Relationships have a tendency to make me really insecure. I have been working on my insecurities for years (literally). I know I’ve improved, but I also know I have a long way to go. For a while, I thought I had totally overcome my worries and fears, but I have come to find that what I really did was eliminate true relationships from my life. Without the investment I had nothing to lose, and without anything to lose, I had no worries.
Toyfriend comes with a little baggage. It mostly holds the sort of complications you would expect of a guy in his fifties who was married for a long time, has kids, and is now single. But some of the complications have proved to affect our relationship. Let’s just say Toyfriend has some things going on that prevent me him from including me in every part of his life (at least for right now).
By itself, that isn’t a big deal, and certainly not a deal-breaker. I don’t mind solo time. I am used to attending family and social functions alone, and I can continue to do so as often as I need (or want). But it is something that matters more than I expected. It turns out that since I can include Toyfriend in every part of my life (if we choose), it bothers me a little that he can’t do the same. I feel a little left out, and I find I feel a little vulnerable, that something more important will come along and I will lose him.
I’d love to be able to say that nothing bothers me. That I’m the “cool chick” - OK with not hearing from someone for a few days, always wants her own space, and totally OK with a host of female friends, family or work obligations, etc. But the truth is… that’s not me. That was only someone I could pretend to be when I avoided actually caring about another person.
Of course, I’m also not “uncool-crazy-will-yell-at-you chick” who needs everything her way. I guess I’m “not-quite-cool-but-still-willing-to-compromise chick” who tries to understand the real issue so it can be resolved, and is willing to admit things are not all about her. I am that chick who needs communication and consistency and clarity, even if it’s just for my own peace of mind. I am that chick who likes to know she’s loved and needs to feel some security. As long as I have all that, I can become the cool chick, who can manage just about anything.
This is not the first time I have felt this way in a relationship. It is the first time that I was able to identify the problem, process how I was feeling, and discuss it with the other person openly and honestly (and rationally – that’s key). It is the first time – ever – that I have felt my worries and insecurities were something I could share with my partner, and that he would face them with me. For the first time, I feel like I’m in a relationship with someone, rather than holding everything together all on my own.
I know strong, independent, confident women are not supposed to admit when they are wrong, or scared, or need something. I can tell you from personal experience that it took a lot more courage to admit to Toyfriend when I am scared or worried, than it ever did to just avoid my insecurities altogether.
I am much closer to being the cool chick.