If you’ve been reading my blog you know I have been honest in sharing that while I have a significant other in my life, a really wonderful significant other (who has proven again and again that he is there for me), I do in one way or another, love all my Sunday Boyfriends. I’ve been asked,“Doesn’t that get sticky?” And in a nutshell, it can if you let it. While the purpose of SB relationships should serve to comfortably fulfill a need in your life, I would argue you need to balance that with being true to yourself. Sure, sometimes comfort boundaries are pushed to the limit. In my most recent caught-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-SB moments, I would argue pushing the limits can be the best moments to not only find out what makes you tick, but also answer the questions if those relationships you value are really built on the something you think they are. These are the moments you find out if you have a knack for picking the great ones, or if you have just as much relationship judgment as a 2007 Britney Spears.
The beginning of the hard place moment: My significant other recently surprised me with a trip for my birthday. How ridiculously lovely is that? Very lovely indeed. But…I hate surprises. I know that sounds off-base; maybe even bitchy to some of you (although it shouldn’t be a shock when coming from a control-freak planner). Here’s the thing: Surprises and I don’t have a great track record. In fact, we have a crummy track record. I associate “surprise”with bad news; with disorder and disruption; with extra work. My significant other and I have had many discussions on how much I hate surprises. So when this situation presented itself, it took some time for me to be comfortable about this trip; not only because I hate surprises, but it also seemed as if all the discussions my significant other and I had about said surprises were one-sided. That was a tad deflating.
Don’t get me wrong. I love traveling. In fact, there have been many times during my life I have contemplated moving to this particular destination. As such, I look for any excuse to visit. It is a constant theme. And I understand all the hard work my significant other went through to put this all together. Believe me when I share that is not lost on me. But going under circumstances out of my own planning, well, that’s as nerve-wracking as getting a Brazilian wax.
Out of the sweetness of his heart (seriously—no sarcasm here), my significant other said he wanted me to organize a dinner with friends I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Because, he said, he knew recent circumstances in my world left me yearning to connect with people I care about. Wow, that is super nice! But here’s where the heart of the rock/hard place situation put on more of a squeeze…he added the caveat, “Be sure to invite both your Foodie SB and East Coast SBs.” Um…say what now? Did he really just say he wanted two of my SBs at the same table as him? He was really comfortable with that? Was I comfortable with that?
Now I know what you’re thinking. If I’m promoting this idea of Sunday Boyfriends being comfortable, why in the name of Mike would I be stressing out over a get together of the people I care about? Darn good question. Yes my significant other is great. In fact, he’s top notch. Not perfect mind you, but then neither am I. He’s a really down-to-earth, easy going, giving guy; a balance to me. It’s why we work. And come to think of it…so are all my Sunday Boyfriends (I certainly have a type). And while my significant other reads every Sunday Boyfriend post and knows most of the backgrounds to each of my SBs, he had not yet met all the guys. The two he was proposing to join us and break bread, he wouldn’t have been able to pick out of a line up. Yep. This meal was going to be full of introductions; full of unknowns; full of surprises. “Super!” was my first reaction (she said dripping with sarcasm).
I could have said, no. No I don’t want my SB and significant other worlds to collide. But then that’s not being very forthright, or true to the SB mantra is it? But feeling uncomfortable at the table (for my SBs, my significant other, and me) isn’t what SB is all about, either. I really had to sit with this before moving forward because, I’ll be honest here, I let parts of myself go whenever I’m with any of my SBs. Why? Because all my SB moments are one-on-one; there are no walls of judgment. This freedom is what draws me to each of my SBs because it leads to deeper connections. I feel free to say what I want and discover new things about them and me. All my SBs pretty much push me in directions that ultimately make me face what I stand for and what I stand up for. But these are the two SBs, my Foodie and my East Coast SBs, I have the most interaction with (more info on each of them may be found in their respective Q&A posts). The personal dynamic of each of my SB relationships, especially these two SB relationships, works because of the connections and shared experiences between two people, not a group of people. So how would these kinds of conversations work in a group? Would I feel free or would I be stifled by self-conscious, fear-of-being-transparent thoughts? Goddamnit I hate overthinking…
Ultimately I arranged the dinner. Because at the end of the day, if I’m going to say SB is all about being comfortable…always there for you…I better put up or shut up. I dusted off and fine-tuned my comfort nitty gritty. Checked in with what I’m all about. I told myself it didn’t matter; at least it shouldn’t matter, if my SBs, my significant other, and I were all at the same table. If they didn’t care for each other…then that was their thing. No matter how much I would fret about our Rodney King situation (“Can’t we all just get along?”), I realized I can’t control what others do or feel. None of us can. I/we can only act from a place of what we, individually, carry. My thing is that I do care and have cared for a long time for everyone at the table. I hoped my SBs and significant other would want to be at the table for those same reasons. My thing was fulfilling that need to connect and have another shared experience. I hoped my SBs and significant other would want the same, but there was certainly the possibility of my SBs taking a pass on such a meeting; and there was also the possibility of my significant other walking out on such a meeting. And if either happened, I told myself that would be an answer within itself.
I like to think I’m a good judge of character. I’m pretty choosy about who I not only bring into my world, but also open up to. We should all practice choosiness. I had to trust it would still be fine, all my relationships would be fine, I would be fine, if we all came together and the worst happened…we were uncomfortable for one night. My desire to connect still outweighed all the what ifs.
I guess the real “surprise” for me was learning I need to trust all my choosiness really does pay off. Because in the end, what turned out to be two separate, first-time SB/Significant Other meetings due to scheduling conflicts, each felt more like my family meeting my family. I should have realized great people continue being great no matter the situation they are in. It solidified I made the right choices with the rocks in my world. I thank all of them for making me feel like I’m engaging in what it means to truly give of yourself. I am more comfortable because of it. And should it have gone the other way…well, like I said before, it would have at least been an answer and this would have been an entirely different post. Lucky for me.
Here’s hoping all your SB (and significant other) choices turn out to be the solid rocks you thought they were. And if they aren’t…well remember even Brittney Spears made it out from her own rock and hard place.
As always stay comfy (as best you can in even those overthinking moments), be good to yourself and all your Sunday Boyfriends.