Melanie and Tony. Day 23.

“We treat complete strangers better than we treat our partners.”

 

Melanie

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

We talked during a different part of the day today, mid-afternoon! We only talked for about 40 minutes and it was more structured than our usual conversations, but I felt like it was all interesting. Less of the small talk, which is never the part I'm most excited about.

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

I feel a lot of pressure when these truth bomb questions get asked. But oh! that triggered my perfectionism so that gives me a good direction to go! I have been learning how stupid it is that we create these stories that there is some kind of "Good girlfriend" or "perfect match" out there. Honestly, our only dating options are a bunch of other bruised up people with damaged goods stickers on them (news flash, those stickers are on you too). I think seeing another person's vulnerability can be scary because "oh no, this person has some past and that might play out in unexpected ways in the future." That's true! It totally will! And there is no such thing as someone who has made it through life unscathed. We will all experience pain, disappointment, and failure over and over and over again. That's what we signed up for in being human. But I think a good trait to develop is getting back up again and getting back on the bike and still pedaling, even though it is very likely you will fall off the bike again (oh, is my metaphor seeming personal? Cool, it is. I fell off a bike so many times yesterday). And maybe that's the best trait to hope for in a partner too. Are you both willing to work at it? Ok great, cause there is gonna be lots of stuff to work on, GEAR UP. (I get bike metaphors you guys. I'm doing it).

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

I've been wanting to talk about things from this list the whole time we've done this experiment, so I was excited to talk to Tony about some of them. When talking about one quality he wishes he had, he talked about inventing medical equipment. I've never heard him talk about a desire to be involved in the medical field (though he does frequently talk about wanting to make the world a better place, so that part wasn't surprising). Tony sings a lot, so I was surprised when he said the last time he sang to someone else was when we were doing Karaoke. I guess it makes sense, because he doesn't frequently have reasons to perform for other people, and wouldn't do it at work or anything.

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

I loved talking about these questions, mostly because it felt natural and felt pretty comfortable with things we already know about each other. There were multiple times we could answer the questions as the other person answered them. It felt really nice to have someone who I knew well and who has been working so hard for the past month to get to know me. Lots of these things are already there. So comfort is like a 9.

5. What changes can you see in yourself today?

I did a good job of not applying long term pressure to today. I was excited to talk to him, I enjoyed it in the moment, and anxiety didn't come in because there was positive communication or proof of connection. I think I'm getting more adjusted to the fact that Tony is a person in my life and it's important for him to know the details about me. I felt less protective and defensive I guess.

IMG_5082 (1).jpg

Find you a bae who will express his worries about opening up, but then will still share deep, true things about himself anyway. I really admire that again and again Tony has come to bat with sharing not only how he feels in the moment, but the stories and experiences that determine why those emotions are there. 

 

Tony

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

Mel and I used FaceTime We talked about the questions and really enjoyed it! We only did a few of the questions, but we liked it so much that we are going to do more of the questions tomorrow.

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

Trust is a necessity in relationships. I realized that I am so grateful to Mel that we have developed a strong level of trust. We have developed this trust because I know that she is going to give me the benefit of the doubt when I am struggling and show me compassion when I am feeling insecure. I know that she will always be considerate when I am vulnerable and she will never knowingly disregard my feelings. I know that she will never maliciously hurt me. That is not in her nature. Knowing that, allows me to have confidence in our relationship and allows me to trust her even more. Because we have this trust with each other, I feel comfortable to be even more vulnerable with her. When we are more vulnerable, we are able to connect even more deeply. I am seeing this happen with us now.

I feel like too many times, we don’t have the courage to allow trust to develop. We are not willing or not able to put in the work necessary for trust to cultivate. Too often, I see people in relationships or marriages and they will belittle and berate their partner. They are quick to judge and point out insecurities. There doesn’t seem to be trust, vulnerability, nor compassion. There also, ironically enough, doesn’t seem to be much love and respect either. I find it absolutely bizarre that we can often be so cruel to the people that are closest to our hearts. We treat complete strangers better than we treat our partners. Those who don’t know us get the best version of ourselves, while we give the worst to the people who love us the most. It seems completely backwards to me. Because of this, I have had a personal goal for many years now that I will always show gratitude for my spouse and future mother of my children. That gratitude starts in dating relationships. What better time to start practicing than right now with Mel.

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

We only had time to go over a few of these questions. One that surprised me was the question, “Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?”Mel thinks she will spontaneously combust. No seriously. Actually combustion. Of the spontaneous variety. Not only does she think that will be how she goes, she actually WANTS that to be her end. Can’t make this up people. She WANTS to spontaneously combust. Definitely didn’t expect that!!     Apparently, scientists don’t understand why spontaneous combustion is a thing. But I think that is the allure. It is an unknown, so naturally, Mel is curious about it 

The other question that I really liked was, “Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?” Both of us said the exact same thing. We wish that we would have spent more time on drawing and painting and on writing. Apparently, Mel is a fantastic writer and someday she thinks it would be nice to publish something. I completely agree! I would love to publish something someday. I honestly don’t think there is a reason why we haven’t pursued these goals yet. I guess we just let other things get in the way.

 

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

I am feeling very positive about our relationship. I think I am at a 9 right now. I know that I have gone back and forth on this, but I feel like I can trust Mel to be considerate with my feelings and my insecurities. As a result, I am feeling very positive about this, regardless of what the future brings.

5. What changes can you see in yourself today?

I have definitely seen myself grow in several different ways. I am trying to be more grateful for my blessings. I have realized that I am grateful to Mel for being so understanding and compassionate and considerate.

I am also trying to be more understanding and compassionate myself. It is too easy to be critical and irritated with the people who are closest to you. I think life it too short to treat people that way. It is always better to show compassion and love.

I am also trying to trust people more. This has been a huge step in opening up my heart and my life to complete strangers, but I feel like it has been very beneficial.