Friday, June 18, 2010

a final thought on support: The Trust Factor

J has seen me go through my inspired phases several times.  Now that we live together, it’s even more apparent.  Here are a few notable things that I have uttered to him within the past few years:

P: I’m going to take Journalism classes and become a freelance writer!
P: Just signed up for Tango lessons.  No, no, I wouldn’t worry about my dance partners.  Trust me on that one…
P: Babe, I’m going to study abroad in Paris for a month.  I need to just get away from it all.
P: I auditioned for a lead role in a short film.  I didn’t get it, but I DO have a small role in it.  Maybe I should try looking into other film projects...
P: I’m volunteering with a magazine now.  I just have to drive to San Francisco every week after work, totally manageable right?
P: I want to try living in San Francisco temporarily.  I’ll still commute to San Jose for work though.  Of course, we’ll still get to see each other. 
P: I’ve decided to train for a half-marathon!  I know I’m not a runner, but I want to try.  Let’s do it together!
P: I just signed up with NANOWRIMO and am going to write a novel. 
P: Wouldn’t it be awesome to have my own business?   

Did I forget to mention how incredibly patient J has been with me throughout our 6 years?  Seeing all of my spontaneous ideas in one long, laughable list makes me want to give him a hug for tolerating my idiosyncrasies.  Let’s just say it is all part of my charm.

Here’s another side of the “support” coin - you don’t always like what your partner decides.  Some interests are neutral and likeable - J’s basketball hobby.  Other interests, can breed fear and mistrust in your partner – like dancing, joining new organizations, and acting.  J, who prefers to stick to his comfort zone, was afraid of my spontaneous interests.  Because I’m an outgoing person, several of my hobbies had me out and meeting with other people. 

This was how J’s nervously viewed my hobbies:
Pauline constantly has new interests -- J does not share these interests -- Pauline is comfortable going out alone -- constantly meets new people (guys) -- falls in love with someone who shares her interests.

Over half of the listed items were catalysts to fights between J and I.  He was upset that I decided on things that could jeopardize our relationship and I was upset that he wasn’t supportive of my happiness.  In the end (or out of exasperation), he let me live out my dreams (some short-lived, others did stick around) because he realized that he needed to for my sake.  If I felt in anyway “held back”, I would eventually grow bitter and distant; that would surely harm the relationship.  
He and I learned to trust in the decisions that we made, which is also a form of support.  Despite his fears that I would live in Paris and fall in love with an artsy French man, he had to trust me and allow me to find my own fulfillment.  In the end, I enjoyed a wonderful month in Paris with some new friends, and came home to him with a fresh perspective of the world and a renewed desire to travel and share those experiences with him.  No artsy French summer fling!

It took a few years for J to understand that I don’t need him to be like me and love what I love.  All I need is for him to understand why I love those things and to give me the freedom to pursue those interests – as sporadic as they may be.  He learned to see that even though my ideas may sometimes be fleeting, it didn’t mean that it correlated to my feelings towards him or our relationship.  6 years strong with the rest of our lives left to go – I’d say that’s a pretty impressive track record for someone like myself.


  1. You two are absolutely amazing. Not to put the pressure on you two, but you guys have the kind of relationship everyone looks for. The kind where two individuals can live their lives together. Understanding each other and the likes and dislikes. It probably hasn't always been like that, but you loved each other enough to turn it into that.

    I love seeing how you two have progressed from the very start until now. :D

  2. agreed. its awesome to see you guys grow and change to fit each other so well. its encouraging. <3 d


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