Liz writes for We Love Dates, a worldwide online dating site and dating advice blog.
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My boyfriend and I got into a huge fight at Subway the other day. Just writing that sentence annoys me on so many different levels. 1) I don’t even like Subway and we just stopped in because he was getting hungry and 2) I don’t want to be a couple who fights (in public!) about a damn sandwich. Like literally-this isn’t a deep metaphor here people-we were sharing a footlong and he wanted cheese, I didn’t…quite the controversy that resulted in me crying in the car on the way home.
Not my brightest moment.
Because I over analyze everything like it’s my job, I kept thinking about World War Subway well after we had kissed, boned and made-up. While some fights are just silly and insignificant, and aren’t worth a second thought, I had a stinking suspicion that there was more to the story than a piece of cheese. I was right.
I am madly in love with my boyfriend. I won’t bore you, but he’s fucking fantastic. I knew he was the one the moment I laid eyes on him on our first online date, and we’ve been together ever since. We’ve traveled the world together and are in the process of buying our first home. We’re a team…a unit. If we were super lame, we’d have a “couple” name, ala “Bennifer.” You can’t have one without the other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve always been fiercely independent though. Growing up as a twin, I had to fight everyday to set myself apart from my (fabulous) sister. I didn’t like being bound together, identity wise, with someone else. I wanted to stand on my own two feet and be my own person. That fighting spirit, and fear of losing my identity has stayed with me into adulthood.
Being in a long term, serious relationship has shifted my identity and admittedly, I was having a difficult time shifting my mindset along with it. In the days and weeks leading up to the fight, I knew I was feeling like I was losing myself, just a bit, and a part of me was hanging on tight, kicking and screaming to my independence. So as silly as it is, when my boyfriend ordered one sandwich for us to share, I freaked out.
“What about MY needs and wants?”
“What if I want my OWN?”
“What if for once, I just don’t want to share?”
Crickets…I told you it wasn’t my brightest moment. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend thought he was being Punk’d.
The thing is though, had the fight not happened, I’d be typing this blog post from an entirely different place. I’d probably still be clinging to my independence in the wrong ways, and building up resentment towards a guy who has made it his life’s mission to make me happy. Instead, because it was so unlike me to fly off the handle like that, I’ve been able to do a bit of self reflection and am now able to nurture those independent parts of me that make me, me. I’ve been able to put my big girl pants on and communicate to my boyfriend how I feel like my own personal spark is being a bit stifled, and together, we are working on finding ways to light it back up again.
Yes. Together. Because at the end of the day, subway freak-outs or not, I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t need anyone. I don’t want to be so married to my independence that I won’t let someone share my life. Or my sandwich.
That’s it my lovelies! Do us all a favor would you? Welcome Ms. Liz to the fold, and post lots and lots of comments telling her how wonderful she is! Stay tuned next week for a post about something very juicy (that burger image made me hungry – rawrrr).
Love you people!!!!! Mmmmmphhhhuuuhhhh!
Ms. Cheevious says
Awesome post Liz! Thank you so much for contributing to MsCheevious.com! Love it!
Craig Bauman says
I read it, and really don’t know why. I should be studying. Well, here goes my review… This person is a good writer – well written, and she’s insightful enough to look at her own behavior which I particularly like about her. So I should just say these things and be done with it, because I promised myself only to give people positive input from now on. I will just take one additional angle on it. I can’t believe people worry about this kind of stuff any more. Independence is a state of mind – having nothing to do with being a couple. It is a strength we carry for emergencies, decision making, protecting the ones we love and solving relationship issues and problems. Time for the writer to let go or next time it will be a major argument about he toilet seat – (up, down… I never DID get that one straight.)
Thanks for your review, Craig. While I don’t agree with your “angle” regarding independence, I do agree that I should let it go or it will keep showing up in silly ways, and after awhile, that’s not so silly. -Liz
Dirty In Public says
I am so with you, Liz! I was always independent but after my divorce my independence manifested to the point of making irrational decisions. My “I don’t need anyone” attitude haunts my new marriage more than I care to admit. But I’m working on it…everyday. You said it best, “I don’t want to be so married to my independence that I won’t let someone share my life.”
While I hate that you struggle with this too, I’m glad you understand what I’m saying! 🙂 And exactly, girl-we’re both working on it, everyday and I have no doubt that you’re going to get past it. I’d rather be independent than a stage 5 clinger, right?! 🙂 xoxo!
Lisa Jey Davis says
You rocked it Liz! Thanks so much! I would say hold on to your independence, but allow INTER-dependence as well. That’s what makes two strong people even stronger… together… in my opinion! Thanks!
Thanks Lisa! This has been so fun and I’m honored to be on your site!
I liked Liz’s take on this story, I could feel it in my own life. I’m on the other side of the problem. My wife has an unresolved streak of “independence,” but it really is a condition of resenting not being in “control.” Curiously, and related closely to Liz’s situation, this most often revolves around food. If I suggest a change in what she is preparing for a meal she usually responds angrily, or worse, if I start to do something I think would be a help and a nice addition like getting out an avocado to slice, all hell breaks loose. She threatens to put everything down the garbage disposal and let me do all cooking from now on. It’s not a fight; it’s a hostile declaration – but the emotional content is much the same. Liz’s solution protects the sharing of her life, but there is a reciprocal consideration, the boyfriend is sharing his life too and he has a mutual responsibility to avoid breakdowns. It’s a joint problem. The underlying sharing needed is the sharing of decision making, the point where “control” is really shared.
Thank you so much for your comment, Eaeme! That is so interesting that we both seem to get independent around food (I am trying to think if I do this too or if it was an isolated incident at Subway)…food is a personal thing, especially for women sometimes. I love your last sentence about the sharing of decision making…absolutely right and a way I hadn’t thought about it before.
Ms. Cheevious says
Eaeme – thanks for posting such a great reply to my new guest poster Liz! I appreciate you!
LJ: Off to Mammoth Wednesday, CU 5/3.
An amazing read! Very insightful and so close to home for many of us independent ladies who struggle with that balance. At the end of the day, you prove that by taking a look inside and focusing how we can be the best we can be, we find the truest love of all. Thanks so much for such a candid and entertaining post! Welcome to the fab Ms. Cheevious. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.
Great story. I would say sorry it happened, but I think all of us have our times where we internalize than BLOW UP at the tiniest and most insignificant thing. I like to call them stepping stones in relationships 😉