How a little chicken salad can save a relationship

Hi, I’m Jenn. I’m over here from my usual spot at jenn(uinely) rambling… (and you can find Jon over there today (or maybe tomorrow), if you want to catch up with him; It’s all part of the Great 20SB Blog Swap).
I’d be surprised if Jon and I share any readers, so I’ll start off with an introduction in bullets. I’m:

  • 23
  • Living in NZ with my partner D and our kitten Trudy
  • Half way through my first year as a real grown-up
  • Pretty happy all round at the mo
  • Trying to figure out what to do with my life
  • A big fan of Arrested Development

But for today, none of that really matters, cos today I’m gonna post about the suckiness that is life sometimes.

Last year, D and I were long distance. And it sucked. Like, totally sucked. Not all the time, but we most definitely had our moments. Both of us had moments that we’re not proud of, we had a hell of a lot of arguments, broke up, cried.

Fortunately, we also laughed, danced, kissed, smiled, cuddled and talked very openly about our relationship. And in the end it was the positives that won out, and even made us stronger.

For the first few weeks, it was all sweet. We were stoked to see each other again. We had those movie-type-running-jump-hugs in the airport. We spent the whole weekend attached at the hip. We couldn’t stop talking to each other about what was going on. We made out at the movies like teenagers.

But after a few months the cracks started to show.

Until you’ve been there, it’s really hard to understand. Since you’re not seeing each other all the time, when you do get to see each other you have to cram the last (week/fortnight/month) of emotions into one (weekend/day/hour). Add the fact that the first wee bit has a tendency towards awkwardness, and you’ve got a confusing time ahead of you. You finally get to see each other, and something annoys you. So you get snarky. And you argue. And the fact that you argue annoys you (because you’re supposed to be making the most of the time together) and you just get madder and madder.
The little thinks that would have been dealt with in 2 seconds during the week suddenly become arguments. And the arguments become fights.
It’s like a time bomb, set to go off most weekends that you spend together.

And all of this makes you wonder…

Makes you wonder if the good times are good enough to make up for the bad. Makes you wonder if it’s all worth it. Makes you wonder if you can hack it.
(or maybe it’s just me…)

Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that all our time together was bad. Far from it. But the bad has a tendency to really stick in the mind. And it gets harder and harder to remember the good times. You can quickly forget the wonderful dinner filled with sparkling conversation.
But no matter how many times you ctrl+alt+delete, you can’t stop the memory of the fight you had over the fact that the bedroom was too hot. No one had done anything ‘wrong’, but the emotions came up, and the hot bedroom turned into “you never care about how I feel” “just cos you’ve good a good homeostasis system doesn’t mean that I’m happy” “just cos you’re in the mood doesn’t mean I am” “you’re never in the mood, you don’t find me attractive anymore” “when you make leaps like that, I don’t know why I even bother”…

After a few weekends of this, we decided we needed to get past it, or the relationship wasn’t going to come out the other end at all (let alone intact).

And the key for us was a few well placed jokes or ‘diffusers’. Basically, we stopped taking ourselves, and what was happening, so bloody seriously! The person who noticed that we were on this path would come out with “Oh Chicken salad” “Dun dada dun dada dun dada Shiny Scalpel, Dun dada dun dada dun dada Gonna slice ’em up” “Bum-bum bwada” (…we are also big fans of Scrubs). And we’d (mostly) manage to change the subject, and get back to having some fun together.

This didn’t always work, and there were still sucky times. But we got through the year. And now we’re living together alone for the first time. In a new city. Where we didn’t know anyone before we moved up. So we need to get along, cos if we don’t, we got no one.

And I couldn’t be happier… (with our relationship, work’s another story for another day).

Just goes to show that life isn’t so bad after all. Even when things are going down the gurgler, there’s bound to be a way out. My big advice is – You just gotta get over yourself!

Now, I’m hoping to inspire Jon back to his theme of ‘making the most of life when it’s all going to shit’, and I think I need your help. And all that you need to do is answer my question.

How do you get through the bad times? What are your tips and tricks for getting life back on track?

Easy as.

Hope you enjoyed the blog swap!

3 thoughts on “How a little chicken salad can save a relationship

  1. Ah I can totally relate to that! I remember exactly the same kinds of feelings with an ex of mine. Very glad you’re working yours out!

    Great blog swap – hurrah for 20SB!

  2. I look at everything very objectively, which SUCKS when your in a relationship. I’m quick to just say “honey your absolutely right” if i see the argument is going nowhere, but that makes me come off as soft.

    As far as getting through life. Its hard to be truly upset when I live on the ocean and I’ve got great friends. It’s even harder to feel upset when I think about suffering anywhere else in the world and understand how lucky I am.

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