Melinda and Jake. Day 23.

“Our relationship was so different on the pages of my journal than anything I've experienced since TDB started.”

 

Melinda

1. Give us a 40-word summary of today.

Normally I loooove creative constraints. But 40 words isn't going to cut it for me today. Don't make me do it. Don't make me!!!

It's strange that it's taken me until Day 23 to pull out my journals and see what I wrote about Jake way back when. But it's even stranger to read what I wrote. Our relationship was so different on the pages of my journal than anything I've experienced since TDB started. Back on February 24, 2018, we talked for hours about the good, real stuff and it was natural and fun. I was so optimistic about the possibility of dating him.

Today Jake and I talked a little bit about how open we feel the other has been during our relationship. After he left, I kept thinking about why I haven't been able to connect with him when I usually connect with people easily (and frankly, I'm probably more open with my friends than they'd even like). Here are a couple factors that I think are contributing to my inability to open up with Jake:

  1. I'm intimidated by the dating aspect of this relationship. Because it's called "dating," I think it makes me feel like the stakes are higher — more potential for hurt and rejection — so my guard is up.

  2. Even though it's small, Jake and I have history. And in that history, I felt rejected by him. Until I read my journal today, I didn't remember how much I opened up to him that weekend at the cabin. We talked about a lot of personal things. Heck, I even let him read the first page of my novel. I've hardly let anyone read that. 

But after we left the cabin, he messaged me a couple times, but when I responded, he'd leave me on read. I invited him to do something and he said "I have to help out a friend with a thing." Those things made me feel dumb for thinking he was interested too. 

So yeah, it's hard for me to share those pieces of myself with him again. I'm not consciously holding back, telling myself "don't share that personal thing to him," but I definitely think those doors have been locked in my mind. The problem is, I don't know what kind of key I'm looking for to unlock them.

☝ I don't know why it took me so long to realize that's what's going on here.

2. It’s Sunday. Drop a truth bomb. What are you learning about relationships?

Something that makes me apprehensive about relationships is the threat they make to my the awesome things going on in my life. But you know what? It's okay to let some things go.

This relationship has meant I've gotten extra behind on my journal, I haven't had as much time to invest in my work for my freelancing clients, I've had to miss out on events and adventures that are usually staples in my life, I've had to figure out different ways to invest in my friendships, and I've missed so many "Bachelorette" viewing parties that I can't figure out why there are chicken nuggets everywhere (Is Hannah obsessed with chicken nuggets or something??).

There have been some things I've been sad to miss out on, but for the most part, these changes haven't rocked my world too hard. And in a regular relationship, I think it work even better than this. And that's good to remember.

3. Go over a few (or all) of these questions together. What answer did your bae give to you that surprised you?

This is going to sound so selfish, but of all the things Jake said, I was most surprised by his compliments. They resonated with me in a way that made me think he does see more of me than I thought. And I think hearing them was a turning point for me. When we finished the 36 questions, I felt this feeling of safety that I haven't had in this relationship yet.

If my challenge with opening up to Jake really is that I felt rejected by him before, maybe what I would need to rebuild trust is to know if he actually does care about me. And not me, his Thirty Day Bae girlfriend, but me, Melinda.


4. Scale from 1-10 how positively do you feel about your relationship at this point?

8.2

5. What changes can you see in yourself today?

Today, I felt myself softening up and letting my walls down a little. I really want to do that and I think the questions helped me feel okay about doing that.

6. Tell us about your coaching session. If any, what blind spots do you feel you had going into Thirty Day Bae.

In coaching, Jake said the hardest part about Thirty Day Bae has been knowing if he's doing something because he wants to or because he's in TDB. I think a hard part for me is knowing if Jake is doing something because he wants to or because it's TDB — too. But really, I don't think it crossed my mind that separating the real from the fake would play into this experience — even though it definitely should have. 





 

Jake

1. Give us a 40-word summary of today.

Is anyone actually going to count this? Okay here we go. We went to counseling and it was a really good session. I was able to talk about how I felt like I was acting and that was a good start. In the session I said I thought I was being more vulnerable in our relationship than she was. And on the drive home she said that was wrong. So I explained we were both vulnerable but I was always the instigator of telling deep or personal or vulnerable things. And after I was vulnerable then she would be. And I just wanted to see her be more vulnerable without me having to be first. It was good.

2. It’s Sunday. Drop a truth bomb. What are you learning about relationships?

You can't help who loves you, because you can't get love, you can't earn love, you can't even buy love. Love can only be given to you. So instead of focusing on getting love I need to focus on giving it. It's something everyone needs more of so why not give it to as many people as I can. And at this point I'm talking about relationships in general, not necessarily romantic relationships. I think loving people is the ultimate super power and if you're good at loving people you will be so happy. Love the gas station attendant, love your waiter, love your neighbor and fricken love your Bae! This is what we talked about in church today. Sorry if it sounds preachy. It's just on my mind so much that of all the skills I'm working to develop, loving everyone should be at the top of my list.

As far as romantic relationships go, I've learned that finding someone who is a great friend to you is so important because even though I don't feel romantically into this relationship I am very much into it on a friendship level. And that has carried this relationship and kept it fun and not annoying or frustrating. We're friends and that makes such a difference and makes it very enjoyable to be together every day. Does that make sense? Like I don't think looks have the power to carry a relationship but friendship for sure does. I'm not saying Melinda isn't attractive, she is beautiful but if I was banking on that to keep us together I don't think it would work.

3. Go over a few (or all) of these questions together. What answer did your bae give to you that surprised you?

She gave me an answer to a question and then she said, "Don't write that in your log." And I didn't think it would be a big deal to put that in here but to her it was a big deal and didn't want me to write about it. But I'm more loyal to you than to her so she said, haha jk I'm fricken loyal to my Bae! But it was surprising to me that she didn't want that answer publicized.

4. Scale from 1-10 how positively do you feel about your relationship at this point?

In terms of friendship I'd say were at a 9

5. What changes can you see in yourself today?

I'm feeling like even though this is a cool thing I'm ready for it to be over. It's kind of like when you're at the movie theater and the person you're with keeps refilling the popcorn and offering it to you. You're like, ok that was good but I think I've had enough. Because you know if you keep eating it you're going to start hating the popcorn and feel sick and wonder, why did I eat so much popcorn? And then you'll down a bunch of Coke hoping that'll take the saltiness out of your mouth but instead it just makes you feel worse and then you don't even care how the movie ends you just want to get the freak out of there! This analogy is much more applicable to the popcorn side than to the 30DB Side of things and actually is a pretty terrible analogy. Sorry, I tried.

6. Tell us about your coaching session. If any, what blind spots do you feel you had going into Thirty Day Bae.

We were able to talk about things that were hard about this experience. Which I've been really scared to say anything negative about the experience to Melinda but I think I shouldn't have. I think I should have talked more to her about what has been difficult instead of just acting like everything was great. I should have told her I felt like I was acting a lot. I don't know why I was so scared of that. That was definitely a blind spot.