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Zoethe

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Communication styles [Mar. 22nd, 2012|06:18 pm]
Zoethe
Ferrett and one of his girlfriends had a misunderstanding over the weekend. He was telling me about their discussions over this misunderstanding. The details of the actual misunderstanding are completely irrelevant, and I know that Ferrett will think that my characterization of his explanation isn't terribly accurate, but this is how it sounded to me:

"She was upset at me because she thought I was doing X, and I was upset with her because I thought she was doing Y. I told her that her reaction made me feel W, and she was hurt that I felt that way, and meanwhile I thought her reaction to X was unfair, so we had to work that out, and then there was Z...."

And I just looked at him and said, "Why are you guys even still talking about this?!" And he looked at me, startled, boggled and clearly hurt that I didn't understand how important all this communication was.

The reality is, Ferrett and I have very different communication styles. For me, communication about the relationship is about the most boring thing that one can DO in a relationship. If you did something that I'm upset about, I'll ask about it, and if it was something you didn't mean to do, then cool, let's not do that again. My general belief about the people I'm involved with are good-hearted, well-meaning, and occasionally phenomenally clueless.

Just like me.

I don't like talking about The Relationship. I just want to get on with things, hang out, cuddle up, and have laughs.

But.

But.

Ferrett is much more romantic with his other partners, and gives them much more of himself than I give of myself. He is continually texting and emailing with them, sending them silly pictures, interesting links, and all the little bits of communication that make a relationship.

His secondary relationships are much more vibrant and closer because of his communication style. It makes him more a part of their lives, and them more part of his.

I admire that, even as I don't actually want it for myself. Ferrett asked how often my boyfriend and I communicate with each other. The answer most weeks is maybe a couple texts, a few emails a month.

He looked at me incredulously. "That would drive me crazy."

It doesn't drive me and S crazy. It works for us. The kind of daily communication that Ferrett shares with the number of people he shares with would drive me crazy. I would be exhausted by it.

Neither is superior, neither is The One True Way. And despite our differences, we manage to communicate with each other. I just have to remember that as crazy as his style seems to me, it works for him.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2012-03-22 10:45 pm (UTC)
sounds like i fall toward ferrett's way of things. not communicating for stretches would drive me nuts. um. nuttier. ;)
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2012-03-23 12:02 am (UTC)
Someone asked me once how I keep up with all my partners, and isn't that exhausting?

I said "Well, not all of them are on the same communication level as Ferrett. That helps."

;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:36 pm (UTC)
We'll just call me "very low maintenance." ;-)
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[User Picture]From: aiela
2012-03-23 04:38 pm (UTC)
And beautiful and wonderful! :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:46 pm (UTC)
Aww, so are you, love!
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2012-03-23 02:41 am (UTC)
one of the loveliest reasons i ever found for polyamory was this:

no one person can be all things to another person.

obviously you and ferrett work very well in some areas, and he clicks in some of those ways and some *other* ways with his other partners. and you both circle round to each other for the things you two do well together, and it works for you.

those last four words are the most important... it works for you. you're still going in the same direction together, you must be doing SOMETHING right. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's what's most important. It's just kind of fascinating to me how all this works.
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[User Picture]From: goaskalice71
2012-03-23 02:55 am (UTC)
I completely see where you're coming from. In my primary relationship, we communicate at about your pace. Sometimes going a week or two without so much as an IM. But this works for us.

What I've noticed is that with newer relationships, after the initial new shiny wears off, we usually end up at about a handful of texts per week-ish. Slightly more than with my primary, but then again, we've been together all total for about 5 years, so there isn't a lot of groundwork to be done.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:08 pm (UTC)
I am beginning to think that I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. I find texting more than a few exchanges to be exhausting and disruptive.
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From: anonymousalex
2012-03-23 01:24 pm (UTC)
I know intellectually that any two people in a relationship are going to be different (diametrically opposed, even) in some areas. Nevertheless, my initial reaction is that I'm impressed that this difference between the two of you doesn't drive one or both of you up the wall. Kudos for that.

Also, she's right; W came from way out in left field. :-)

P.S. Glad you're feeling healthy enough that you can spend time thinking about this sort of thing.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:13 pm (UTC)
I'm much more communicative in meatspace, so it works out for us. But there is definitely a difference that we both had to come to accept in each other in that if we have a disagreement on Tuesday evening and resolve it, Wednesday morning I've pretty much forgotten about it while Ferrett is still kind of bruised about it. We had some fights early on that were "how can you be so callous" vs. "why do you hang onto this stuff," and we still don't actually understand each other, but we accept that it's simply how we are.
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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2012-03-23 03:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I find I have both those patterns, depending on which partner I am interacting with.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2012-03-23 04:36 pm (UTC)
I think the partner does contribute some, but I am partners in triad with people who are also partners to Ferrett, and wow I don't communicate with them on anything NEAR his level. Not even in the same galaxy.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2012-03-24 02:18 am (UTC)
It doesn't drive me and S crazy. It works for us. The kind of daily communication that Ferrett shares with the number of people he shares with would drive me crazy. I would be exhausted by it.

Yeah...that is how I feel too. I often wonder how Ferrett isn't just tired of people.
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