Tuesday, January 06, 2015
happy plan 2015.
So... Tony and I argued almost every day of our vacation. Most were small, and I don't even remember what they were about now. Some were bigger, about more important things (but I still have a hard time remembering what they were about or how they started).
The arguing ended with a big argument... on New Year's Eve. I got annoyed. He got annoyed. Long story short, we ate our beef lok lak and chicken some kind of curry in almost total silence, punctuated with annoyed sighs and short stabbing sentences. I cried. Of course.
But when we got back to the hotel, we decided we should have a drink because hey, even though we're fighting, it's New Year's Eve. And then we started talking. And then Tony said, Let's make a plan! I'll get paper and a pen. And he did. That guy walked over to the reception desk and asked for a paper and pen (and tried to book massages for us but the spa was closed; can't win 'em all).
So we talked some more. And kept talking. And while we talked and drank a Singapore Sling and a Sex on the Beach (his and mine respectively), we made a plan. A list of 5 "rules" for both of us to follow, and a short list of goals for each of us.
Happy Plan 2015
1. No phones in the bedroom. (Except for alarm clock use.) Over the past couple months, we'd both gotten into the habit of laying in bed with our phones at night... not exactly what you want to be happening when you're newly-ish engaged. We both agreed that although we work together and live together, we were feeling distant, and this was probably a big culprit.
AND I had the bad habit of checking social media as soon as I woke up. Seeing how other people's days are going before I even begin my own? Not cool.
So far, we've stuck to this rule and we've been talking and uh... you know... more.
2. No poisonous language. (No name-calling. No insults. No threats. No swearing.) Okay, I think this one probably sounds really serious. And it's not. Well, it is, but it's not. See, Tony and I have a very playful relationship. And we're constantly teasing each other and joking, etc, etc. And sometimes we swear or call each other names, "smack talk" kind of. And we're truly just joking and it's never bothered each other.
But then I noticed that it was starting to creep into our normal conversations. It seemed mostly benign, but I don't want us to talk to each other that way. I told Tony, I think this joking—the swearing, the insults, the name-calling—is slowly poisoning our relationship. We're starting to say those things for real. (And what happens when we have kids?!) He agreed.
And now, Crazy Eights will be a lot more tame. (Can you believe we're in our twenties? Ha!) But for real, I've already noticed we're speaking with more love. I think my tone has even become a little softer.
3. Be more patient. This one is mostly for me. I am not a patient person. I'm working on it. Thank God Tony has the patience of a saint.
4. Talk! (Be more connected.) This one is mostly for Tony.
5. Do one new thing a month. (Take turns planning.) This is meant to be a fun thing. The new thing can be a new restaurant, or a new activity. And we'll take turns planning, because it's usually me that makes plans, and I end up feeling resentful.
Tony's Goals: 1) Go to the gym regularly. 2) Slow down; stay calm. 3) Read 4+ books. 4) Get married!
Amanda's Goals: 1) Pay off student loan. 2) Develop regular exercise habits. 3) Drink 2L (approx.) of water daily. 4) Get married! 5) Don't tutor.
I'm happy to report, we're 6 days into 2015, and not an argument has been had.
*Disclaimer: (But not really, just more thoughts.) This is a fairly personal post, but I don't want to ever portray our relationship as being perfect. It's real and arguments are real and this plan is real. Also, when Tony and I first moved in together, we argued quite a bit. And I was scared. Because my parents argued and fought a lot (understatement) and I was scared that I would repeat that. Now I know that arguing itself isn't bad; it's how you argue and if the outcome is positive. Plus, I think things like this come in waves. Sometimes we're as happy as can be for days or weeks, and then we hit a rough patch. Normal? I think so. But then again, who decides what normal is. In the end, it's like I told Tony after midnight on New Year's Eve, I'd rather not argue, but if I'm going to, I'd rather it be with him than someone else.