be called pretty than "hot.")

And the list goes on.  

LeBlanc knows that I'm grouchy when I'm either sleepy or hungry.  I don't think Almond ever knew that.  I guess I wasn't afraid to let LeBlanc know or afraid that he wouldn't like me because of it.  Besides, it would take too much effort to mask those characteristics, and I am usually quite pleasant to be around.  Not to mention that LeBlanc is also not a morning person. 

With Almond, I felt like I had to know everything about his past.  But with LeBlanc, it's not that I don't want to know, I just don't know if that will really make a difference.  We did talk a bit about our past, and he knows about Almond.  I wanted to know if LeBlanc had any unresolved issues.  Aside from that, we talked about STD's, and other health issues.  

With Almond, I remember having to know if he was "the one."  The person I wanted to eventually marry, one day.  Or else, it might not be worth having a relationship with.  And maybe, because of that, I just convinced that he was "the one," and I didn't look at all the things that we did not have in common.  

For instance, the way we spend money, and the things that we spend it on.  Also, we had different views of our careers, and what we want it to mean.  Right now, I don't think that far ahead.  It's not to say, that it doesn't cross my mind with LeBlanc, it's just something that I'm not focused on.  I'm more focused on enjoying the present and just let the future happen without worrying over it, too much.

I remember I felt with Almond that I wanted to just be with him every moment.  And in doing so, I now realize that I neglectged a lot of my identity in the process.  I didn't take the time to discover myself and my interests during my in university (which is something I think everyone should be doing.)  I spent too much of doing homework and hanging out with Almond in my little spare time.  Though, most of them were great times, time apart to discover yourself is definitely something that I would advocate. 

It wasn't until after we broke up that I started to find activities to do to fill up my void of time.  I remember spending more time with family and friends.  Spending more time joining clubs and sports.  I went traveling and I went on exchange to Singapore (which was where I met LeBlanc, surprising, enough.)  In our time apart, as painful as it was sometimes, I learned that there was a whole other side of me that had nothing to do with Almond.  And that part was special, too. 

I felt like I had taken a while to discover my identity, again.  An identity that was just me.  Me, my family and my friends.  A big fear of mine, is that I would lose this identity if I get too absorbed in another guy.  I need my "me time" and time apart.  I no longer feel that I have to be perfectly in sync with my boyfriend.  We can have different interests, as well, as some common ones.  It's a balance, that I'm still juggling.  But I think that I'm doing a much better job of it now, then before.  

I also explained this to LeBlanc.  And he said that was one of the things that he liked about me :)  He would never want me to lose my identity, and if I didn't want to certain things with him, or want some alone time, I could let him know. 

Another part of me that's changed is how I view the guy.  I don't expect him to be perfect.  Actually, I know that LeBlanc and I are both far from perfect.  But I've also learned to compromise on things that are not as important to me, and pick my battles.  I've also learned that I'm not always right (just most of the time, though ;]).  I've also learned that even if I am right, I can still let the guy off the hook.  Story to follow.  

I think that's enough emotional thoughts for a Saturday morning!

I apologize for neglecting my blog, as of late.  Thanks for checking back, Andy and Greears :)  It's very encouraging, and I promise to stop by and do some catching up on your lives!  *hugs*  


Andy said...

Yeeei! You're back!!

I've always thought that from past relationships, there's no sense in taking the sadness and the bad things. What one must take is always the lessons your learned.

Greears said...

Blogging is weird in that we don't know each other and live on other sides of the world, but when you went away for a while I was concerned. Glad you are back and


Mine was this week too.

Speaking of talking about the past, today my friend Suzanne had a date with an awsome guy. First date after her husband cheated and then left her last fall. Third date for him after his wife died a couple three or four years ago. They met for coffee and laughed their heads off, talked about books and travel and are going out again tomorrow!

There is a time to unveil the things that make you complex. I think Vince and I are still unraveling bits of each other.

Isn't romance grand?

Welcome back...

Des said...

Andy - I agree. Though, it was taken me a while to learn that lesson :)

Greears - Happy Belated Birthday! I'm so happy for your friend, and her new man ;) Romance does seem grand, though I do still feel scared. Learning how to trust, is a difficult thing to do.

Ali said...

I love what you wrote here! I can totally relate to so much of what you say.

Keep it up! :)

Des said...

Thanks, Ali, and welcome! :)