Melanie and Tony. Day 19.

“Tonight was pretty intense.”

 

Melanie

1. Tell us about your time with your bae today.

We spent about an hour together tonight, also with Jordan cause we did relationship coaching through facetime. We started just chatting and discussing our trip, but quickly seemed to get into some harder stuff and even though we weren't in the same place, it seemed from his facial expressions that some of it was hard for Tony.

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

I think more than most other relationships, I've been more comfortable talking about my emotions and things I'm experiencing. So I'd say if comfort is me being open, then probably like an 8.5. I know there's still lots I can do to be more vulnerable though. Jordan had a good moment of calling me on my pretend vulnerability, where I didn't sound like I was talking as genuinely.

3. What is something you’ve learned about your bae that would have surprised you on day 1?

Um. He shaves his arms and legs? Which I couldn't tell on our first date cause he wore pants and a long sleeve shirt? So I guess that's surprising cause I forget people shave their arms?

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

It's been tricky to express confusion and uncertainty, especially because I can see when it makes him feel more uncomfortable or worried about things. I've never realized in so many words how much vulnerability is required for honesty. But like the dear Queen Brene also says, honesty without tact is cruelty, so it's important that I distinguish my honesty from attempts at trying to change someone. I can tell Tony how I feel without having the expectation for him to change a behavior, especially when it's something that isn't really a problem. Plus it's not ever really my job to tell Tony how to change. All I can do is express my emotions and views without motivation that he change. I think I need to be better about that, actually. Cause usually when I bring up a point, it's tied to this "Ok so what can we do to keep me from being annoyed" or whatever. When really, maybe it's just important to share what I'm feeling.

5. What is something you want to discuss in relationship coaching this week?

Tonight was pretty intense. I don't want to control his emotions or try and prepare him unnecessarily, but Tony likes having time to collect his thoughts, so maybe talking about how I can set that up better before the next coaching session? Also Jordan suggested we start sharing some of our earlier logs if that felt like a good way to start processing through some of the things we learned. I might just be writing this one down so I don't forget to do it.

6. Tell us about your coaching session. Have you been surprised by anything so far in the coaching process?

We got into some of the uncertainties I'm feeling and that my usual pattern in relationships is to end things when I'm feeling this way, but that I'm trying to change that pattern and part of that is me sharing it out loud. I could tell that was a tough thing for Tony to hear and he shared that it made him feel less secure, and for one of the first times, I was able to not completely take that stress on or try and make it better. Well, mostly. I'm still learning how to do this, you guys. I think I expected that, during coaching, we would both share our worries and concerns equally because we've both done therapy and worked through things that way before, but I've realized that sometimes my assertiveness blocks Tony from feeling as free to share things. It's a perspective I've never had cause I've never done therapy (or relationship coaching, which is what this really is) with a partner before. I realized it can be tricky to say something completely contrary to your partner when there's an (self-made) expectation to get along. And I realized that my thinking and speaking on my feet isn't always helpful because it can steamroller my partner from getting time to think and process through what they need.

It felt effective and so good tonight but it's always hard to remember the details. Dear world, find you a bae who will look in the camera and express things that feel vulnerable and nerve wracking, and even when you say the not most helpful things, still says he'll do the things you ask for at the end of coaching. Also be willing to ask for the things you need in return.

 

Tony

1. Tell us about your time with your bae today.

We didn’t see each other today because she is in Arkansas. We just ended up FaceTiming with Jordan for our relationship coaching.


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

I am down to a 5. It is very uncomfortable to be in a relationship with someone who seems to be constantly uncertain and doubtful about the relationship.


3. What is something you’ve learned about your bae that would have surprised you on day 1?

To be honest, there are a couple things that I am somewhat surprised about, but they are more personal and I think I don’t have all the information. But other than a couple things, there is nothing else I have learned about Mel that has been surprising. She is a very consistent individual.


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

I think this is the most vulnerable I have felt in a relationship. I go into more detail below, but I am in an interesting position. I have a deep respect and admiration for Mel. I am physically attracted to her. I am attracted to her emotional depth and her incredible intellect. I have feelings for her. Yet, I am very uncertain whether or not those feelings are reciprocated at the same level. In spite of that, here I am still continuing to be vulnerable. It is unbelievably uncomfortable for me.


5. What is something you want to discuss in relationship coaching this week?

I wanted to ask Mel about how she felt that she progressed so far in the past 17 days. I know that she has been feeling some doubts, so I also wanted to see what I can do to make things better for her.


6. Tell us about your coaching session. Have you been surprised by anything so far in the coaching process?