Well, later that night we were having a wonderful time driving together and shopping. Then we went to a nice Tapas restaurant and were kind and fun and working as a team the whole time. But her tone was a little bit ditzy and it just gave me this ever present unsettled feeling. I tried to just carry it without obsessing over it.
But here is one thing that really triggered me. And things like this seem to outweigh all else when I remember back to the date.
She mentioned how she wants to get into a sport activity with me and said she was thinking about rock climbing. She said, as if it were a very important difference, “The low rock climbing, not the one where you need a rope.”
I think I was already feeling that unease, and wasn’t sure if spending more time with her would make me feel more triggered. Plus in the past when I had heard about women who rock climbed it made me feel like those aren’t my type of women.
But I humbly asked her if I could talk about something that triggered me.
I said, why was it so important to distinguish that it was the type of rock climbing without a rope.
I gave an example of what that felt like to me. “It’s like, hunny, if I was telling you about two pizzas (she’s allergic to gluten) and I told you emphatically I’m talking about broccoli pizza, not pineapple, when it just shows I’m unaware of the real issue, that they both have gluten. Whether it’s with a rope or not seems irrelevant but you made it sound like a big deal. It makes me think you don’t understand what we’re talking about here. ”
She said she felt like she got more of a workout with that type.
I was like, “That doesn’t make very much sense to me. Why would it do that?”
She said, “In my experience when I’ve tried it before I’ve been more sore when I’ve done it without a rope. Maybe it’s because I have to flex my core more.”
And I tried to ask her if she understands why that might be. She said maybe because she doesn’t feel like there’s that extra protection so for some reason that made her flex her core more. I was thinking the rope helps pull you up a little bit and and you rest some of your weight on it. But she didn’t really conclude that.
I said, “Okay do you want to ask me again in a way that takes into account this new understanding?” I wanted to see if understanding the difference would help her understand how to change her tone so it didn’t sound like the rope or not rope was such a big deal. I mean it’s still just going to the rock climbing gym that mattered.
She tried to repeat, but felt tested. And when I was disappointed she replied oh, you wanted me to repeat what I had just told you?
“yeah, I wanted to see if you understood how to say it so the important parts were clear now.”
She said, I’m sorry, I thought you couldn’t be asking me to explain what I had just explained to you.
I said I was sorry. And I know I’m being a bit ridiculous. We hugged and kissed and I said, I’m getting better at just being okay with the tension. “We’ll figure out how to do this better.”
This is the nature of rOCD. I’m glad I have a woman who will put up with my ridiculousness.
As I write this, I propose tomorrow.