Sunday, April 3, 2011

Let's be clear...

I find myself in an odd quandary.

It started off innocently at first, the attraction. The fact that, sure, it was there, initially. The attraction. And I acted on it. Sure, it was strong, and I'm a reactive person, and then she shut me down. Hard. It kind of shocked me. How she stated flatly she'd have no truck with that. No deliberate sexual innotations.

Okay, I thought. Okay, no problem, I can do that. And so I levelled down, and stopped with any suggestive comments.

A few days later, she ups the ante, by making her own suggestive comments, and I'm at a loss. How do I respond? I wonder. Should I respond? And I choose not to. And I can hear the subtle disappointment in her voice, as she playfully tosses out innuendos, and I carefully bat them aside. Words are tools. I wield mine carefully. And all I get is silence in return. And I wonder, How is what I did so different from what you're doing? And is it fair? If I can't, why can you?

I make a point of bringing this up in our latest conversation, and she says, Well, I needed to make you aware of my limits, what I was comfortable with. I won't be that blatant.

And so I ask, How is what I said so different from what you're saying?

It's about placement and timing, she says.

Oh.

Control is an interesting thing. Balance is an important thing in a relationship, any relationship. She made a very pertinent point. I need to take responsibility for what I say, when I say it. If I'm just going to blurt out what I want, when I want it, and it doesn't match her own state of mind, I must curtail that desire. That need. By the same token, if I get shut down, and three days later, she tempts me with the same thoughts, the same words, and I stop breathing, she must take responsibility for that.

I will grant her the control she needs. I can see it's far more important to her than it is to me. I'm a reactive person. I do tend to blurt out what I want, when I think the field is open. I'm not thoughtless, but I will, when I think there is receptiveness. But if I misread that, if I get it wrong, I have no problem with apologizing, and doing a backstep or two. The problem comes in when she does what I was previously gently reprimanded for, and that's okay.

I need to understand.

She makes a habit of shrugging off my apologies. I call her on that. You can't take me to task, and then say, No, it's okay, don't worry. If I've overstepped, if I've mispleased you, you should stick to your guns, and tell me so, in no uncertain terms.

Relationships are built on trust. On belief. Don't let me cross your boundaries. If I do, call me on that. If you expand your boundaries, let me know. I'm adaptable.

Just let me know. But don't play with me. Confuse me. Let's just be clear on this. On everything.

We owe each other that.

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