December 28, 2004
Things have hit kind of a rough patch with me and Ksenia. I'm not sure what the future's going to look like for us. I still have hopes and know there's a ton of potential there, but it was a tough extended weekend.
Even before the rough patch I had been thinking about what Issues I have with relationships. I think one of the biggest is that I have a serious aversion to dependence. I don't want to be dependent on someone else, and I don't want someone to be dependent on me, even though I work to be a very reliable person relationship-wise.
It seems like this is a barrier to intimacy, though my "rational" self doesn't think that it should be; my ideal model for a relationship has always been two strong people, sharing and cooperating on important issues, meeting many each other's emotional and physical and spiritual and financial wants and needs. Maybe it's odd that I can draw a distinction between meeting each other's "needs" but still not being dependent; I guess I have this idea that two people should be strong enough to be on their own if it came to that, and that that's good because it means a relationship is a choice, not some kind of forced neccesity.
Of course, I have no evidence that this is a viable model for romance. It's probably what I fell into with Mo, and it wasn't enough for her, though she wasn't able to put that feeling into words soon enough to possibly make a difference and adjust our heading before hitting the rocks.
And I would imagine this dislike of dependence extends to other relationships as well, friendships and how I deal with my relatives. Maybe it's why I tend to feel a bit squirmish about the pretty normal verbal reminders of affection from my mom or aunt. And saying "I love you" in the context of a romance doesn't seem natural for me. (And looking back at an old loveblender essay I see that that's been a problem for a while, though my thinking about that has changed in the six years since.) To me, saying "those three little words" can seem too much like...I dunno, like you're saying "I'm dependent on you" or "I want you to be dependent on me" or both. Though Evil B. brought up a good point, that sometimes it's not (just) a reminder to the people hearing it, it can be a reminder for the person speaking it as well...
I still think it's useful to figure out where this comes from, if only to figure out what I should do with it, try to accept it and work within its parameters, or if it's something I should try and "grow out of". The usual "culprit", of course, is the death of my dad when I was 14. Sometimes I wonder if that's the real trauma that has shaped so much of my emotional landscape, or just a kind of catchall excuse. Possibly some of my previous failed relationships? The German gal heading back home after the high school summer, the one I pursued in college, a big carousel of romance that finally stopped, or even the drinkin' buddy friendship that got parlayed into a (finally failed) marriage.
Maybe my outlook is not as uncommon or weird or possibly unhealthy as I fear, maybe there are other people out there looking for the same kind of "secure base" relationship that I think is best...the secure base that lets both people find balance and support, a relationship that's important for what it is itself and for how it lets you move forward in the outside world. But my fear has to be is that isn't the way hearts and minds really work, that you can't build a permanent relationship within the boundaries that non-Interdepdence is going to imply.
Feedback welcome, especially from people who know me "in real life".