October 2017
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Topaz & I started a 21-day relationship break / relative cost of meeting strangers / social ventures


icon: "progressing (a deeply, vividly green forest of thick vines and trees, with a tunnel running through where unused train tracks lay)"

It's 5 days into my relationship break with Topaz (I friends-locked my post about the reasons and such because it's a raw topic for them). I'm sad but I know it's the right idea. I just haven't been doing things like making plans with people I don't know, partly because time with Topaz takes less effort and gives more reward than most other situations.

Meeting with someone I'm not intimate with means I have to use energy on 1) initiating plans 2) working out a place and time 3) spending money and stress on driving at least 30 minutes if not an hour 4) pushing away the idea that they are not going to bother and any future interactions will require more effort from me than them 5) guiding the conversation 6) pushing myself to volunteer information because they don't ask questions 7) spending energy on being in public because I can't just invite myself to their house and no one wants to come to mine usually and 8) driving home again often while feeling more drained than I was when I left. Even people I am intimate with are difficult to spend time with because they all are very busy, have chronic pain that interferes with driving, and/or live more than 30 minutes away. In contrast, going to Topaz' involves only very low-key planning and a short drive, often shorter than driving home. And then I get cuddles most of the time and get fed delicious raw veggies or beautifully cooked meals. It's no wonder I have been spending too much time with them.

Add to all that the fact that my anxiety has been getting worse and worse, and you have a recipe for my social time being 90% focused on Topaz. But now I have been on anxiety meds for a month, and I have another 16 days which will be spent sans Topaz. I am planning to use these days as wisely as I can. Thus the coffee with new person yesterday (I had only had a 5 min conversation with them before) and three social plans for this weekend, possibly another on Monday. I met with my psychiatrist earlier this week and in the course of the conversation they said, "we'll know you're back at a good place when you're having crafty parties again." I had been working on plans for two of them this month! and when I went looking through fb events to grab the text from the last, I realized that I hadn't had one for literally a year. I set one up for May but cancelled it because no one was attending. So last March was the most recent one. I just couldn't handle the let-down if no one attended, because with my anxiety it would take like a weeks' worth of energy away from me. I feel like I could handle it now.

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Comments
volamonster ══╣mushroom's dragon╠══
I wish very, very much we were local because gosh I would love to make time to hang out with you. Not that it's easy for me, but still. Entries like these always make me wish I could. Cheering you on re: crafting parties!
belenen ══╣adoring╠══
awww, that means a lot! I know how much work that might be. <3
cactus_rs ══╣╠══
I don't know if this makes any difference or not but I would totally come to one of your crafty parties!! I do love a good pub crawl into oblivion, admittedly (which makes me a black sheep among introverts), but I love low-key craft parties just as much. It's a very good way to socialize at all levels of intimacy. (This is also why I like NaNoWriMo write-ins.)
belenen ══╣╠══

Omg, that would be awesome! You actually live near me if i remember correctly. If you add me on facebook (facebook.com/belenen) then i will send you invitations!

cactus_rs ══╣╠══
Sadly, I don't. :( I'm in Stockholm. But I would if I could....!
belenen ══╣confused╠══
sorry, my memory glitched! I don't know why I thought you were in Georgia!
cactus_rs ══╣Wackiness╠══
It happens. ;)
the_hag ══╣╠══
I feel like
this is a deeply nuanced situation, I admire the honesty with which you communicate about what is happening. I've rarely seen this when problems arise in relationships. It's very refreshing and moving.

I hope that you are both able to get through this in a way that benefits you both and helps strengthen your relationship with one another. :-)

I am intrigued by the idea of a crafting party, that does sound like a lot of fun. I'll have to look into your previous posting history and see how those work. Maybe I'll have to look at doing something like that when I'm finally feeling social again!

Thank you for sharing and my best hopes and wishes are with you.

A.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Re: I feel like
thank you so much <3

For me, a crafty party is just me inviting people to my house to use my art/craft supplies (or bring their own) so we can all be nourished by each others' creative energy. Nothin fancy! It helps me with motivation, and it helps me to not be so intimidated by "the blank page" as it were.
meepalicious ══╣smile :) [Tohru version]╠══
A crafty party sounds like such a great get-together! Like, a good space for interaction, but in a chill, introvert-friendly way. If I were closer than the other side of the planet, I'd love to go!
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
It helps me a lot! I have trouble motivating to do arts and crafts alone but I can easily do that when others are doing it too. And it is a relatively low-stress kind of social because it's perfectly fine if I hyperfocus and don't actually interact.
storminmay ══╣╠══
partly because time with Topaz takes less effort and gives more reward than most other situations
^I so so so so so relate to this in my current relationship, though instead of a break, we opted for an open relationship. Still, I totally get where you're coming from with this and think you're handling it so well.

As others have mentioned, a crafty party sounds really fun! :D
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*nodnod* We were already in an open relationship, actually, it's just a lot of work to find new people who I click with! Topaz lucked into a great connection immediately upon deciding to try practicing polyamory. I've been sort of halfheartedly looking for about 2 years now (halfhearted because it is a lot of work and gets depressing very quickly: there are not many people I am compatible with). I have had some good luck finding new friends lately so I'm feeling more hopeful on that front *smiles*
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.