Comments on Our Pretty Normal Relationship

Submitted by Maso on
Printer-friendly version

These last several months have been really busy for my girlfriend and me; crashing down to the end of another school year. I haven’t posted on anything in awhile but have a little time and thought I would post on a few relationship issues for us. When I started this I hadn’t intended it to become an epic, but I started and stopped to do other things, so it sort of grew. Plus you get my analysis on college basketball.

I am big college sports fan especially baseball and basketball. There isn’t much that is bigger than the NCAA Basketball championship also called “March Madness”. Even if your school isn’t in the playoffs they are very popular on most college campuses. This year pretty early in the season I picked UConn to be in the finals, the Huskies have a great team and were ineligible for playoffs last year. By the time of the Elite Eight I predicted UConn would take the whole thing. It got down to the final four; Connecticut, Florida, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. The Final Four games were on the last weekend of our spring break so it seemed convenient to me. I asked my girlfriend if she had anything special planned that she wanted to do and she said no. So I figured good, I told her I was going to watch the games that afternoon.

My Dorm has a large recreation room in the lower commons area; they had a couple of big screens set up and a bunch of people from our dorm and adjoining dorms came over, mostly guys not many girls. Everybody brought beer and the RA’s used some of the dorm budget for pizza. The first game started at about 3pm our time so pregame stuff people got there around 1:30 or 2pm. I met my girlfriend for lunch and dropped off my laundry to her. She seemed happy and I said I would see her after the game. The Huskies beat the Gators, I saw that pretty much a no brainer. Yes I did say the number 7 ranked team beating the number 1 team as a no brainer. Florida is a great team, but UConn is simply better and their style of play just killed Florida. Then starting around 6pm Kentucky played Wisconsin and as I predicted the Wildcats seeded number 8 won and I won $40 from a couple stupid Badger fans who reminded me, as they each peeled out a twenty, that Wisconsin was rated number 2. That brought my winnings for the day to $60 and a tremendous amount of satisfaction. I promise that is it for the basketball commentary.

Sometime after 9pm I went over to my girlfriend’s dorm room. She opened the door and was not happy, actually she was pissed. Another one of the RA’s was talking to her and made a fast dash out the door—that wasn’t a good sign. At first my girlfriend was silent which really worried me, then I was barraged with a series of questions; where was I, don’t I ever answer my phone, who was I with, and I thought you were watching some stupid basketball game. Now Marnia will understand this because Gary is a big college basketball fan, but I had to explain how a 40 minute game took until after 9pm. Actually there were two games, pregame stuff, post game stuff, commercials, time outs, half time stuff, and finally stuff for stuff’s sake.

She just generally busted my balls about stuff for awhile. I was pretty happy, full of beer, pizza and $60 richer, so I figured I would let her vent. She was finally quiet so I went over to hug her, she pushed me away and said I smelled like pizza and beer, and she didn’t want road rash because I hadn’t shaved. She said she was going to bed ALONE to read that she was tired and to pickup my laundry on the way out—ouch! I almost felt a little guilty at that point; there was my laundry all nicely folded on the end of her bed, jeans on the bottom, tee shirts next, then boxers, finally my socks on top. As I left I told her thanks and said “See you had something to do.” Actually I am surprised she didn’t throw something at me.

When I got back to my dorm room I finally looked at my phone, several texts from her and even a couple of calls. It was pretty noisy in the rec room and I was paying attention to the game and drinking. There were even a couple texts from my cousin telling me what a lousy boyfriend I am. Now I knew what else she kept herself occupied with, bitching to her friends about me. I started to send my cousin a text to mind her own f-ing business for once but thought better of it and deleted it. By this time I was mad so I said screw it and got on the computer to see what they said about the game and stuff and then went to bed.

I woke up fairly early the next morning and saw my laundry on my chair. I felt bad so I texted her to ask her to go to brunch in a little while. I got a text right back—“Isn’t there a game you need to watch.” I texted her back, this time no answer; I knew where this was going and I didn’t want it go that way. She usually is pretty cool so this must have really hit a nerve. I called her; she answered “Yes” and then silence. I told her I was sorry and wanted to go to brunch at this Mexican restaurant she liked. The ice was thawing a little and she said okay, but I could tell she was still pissed.

I showed up at her door a couple hours later washed, shaved, in a collared shirt and Dockers—for me this is dressed up. Even though she says I look hot with the 2 days growth of beard look, she likes it when I get cleaned up for her. My girlfriend was surprised and not dressed well. She told me she wasn’t finished dressing—I knew she was but wanted to change—and for me to go down to the commons lounge of her dorm. I asked her why; I have seen her naked like a million times what’s the point. She just pointed to the door and I took the hint, she was still not exactly joyful. A half hour later she came down in a nice, sexy skirt and top. At that point I wasn’t sure if it was for my benefit or to torture me. She let slip later that she had to shave her legs, guess she figured when I didn’t show up early enough Saturday no point in shaving them.

We had a nice brunch, we like Mexican food and we like the restaurant. They serve Sangria at Sunday brunch so my girlfriend had a couple. I thought that was a good sign, she seemed happy and maybe even a little more so from the Sangria. That was right up to when we got back to her dorm room. I kissed the side of her neck from the back as we stepped into the room. She turned around and said, “So now you figure you get some?” Well the thought had crossed my mind, but she was not smiling. “Do you remember anything I told you I wanted to do during spring break?” This is where I found out there was something she wanted to do that afternoon.

I stood there in front of her—“aha, not exactly.” She gave a disappointed look. She carefully listed off a dozen or so things she had told me over the last couple of months that she wanted to do—“sometime”. Frankly telling a guy over an extended period of time stuff you want to do at some future point I don’t think works. Most guys need concrete orders, like “do this at 3pm tomorrow”. She continued to scold me like she was my mother. The next half hour was her telling me why she was upset with me again. I will admit some of it was valid, maybe the majority of it. As much as I love her I don’t always follow through on things like I should. It was probably all pretty normal relationship stuff; she felt a bit taken for granted, I sometimes would “forget” things I didn’t want to do. We live in separate dorms and she is an RA, alone time is at a premium.

I asked her where this left us and our relationship; I had the feeling she was looking for an out on moving in with me after graduation. Senior year has not been easy for me; engineering majors have their asses worked off the last year and my internship that turned into a job took time. My girlfriend was busy with class, applying for grad school, and the RA stuff. We tried to do more things together, but we are both pretty busy with work and school so it is hard when we are both doing so much stuff.

She told me that she still loved me and wanted to stay together. She still wanted to move in together, that I came with fringe benefits that other roommates wouldn’t, which made me happy to hear. Part of what bothers her is that some things are so good and other stuff isn’t everything she wants out of a relationship. I tried to remind her that we have a long life ahead of us to do the other stuff she wants. We both agreed that this has been a pretty stressful time for us and we just have to work through it together. We spent rest of the afternoon together talking about what we could do differently; this time I made a list. Then we were lying on her bed and started kissing; you can probably figure the rest of the evening out.

That was about 6 weeks ago. We have done ok since Spring Break. We did a couple of things during that time that I think helped. We actually scheduled time to be together, putting it on our calendars and not doing other things instead—my friends will survive me not playing basketball with them. People in our generation don’t really “date” like our parents did, but I think that is what we are doing. Some of the scheduled times during the week are just for us to be alone, just to talk. No TV or movie, and no phones, which the phone one about kills my girlfriend. I make her actually turn off her phone; I thought she was going to cry the first time. Our purposeful discussions without any distractions accomplish more than just casually talking about our relationship. We discussed that considering our age we actually have a really solid relationship—this is stuff that as a psychology major she likes to discuss. At some of our scheduled times we try bonding behaviors which sometimes end in sex.

We watched UConn beat Kentucky a couple nights after the argument, our first date together; just the two of us. One of our going out dates we went to a local sports bar and watched one of the first hockey playoff games. It went pretty well, there were some other girls from school there and none of them understood hockey at all. My girlfriend may not have learned much about hockey but she learned she likes Cosmos. We both had fun at something that only a few weeks before we would have gone off and done separate things.

The point of this I think is that relationships take work; they continue to take work and you hit bumps along the way. Why was she more bugged this year than last year when I disappeared to watch the NCAA playoffs? Because she expected more from me and maybe I should have done more with her that weekend. I loved her question, “What’s this March Madness, its April!” In her mind it was taking too much of “our” time. I agree, we all need more “our” time in a relationship. I see people who post here with what seem like really huge problems with partners; mental issues, abusive relationships, whatever. But I think actually most couples just have stupid shit like this in their lives that interferes with their relationships. We are barraged with work, school, friends, sports, television, texts, internet—another of my personal time consumers. At some point all of this just becomes noise to a relationship. You need quiet and you need to be together with your partner. That is why we scheduled time without some of the distractions to be alone with each other. So that is our pledge for the next phase of our relationship, more time to bond more.



thanks for the update

Very interesting.

Since this is mostly a sex oriented forum, I have to ask you, what about the sex? Are you still practicing Karezza when you do have sex with her?

The stuff you describe is in my experience much worse when you we are having orgasms, than with Karezza. In my world with Karezza we don't have those types of issues, not much at all.

Not that what you describe is bad -- it's great really for young people as you point out -- you have a very solid relationship.

Also I believe the brain grows and develops through to our mid 20s in a big way, and we aren't the same person at 25 as we are at 18. I think some of us change a lot, and re-evaluating a relationship isn't necessarily a bad idea rather than just continuing because you did that last month or last semester. But from what you describe it remains solid, and that's wonderful.

I always enjoy hearing from you here, Maso.

Trying To Be More into Karezza Again

Sorry Emerson for the really late response, I’ll post a little update of our last several months below.

Last year we weren't as “Karezzaish” as we once were. Living in two different dorms even at the same university is not optimal for Karezza or even relationships in general. We slipped into orgasms pretty easily if weren't being conscious to avoid them. Our school schedules were almost opposite, plus her being an RA, my job—none of that made anything easy. A lot of stress centered on graduation; grad school for her, a job for me, moving in together. Especially the grad school issue, I was offered a full time engineering job at graduation where I work now last January but our university was so late in issuing acceptances that we didn't know if she would be here for the next year or not. That alone really had my girlfriend stressing.

But everything worked out OK; my girlfriend is in grad school, I am working—basically we are moving on with our lives. We are trying to be into Karezza as much as possible. Going out of town periodically for work still makes that a little hard. We have pretty much settled into living together—without me screwing up too badly. Life is totally awesome right now because I am with the right person.

Separation time

EVERYONE needs their own time, not just "our time." A healthy-minded partner would respect that. "What is this March Madness?!" sounds like she is the spoiled princess and you are the puppy dog promising not to run off and leave her.

When it's basketball season

I know Gary will be "not present" a lot. That said, I think he actually enjoyed basketball games more, and felt better over all, when he couldn't watch them all. (Where we met there was no cable or highspeed.) Too much stimulation of that kind just doesn't nourish people.

However, when I feel myself rolling my eyes...I remind myself how much I loved ponies and horses growing up. Wink

Nice job soothing her ruffled feathers. Next time tell her how many hours you will be out of contact. The smartphone generation often seem unable to cope with being out of touch. To someone my age this seems a bit unhealthy. Sounds funny coming from someone who promotes the benefits of bonding, but a healthy bond is healthy in part because it doesn't constantly rely on artificial life support. My sense is that a healthy bond "rolls with the punches" without so much drama. But maybe generations really do differ on this.

My Thoughts on Sports, Phones and Solving Sports Time

Marnia sorry about the really late reply, life has been really busy since my last post.

You make some interesting points, but then again you always do. On your first point, I don’t know all of Gary’s sports interests, but I love to watch basketball, played baseball and lately I have really gotten into hockey—these are exciting to watch and they really get your adrenalin going. Actually I like hockey so much I think I may be turning Canadian. But I try to limit my sports interests to those. I easily get really into anything I am interested in to the point of ignoring stuff I need to do. Like forgetting to put dinner in the oven because I was watching a hockey game when my girlfriend had a late class has already gotten me into enough trouble for awhile—I reminded her I am still a work in process.

We played basketball all the time when I was in the dorms and it is a great workout and plenty of adrenalin. To a great extent I think it is the adrenalin and maybe that speaks to your comments about the high speed internet and plugged into 50 ESPN channels on cable. I think it is adrenalin and testosterone that make guys like sports more—the same way we like movies where stuff blows up and there are car chases. And yes I am justifying watching the sports I do watch by telling you there are sports I don’t watch but could—like golf, yawn.

Second point, about not being upfront with my girlfriend the amount of time I will be gone—OK, I am busted on that one. Most times I didn't tell her the extent of time that I would be involved in something. It isn't like I lie to her about the amount of time; it’s just easier for her to be mad at me after the fact than before when I tell her how long and afterwards too. After your comment we talked about my not telling how long I would be—she said that did bug her. So we agreed that she would be more understanding and not be mad if I told her a fairly accurate time on something I am doing. A couple times she wanted to give me shit upfront and I know she was getting her panties in a wad but she gritted her teeth and said OK. I may have mentioned before that my girlfriend is not the most punctual person in the world—I told her I found it odd that she was upset by my not accurately telling her the time for something when she is usually late everywhere.

On the phone situation, most definitely our generation is very different. Our phones are everything to us—we do everything on them. They are our connection to the world. We are no longer limited by where we can be physically—no matter where I am I can see anything and be anywhere I want. How many people in different places all over the world right now can pull up this site and read what I have written? From people I talk to I think our generation’s connectivity with the rest of the world is much different than any other generation. It is really just perception too—Marnia you have the same connection available as I do, you just need to forget that there are walls out there. I have come to see this difference more now that I am working and not just with a bunch of people like me who don’t see the walls. And it is phones, tablets, computers—the device is irrelevant, it is the network and interconnection to the rest of the world that really counts. Now that I have gone all nerdy boy on you; I do think it is healthy to unplug from the world sometimes. Just being real with someone else in the present feels amazing. And I see the same problem of distractions in my parents’ generation, and that generation’s inability to step back from their “noise”, its different noise but still noise all the same. I am not big for meditation but that and the bonding behaviors would probably help people to eliminate the noise of their world and hear themselves and the person they are with in life.

Hey Maso

Always a joy to read your musings. You're as pithy as ever.

Have you graduated already? Job good? Are you two engaged yet?


Graduated and Working

We both graduated June 2014. My girlfriend with a BA in psychology and I received a BSE, which is a Bachelors’ of Science in Engineering. She is working on a Masters in psychology now, that is a couple of years plus interning if she wants or can, and then to apply for a PhD program. So far half a year down on the Masters degree and she really likes it—a lot better than undergraduate even.

I tell my girlfriend the BA in psychology tells her that she is nuts. After the MA in psychology she will know “why” she is nuts. After the PhD she will understand why everyone else is nuts. She says that you “eat nuts” and people have “issues” or are neurotic, anxious, etc. I like my explanation better.

As for my job, I went to work for the company where I had interned before. They arranged a job during the school year so that I could work part time in the engineering department. After graduation I went on full time and my duties expanded. In school you mostly learn the math and science stuff. You learn engineering stuff too but it is pretty much just theoretical. But once you have a job you learn so much more about how to really be an engineer and design stuff. Once I started the internship I learned almost as much at work as I did at school. My job is pretty cool, I get to work on a design team and we talk about different solutions for something. By the time we are done stuff has changed 50 times but everyone contributes and works pretty well together. The company has a good culture for team work. I get to go work on some of the customer installations too. My girlfriend isn't too happy about that, means up to a week out of town at a time. Only done a couple of those; the other engineer that goes with me said wait until you have done a couple dozen it’s not so fun then.

The engagement part, well still not for awhile yet—a long, long while. We are having fun and are happy with the way things are now. Plus remember I am a little commitment phobic. Once she has a PhD maybe my girlfriend can cure my phobia!

sailing (thoughts from a woman)

How wonderful that you're plugged in to this community while you're still in college!

I agree with the idea of letting her know how long you will be out of contact, but even better if you plan something and send her a micro-text to get her anticipating time together: "be ready at 9"

Her behaviour sounds like classic feminine "testing." Does she actually expect you to remember and execute all the things she mentioned she wanted to do? Does she actually want you to be her wish-granting factory? Based on my own understanding of myself, the surprising answer is NO! She has a need to dish out "difficulties" and see how you handle it. I see and experience this as basically a biologically driven egg-guarding thing which compels us to throw up some obstacles and problems for you men to check whether you can surmount them.

You're a "good guy" for listening and letting her vent, but considering how limited your time together is, it might pay off to work on ways to shift her out of those moods. How could you demonstrate that that stuff is not an option when you're around? How could you be a man who leads her out of those moods and doesn't tolerate them?

In my imagination, I put myself in her shoes, and what would thrill me would be a scene like this:

me: and you seem not to remember the stuff I told you I want to do...

man: Oh? Well get over here little girl, and tell Santy claus all the things you want to do.

He would be gesturing for me to sit on his lap, and maybe he would write down the things I say. Then maybe he would suggest one of those things to do right now, or maybe he'd fold up the list and suggest something entirely different. Either way, that would show me he's not afraid of my moods and has the confidence, resourcefulness, humor, etc. to "change the game" when I'm getting stormy and trying to back him in a corner.

I hope that makes sense or helps at all.

Women can experience strong emotions that seem to control us. It's cool when a man can lovingly and respectfully rise up to the challenge of turning our mood. It's like the mystery of a sailor on the seas.

What a great suggested

What a great suggested approach! You have inspired me to try something creative and constructive -- instead of my default of 'direct push back' -- next time my wife and I are in a prickly discussion. Thank you!

Cool! You know, I mentioned

Cool! You know, I mentioned sailing because to steer you can't do it directly; you have to push the tiller the opposite direction of the way you want to go. It's so hard for me to get a sense for all the "vectors" involved in sailing - the wind, the current, the sails, the rudder, the tiller, the actual direction you want to go...

There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which I do not understand:
The way of an eagle in the sky,
The way of a serpent on a rock,
The way of a ship in the middle of the sea,
And the way of a man with a maid.. Proverbs 30:18-19

No, We Didn’t Fall Off the Face of the Earth

Sorry to take so long to answer but we got super busy towards graduation. Right after my last post we went home for the Memorial Day holiday and to tell our parents we were moving in together after graduation. After all the worrying, especially on my girlfriend’s part, that was the biggest nonevent we ever experienced. No one was surprised and no one cared.

After that we were slammed with senior projects, finals, graduation, graduation parties and moving out of the dorms. The first apartment where we were going to move into the people didn't move out of when they were supposed to. So we had to find another one about block away, good part is it is nicer place for not much more money. Then a couple of weeks out of town for work, a vacation, my parents’ annual July 4th barbecue, and then a bunch of other crap I can’t remember—that was the summer. Then my girlfriend was back in school working on her master’s degree in psychology, more time out of town a couple times for work, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s—all of a sudden and it is like 6 months later. This working full time really cuts into my free time!

I tried to keep up with this site though. Apropos of the comments above in reply to Marnia about my generation and our phones, traveling for work I learned the fine art of sitting for hours in airports waiting for a flight. I used some of that time on my phone checking this site and some others—mostly college sports sites.

My New Year’s resolution is to try to check in or comment here a little more often—OK so far it has taken me a month to do that, I’ll try harder.

Making the Effort to Stay with Karezza

We are still practicing at least some of the time. We decided to recommit to it again a couple months ago. Maybe we should have waited and made it a New Year’s resolution instead—not that either of us really good at keeping them. When we have a bunch of stuff going on it is hard to stay with anything that takes commitment and effort. The natural inclination is be lazy and go for the easy orgasm—that is our biological imperative to spread our seed. My guess is that is why a lot of people fall away from Karezza; you really must make the effort and breakaway from our biology.

nice to have you back

the more different perspectives expressed here, the better!! Sweet that you and your girlfriend are doing so well, also her working towards a master's in psychology. Also nice that you have a home together. Getting off to such a good start.

We Are Grateful For Our Life Together

Thanks for the comments Shannon; we are really happy with where we are in life right now. This Christmas my aunt was talking about being grateful in life—she actually said for “God’s Blessings”. In my family we sort of joke about her being the “Saint”, the rest of our family isn't very religious at all but she is a first generation American and more tied to the church. I think her comments struck a chord with the rest of the family because we are all pretty fortunate. My girlfriend and I are trying to embrace my aunt’s comments and be more grateful that we have each other, she is in school, and I have a really good job.

Karezza and birth control

Dear Maso,

I have just posted this question on the forums but thought that you in particular might be able to help me with my questions. May I ask for your help?

Here is the question that is very important to me now:

I have been reading about Karezza and am inspired to try it, as a complete and total beginner. Before beginning, however, I would very much like to know what the collective wisdom is regarding Karezza and birth control. It is often spoken of as a method of birth control. From what I have gathered searching these forums and the internet, there are at least some people who combine it with other methods of birth control (for example, the rhythm method/observing the woman's fertility cycle; others have spoken of condoms, male and female, etc...). From everything I have been able to read in the internet, I have not been able to gain a satisfactory understanding of the situation.

I understand that no method is completely effective, so there is always some degree of risk (even with condoms). What I am wondering is: how do people generally practice karezza? Without any other birth control method (i.e. without a condom)? And what are people's experiences in this connection? Does it sometimes happen that a woman gets pregnant practicing karezza, and if so, is it very rare, rare, happens occasionally...?

Could we say that, experientially-speaking, karezza is about as effective as the use of a condom in terms of birth control? Less effective, more effective? I am not looking for anything "scientifically-solid" in my questions, but more an experience-based answer resulting from the collective experience of karezza practitioners over the years.

And I read that it is very normal for there to be "accidental" orgasms sometimes, particularly with beginners when they are first starting to practice. What do people do if the man accidentally ejaculates? Does the woman then take one of these (very objectionable, in my opinion) morning-after pills?

I really feel like a total beginner and want so much to try this, but feel that I still do not know enough. I would be so grateful if people here could share their experience and wisdom.

Thank you!!