I think I might have it

I woke up and realized I was being overly dramatic. There is no need to ignore her, even if she did do that. It decided it was probably difficult to explain to others if they saw all of the photos. We looked like we had a lot of fun together and of course people are going to ask what happens and she will get into a conversation she doesn't want to get into....So I re-added her on Facebook. It turns out she was just making her own albums instead of relying on me to tag her in photos. It wasn't any attempt to delete me from her life. I have just been overly sensitive about the whole thing and took it personally.

Things are so touch between us right now. I just want us to be able to talk to each other as friends and not make her upset. I can't seem to have a conversation without making her mad. I wish things weren't so tense and we could joke with each other again. I can't seem to be myself when we talk anymore.

Anyway...Talking to friends is good. They put things into perspective. I have a good friend who has been in a relationship for a while. He's considering marriage. He is going through all of the things I am going through right now with this break up. In order to let go (and understand why), you have to ask many of the same questions you would ask someone you want to marry. They also give plenty of good feedback about you as a person. They can remind you of your good qualities if you need a boost or put things in perspective if your analysis becomes a little one sided.

By the same note, trying to talk things out with an introvert under stress is a bad idea. If you have problems, need to talk them out, and date and introvert.... there will be stress. It's been one of the hardest things to deal with. I want to present a problem, talk about it, and get to a solution as quickly as possible. One thing that has been helpful is to write out my thoughts (it's good from a personal perspective too) but it also helps to give her a heads up when we talk. This way she doesn't get so flustered when I blast her with an entire day's worth of new thoughts. When I talk as quickly as I have a tendency to do, her head spins, she shuts down, and gets mad when I keep pushing for a solution.

It's also been pretty hard to figure things out on my own, and so I have to talk to her. I suppose in that way I have been selfish. I have put my own desire for closure above her desire to not deal with it. I say that "I have to talk to her" because there is no way to make sure the crap I have in my head is accurate. I am coming to conclusions based on what I think she is thinking. To do that I have to extract information she doesn't willingly want to put out there. I have pushed her away by doing this.

The other half of this is that she is very emotional, and breakups are by their nature, very emotional processes, so things are even more exacerbated. Emotions are not logical, they are not math problems. I am often to rational to understand how sensitive some people can be. I am a quick thinker, but can be incredibly slow when it comes to understanding people's emotions. I can read body language pretty well, but when it comes to emotions are thoughts people don't willingly share, it's very difficult for me to get inside someones head and imagine how they might be thinking. Particularly if it's out of character for them or a side of them they haven't seen. Then again, I am just stating that I am logical. I expect people to do what they have always done, and just tell me when they change. I don't expect people to come up with new ways of being irrational =)

As a side note, because we are not physically together right now, there have been a lot more mix ups than usual. A significant portion of communication is expressed through body language and it's all lost her. You can't see someone tensing up, so you don't shut up when you should. You can't just sit in silence while you are on the phone and cool off like you can in person, or take a 2 minute walk outside. You lose the frowns, the tightness in some one's chest, the raised eyebrows, clinched fists, or smiles when someone is being sarcastic. Such emotional conversations really shouldn't happen over the phone.

This separation has also changed us both a lot. In a lot of ways I have been trying to shoot a moving target. All I have wanted to do was be there for her, but it's difficult because by the time I have things figured out, a very critical piece of information has changed. I wish we had been able to communicate more clearly as this whole process was going on. We both had feelings we didn't want to share for fear of hurting the other person, but I think we would have both felt a lot better about what was going on if we had been honest earlier.

In my case, during our entire relationship she kept telling me I needed to be more sensitive. My thinking was very simple. She loved me before, she was happy before, so if i am the same person plus more thoughtful she should really love me. If she didn't, then she was just giving up because it was too hard (distance was my guess) and I just wanted her to admit it, and if she just needed time to open back up, i wanted to do that for her. Another alternative was that she might have just felt I was a bad person (or just convinced herself of it) because of a few things I did and then didn't want to date me. The last possibility I considered was that she thought she had made the whole thing up in her head and that I didn't really care for her. In either of these cases I wanted to leave myself out there long enough to prove to her that they weren't true and to repair any damage I had done. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to hurt her and she told me several different times that our relationship had really left her broken. I felt like leaving myself emotionally exposed, even if it didn't go anywhere and I was rejected, was the least that I could do for her. It was my penance (there is also an obvious side to this that there were things I like about the relationship and didn't want to let go of.)

I think she did need me to show I cared at first, but then she had changed as a person. She has also changed what she wanted and I didn't notice it (or i wasn't paying attention to what she was really saying). I think she decided she wanted more than I was giving her and that things were good, but it could be better

This is where friends help.... I have been able to watch my friend interact with his girlfriend. I had lots of ideas, but was pretty bad about actually carrying them out. We rode bikes and he picked flowers. He went out, planned dinner, and cooked it for her. He plans out lovely little dates and weekend getaways. Nothing particularly extravagant, but fun nonetheless. He did a lot of the things I would want to go with a girl, but never really did for her. I was pretty selfish and had head my head stuck up my own ass a lot of the time we hung out. It opened my eyes to what she probably wanted and what she and any woman should expect (not necessarily the same romantic things, but the same level of thoughtfulness and attentiveness to what the other person would want).

On another day, we were having a conversation completely unrelated to this topic, but it also helped to bring things into focus. We were talking about how parent's relationships influenced our own relationships. I had recently been thinking about how I was a lot like my own father - unromantic (I bought all of his presents for mom) and emotionally distant (I have something I have already written on this I will post later). She is a lot like my own mother. But I never thought about it from her own perspective - how she might be seeking out a partner like her own.

I think she probably wants something like what her dad offers her (and her mom). He is a great guy. He nurtures her, spends time with her to grow their relationship and keep the family happy, and his love is unconditional. She deserves a chance to go find that, and experience it if she thinks she has found it. I really don't want to keep her captive if I can't give her what she needs.

I know don't offer that now... I am too wild... too immature... too fickle... too selfish. I am still figuring things out and have too many wild oats to sow. That being said, I do want to be like her dad in a lot of ways and I will work towards that goal. I am glad I learned that while I am still (relatively) young. To be honest, I have had fears of ending up like my own father. He is a great guy, but he's got a lot of personal failings I could see easily happening to me. Mainly the fact that he's harsh and has cut a lot of people out of his life. As a result, he's isolated himself a good bit beyond his family.