It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart

It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart.

From the introduction of my new book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart.

 

We are our best selves when we are treated with love, whether it’s from ourselves or others.

– Georgie Fear

After my book, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto was published, I had the strongest feeling that I would meet an amazing man within a year.

Maybe that’s because writing a dating and relationship book made it crystal clear what kind of man I wanted to date and let into my life. I was keenly aware that I had to follow my own advice if I wanted to attract a “Quality Man”. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that seven months after I published my first book, I found one.

 

From the moment we met, it was pure and easy laughter.

From the moment we met, it was fun and EASY. The laughs and jokes bubbled up from our first date.

Tex was unlike any man I had ever dated. He was an American, an oil and gas engineer working and living in Canada. We met through a dating site and dated for a couple months before going exclusive. He wasn’t a commitment-phobe: he told me right from the beginning he wanted to get married again (someday) and thought he was a better man in a relationship. He had a ten year old daughter who lived with her mother and new husband in Colorado. I had never been married. I had never dated a Dad before. I had never met a man who talked liked that.

Tex was Christian: I wasn’t. Tex was from Texas: I was from Canada. Tex was passionate and I was cautious – at first. I felt attracted to him but made him (and me!) wait for sex. I wanted to be sure he was right for me without hormones clouding my judgement. After dating for a couple months, we decided to be exclusive and take down our online dating profiles. Then we sealed the deal in a tent in Yellowstone National Park. Romantic? I know…but for an outdoorsy Canadian gal like me, it was perfect.  We had each driven across the country to meet each other: he from Colorado, and I on my motorcycle all the way from Alberta, Canada.

After four months of being exclusive, our relationship was tested for the first time. My father died of a massive stroke. Tex drove 600 kilometers (that’s about 400 miles for you Americans) to be with me. He missed work for several days in order to support me at the hospital and at the memorial service. He was there before, during, and after my father passed away. Tex dried my tears, held me, and comforted me through the grieving process. He was my rock, and I knew then, without a doubt, I’d found a man who wasn’t just good to me, he was good FOR me.

When Tex’s company told him they wanted to move him back to the United States, he asked me to move with him.

I had never truly considered leaving my mountain town – my paradise – for a man before. But I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

 

Canmore, Alberta

My beloved hometown – Canmore, Alberta

I said yes.

Seven months after meeting for the first time, we were living together in Washington, DC. Three months later, Tex was having his own personal crisis.

I could sense him distancing himself from me. He no longer reached for me in bed. He no longer texted me during the day. He became prickly. Where was my sweet, adoring man?

I wanted to know what was wrong. We talked, and he told me he was questioning “us” and needed his own space and didn’t know how to handle that. It made him feel guilty just thinking about it. He missed the days when we were dating, and only saw each other on weekends and could give each other 100%, because we had our own separate lives all week. He had a lot going on in his head. Had we moved in together too soon? Where was this relationship going? He wasn’t even sure he wanted to get married again or was suited for it.

 

Man in distress!

Man in distress!

My man had developed a case of ice cold feet.

Thanks to John Gray, I knew this was the “resistance stage” at work in our relationship, so I didn’t freak.[1]  At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling anxious: I had moved to the United States for this man. I had taken a big leap of faith in us. Despite the fact that I had sworn I’d never move in with a man without a ring on my finger (Guideline #27, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto), I’d gone ahead and done it anyway. Because we both knew we couldn’t date if we lived 2000 miles apart. Without more time together, we would never know the true nature of our relationship and our level of compatibility. So we found an apartment and merged our possessions – and lives – together. It was scary. It was exciting. It was what we both wanted. But now he was uncertain!

And he knew all this, and he just felt more guilty. The last thing I wanted was for my man to feel more guilty. I wanted him to be motivated and inspired to be with me, not obligated.

So I decided to be patient and wait it out in the hope he would come around.

It required more faith than I was used to having in a relationship.

I wrote the following diary entry:

…Tex and I are re-calibrating. I recently found out that I can’t get a work visa, so unless we get married, I have to leave the U.S. in September (for six months). It puts a little pressure on us, which neither of us wants right now. Also, not having an income sucks. I am totally dependent on Tex at the moment. I wish I could contribute in some meaningful way but short of keeping the place tidy (he does his own laundry) and cooking and trying out new recipes (he also cooks), I have a lot of time on my hands. What else? I miss my mountains, my community, and my money. I miss my friends and having a strong purpose each day. My challenge is to recreate myself here and start over. And while Tex is all I have at the moment, it’s important I give him some space and not cling too tightly. And so I go to yoga at night, or a movie, or a meetup, so he can have the apartment and a little time to himself because he works all day and doesn’t need to come home and find me here – all-the-time. So right now, things aren’t easy, but I am doing my best to settle in, get fit, get a life, and use my time productively.

We were both in a new city, without friends, new to living together, and trying to figure it all out. We were living together but felt more separate than ever.

And we eventually figured it out and fell more in love than ever.

Here’s how.

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Are you ready for more joy, intimacy and respect in your relationship? It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart, is available as an e-book on Amazon. Order your copy now. (Print edition available December 2015).

 

 

 

[1]John Gray says there are five stages to intimacy. The five stages are Attraction, Uncertainty, Exclusivity, Intimacy and Engagement. One of these stages is the “uncertainty stage”. It’s when you work through inevitable doubts about your relationship. If you don’t have doubts, you’re probably deluded.

New Author Banner - 2015

 

Author Adele Frizzell/Sophie Winters

Sophie Winters is the author of two books on dating and relationships. Sophie’s real name is Adele Frizzell. She enjoys travel, hiking, and lifting heavy weights. She is a competitive bench presser, certified yoga teacher, and mountain addict. She loves inspiring people to get more out of life.

Her first book, The Cha Cha Club Dating Man-ifesto is written for all the single ladies, while her second relationship advice book, It’s Not You, It’s Us: A Guide for Living Together Without Growing Apart is for couples who want more joy, intimacy and respect in their relationship. She is working on her third book.


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