Thursday, May 31, 2007

the big relationship intervention of 2007

I came back to work yesterday to the news that a co-worker had gotten engaged over the weekend. This news was relayed to me in the most gentle manner. Until the news was finally revealed, my friends had been on pins and needles so I knew something was up. They knew (and right they were) that this news would upset me. Don’t get me wrong. I am very happy for my co-worker. But this co-worker and I used to bond over coffee (well, green tea for me) about how our boyfriends needed to get their acts together and propose already. I had a feeling she would be proposed to first.

Needless to say, I was disappointed that it wasn’t me with the big news in the office and the huge rock on my finger (honestly, I don’t need a big diamond at all). Instead, I find myself still trying to get Jesse to become more comfortable with (and less intimidated by) the idea of marriage. However, a tiny part of me wishes he would just hurry up and propose already (and unfortunately for me, this tiny part of me is exacerbated by my anxiety).

My co-workers (that I’m friends with) decided to stage an intervention yesterday. We went downstairs to our cafĂ© where we usually get our coffee and teas. Instead of heading back up as soon as our drinks were ready (like we normally do), they sat down on a table and invited me to sit. “Liz,” S. started, “we need to talk.” I knew what this was about. My heart began to beat faster as I sat down with them. In a soothing tone, J. said, “How are you?” S. continued in a similar tone, “Are you ok with the news?” I felt like I was being taped for that show “Intervention” where the families of crackheads and alcoholics confront the addicts and force them (usually kicking and screaming) to seek help. Apparently, my drug of choice is Jesse.

I was very touched by my friends’ concern. I answered, “I’m ok, I guess. It all just sucks.” With understanding, S. said, “But you know that Jesse loves you so much. You are so happy in your relationship.” “Yeah, I know,” I gave in. J. said, “But it’s not healthy. He needs to miss you. He needs to know what it’s like for you not to be there. You’re too available.” Are they going to ask me to start living by The Rules? I pleaded, “But I like to be there for him. I want to be with him.” S. countered, “Yeah, but you always do everything together. Don’t you ever want to just hang out with your friends without him?” I thought about it for a second. I continued, “I suppose, but after 3 years his friends are my friends and vice versa. Whenever we get invited to something, it’s assumed that the other is invited. We’re a package deal.” J. said, “Sure, but you’re losing yourself in all of this. What about what you want?” S. built on this by saying, “You’re too dependent on Jesse. You need to do more stuff for you and not always give so much of yourself.”

Hmmm…they were valid points.

I had an epiphany. “Do you think that if I get Jesse to miss me, he’ll finally want to marry me?” I asked, with hope in my voice. J answered, “Well why would he want the cow if he could get the milk for free? Maybe if you weren’t there all the time, he’ll realize that he could lose you.” S. said, “If you’re out having fun without him, maybe he’ll realize how much he likes having you around and then he’ll want keep you around forever.”

Despite the After-School-Special feeling of the intervention, it felt pretty good to have such great friends that care about me. Also, I’m sure that S. and J. are pretty sick of my bitching about how I’m never going to get married. But I’ve got to give them credit for wanting to prevent my emotional unraveling. It was very sweet.

I told Dr. W about my friends and their intervention and she nodded her head in agreement the whole time I was telling her the story. She added this, “I do think that subconsciously, a major component of your generalized anxiety comes from your issue with Jesse. I’m concerned that you are too dependent on and devoted to him. I think it would be great for you to develop some independence but not because you want him to propose. You need to do this for yourself. I’ve seen many women hospitalized because they were too dependent on their husbands or boyfriends and the men in their lives left them. The best treatment for your separation anxiety is to become more independent. I encourage you to go out more without Jesse. But please do it for you and your well-being.”

So I need to start thinking about me to get over my separation anxiety? Sounds sketchy to me.

Then again, what do I know? I’m the crazy girl who loses it when her boyfriend’s not around.

BTW, the boy left for Vegas this afternoon for a weekend bachelor’s party. Boooo!


sunchaser said...

Sometimes I don't understand why marriage is such a big deal - but then again, it kind of is.

I lived with a guy who I knew wouldn't marry me (because I don't think he'll ever marry anyone - he's not the "marrying kind" if ya know what I mean :). The good thing is that we're still friends, and always will be.

I'm sorry, I just don't know what to tell you.

How long have you been living together?

Hey Pretty said...

Consider it an exciting opportunity to discover some new outside interests that you can experience and love and then later *share* with Jesse. Surely there's something you've been wanting to do or try that Jesse wouldn't be into. An art class? Yoga? A new sport?

lizzie said...

sunchaser--you know, sometimes i wish that marriage isn't a big deal to me. honestly, i never even considered marriage as a possibility in my life until after i met jesse. it was never, ever a priority. for some reason, it is now. it's probably because i know i want to spend the rest of my life with him.

we've been together for almost 3 years (our anniversary is in 18 days), living together for over 1 year.

hey pretty--you know, there's definitely some stuff that i want to do (like becoming more of an AIDS activist). i think now would be a good time to start exploring that. thanks for the advice.