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Full Version: Is it me, or is it actually them this time?
The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! > The Other Side forums > Personal concerns
Ok first off I'll start by saying I'm not in a bad mood, and currently am open to critism.. almost welcoming it (I don't take it personally).

I keep ending in a repeating cycle.. normally if your in a repeating cycle, you yourself need to change something. That's what i believe.. I'm the common denominator in the situation I keep falling into.

Let me explain. I'm quiet, very quiet with 99.9% of people unless i drink alcohol.. which I've been going off more and more.
The exception is with people I'm close to, to which I can chat happily for ages, about stuff, i can even tolerate small talk which I bane the existence of normally.
Problem lies with the fact that even with those people I need time out, and not once a week.. but regularly. Like every other day. I can't spend a week with someone without starting to get upset stressed out and generally down about it.
In the distant past I did the teenage angst thing of thinking that i was broken, that no one is like me.. blah blah blah.
As I grew up and away from my teen years, I became more comfortable with the idea that it's ok to be quieter than the rest. Became a lot more confident, and thus happier. Learnt to take time out when I was feeling overwhelmed, and that I need to recharge and be with myself a lot to cope. But I function pretty well like this (all was good).
So I thought...
This problem never really crops up day to day. Or with my friends.. even my close friends. It happens in relationships (oh joy). Each and everytime, people get tired of my need to have time out. It happens in different ways each time.
I've tryed just supressing it, and just ignoring it. Then i start feeling down, and trapped, and start resenting whoever it is. So that didn't work too well. I've tryed explaining "this is how I am". That never works either i seem to just hurt their feelings and they take it personally.

I am thinking of just next trying not having relationships period... I quite like being single to be honest. I don't really feel lonely when single. Don't crave the opposite sex or any of that. Infact I'm starting to see the whole thing as a trap.. almost like my singleness allows me more space than I can ever get with someone. It's become this precious thing that i shouldn't give up.

Hmm.. I'm still trying to fix things by thinking what about myself I need to sort out.
Any advice, or have I just been rather unlucky encountering the same problem repeatedly?

P.S I am currently in a relationship in a frustratingly familiar pattern
You shouldn't have to work at a relationship constantly. If certain aspects are a real issue of discomfort then you have a legitimate problem. I assume that you have talked about this with your significant other. They really have to accept that you need time out now and then. You can't be expected to change the most fundamental parts of yourself at the drop of a hat. Saying that, I know it can be hard on the other half of the relationship. Understanding really is a two-way street.

Same goes with friends. I don't know if this is just me but I don't see the need to croud mates 24/7. If it's a real friendship then having long periods of time away shouldn't really matter. Doesn't mean you are anti-social, but a friendship should be healthy enough to survive people doing their own thing now and then.

You should not feel that being in a relationship is imperative. Take it as it comes. If you truly are happy outside of one, then don't feel the need to have one.

In all, I think you've just been unlucky. Relationships and to a lesser extent friendships seem to imply that you DO share your life with others. However that isn't the totality of it. Sooner or later you will find a balance that you are happy with. Until then try not to dwell on things and pidgeon-hole yourself into that which is suposedly expected of you by others. Afterall, you are only doing this for your own happiness.

Hope that was some help.
I'm a bit drunk and a bit tired, but I know we talked about this, but I cannot seem to reiterate what I said at the time.
I agree mostly with Calantyr said. You shouldnt feel the need to change just cuz someone you're dating can't cope, if thats who you are then either you need to be with someone else or you two need to come to some agreement.

Also, its not required of you to have a relationship, if you're feeling trapped with the one you're in I would suggest breaking up or taking 'time apart' and figuring out what you want and need. Then when you re-enter a relationship you can say "this is how I'll be" and they can know that. I think that helps both parties alot. Atleast for me it does.

As far as _friendships_ go then you definatley should be able to spend lots of time apart and still have a friendship, it doesnt work that way (usually) for full blown relationships and you need to spend a little more time with said person. But its good to let people know straight out how you are and how you act so they can expect things instead of going through the torment of wondering "Doesn't he love me anymore?!" and "Why isnt he spending time with me like he use to"

Its just a few things that help me out alot in relationships so it might help you too....
I agree with what's been said. You are who you are, and someone who really loved you wouldn't try to change such an essential part of who you are. Everyone needs a bit of time alone now and then. It's fine if you just need a bit more time alone in your relationships than some people do. Take a romantic relationship break for a while and take some time to think over what kind of partner you really need. Being single could be a great idea for you, but remember that some people out there will be willing to accept you for the person you are. Whatever you decide, be sure that you state exactly what you want from anyone you become involved with. Don't worry about what any inconsiderate people from old relationships said or what they thought. Just relax and take as long as you want to consider what you want in your future.
Ok, so I have been mulling over this in my head for a while.. conclusions I've made.
1) No relationship works without effort, I knew this since I learned to speak, My problem is when to keep trying, and at what point has hope been lost? I'm starting to believe then the frustration and negative stuff is out weighing the good stuff.

2) Is the need to withdraw something I'll get over? No, it's true that as I get older I'm coping better with people through practice.. but that's being instantly countered by stronger demands being placed on me. Therefore it's getting no easier, but luckily no worse either.

3) Have I just been unlucky? Yeah think so, some people are more tolerent to space needing than others. Just not in my experience.

Things still troubling me, so... what do I do about here and now? (the thing I famously ignore repeatedly). The futures pretty hopeful but the present's getting me down.

Possible solutions

1) Steal a supermarket shopping trolley, fill it with guns, grenades, and missile launchers, and stroll down oxford street indiscrimately removing random targets from existence to relieve tension.

2) Write a letter of complaint to god entitled "Things to improve on your next pet project"

3) Buy a big fat diamond plated 5 tonne lock immovable lock for a 20 tonne immovable door to prevent people ever bothering me in my home again. (I'd get the post man to mail me food through the letter box)
I'm remarkably similar, Witless. I love my friends, but I need breaks, and I don't terribly mind or care whether I'm with someone or alone. I'd like to think that it shows strength, rather than weakness, of character; you have to be comfortable with who you are in order to enjoy your own company, and to be comfortable with silence and that nagging internal narrative. There are people who always need noise and action because they can't face up to that. There's nothing wrong with wanting alone time.

There are people in the world who will understand that; my fella is remarkably patient with my fits of loner syndrome. Don't force yourself to spend time with someone when you don't want to; in my experience I just become sulky and reticent and end up hurting feelings, which is worse. It shouldn't be the quantity of time you spend with someone that matters, but the quality. Just be as you are, and suppress the urge to beat people who violate your alone time with coffee mugs. It's bad for public relations and a terrible waste of a mug. Trust me. ^^
depressed lonely crazy person
In addition to thier tolerance how full on as people your comrades are could affect your emotional coping skills, Like if you were hanging out with clones of yourself you'd get tired just from being out in public and stuff whereas if you're constantly trying to deal with people popping in and out of your personal and head space you'll get exhusted quicker.
I realise I'm not actually being very helpfull but I thought you may not have counted those factors into your reasoning.
Does this sound narcistic? But I am actually fond of people similar to myself in tempremant.
It's not narcisitic at all. You're just used to your tempremant, so you know how to 'deal' with it, so to speak. It's a natural reaction, really.
Snugglebum the Destroyer
To be honest Witless I think you are about as far the opposite to me then is entirely possible, so I probably have no reason to be posting here at all.

I can understand your need for solitude, everyone needs that. But when in a relationship there is a huge element of sharing yourself with a person. If you're pulling away from that person who is supposed to be the very closest to you, then of course they're going to think there's a problem. And because they care/love for you, of course they're going to try and find out what's wrong. Because in their mind there is something wrong if you just suddenly pull away.

The opposite to love isn't hate, it's indifference. If you start acting indifferent to someone then I'd say there is a problem.

You don't want to change, no? Well, are you showing your partner the real you from day one if they don't already know this about you? You can't be, otherwise they'd know how you are and the way you work?

There's nothing wrong with the way you are - but there may be something wrong with the way that you present yourself to potential partners?
Well.. ok this may sound strange, but I'm not terribly secretive, I tend to say or tell anything about me people ask.
I actually find louder people the ones that never seem to be honest. Or seem to fear saying things as they are.
"Speak a lot, and say very little" Is how a lot of people seem to act through my eyes.
Maybe I'm wrong, but it's the vibe I pick up off most. My issue is that I tolerate that, I tolerate people's need to "chat for chattings sake" a lot, but don't recieve that same back when I ask.

For the record, I've never gone out with someone I hadn't known for at least a while first. It's why I get repeatedly suprised when people get annoyed by what they originally like.

This is a slightyly off topic post.. but has anyone else noticed that.. people start getting frustrated with the traits they once liked you for in the first place?
My theory is starting to be that people like to go for people that fill in gaps they have themselves. One of the things I've liked about being with someone who's a lot more socialable than me, is that I don't have to be as socialable with them around, they can almost take a lot of the weight off my shoulders for me, and I've heard 1001 people compliment me for being a good listener because everyone else talks so much.
Wonder if that's the reason such incompatible people keep being drawn together?
Maybe it's got nothing to do with personality at all. Screw compatibility, it all comes down to the sexorz!

*This thread has been SPAMMIFIED!*
My theory is starting to be that people like to go for people that fill in gaps they have themselves. One of the things I've liked about being with someone who's a lot more socialable than me, is that I don't have to be as socialable with them around they can almost take a lot of the weight off my shoulders for me
Take Mike and I for example. Except I think in our case I put weight on his shoulders. tongue.gif
[/more spam!]
Oh AU... you are the yin to my yang.
Meh. The problem seems like it's not that you want some you-time. The problem is you feel guilty for doing it, or incapable of negotiating it ahead of time, which leads to resentment if you don't have your required you-time. (I'm guessing). Either of which leads to relationship problems.

I think it's 100% perfectly natural to want some time to yourself. Nothing out of the ordinary there.

My advice for this is the same piece of relationship advice I've been dishing out here ever since I got here.

Communication is key.

This problem can be solved if you can communicate your need for some alone-time to your partner in such a way as to make sure that he/she realises that you're not sulking, you do still like them, but this is an aspect of your character that's part of the whole, nothing to do with them, or their behaviour. If you can explain to your partner that this is simply something that you need to do to avoid feeling trapped/stressed, then your partner ought to be able to accept that, and deal with it.

On a related note, it's my belief that a healthy relationship is one where the two members are NOT 100% co-dependant. I think it's healthy to have at least one interest or hobby that the other partner doesn't share. Even just a short time apart from one another can work wonders, IMO.

Moving on, you say that you considered giving up on relationships for a while. My advice? Nextr time you're single, try it. Some people thrive on being single. Others don't. Some folk can happily go months, or even years between relationships, others struggle to go a few weeks. Without wanting to sound too much like a hippy, it's all about learning what works for you.
Well this is what I tryed in my current relationship, the communication thing. I actually knew my current girlfriend for around 5 years before we got together.
I assumed she'd be way more tolerent of when I'd set aside a day or two that I didn't want to go out, or do anything with anyone and read or something at home.

But those oh so familiar signs of resentment popped up. Or worse for reasons out of my control she'd "need" me to be there. So I go to plan (cool.gif. I say, ok, I'll come but, I warn you now, I will probably be very unvocal, and uncommunicative. So she again claims it's ok, as long as I'm just around. But well when push comes to shove it seems she thought that I'd just be ok at the time. Then I get resented when I'm not.

I don't generally get this problem with other people that do the same thing as me.. (to find them.. just go to the toilets of any pub and spot the guys that are going to the toilet that don't need to go. "I'm just here for a breather" they'll say). I don't wanna go into uber blame mode and in honesty I'm of the school of thought, "I can't change the world, I can only change myself, if I want something, I just need to change into the person that can get it". My problem is currently knowing what I need to do to get that.

Thanks for the advice though.. but yeah communication was where I first turned to. I still hold the being single card.. (last time I was single i was happy), but I've run away from this situation more than once before. I'd feel horrible to fall into a repeating pattern.
Hold up a sec - let's analyse this.

You told your partner of your need for personal space. Good.

However, it does seem like the message didn't get across, because you were denied that personal space. Which leads me back to the belief that your partner still doesn't get it. Which makes me want to repeat - communication is the key - sounds like there's a difference between what you thought was decided, and the actual state of affairs.

Which of course means that there's more communication required. Either you're not explaining it well enough, or she's not getting it well enough. Or both. Either way though, you need to make another attempt to communicate that. Even more so because the feeling I'm now getting from you is that this is a dealbreaker in a relationship for you.

Which is fine, but if you're aware of this need of yours, you need to be way more proactive in making your partners fully aware of it early on in the relationship. Otherwise, you're invariably going to end up back in the situation of being resented. Which is a pretty fatal blow to any relationship.

In summary, I'd like to think that you're perhaps overinflating the problem. It sounds like it's a problem you've come up against time and time again, but have yet to fix.

For instance, here's an extreme example. If, the first date you ever went on, you said straight up:

"look, I really like you, but I want you to be aware of something before we go any further. I need some time to myself, every day: I get crowded in a relationship very early. The only reason I'm telling you this is because it's caused problems in the past, and I'd like to trying to not let it come up again. So, I'm warning you on our first date, so that you know what you're getting in for, if we go forward with this, I'm going to need some space. I'm also obsessive/messy/smelly (delete as applicable). There, that's all of my bad points. If you can accept them, I think we'll be fine."

Ignoring the fact that you'd probably discourage a lot of first dates (which might not be a bad thing in the long run anyway smile.gif), that sets you up for a situation where you can never be justifiably resented, because you've been brutally honest from the get-go.

One of these days, I'm going to finally get my Campaign for Brutal Honesty up and running. So many of the world's troubles could be solved if we were just honest with one another.

Man: "hi, can I buy you a drink?"
Woman: "you can, but you should probably know that I'm not going to sleep with you as a result of it"
Man: "fair enough, I'll not bother then - I'm only interested in an easy shag"
Woman: "oh, you should meet my friend, she's a complete slut. Hey, Jemima, come over here"
Jemima: "yeah?"
Woman: "this bloke's looking for a shag - are you?"
Jemima: "I wasn't, but now you mention it, I could do with some no-strings attached sex tonight"
Man: "perfect! me too. whaddya say?"
Jemima: "alright, let's do it, but I need a few drinks down me first, 'cos you're not exactly an oil painting, and I'm buggerred if I'm cooking you breakfast in the morning"
Man: "sounds good"
Slighty off topic, but I've never actually done the whole dating thing, I just tend to end up with people I meet through circumstance, but I have never done that start talking to someone I don't know thing.
God willing.. I never will!
QUOTE (Witless @ Sep 19 2005, 03:52 PM)
Slighty off topic, but I've never actually done the whole dating thing, I just tend to end up with people I meet through circumstance, but I have never done that start talking to someone I don't know thing.
God willing.. I never will!

*Phones up some escorts and sends them around Witless' place*

Yarr, there be a first time fer eoe'rything! [insertpiratesmilie]
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