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The (Really) Inconvenient Truth

July 26th, 2008 at 07:15 pm

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.

13 Responses to “The (Really) Inconvenient Truth”

  1. momcents Says:


    Dear SillyOleMe,

    You poor thing. I can tell you that it seems to me that what happened at the conference you were at might not be the real world and you might not want to do anything to alter your present relationship right now.

    I realize that you have a history with your present BF. You mention that he has a social anxiety disorder and that must be difficult for you. It sounds like you are able to get along better with people. Yes, you are new to the neighborhood - but how was life back home before you moved? Is there undue pressure on you to be "everything" for/to him?

    I can tell you that it is a good thing that you didn't marry your boyfriend years ago when he wasn't ready. My brother got married because he thought it was "the thing to do" but confessed to having doubts on the wedding day. That marriage lasted seven years and hurt my SIL badly. In that respect I think you are lucky. BF was honest enough to be truthful to you, and he is still with you years later.

    Part of real life is the day-to-day sameness that I think sometimes leads people to look for excitement in other places. But remember, the new excitement will ultimately fade to the day-to-day reality that we are all presently living.

    You've been doing some self comparison since the conference, and while you say you are an over-achiever, what is your motivation for success? It can't be to "shake the dirt off of your feet" to flee where you have come from, because you clearly identify yourself as a "country" girl, and BF isn't "country enough".

    I don't know if I would fully disclose to your BF your "crush" on the coworker. I don't think that a few hours (or even days together) constitutes giving up years with someone. I would instead focus on ways to enhance you relationship with your BF.

    Ultimately you do need to do whatever you feel is right. I would simply ask yourself if it is worth it to jeopardize what you have on a whim of something that might be.

    Good luck to you ~ I've been married for almost 19 years to a great guy - we got married at 20, and I'd be lying if I said it was easy.

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    {{{{SillyOleMe}}}} I understand where you're coming from. I had a *very* short relationship result from a 5-day conference I attended which involved a lot of bonding activities. I wasn't in a relationship with anyone at the time of that conference, but some of the choices I made during that time, ended up hurting several people I cared about.

    I guess what I'm saying . . don't make any quick decisions. And, like momcents said, be very careful how you put it to your bf.

  3. Amber Says:

    I agree do not make any quick decisions and definately be careful on how you tell your BF. If it was me and I had a BF and he told me it, would then become a trust issue which can put a huge burden on a relationship. Good luck

  4. baselle Says:

    Hugs to you, SillyOleMe -
    Even at the grand old age of 46, I still get crushes with the fantasy and the "what if". But at 46, I don't tell my DH. And DH, I'm fairly certain, does the same. We are both wise enough to let the feelings pass.

  5. gamecock43 Says:

    Oh you poor girl. Take your time with this one. I hate to admit it but I got a huge crush on an ex BF when my mom died for reasons I think are too long and non applicable to you right now. But it happened after I was already engaged. I went through a major life altering experience and you are going through that too- its bound to make you re-asses your situation.
    Peoplechange as they grow up/relationships change. You are in a growing phaze and dont know how it will turn out.
    This new guy has faults. Faults that you dont know about. But the fantasy him, the him that you think you know is pretty cool, and different is always exciting.
    In time, this will wind up one way or another. Good luck in the meantime. You will end up driving yourself crazy and hating yourself as this develops. I'm sorry about that, it's not about to get eisier, but eventually everything will get clearer.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hmm.

    I think you are very brave to share all this, even anonymously.

    I am glad you have decided to tell your BF. My ex-wife told me something like that too, before we separated, and I actually didn't feel betrayed. Even if it was over something terrible, at least I knew that she was telling me the truth and that she was trying to be communicative.

    Of course, it was how it was handled afterwards that's when things got ugly, but... that's not relevant here.

    The point is, you didn't exactly do anything wrong. Nothing physical happened, right? And you felt bad about the whole thing. And you want to talk to your BF to clear the air. And you're not even technically married yet. So, I don't think you're a bad person.

    In fact, I think it's perfectly normal and even natural for people to be attracted to someone else from time to time. The only difference is in what we choose and decide to do with these emotions.

    I hope that you'll make the right choice.

  7. Ima saver Says:

    I have been married twice and I felt the way you feel several times during my first marriage.
    When I met my dh, I finally found out what real love was. I have never noticed another guy since then and that has been for over 31 years.
    Good luck!!

  8. sillyoleme Says:

    Thanks for the advice everybody.

    I guess the reason that those "feelings" bothered me so much is because I felt like I wasn't in control of them. I literally kept telling myself "that is so stupid, don't even go there", and still I did. And even though I have been in enough 1-year-or-longer relationships to know that the "honeymoon" stage wears off to day-to-day, I just couldn't help it.

    And the reason it's all so scary is because it wasn't like I was going to pursue a relationship with this guy, I've already explained that we weren't any closer than anyone else at the conference. And no, absolutely nothing physical happened, not even "talk" of something serious. The scary part was that it made me doubt my relationship, I felt like if I had these feelings for this guy that I had known for 5 days, feelings that I couldn't control, then how did I know it wouldn't happen again? How can I be excited about getting engaged to BF, if I have feelings like this just weeks before? How can I trust myself?

    It's a sad situation because the first thing I've wanted for so long was for BF to propose some romantic way, and now that he is literally probably weeks from it (again, a leak from his sister yesterday of all days), the last thing I want is for something like this to ruin it.

    That is part of the reason I chose to tell him last night. I always feel guilty about things, and after I learned he had been out looking at rings last week, I wanted him to know about what I was going through before he proposed. I didn't want to have to tell him afterwards and ruin the whole thing, and I didn't want to feel anything but happiness when he does propose. If it had happened yesterday, I would've just been confused and upset.

    And, you guessed it, he was a bit upset when I told him last night. At first he was unusually calm about it, but he kept repeating that he wasn't really mad at me, and that he sincerely appreciated that I had been honest with him.

    I'm usually pretty good with words, but last night I just couldn't find the right ones to express why I was telling him. Of course I felt guilty, but the bigger part was that I wanted to fix whatever went wrong. If our relationship being the best it could be wasn't so important to me, I would have just hidden the way I felt, hoping it would go away or I would gain some clarity later. But I felt like he should know, because I would want to know if the table was turned.

    At this point, I just wish I had another week at the conference. Maybe in that time, I would have realized that the other guy was nothing compared to my BF, that I missed BF, that the other guy had faults I wouldn't be able to deal with. But now I'm left with this situation that I will have to deal with, and all the time knowing that I'll be seeing this guy for other conferences in September and December.

    Of course, the next conferences aren't like the first. We will be with our bosses for part of the time, and we stay busy pretty much all day. And alot can change between now and then, he may take a job somewhere else (rare, but it happens)... or he may not be able to make the conference, or he may be dating someone before then and choose not to do anything social at all.

    Ick... the thought of him having a girlfriend makes me jealous. How stupid. I am the stupid girl that got feelings for someone who is just everybody's buddy. The stupid girl with a great BF.

    BF is still sleeping this morning. I'm not sure what he is thinking about the whole thing, we went to be kind of peacefully last night, but only because we were both so physically worn out. I want to talk to him about the parts of our relationship that I'm not happy with, but I don't want him to think that I'm blaming my feelings on him. I don't expect him to "get more country" overnight, or get more ambitious, but I think we could be more social or do more fun things without it causing an identity crisis for anyone.

    Prime example - he wanted to see the new Batman movie last week. He kept talking about how it was supposed to be so good, and so I told him we could go see it when I got back from my conference. He was excited about the movie, probably especially since we don't spend money to go to the theatres very much.

    Friday when I was on my way home, I asked him if he was ready to go see it. He pretty much said he didn't want to, even though we both had the night off with no plans, because I hadn't let him know about it before. I think his social anxiety had something to do with it. He has to kind of mentally prepare for stuff like that sometimes.

    So then I suggest that we go today, because we have the (rare) day off together, and it wouldn't be crowded on a Sunday afternoon. To this, he says he's changed his mind, he doesn't want to see it anyway, he read up on it, and it's 2 1/2 hours long. SO??? We are 22 years old with no kids and a day off together, why not go see the new movie? It's that kind of stuff that drives me nuts. I don't know if that is caused by his social anxiety or just not wanting to do anything. Either way, it's hard to deal with.

    Wish me luck for today!

  9. gruntina Says:

    I am the same as what Ima brought up. I had a bad marriage that involved a lot of bad things. I remember fantasy and crushes were something that was common as a coping strategy to get through the day as I was not happy. I never acted upon those things but my mind was not fully there for my ex husband when we talked or spend time together. I was in lala land.

    I found my prince charming and married him. I don’t think how things could be different and so far never had a crush or comparing things. But we are different as far as views and growing up. I grew up in Montana with a "country" culture and working hard was normal. He grew up in a big city in California and does not like to work more than he has to.

    Sometimes I missed the country lifestyle but in live, nothing ever stays the same. I tried going back to Montana but the city life and different people has changed my thinking and opinion that I no longer fit in the country lifestyle as I stood out.

    All in all I am always on a journey and would not want to spend it with anyone other my now hubby.

    Maybe think about the quality time you have with your boyfriend and see if you are enjoying it or just working hard at something to make it work no matter what. There is a difference between the two. If you are with the wrong person, it may always be just all working hard and wishing you were so somewhere else.

    As far as type of lifestyle and growing up experiences, it is always going to be different for everyone as not two people grow up exactly the same. I would say in general that all couples have to work on that no matter how good the relationship is. The hardest part for me was growing up as a country girl and when I moved to California, that a country girl did not fit in. I stilled carried her around with me for a few years because the new person in me was learning who I was becoming to be all over again as I moved to a place with drastic changes. Once my current new self was more into the moment, I slowly let go of my “country girl” ghost.

    Now 10 years later, I love the city and the beaches, different ethnic dishes and open to a bigger world. Montana will always be my back yard and California is my front yard. I have the best of both worlds. The bonus is being able to share it with someone who treats me right with respect and so caring and vise versa.

  10. cptacek Says:

    silloleme, I am really sorry this is happening. But, I wouldn't ignore your subconscience feelings. It might be about this other guy, or it might not be. Maybe you have been feeling trapped and this conference let you feel more free than you have since you moved.

    Being from the "country" culture, and from what you said in your original post, you are probably feeling pressure to get married. You said that most people get married right after high school. But, that is no reason to marry the wrong person if you haven't found the right one yet. You keep talking about how much you guys have gone through and how much you guys argue and compromise, but "length of time involved" is no reason to get married if it isn't right.

    I'm not telling you to break up with him. I'm not telling you to stay with him. All I'm saying is really examine your feelings and do what is right for you. Because if, for you, the right thing to do is break up with him or if, for you, the right thing to do is stay with him and get married, it really is the right thing for him as well.

  11. sillyoleme Says:

    Thanks for the advice again guys.

    Things are going a bit better. BF & I went to the theatre today, except we saw "Step Brothers" instead of the new Batman. It was really nice to have something to "get ready" for. We haven't talked much about last night, but I don't feel like he's acting completely okay either.

    I am starting to wish that I hadn't said anything, because obviously the raw emotion of Friday and yesterday has faded some, I guess I am getting accustomed to being back in daily life.

    As for getting married, I am still confused. It's so weird because I have always been such a black-and-white person, so logical and never thought I would be the one to second-guess something that I've wanted for a while. It really sucks.

    I guess my game plan is to just wait-and-see. Who knows if BF even wants to propose now, and if so, it probably won't be for a while. In reality, I think how I feel in that moment will speak volumes about how I feel altogether. If he asks and I'm shocked or confused, that will say alot, or if I'm just excited and happy, that will say alot too. For right now, I think I have just over-analyzed alot, and need some time to think about something else. It would be way too hard to really figure out my feelings and wants, if all I do is keep analyzing everything at every moment.

  12. aevans1206 Says:

    You know, you just have to follow your heart. My husband and I have been together for eight years. When we were dating, I never realized a lot about him, and we dated for four years before getting married. He has a social anxiety problem too. But I'll tell you, being open and honest is the best thing--for him and you. He knows you're frustrated with his difficulties and it frustrates him too. Believe me on that. Every relationship is different, but just remember what it is that made you want to marry him. Ultimately, you're young and have plenty of time for decision making. But if you do choose to marry him, know that there will be ups and downs. I love my husband with all my heart, but that doesn't change the fact that we're humans who grew up in very different circumstances, with different families and lots of baggage. You've got to take the good with the bad.

  13. boomeyers Says:

    I think everyone has attraction to other people at some point. You only saw what this guy wanted you to see. It was nice, you had a flirtation, you know your not dead, just smile at the memory and move on. I'm not saying your BF is the one and stick to your guns. You definately need to learn to be comfortable talking to him about ANYTHING or you can't build from there. And HE needs to learn to talk to you too, honestly. Keep working on it! You are doing the right thing by getting these issues out in the open and working on them. You can't fake that everything is okay (trust me on that one!) you have to take the bull by the horns and dig through the problems. Good luck!

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