Melinda and Jake. Day 4.

“I need to take more responsibility for breaking down my own walls than I do.”

 

Melinda

1. What did you do with your bae today?

On the way to pick me up, Jake passed a shawarma restaurant. I'm always down for a food adventure. Plus I like shawarma. It was a new thing for Jake. He wasn't super out of his element, just a little bit out of his element, but that made me feel somewhat more at ease. He's been so confident this whole time and I've been so... not. So it was humanizing to see him try something new. Plus we shared our logs from before this whole thing started and that was a little vulnerable. Not too much. Just a little. And it was good to hear he gets worried about being himself too much in a relationship because the girl might leave him. I'd expressed that same concern to him but I hadn't felt like he empathized. So, it was nice to feel not alone in that.

I forgot to ask the other things I was going to ask. But we talked about our successful karaoke careers and our favorite Hamilton songs and then I was scrolling through my phone while he went to the bathroom I got really thrown by the helium shortage and learning that helium is used in high speed internet and it's mined? Like, did everyone know these facts?!

PEOPLE READING THIS BLOG: it's real!! Please limit your helium balloon usage. So grateful that I've been given the platform to publicize this issue.

Actually, that is so sad that we have to not make helium balloons because they are some of the happiest things in the world. You can't be sad looking at them. I guess now I will be a little. I'm having some really complicated feelings right now and for once they're not about my bae — they're about balloons  

Back to the point. The point is, that once I was talking to him about the helium crisis, I suddenly felt totally like myself. So, note to self: Maybe keep some things in your back pocket that you can ask him about. The things you want to discuss with your friends. Just talk about them like that's normal.

2. Give us an analogy to describe your feelings.

I feel like shawarma — just gotta slow roast me or I ain't gonna be any good.

3. Her Royal Highness, Brene Brown, says that vulnerability is the only way to true connection. How have you felt vulnerable with your bae?

I don't know if I've done a great job at being actively vulnerable with Jake. I mean, situationally, I'm hecka vulnerable. Just being in this relationship feels vulnerable because it's so foreign.

I really want to be vulnerable with my thoughts and feelings and self though.

Thinking back on past relationships, I've been closed off like this until one magical day when something breaks it. It's usually a late night talk in the car. It's easier to be vulnerable in the dark. And cars are so small and private, they feel like the right place to share secrets. It's usually at that time that I'm all of a sudden pretty attracted to the guy.

But how do I incite that?

Also, you know what's the most vulnerable? I can sit here spilling out my guts for the world to hear and it feels fine. When I'm writing it, I control the narrative. But what's so vulnerable is that Jake writes about me. He can expose my most vulnerable parts. His writing is putting myself up for observation in a way that I have zero control over.

4. Scale from 1-10 how comfortable do you feel with your bae?

5. Just pretty regular. Today I didn't feel uncomfortable with him (Like yesterday. It's weird how quickly I recovered). But it wasn't until that helium scare that my true self broke out and I would say I was actually comfortable with Jake.

5. What are you learning about yourself?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how one night I was at a party talking to a guy friend who’s very charismatic and flirty and I was being charming right back at him. But then another friend popped up and said, “Melinda needs a boyfriend for such and such event, would you be her fake boyfriend?” We both thought that was a great idea and he started acting like we were dating. Within minutes, my legs were crossed, my arms were crossed, and all my sassy comments had vanished.

And that’s what I do.

It’s just, I’ve always blamed this on the guy. I’ll come home from a date and say, “He was nice, but we just didn’t click. He’s not for me.”

This should have been a no-brainer, but it’s only now that I’m really confronting the reality that this is largely my problem. I have no right to put that expectation on someone else. Me being myself on a date definitely is the result of a lot of factors, and the guy is definitely one of them, however, I need to take more responsibility for breaking down my own walls than I do.

(Definitely still figuring out how to do that. I'll keep you posted. Obviously. Keeping you posted is what I'm all about for the next 24? days)

 

Jake

1. What did you do with your bae today?

Today we just went out to dinner to a Shawarma restaurant called... Shawarma. It was pretty good. Melinda loves trying new and exotic things and I do too to an extent. They had chicken wings on the menu and I almost got them but then she said I should try something new so I let her order for me. She did a good job. We had a good discussion and then she went and watched The Bachelor with her friends and I went and watched the Warriors Blazers game with my roommates. It would be nice if she was into watching sports but not a requirement as long as she doesn't make me watch the Bachelor.

2. Give us an analogy to describe your feelings.

I feel like we're an Otter Pop. At the beginning when you start eating an Otter Pop it's really hard and not as good but after a little bit it starts to warm up and become kind of like a slushy and that's when it's the best! Man, I need to go buy some Otter Pops.

3. Her Royal Highness, Brene Brown, says that vulnerability is the only way to true connection. How have you felt vulnerable with your bae?

I told her one thing about myself today that was pretty vulnerable. She didn't ask more about it or it could have gotten a lot more vulnerable. Honestly I was kind of hoping she would ask more about it. Now it just kind of feels like it's one of those things that I know she's wondering about and now I'm just going to be wondering when she's going to bring it up because I'm sure she's curious to know more about it. But sorry world I ain't telling you about it! You're gonna have to love me or be contractually obligated to date me in order to get it out of me!

4. Scale from 1-10 how comfortable do you feel with your bae?

8. I think we could talk all day without a pause.

5. What are you learning about yourself?

I'm learning that I am very attracted to girls who have an opinion and stick with it. Melinda and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things and we have these fun debates about different things and I love seeing her stick to her guns instead of being non-confrontational and just agreeing with me. Also we both seem to be pretty open minded about either of us being wrong and we're willing to admit when we're wrong which I think is really important. I dated one girl who had her opinion and if you showed her blatant facts that she was wrong she still would never admit it and I couldn't handle that.