For those of you that read & commented on my last post, I have decided to be completely honest, if only with my SA friends.
At the conference, there were about 9 guys, and only 3 of us girls. The first night we were there, one of the girls ended up spending the night with one of the guys (professional, right?). So the rest of the conference, it was just myself and one other girl to hang out with.
Let me be clear, I love BF. I really love him, with all my heart. We have been through alot together, have grown alot, and I really believe that we have something special.
We've been dating for 3 1/2 years, since I was a freshman in college and he was a senior in high school. We've had many disagreements and spats along the way, usually over differences in how we were raised and what we wanted for the future. Coming from parents that were messily divorced, I think I am probably a bit paranoid at times that my relationship will be strolling along and then out of the blue BF would decide he didn't want what I wanted. I always wanted to get differences out on the table and explained/understood as soon as possible.
To be honest, I'm not sure how we started dating in the first place. We were friends for a while, and he even had a crush on my best friend. He wasn't anything like my "type" or anybody else I'd dated. I usually went for country boys, wearing jeans/boots, outspoken and with big plans for farms and horses, etc. BF grew up in a subdivision, and while he likes to camp and fish and be outdoors, he doesn't care at all to farm or even live on one.
This has always been a piece that bothered me, because I feel like being "country" and a farm lifestyle is something that is engrained in me, and a very important part of how I envisioned my own kids growing up.
I am also very ambitious, and BF is not. He's not lazy by any means, he will work all the time if he needs to, but he just doesn't feel the need to succeed or move up the ladder. My mindset is trying to be the absolute best I can be, and his is that he isn't going to change unless it's absolutely warranted.
Ever since about a year after we started dating, I started thinking about getting engaged. I know that sounds way too early to many of you, but you have to understand that where I'm from, it's not abnormal to get married right out of high school, or at least a few years later.
BF & I actually argued over the future of our relationship alot for about six months, and I was so exhausted from it. I felt like there was no solution, because I wanted him to want to marry me. He always said that he wanted to, but he just wasn't ready then. I would always ask for a reason he wasn't ready (was he not sure I was the one, or did he want a better job before he proposed, etc), but he would NEVER give me one. It was really hard for me to understand and accept his position, when I never got a reason for it.
I can remember one particular fight, when my emotions were rolling, and I said to him "That's fine, because you know what? You're going to wait around so long, that when you finally do feel the way I feel right now, you're going to propose, and that's when I'm going to say that I don't feel the same anymore."
Fast forward a few years, and our relationship is, in my opinion, the best it's ever been. We have argued about alot along the way, but always managed to come to some compromise. I have always thought that we were "meant" to be together because we have struggled through so much.
BF was upset when I decided to accept the job I'm in now, but he finally decided to be supportive. Then two months after I moved, he moved with me.
Along the way, I have gotten to be pretty good friends with alot of guys. Through college, I got to know alot of them, and every now and then I'd get the urge to flirt with a cute one, but never really felt anything more than just excitement at gaining a new friend.
In the past six months or so, I've been thinking alot about our relationship. I guess it's normal because I know that we'll actually be engaged soon, and to me, that is taking it to a whole new level, even if we are already serious and living together.
There is alot that I'm not particularly happy with. For one, we aren't very social at all. Of course, it's hard because we're in a new state, where we don't know anybody. But even when we were at home, we never went on double dates unless it was with one of his sisters and their husbands, or with my brother and his girlfriend. We could never just go hang out at a party, or go visit with old friends. Part of the reason is that he has a social anxiety problem. It's a physical problem that has always been hard for me to understand, but he has taken medication for it in the past. Now, when he tries to start the medication, it makes him so sick that I can't bear to have him stay on it.
I'm also starting to feel a little bitter at times, and I don't really know how to explain it. I guess the fact that I wanted to get married long before he did, and now that he's finally ready, he gets the luxury of knowing that I feel the same way. It seems unfair that I had to suffer through my feelings for a long time, just waiting on him.
I'm really ambitious, and the field that I'm in is related to agriculture to some degree, so we are total opposites where that is concerned. He is always in awe of my accomplishments and how "everything is easy" for me. What I've tried to get through to him is, everything is NOT easy for me. I just know what I want, and I go after it. Just because I get it done, doesn't mean it was easy.
-Okay, now back to the work conference, the reason for this post.
I went down, and the first day we had team-building activities all day long. The ice was immediately broken because you are forced to get comfortable with everyone when you are walking high-wires together, sharing scar & injury stories, and laughing at everyone else's mistakes. As the facilitator said that day "You can learn more about someone in one hour of play, than you can in one year of conversation."
3 girls and 9 guys, we worked through all the activities, and got to know each other a little.
For the next five days, we would be together almost all day long, either in meetings or presentations, or at lunch, etc. The fact that everyone meshed so well that we wanted to socialize together at night added to this.
You've probably guessed the root of the problem at this point... a guy. I want to say that when I first met everyone, he didn't stand out to me. It's not that he was the best-looking, there were other guys that were physically more attractive.
As the first few days went by, I started to realize that I was actually excited to be hanging out with them. Usually, I would look for a reason to stay in my room or with one of the girls, but I found myself actually looking forward to our evening plans.
And then I started to realize that there was one person in particular that I was excited about being around.
Ugh. That sounds horrible. I feel horrible. I never wanted to develop a "crush" on someone, and I'm not sure when I realized that's what it was.
I'm a logical person, so I try to tell myself it's because of a number of rational reasons.
Number one, he is a bit older than me (and BF), and he has his life in order. He has a nice truck that he's worked hard for, and he is ambitious and outgoing without being overbearing.
He was also so funny, without really trying. You know how there are just some people that you can't help but like? I was talking to another of my guy friends from the conference (that I got to know better than the other guy, but had no attraction whatsoever for)... and even he said "Yea, you just have to like XXX, he's such a good guy."
He's country, probably more than myself even. He's physically attractive, although he didn't start standing out to me until I got to know him. Thinking back on it now, I think it was the little things that struck me most.
He was talking about how he didn't like a particular athlete, and when somebody asked him why, he said it was because he had been watching the athlete on TV with his grandfather, and the athlete had started cussing on screen. He said "I just felt like, if he didn't have any respect for my grandpa, I don't have any respect for him."
He's from a very southern state, even more than where I'm from, and it was really shocking to see that although I've always considered BF a polite person, there is definitely a difference. This guy would hold the door open for anybody, be the last off the elevator, and always called everyone "sir" or "ma'am".
Another little part that got to me was when we would all go out for drinks or food. We were sitting at a restaurant, everyone chatty and happy and sipping margaritas, when he asked everyone if they wanted him to say the blessing before we started to eat. He finished the prayer and then started cheesing as he started to drink his margarita again. It was one of the most honest, simple things I have ever seen.
The night before our last day, I found myself dreading it. I didn't want to leave, didn't want to wait until two months from now when we will all see each other again. It wasn't just that particular guy, either... I had enjoyed my time with them so much, I didn't want it to end or change.
The feeling of having a "crush" is all too real. And the worst part about it is, this guy and I weren't particularly close. We were just as close as everyone else, but by no means closer. I keep thinking that if he knew what was going through my mind, he would think it so strange. And it's weird to me too, I keep telling myself how ridiculous and stupid it is, and how much stress I'm causing myself for no reason. Here I am checking this guy's myspace, thinking about a song he was singing all week long, and I'm about 99.9% sure he hasn't even thought of me since we left. It just wasn't like that.
Now I keep flashing back to different little insignificant moments, like when we were all hanging out by the pool (the guys swimming, the girls just hanging out), and he asked me to hand him a cigarette. He went out of his way to thank me multiple times and use my name. Then he asked "So where are you from, it's far from where you're placed, right?" That is such a normal, stupid conversation.
Then we were partners in one of our training sessions, a competition between the groups. We were always the two laughing uncontrollably at something, and it was even funnier because the moment I noticed someone doing something weird, I would glance at him, and he would always be thinking the same thing. The moment I realized it had gotten bad was when another guy said "What is it with you two, you are always laughing, and then you make us laugh!"... and I felt such a rush of emotions at "you two".
He was the type of person that is quiet when you first meet them, isn't bossy, but steps up to be a leader when it's needed. The type of person you hang out with just because they are really just that cool of a person.
I feel so crappy about this. If I knew BF were having these feelings about another girl, I would be heart-broken. I kept telling myself that I would be so happy when I got back home, that I would forget all about it. But then as I pulled in, I just got depressed.
It's horrible because I want to be happy with BF. I want to go back to feeling SO overjoyed at just thinking about getting engaged or married. I really hate that while I was at the conference, I was actually happy that I wasn't married yet. How wrong is that?
It's also horrible because it's not like this guy is asking me out. In reality, he's probably "out of my league", as I'm sure every girl he meets probably has some of the same feelings as I did. He could probably have his pick of anyone, and like I said before, he would no doubt be very shocked to hear that I was even thinking these things. That makes me feel all the more ridiculous and loser-ish.
And the kicker - BF noticed almost immediately that something was wrong. He started kidding me about the guys, then started to act like he was flirting with a girl at his work. And the worst part... it didn't really bother me, I was really thinking, I could deal with that. I can deal with you liking that girl, as long as I can like this guy. That is so wrong, and I know that in my "right mind" a week ago, I would never have thought that.
I was at home by myself all day today, and depressed. It has been such a long time since I have been in a state of not being able to get someone off my mind like that. When you're dating someone steadily, it's not such a nagging, stressful thing to think about. But when you have new feelings, BAD feelings, it is horrible.
And so, I called BF a bit ago. He could tell that something was wrong, and asked if I had been crying. As soon as he asked, I knew I couldn't lie. I told him I wanted to talk to him about things when he got home, and of course he is stressed out about it now. I hated to do it while he still had an hour left of work, but I also don't want to let myself out of it, and I knew if I went ahead and told him on the phone, I would be forced to talk about it tonight.
So now I'm waiting on him to get here, and I'm not sure what I'm going to say. I plan on being honest, because that's what I would want him to do for me. Hopefully he will realize that it's not me trying to be shallow or running after any guy that is physically attractive. I never crossed any lines, and I'm sure that guy hasn't even though about me. My problem is with my own feelings of dissatisfaction.
And all this comes at a very inconvenient time. BF was probably planning on proposing in the next few weeks (a leak from his sister let me in on that little secret), and now I feel like it's ruined. It really sucks that I was excited about it for so long, and now that it was about to be a reality, I had to go and start getting nervous to be around someone else.
There you have it... for anyone that's still reading. The grisly details, the crappy feelings. I will update you guys on the outcome, if I am in any shape or mood to do it.
As always, comments, suggestions, or advice would be greatly appreciated. Don't hold back.
The (Really) Inconvenient Truth
For those of you that read & commented on my last post, I have decided to be completely honest, if only with my SA friends.