There was a moment on Sunday, driving up to the Super Bowl where I started crying happy tears. I get to spend the rest of my life with her. I was working out the details of marrying her while our song played. 100 days by the Bengsons. Maybe we can get married 100 days after the proposal or something. And I was feeling so much love and closeness to B, next to me. I also thought, this is the emotion that God feels for me: just sitting in extreme pleasure at what he sees in me. This also was why I was crying.
I also had a moment where I was looking for a movie for B and I to watch while she took a shower. I found a quick 9-minute animated Pixar film where an old woman dies and is taken away from her husband with a last kiss. I bawled my eyes out knowing what that moment would feel like between B and I. My heart would be wrenched apart if I lost her. We had the sweetest time snuggling and making out while we let New Girl play in the background. We just looked into each other’s eyes and I tenderly kissed places on her body.
But the discomfort happened once we got to the Super bowl party. She had to help set up and I just didn’t like how she sounded in comparison to the other people. I tried to just live in the discomfort without having to solve it. This is practicing ERP (exposure-response-prevention). And then I tried to appreciate that it was better than stressing. I did this to try and complete the CBT cycle. That’s just a counseling term which means you do hard things that normally trigger you and then bask in the satisfaction that things are better this way, so that next time you will be less conditioned to respond negatively in those situations that usually trigger you.
There was another thing she said that seemed super stupid to me. A friend in the group was telling me about the 40 acres of forrest he was developing into 4 premium AirBnB properties. I told B she should come listen because she would like to hear about the beautiful cabin designs. I let my hand hang on her belt loop or brush her back as we marveled how fun it would be to stay at these places. But as she heard about the land she asked, “Are you bringing any animals onto the land?” To me this sounded completely idiotic. I pictured she meant bringing in deer or squirrels or birds or whatever to make it more picturesque or create an ecosystem. Maybe that makes sense for thousands of acres, but over 40 acres I thought they’d just wander away!
And then later we were watching the super bowl. The Weekend performed and she said, she had heard on NPR that The Weekend was planning to channel Diana Ross in his performance. That sounded smart but when she said that The Weekend’s red jacket and those shoes with the white socks look like Michael Jackson, for some reason it struck me as not a good conclusion. I became skeptical but tried to be patient as she googled Michael’s similar outfit. The shoes and socks turned out to look pretty close and he did have a red jacket, but not one like The Weekends. I know, it sounds dumb that I even get triggered by something like that.
I’m learning to hold the tension. And be OKAY with it. This means realizing I will be triggered and not letting it make me obsess. As we drove home she told me a pretty intricate story about one of the couples there. And again I was like, okay that sounds intelligent. But she also FaceTimed with her dad (who was getting over COVID) and said he sounded stronger. I didn’t really know if I could sense much difference and I was teetering on the edge of doubting her intelligence again.
I got home that night holding it together, but still carrying the discomfort. When I woke up in the morning I had to fight off doubts.
I’ve started trying to send her 5 things I like about her each night, along with a pickup line for every day in February leading up to Valentines, which is also when I’m going to propose. So I sent her a Marco Polo video telling her how I liked how confident she was. And how it was so cool seeing her little god-daughter light up and run to her when B got to the party. This usually helps; it seems to shift the chemicals in my head to the good.
But in the morning I still had to fight of the remaining discomfort and resist letting myself get mad about the “bringing animals in” comment. This is ridiculous, isn’t it?
This is the nature of Relationship OCD (rOCD).