Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

August 1, 2007

Listen to the Straight Talk

It's very important that the man I date be able to take a compliment. Or at least not reject one. Prior to Naval A-Hole, I didn't mind a humble guy who responded to my "You're wonderfuls" with a bashful, "Aww, I'm not."

But Naval A-hole pretty much killed that for me. When he and I were in the thick of our whirlwind, long distance relationship, I was so giddy with his very existence, that I had to tell him as often as possible.

"You are so sweet."
"You are so considerate."
"You are the kindest person."

All that crap. It suited his appearance too. He looked like an angel - blonde hair, blue eyes, innocent chubby cheeks and the polite mannerisms of a Naval officer. He was the Good Samaritan boyfriend I was proud to call my own.

I never paid attention to his protestations at these compliments. They were more direct than "Aww, shucks" actually. More like, "No, really. I'm not as nice as you think I am."

I look back at that now and shudder. He was straight out telling me who he was. I just chose not to hear it.

So now I'm more cautious. It took me a little bit longer to feel so mushy-gushy about Wine Guy. But when I finally started to and told him so, the response I got (several times) felt like a punch in the stomach with an ice cold fist. "No, really. I'm not all that nice."

I let that simmer for a few weeks and last night I finally got the guts to straight out ask him exactly what he meant by that. The answer was nothing shocking. We all don't live up to our own ideals and Wine Guy is no exception. But what really came out of that conversation (yet again) was how heavy my baggage still is. It sucks.

I also think about something my mom has told me a few times over the years. She is a therapist and said she has seen this time and time again with couples in counseling and it never ceases to amaze her. I now take it to heart as it applies not just to Naval A-hole but to Only Child too (who repeatedly told me he was highly doubtful he would ever want to get married and have children - something I chose to not hear for six years).....
Men generally tell you exactly what's going on. Women just choose not to hear it.

So here is my plea to all of my fellow Troopers out there: Start Listening. Even if you don't want to hear it. Better yet, know the questions you need to ask, ask them straight, and be damn well prepared to hear - and act upon- the answer.



sexagenarian and the city said...

i love yr relationship w. yr mom.

at what point did you tell her about wg's existence??

Dating Trooper - Dating is Warfare said...

Yeah, my mom is pretty cool....though we have certainly had our "issues" - right Ma? (I know you're reading;-)
She knew about WG pretty much right away. I try to play it cool at first but that description rarely, if ever, applies to me. So I usually give up and tell her everything right away with the caveate of "Don't get your hopes up."
Mimi - do you have kids, a daughter specifically? Just curious....

sexagenarian and the city said...

yes -- 2 daughters.
i try not to disc them in my blog, but i just mentioned them in a recent 'fantasy' in my second 'vignettes from a visit' post, so i guess there's no point in hiding them here! if you want to know more, tell me how to reach you over email.

sexagenarian and the city said...

yr reference to yr mother triggered my most recent post, in wh i anticipate telling _my_ mother about the new man in my life...

Melissa said...

Listening is KEY! I just read a blog entry about that. You can check it out here:

Green Daze 44 said...

My Mom is a therapist too and she says the same thing. We need to wake up.

I enjoy how open and talkative you two are with each other. My husband, the one I'm about to leave, could never take a compliment. He was raised a christian and always told to be humble by his parents, so I thought that was why he couldn't take a compliment. Now I know it's because he has no self esteem. Yes, I admit I didn't and don't have much of one right now either, but I'm working on that, so I don't make the same mistake.

Reading about WG, reassures me there are men who can carry on converstaions. Thanks for your vulnerability and openess, it's refreshing.

Xweing said...

Mmm... so is there any chance of Wine Guy acting like A-hole too?

Since you said he also tells you that he's not really that nice... when you compliment him.