Author Topic: For those in budding relationships ...  (Read 17805 times)

arneal

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For those in budding relationships ...
« on: January 22, 2017, 05:42:56 PM »
Hi, all!

I hope I am not out of line by starting this thread. Thanks to SunshineFL, I realized that a different space to share thoughts on budding relationships might be helpful :)

So, I suspect I am not alone here -- there is a relationship space that is between being single and desiring a connection and being in a fully committed situation. To give a bit of my own story, I met NG online and we hit it off; we have been seeing each other since May 2016. He and I talked about our past relationships and he shared that he tends to take things slowly now (as someone who's been widowed twice, I totally get it!). Our situation doesn't fit the 'new relationships - post photos' area since neither of us does much picture-taking. We each have pretty full work lives and spend some part of our weekends together unless out of town for work. Public affection a norm and we are sexually involved.

We are navigating this thing and there are occasionally strange hiccups, like my boy dog (a 3-year-old 80lb Black Malinois) nips at NG. It's like he is trying to be the house alpha. He's also still a big puppy, which gives NG a bit of anxiety (who wouldn't be anxious about a large dog acting wild?). Other than that, things are pretty good :)

So, what kinds of pitfalls and pinnacles do others find themselves experiencing as they are growing new relationships? What do you want? What do you not want? Funny stories? Questions? Warnings?

Thanks for sharing!
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

tybec

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 07:38:32 PM »
Almost 11 months.  1 hr 15 minutes away.   Manage every other weekend time, once during the week and sometimes with our kids on a weekend. Divorced dad with his schedule with kids.  My active 13 yr. son.  WE have activities to contend with that prevent us from getting together.  That is a drag.

Talking it all out.  Good.  Respectfully.  NG is retired Lt Col. and rugby player,  so super masculine.  Gives advice about son respectfully.  I can handle it but also disagree. So far, so good. 

WE just spent the weeknight together.  I pulled up the 36 questions to ask to "fall in love."  We are already open about loving each other, but this was a real intimacy activity.  I feel so much more connected and stable in the long term, which we talk about but seems so far away.  I knew a lot of his answers already, but still, it helped to do this. 45 minutes but we took 2 hours.  So, good conversation.  Also, verified to me it is much more than our physical relationship.  I am enjoying that part, but wondered if I really didn't have the depth in the relationship, but I do.  Good weekend.

I can talk about DH, and he tolerates it well.  Quoted some movie about a man dating a widow, which meant he really dated her and her late husband.  But he has said he hopes as the future goes, DH will e mentioned less and less.  I think so as new memories are made.  Did put away all pics in the bedroom at his request and only had a family one.  Living room okay due to son, also. 

No photos.  Not ready for that.  Don't know why.  Just not.

PS.  Sadiversary was Friday and tomorrow is funeral date, 5 year milestone.  I have managed it better than any other year.  Anticipation is the worst.  FB lots of stuff and family did too, and it was okay.  NG had heads up for it.

arneal

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 08:23:53 PM »
I suspect the LH/NG dynamic might be an area of careful navigation, tybec ... NG (while not a widower) and I shared our previous relationship stories fairly early. He wasn't freaked out by the fact that I'd been widowed twice, which is refreshing. He had an ugly situation with his ex-wife and I think I may have posted about that conversation here somewhere. He was so nervous to tell me what happened. He asked me to sit down one night (it used to be that we often stood in my kitchen when we talked. Don't know why). Trust me when I tell you I thought we were about to have the breakup before the relationship conversation! He was literally shaking and said that he had been worried about telling me and was so glad to have gotten it off his chest. I felt bad that it had concerned him so much. However, the good that came of it was that he feels very open to letting his hair down about everything, so to speak. I suppose we automatically react in certain ways because of how we've been treated in the past. I am a generally easy-going person and I don't think he was used to that. I don't know if he remembers, but some time ago, he said I was 'easy on the heart'. I thought I would melt when he said it.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

tybec

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2017, 10:08:15 AM »
NG told me I am "calming to his soul."  (swoon) 

Maybe funny, maybe not.  Get a glass of bourbon in him, and he spills his heart to me.   ;) Mr. Analytical stone cold sober.  Crunches numbers all day as MBA military contractor. Interesting stuff!


arneal

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 10:33:21 AM »
tybec -- I hear you! NG is a technician by day. He is very laid back but you can tell he analyzes and thinks a lot. I like that he lets his hair down with me :)
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

MrsDan

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2017, 02:43:08 PM »
I don't know if we qualify as budding anymore, as BF (N) and I have been together a little over a year. But the new(er)ness of it is one of the things that makes it very different from my relationship with Dan. I think we've moved, and are moving, at a very healthy pace. Dan and I were together for almost 15 years, lived together for nine, married for five. We started dating at twenty one, and we were only eleven days apart in age. There was a security that we built over that time. A reassurance that one fight or bad mood wasn't going to end it, a confidence that we were both in it for the long haul. And frankly, I miss that.

I think some of my anxiety stems from the fact that N has never been married or cohabited with anyone. So I worry about being too clingy, or pushing too hard. I don't remember worrying about those things as much in my early twenties. Maybe I should have, but I don't know that I did.

In many ways, I think N and I are more compatible. Or maybe it's a result of my widowhood and the circumstances surrounding it, that make me work harder at letting things go, which makes the relationship seem easier. Maybe it's both. Dan spent a lot of time I think trying to toughen me up; he didn't hold back and sometimes it came off hurtful. His perspective would be, "Why are you being such a bitch?" Because I really think he thought, "You're better than that." N's approach is different. Yesterday I was really stressed out, emotionally overwhelmed about some things. We were on an outing with his family. He noticed and commented that I seemed stressed out. I apologized, and he said there was no reason to apologize, he just wanted to make sure I was okay. Then when we got back to the house and I mentioned I hadn't really eaten much that day, he made me eat some pancakes.

For me, one of the hardest things has just been dealing with how radically different my life is from before Dan died. Our daughter was just three months old, so parenthood is a huge part of that change. Most of our life Dan and I were childless. I have a different job, am living in another state, am estranged from most of my old friends and family. And I have a boyfriend. I love him very much. But I also love Dan, and wrapping my head around that is hard sometimes.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 08:05:26 PM by MrsDan »
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
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daysofelijah

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2017, 03:42:48 PM »
Thanks everyone for sharing.

I'm still limping along with BF dealing with his depression. I've worked hard on getting him to a better place, but it's very slow going. I've made up my mind to give it until March and then make a decision on whether to continue or not.

You'd think after going on 2 years together we would know each other more deeply. I felt like we did, but so many things have come to the surface in the last two months. I realize there is so much we don't know about each other, and we have to learn how to communicate in a healthy way.

Maybe because we are past the "honeymoon" period? I married DH after only 6 months of knowing him, and that was a huge mistake. So I am glad to be going at a better pace this time.

He also finally shared something with me, that he had a short 3 month relationship with a married woman before we were together. And that has been a shocker and something I don't really know if I can get past. I just feel so disappointed and disgusted with him about it. Obviously he says all the right things now and shows me he regrets it, but to have such low moral boundaries, idk. We've gone over and over and over it though over the last month, so I need to decide if I can forgive and move past, or if it's a deal-breaker for me. I'm still not sure.

So yeah, this relationship stuff is pretty rocky right now. A big part of me knows it would be more healthy for me to move on, but then a big part of me loves him and I know he loves me, we need each other, we are good together. Ugh.
Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)

arneal

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 04:42:34 PM »
MrsDan -- I completely get your point about children; NG's youngest daughter lives with him but he's been talking more and more about moving further east (closer to work); she doesn't want to go because she would be further away from her mom and where she works. He is estranged from his oldest daughter and has been for quite some time. He shared about his kids early on and so did I; having a special needs adult child from an abusive marriage and being widowed twice would be a glaring deal-breaker for many so before I invested much I needed to share it. I don't see or speak to my son much but want to see him this year; he knows I am dating and asks me how it's going when I talk with him (it's felt weird having this conversation with my son and then I remember that he will be 22 in a couple months lol). Like you, this is a very different relationship. I married the first husband after ... I don't know what to call it -- it wasn't really dating, I guess just young and stupid connection. My second husband and I lived together for a few years since he was legally separated when we met and then got married; 16 years together and then it was gone.
The online gig was weird and now that NG and I have found a regular rhythm, I pray not to go back to it. Seeing him is cause for anxiety but it's fun as well. Like the teenage stuff I never did ...
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

arneal

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 05:01:04 PM »
DoE -- So sorry you are having some bumps with your NG. Yeah, determining the make-or-breaks is not as easy as some might think. Many of us have written about those things in terms of initial meet-ups and online dating (e.g., age differences, activity levels, and hobbies) but there are some things that don't come out right away, which is a double-edged sword as well. If we have something that might be considered a little touchy by others, we might keep them hidden or be reluctant to share it because we don't want to be rejected. Maybe whatever it was, was a poor decision, a mistake or on purpose. Regardless, we must have standards. Don't sell yourself short -- if you are uncomfortable, do what you need to do, friend -- either way.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

wecouldbeheros

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2017, 12:56:56 AM »
Dof, don't think it's a "morality" issue that he had a short alliance with someone who was married. He has come forth and told you. Maybe she was looking to divorce, i.e. They were not getting along, etc. it's in the past, he obviously wants to be w you. If you don't let that fully go, you won't get past it. Me, I don't think one should say, well let's see how the next three months go, it is putting barriers up. If someone is not stuck on partners or situations of the past, it seems having doubts will only resurface, and negatively affect the future. Just a thought.

serpico

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2017, 12:38:37 PM »
He also finally shared something with me, that he had a short 3 month relationship with a married woman before we were together. And that has been a shocker and something I don't really know if I can get past. I just feel so disappointed and disgusted with him about it. Obviously he says all the right things now and shows me he regrets it, but to have such low moral boundaries, idk. We've gone over and over and over it though over the last month, so I need to decide if I can forgive and move past, or if it's a deal-breaker for me. I'm still not sure.

Wow.  The fact that you're still going 'over it and over it' tells me this could be impossible to let go of.  And yeah, I agree with you about it being a reflection of his moral boundaries.
'I think I got some of your pickle'

fairlanegirl

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2017, 01:38:41 PM »


He also finally shared something with me, that he had a short 3 month relationship with a married woman before we were together. And that has been a shocker and something I don't really know if I can get past. I just feel so disappointed and disgusted with him about it. Obviously he says all the right things now and shows me he regrets it, but to have such low moral boundaries, idk. We've gone over and over and over it though over the last month, so I need to decide if I can forgive and move past, or if it's a deal-breaker for me. I'm still not sure.


I understand if it is a deal-breaker for you; it is not very admirable behaviour, but then again the guy is only human, and he was not the married one by the sound of things. Over the years I've had girlfriends involved with married men who never thought they would be. It has never turned out well, but none fit the image of the 'scarlet woman' and all have gone on to happy marriages themselves. Sometimes life isn't black and white.

arneal

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2017, 07:50:40 PM »
Great point, fairlanegirl: I never expected to be widowed twice ... it's tough to share that with friends, much less a potential new love interest. We never know what will be a deal-breaker for someone  :-[
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

MrsDan

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 07:55:55 AM »
DoE, I understand your difficulties with the revelation. It would be a moral issue for me as well, but I suspect I would have as much of a problem with him keeping it to himself until now. My BF kept something HUGE from me until after the first few dates. I completely understand why he did; the circumstances were complicated and such that it makes sense why he held off. Plus, he had no obligation to me on those first few dates. He did want to tell me, and after a few dates and phone conversations he did. I am very understanding about it, but still, I wish it hadn't needed to be that way. In your case, I mean two years? That would bug me. I'm sure it wasn't easy to tell you, but after everything I've been  through, "It's hard" doesn't really fly with me as an excuse.
You are the Bear of my heart dear,
And nothing can take that away.

daysofelijah

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Re: For those in budding relationships ...
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2017, 09:19:04 AM »
I am feeling a bit better after this week. I had a counseling session for the first time in about 3 years with the counselor who helped me get through some grief stuff. It went well. BF got the paperwork turned in and has a counseling appt set up for the week after next. We had a big talk on Monday where I laid down some things that were not acceptable that were going on (drinking too much, complaining and dwelling on all the negative constantly) and he's made an effort this week to improve. So I'm a little more hopeful.

We had a really great night together last night watching movies and cuddling+ in bed, and that is something I really cannot let go right now either. I need the connection I have with him that way. DH was my first and only, and it just wasn't good, it was something I avoided as a chore. With BF it gets better and better even 2 years into things, he's taught me so much about what it means to make love, not just have sex. Even if we don't work out long term I will be forever grateful for that.

Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)