Sunday, 25 February 2018

Is There a Line to Cross?

Is it just me or does this scenario 'cross the line'?

I was talking to a girlfriend recently and she was saying that a female friend of her boyfriend messages him all the time. When she raised this with him, he was very indignant and demanded to know whether she trusted him or not.  She trusts him and to be honest, he is a lovely guy and clearly adores my girlfriend so I just think 'Why is this random chick badgering him? Boundaries exist for a reason!' Anyway, this made me think back to BF.

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So, there was a girl from North Carolina who he'd met online; she was a photographer (so she worked in the same industry). In the past, they had had a sexual relationship - he'd even travelled to visit her several times, but subsequently they were just 'friends' even though she expressed that she wanted to be more...

When he was with me, initially she was really weird with him and it led to 'radio silence' from her. After about 6 months, she crept out of the woodwork and was super friendly via WhatsApp - like nothing had happened. Remember that 'conversation' that I had with BF which led to one of our biggest arguments? One of the thingsI found out during that time was that BF had 'fooled around' with her when we weren't 'exclusive' during the early days of our courtship, which made me a bit paranoid. I trusted him. The thing was, as time past, she would message him at all hours of the day (even with the time difference, she messaged him); I would hear his phone vibrate when we were in bed together or during days out together.

The messages were friendly, just 'Hey, what's up. How are you? What have you been up to?' type of messages. He would wouldn't reply straight away but she would continue messaging him. Then followed him on Twitter, Instagram and friended him on Facebook. When I had asked BF about it. He would dismissively say she's a friend and he only talks to her about work, so things like camera lenses etc. To be fair, BF was honest and true. But I felt like a terrible person when I mentioned it to him that I hated the fact that she was so clingy and seemed to want to encroach on my 'territory'.

I just thought, 'Why is she connecting with him on all these social platforms? Messaging all hours of the day? Does she not understand boundaries?' I mean I have guy friends who are married, engaged or whatever. I would never dream of messaging them so often or late at night. And if they didn't message back, I wouldn't be worried and constantly message to require a 'follow-up'.

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My girlfriend is understandably upset. They had an argument where he demanded to know whether she was curbing his freedom and making him choose between her and the 'friend'. This wasn't the question in the first place. The question is, whether it's just a lack of trust or general insecurity? Or are there unspoken boundaries, which you don't cross when your friends are in a relationship?

Is there even a line to cross?

Friday, 16 February 2018

When did People Stop Wanting to Learn?

Nothing new is really happening with me - I'm 'working on me' so started reading more for fun and cooking more. I finished reading the trilogy - 'A Court of Thorns and Roses', which I loved! A bit racy in places though, since when did 'young adult' books get so sexy? I don't remember reading any books with explicit sex scenes as a teenager, or am I being a prude?

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I finished my marking of exams, which was a huge relief because now I can focus on teaching and research, or so I thought... I failed a couple of students because they didn't even address the question for the exam and wrote terrible. However, rather than reading and reflecting on the grade and feedback, the student (S) emailed and wanted to meet me. I manage to schedule in a meeting that day.

I absolutely hate people who invade my personal physical space, yet S is sat within an inch of me! S refuses to accept the failure because S has allegedly never failed anything before and I should change the mark or I'll be 'sorry'. S starts shouting at me.

At one point, I think S is going to hit me because S is leaning over with a raised hand and voice! Despite me telling S to leave my office repeatedly S doesn't and keeps asking me "What is your problem?" Luckily a male colleague wants to speak to me at that point and walks in, sees me physically shaking and white and escorts S out. When did students get so entitled? If I performed badly, I always thought "How can I do better?" I never blamed the teacher or threatened her/him to change the grade!

Classes are tough as students don't want to learn. They attend physically but they are not there in spirit - you can see that when you walk the classroom and they're on WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat or just browsing on the internet. What is the point of going to university...?

With the internet, I find it a pleasure to find new information and learn new things, facts or find a small DIY video on Youtube. Funny that students don't want to do that. It's almost like they expect a 'Matrix' style of learning - plugging a cable into the back of their head and 'downloading' the information straight into their brain... When did people stop wanting to learn?


Sunday, 4 February 2018

Old at Heart?

Somehow got a kidney infection this week - it hurts and I'm constantly falling asleep. Sad thing is I've had to go 'cold turkey' and avoid coffee which definitely doesn't help!

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I received 3 wedding invitations this week - eurgh. Some days it feels like everyone around me is settling down and getting married... No, I'm happy for these people but it makes me wonder whether it is normal to not feel that 'burning desire' to 'settle down'. I personally like my own space and imagining someone tinkering with my schedules and belongings unsettles me.

I went to a party last week at a bar - acquaintances. Conversation was lighthearted - some people were talking about their upcoming wedding; others upcoming holidays; others about new rented apartments.

One guy was saying "Oh my god! There's this guy I know and he lived with his parents for 10 years and now he's just bought an apartment without a mortgage at 30 years old! What an idiot!" This annoyed me. All the twenty-year olds nodded and were saying "What a loser!" As the token 30-year old of the night, I just thought "That guy in the story sounds pretty smart to me. He has a property - no mortgage. Good investment! He probably worked really hard for it and it's no mean feat living with your parents for all that time!"

I riled me up a bit when they started talking about drinking; holidays, but couldn't afford a deposit on a house/apartment or a new car. I just kept thinking "Frivolous little things."

Sometimes I wonder whether I should be like them - throw caution to the wind and not worry about all the 'adult things' that you should worry about. I should stop worrying about doing my job well - just do the minimum as so many of my colleagues seem to do; stop saving for that retirement fund because who knows what will happen tomorrow. And just stop worrying whether it's normal about my lack of desire to 'settle down'. Who knows?

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I remember as a child visiting a nature reserve with school. Whilst the other kids were screaming, climbing up trees and rocks, throwing sticks and stones, I just sat quietly observing. When we went for a walk with the teachers, the other kids were jumping off things or on things, I remembering sniffing and saying "I would rather be safe than sorry!" This shocked the teachers because I remember them whispering about it and asking me where I had heard that phrase.

Ha! Maybe I was always an old lady at heart? Who knows?

Friday, 26 January 2018

I've changed... And not for the better...

Apologies for the 'radio silence'.

I've been somewhat of a hermit, trying to balance my procrastination with bundles of work that needs doing! I guess my main enemy is putting pen to paper, especially when I'm uninspired, as being somewhat of a perfectionist, if I don't like it, it is immediately deleted (rather than re-drafted).

Equally things between BF have been strained since the deletion of my old blog...

What's new in my little kingdom?

New job

I started a new job in June as a university professor, which ticked the lifelong dream of mine. I soon became jaded with the application process, workload, the internal politics (adults who behave like children) and the stark discrimination that occurred - I was told by management that I shouldn't apply when a male colleague had been told that he would have a job regardless of how his interview went.

Taking this new job brought back a lot of past emotions which were negative. The stress of the job has had its toll on me as a person as I have been quite bleak and prioritised work - wanting to prove naysayers that I'm a competent person plus when I'm upset I throw myself into work.


Lost a good friend

A good friend of mine has been dating a Finnish girl for a number of years - it was a physically and mentally abusive relationship. They moved to Finland but after 6 months moved back to the UK - I was super excited about this because I could see my friend again without needing to hop on a plane!

After consoling my friend after the Finnish girlfriend lashed out physically during an argument, I had expressed my concerns about the maturity of the girlfriend and suggested that the latter sought counseling for her anger. After another argument, my friend paraphrased my words and said "Alys says you need to grow up!" The girlfriend obviously didn't like hearing those words and decided to verbally abuse me via SMS, Facebook etc and didn't let my friend contact me afterwards.

The couple have subsequently broken up and my friend apologised but things aren't the same. We used to laugh and message about silly immature things, but we barely speak now.

BF

Hmm.. where do I start? It's been a turbulent time - full of change, which has had its toll on our relationship... We've fought - a lot; sometimes it's over little things like lack of phone calls or him asking me to hold his bag. Admittedly, I am an impatient person.

After almost 4 years though, I still love him dearly. I know it's cliche but he is my sunshine - the one thing I look forward to speaking to, especially at the end of the day. But I've changed as a person and not necessarily for the better - the new job makes me stressed, I put long hours in at work, I constantly complain about how unfair the discrimination at work is. I lashed out at him emotionally, simply because he was there - I was critical and mean about his kind gestures and eventually took them for granted. I'm not surprised what happened next...

Unsurprisingly, he broke up with me 2 days ago. He told me our relationship no longer felt 'right' and he was no longer 'in love' with me.

That hurt. I didn't realise that he had felt this way for so long.

After months of bottling my emotions inside, I broke down and cradled myself in my arms on his floor, tears pouring down my face.  I realised that the critical attitude my parents had towards me, I had embodied that towards him and I had prioritised work over him; I had brought my negative stress home and kept him at a distance rather than letting him in.

I recanted all the negative things in my life and how they wore me down. I had changed as a person. Even I don't recognise who I became over the last two years.

I just fear that I won't stop loving him and missing him in my life...

Monday, 1 June 2015

3 Little Things...

“Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.” -- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing.

Following from my previous post, 3 things echoed in my head about the whole 'dating game':
1) Pre-"exclusivity", anything is "fair game"
2) Not putting your eggs into one basket
3) BF has a very different attitude towards sex

Maybe I'm not suited to modern dating, but these two things don't sit well on my conscience. I mean, yes, the second one is important, because online dating is essentially a numbers game - you meet a lot of weirdos, in order to find 1-2 normal guys who you might even have some compatibility with. I guess, I think it should be done with more respect for the other person...

I haven't stayed at BF's for a while, so I was really looking forward to the weekend to spending time with him, waking up next to him and making breakfast together. There hadn't been an opportunity to talk all day, as we spent a lovely time walking, enjoying cups of tea, and some street food. So, as we cuddled in bed, I needed to know more and see where I stood.

I was concerned (that's putting it lightly), I spent a few sleepless nights, thinking in my head, "What next?" Since the can of worms was opened, I needed to know the details, because I couldn't picture it in my head, and believe me I have had some vivid dreams of the sordid particulars!

1) Pre-Exclusivity

Saturday night was spent hashing it out (I didn't end up sleeping unit 6:30am and it was difficult to even share a room with BF, let alone a room). I found out that 'the friend' was someone he had met on adult chatroom online a long time ago, she was one of those flirty friends, you have. The flirting eventually tapers off, and you somehow become friends (I think everyone has one of those).

 Suffice to say, I was annoyed that BF had told me that she was a university friend. He then tried to justify it by saying, "It was before we were exclusive - it was in the very early days of us dating - we had only been on 2 dates, and I had known her a long time." 

2) Eggs in one basket

I admit I'm not the easiest person to get to know. I've been disappointed by people in my life - they fade in and out, and I have found that the only people I can trust are my family and maybe 2 friends. 

However, when I asked BF about the 'friends with benefits' woman, it turns out the night after our 4th date (he had invited me to a cider festival but I couldn't make it, as I had plans), he went to the festival and met the woman there. Thus leading to a 'friends with benefits' relationship. Apparently, BF said that it was because I was so distant, and there was a 'wall' between us, so he didn't want to put his eggs into one basket... Well, a 'friends with benefits' situation, whilst also sleeping with your ex, is hardly trying to develop a relationship.

 Equally, he could have spoken to me more. I mean he was so aloof and distant when we were first dating that I just didn't know where I stood! Anyway, he was annoyed that I was angry at him, claiming he wasn't a 'mind reader', when I told him that he could have talked to me more or asked me out more, because he was so 'cool' initially!

3) Attitudes towards sex

Perhaps I am a prude, but I have always found it difficult to disentangle the physical aspect of sex with the emotional side. I wouldn't start something, if I didn't believe that it meant something. BF believes something different; he explained that early on as a 'young man', he wanted to explore and it was something to enjoy, regardless of being in a relationship or not. He claims that a relationship makes it 'even better' but he doesn't necessarily agree that it's being 'cavalier'.

I'm tired of this being an emotional groundhog day. I know I deserve better and I guess the worrying thing is that I'm thinking of calling things off...

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Ignorance is bliss

“War is peace. 
Freedom is slavery. 
Ignorance is strength.”
-- George Orwell, 1984

Once upon a time, I thought honesty was the best policy, but now I'm rethinking things (at least in my head) with regards to BF. I am not saying manipulating and lying, but I'm merely saying, some things are best unsaid and unknown, because knowing doesn't benefit anyone.

For example, I didn't need to know about BF's 'dalliances'. Anyway, I REALLY didn't want to talk more about it, but he felt the need to 'unburden' his guilty conscience (what am I - a priest?!!?) Turns out, it wasn't even a woman he was dating but a 'friend with benefits' situation, who thought that what they had, was leading somewhere, and BF hadn't a clue that she had feelings for him! At the SAME time, his ex was still on the scene, and when he was breaking up with her, he ended up sleeping with her as well! Seriously?! Break-up sex is NEVER a good thing!!!

Lying in bed a couple of days ago, I mentioned to BF that 'The Boy' had been in contact (a guy that I had dated briefly, but he was just a drug-addled mess) and despite having blocked the latter, he had changed his number. Anyway, I didn't know what to do, as I didn't want to ignore the message (I hate ignoring people), but I knew 'The Boy' would never grow up and I was never comfortable with the fact that he would proposition me for hook-up sex, even if I wanted to stay friends!

Anyway, that led to yet ANOTHER confession! Last summer, when BF and I started dating (well, our second date), BF went to visit an old university friend in Thailand and for a holiday. Anyway, 'things' ensued, and while it was not full-blown sex, it was enough to affect their friendship.

And the can of worms has exploded! I'm also wondering whether BF can keep it in his pants...

Times likes these, I don't want to know!


Friday, 22 May 2015

"I want..."

“I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?” -- Neil Gaiman, Coraline.

Migraines, work, writer's block and having 10,000 words to write for my doctorate. That has been my 'routine' for the past few weeks. Frustratingly, I sprained my ankle a few weeks ago, and it's still a bit achey when I run on it, so I haven't been able to 'blow off steam' when I've been staring at a blank screen all day.

BF and I are back to some semblance of what we were before the 'incidents', but I think whilst I was blissfully unaware before, I am a little bit 'on edge' as I know that 'one more thing' would effectively break us, as I would run for the proverbial hills! In the same vein, I know that I am over-compensating for the 'dip' because I want us to work, so I am thinking of interesting new and fun dates and wanting to talk to him more (even though I hate opening up).

It's also quite exhausting; I know by nature, I am very indecisive so I like to plan ahead, so I don't have to "Um" and "Ah" when BF asks me "What would you like to eat for dinner?" or "Where shall we go?" Equally, I know he's quite indecisive too, and I know he's only being considerate and wanting to make me happy by asking my opinion. However, just once, I would just like him to say "Let's go here today" or "I heard about this great little wine bar, let's go there, as I would love a drink."

I love being in control, in life. I hate being told what to do; I have always been very independent, but occasionally having someone take over the reins (when you're willing to hand them over) is refreshing! Especially after a stressful day, I wish I could be 5 years old again, and be told what to wear, what time to go to bed and given a plate of food and be told to eat it. I don't have to worry about 'wasting time' wandering around aimlessly!

I also wish I could go back to being that precocious child saying, "I want you to do this!" or "I want this!" Without having to worry about sugar-coating what I say, or offending people's sensibilities. In relationships, I think we worry about how the other person feels and perceives us, so we're always on 'tenterhooks' about voicing our worries, despite their reassurances. This is very true for me, and it takes me a long time to phrase and even say, something as simple as, "When can I next see you?"

BF and I had a halfhearted discussion this week about him coming over to my place more. He doesn't drive so the commute would be hell for him, so I said I don't mind going over to his. The thing is, I mentioned in our recent argument that while I wanted space from him, pathetically, every time the door knocked, I secretly hoped it was him with a big bunch of tulips because, I just needed a hug but was too proud to ask for one! Instead, my anger picked up pace and I cried in my bedroom - too upset to see friends (I didn't want to be that friend crying over spilt milk), whilst he went out with friends to 'sort out his head'. Despite saying this, I don't think it registered in his head; probably because it wasn't said in an explicit manner, such as, "I want you to come to my house, knock on the door and apologise with some flowers, because I need to see you and I need a hug!"

Me as an adult = 0; Me as a child =1.