Feeling Safe…

So many things have happened since I have last written… For everyone whose heart broke a little at the end of last blog, know that you are not alone. After writing it I felt a weird mixture of disappointed and proud. I felt as if I had avoided a repeat of a pattern of behavior I had been in before. For that reason I felt like She-Ra. I also really liked Sean and had seen a lot promise in our relationship. For that reason I felt like a Michael Jordan meme.

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I sent that blog to Sean since it was about him. I believe I have said this before, but I typically send any blogs I write about someone to the actual subject. I really believe in standing behind what I say and what I put out into the universe about someone else (even if the names are changed). This time it was no different.

I was surprised on how me sending that link would turn things and my opinion around. As it turns out, I  made some connections that weren’t there and assumptions on Sean and his journey with BPD. In true Sean fashion when he replied, he didn’t simply just call me out on it. Instead he shared his experiences going to therapy and his learns with how BPD has manifested in his relationships. I have talked to MANY men about their previous relationships. Most of these conversations are either directed towards the errors of their girlfriends OR are some high level lesson that is hard to drive to practicality. Yet with Sean, it was neither and I  was BLOWN AWAY!

I have a history of dealing with mental illness in my life (inclusive of my anxiety). I heard BPD, read up on it, and immediately wrote Sean off.  Then Sean replied and our communication had *sparked* again. I was reminded of one of the reasons why I had been so attracted to Sean, his vulnerability and accountability. I don’t know that I have ever met a man so reflective of his own behaviors / emotions and encouraging of the expression of mine. He does it in a way that I am not “turned off” as he still has a strength to him that has inspired me to continue to build my own. We (along with conversations in separate therapist meetings) have agreed to continue on our relationship journey, slowly and deliberately.

The last month has been a slew of phone conversations (33 hours to be exact) and thousands of text messages. Sean lives about an hour and a half away from me and in a mix of me having the flu, both of our work commitments and now corona we have had a total of 3 dates. They have been 3 wonderfully weird dates.

Here is a brief synopsis of our dates thus far:

First Date – Location was a deli / arcade bar followed by a trip back to the karaoke bar where it all began.

We had a lot of anticipation leading to our date. It was over a month since we met and the conversations had been so deep that we were both nervous. What if this person that I am falling hard for and sharing so much of myself doesn’t match the chemistry? It was a real concern. Then I walked into the bar and saw Sean sitting at the counter and it faded. He was a smoke show and then that smile… ahh that smile.

To say I made a big impression on our first date would be an understatement. I spent the first hour and a half telling stories about my other dates. Yep, date killer number 1! I don’t know what / if I was thinking. Sean even said at one point he wasn’t sure if I was even into him because of this continued topic of conversation. Luckily Sean has a great sense of humor so he rolled with it, laughed and laughed again. I was so embarrassed.

After an almost 7 hour date playing video games, singing karaoke and laughing with friends we ended our date with a 3 hour conversation. (12 hours later I got Flu B) Ugh!

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Second Date – Location was a brew pub that had an unexpected trivia night

We had many plans for our second date. My first idea was pizza and a skee ball competition. However, I was just coming off the flu and the idea of standing up for skee ball seemed too much to handle. I know very dramatic (eye roll) but I felt awful for weeks after. So we decided on a brew pub in my town.  I had only been there once or twice so I was grateful Sean suggested it.

We both arrived at the pub and sat down. I was so excited to be so close to him. He had been so understanding and comforting during my sick time.

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This time I wasn’t nervous because I knew the chemistry would be there. Then the trivia started. We laughed because we knew that neither of us were good at trivia. Plus the other people that were there are clearly trivia regulars, in large numbers and taking it very seriously. We knew we were going to be toast.

However, through the whole night we guessed accurately and  stayed in the middle of the pack. I was surprised at the stuff that he knew and I think he was of me as well. Plus it was an amazing way to make flirty jokes throughout the night.  Last round we were even Top 2! We had our trivia / guessing game groove on.

That date was a lot shorter as it was during the week and we both had work in the morning. Sean had an hour and a half drive.

Third Date – Location in my car in a parking lot

The time between the second and third date was a little bit longer than either of us had wanted. Work and home responsibilities became a lot and both of us were in our busy time. We could tell that it was going to be a struggle and we  needed to prioritize in the future. However, for now we would be patient.

Our third date was right after Governor DeWine (the most badass governor in the coronavirus crisis with a killer partner Dr. Amy Acton) had talked about the importance of Social Distancing. This was after the school closures but before the business closures. I have been fixated on my role in the community and my responsibility of exposure to others and my daughter. So we had to be creative in our date night,

Sean and I have not been to each other’s houses (remember taking it slowly) and I felt that going to eat at a restaurant was not civically responsible. So I found a local food truck that was near a parking lot where I knew we could pay and be safe.

It was a warm evening and we stopped and got pizza. I had downloaded a movie on my laptop and Sean stopped and bought movie snacks. We opened up the windows, set up my backseat like a theater and ate pizza and snacks. Again we laughed a lot (I legit thought Sean may have a dry drowning scenario after laughing while drinking water) , people watched and just enjoyed being together.  It was one of the BEST dates of my life by far!

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So now what…

Today we were ordered by our Kick Ass Governor to Shelter in Place. It was something I knew would be coming and I had been doing for over a week now. However, it does put a damper on the time I will get to spend with Sean. That and the fact that he was running a fever a couple of nights ago…. I believe it is strep… I pray it is strep.

We are in such an unprecedented time in our lives and it is tough not to have the guy I am falling for next to me. He has such a skill in handling my anxiety and has a calm nature about him that makes him a key partner for this time (and anytime so far). However, I am beyond grateful that he is one call away and I have the privelege to stay in the home I worked hard for with my dogs and my daughter. Sean and I’s journey will take yet another new turn and all of our phone conversation pregaming will come in handy.  I see a silver lining (shout out to my friend Ben) that this will help us keep to our goal of slow and deliberate. It could be really  really easy to fall harder and faster and I’m glad that we have this time to focus on falling for the right thing for this stage… our communication ♥

For all my readers, please stay home and safe. For those of you that cannot because of your work or family I thank you for what you do. I think things are going to continue to get more complex and even scarier. So I pray for each and everyone of you that you and your family are safe.

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