Tag Archives: communication

Boundaries and expectations in new relationships

I’m seeing a lot of posts in my feed about boundaries. And while doing some shadow work, I’ve done a lot of thinking about mine and what I have learned this past year.

Everyone has their own set of boundaries and limits that adhere to their core values. Sometimes core values are a work in progress as people that come into your life will test them. Or sometimes, when you have such a strong chemistry with someone, you may overlook certain values to try and make a connection work. Though, sometimes that is a recipe for a natural disaster.

There is a difference though. Between someone who is a walking red flag, and someone who makes honest mistakes. I said this today on someone else’s post and it really strikes a cord with me.

A person that repeatedly disrespects or ignores your boundaries, does NOT respect or deserve you. However. It’s on you, the other person in the connection, to make it clear from the start what those boundaries are. Relationships, no matter what the dynamic are two way streets.

A person who makes a mistake, or pushes a boundary without knowing it – now that’s different. If the person realizes that they were in the wrong, and does whatever they can to rectify the situation or make amends – it shows that person learned from their errors. In my eyes, that’s a good person. Someone who is willing to do the work and takes lessons away from shitty situations. Someone who strives not to hurt others. That’s a person I’d value as a friend and would be honored to have in my life.

We’re human. We’re all going to make mistakes from time to time. It’s what you take away from the situation that makes you a better person. It’s taking lessons and working hard not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Even if it means taking some time to yourself – to work on yourself. To figure out what your core values are. And what you will and won’t accept in your life.

Some lessons we have to learn the hard way. And in doing so, when one door closes, sometimes it opens another and makes room for new people to come into your life. New friendships form. New opportunities to learn from each other happen. And sometimes you can reconcile with past partners or friends. And sometimes you can’t. Sometimes you just have to learn to let go.

For me. I know what my boundaries are now. I have a clear and set expectation from future partners and connections. It’s up to me – to communicate those clearly to new friends and potential partners.

If I’ve done something wrong, and I’m not told about it, how the hell am I supposed to learn from my mistakes? That’s not fair either.

Communication is key. Without that, all else fails. That’s my #1 boundary and expectation going forward.

Match energy given to you, or let it go

Something has been bugging me lately about communication and I’m going to try an experiment over the next while.

Do you ever feel like you are always the one reaching out to certain people to keep conversations going? Like you’re the only one in certain relationships making all the effort?

Some friends reach out daily to me and I love them for it. I’m definitely not used to it. And I make every effort to respond to them, chat throughout the day and let them know if I’m having a bad day and not feeling up to chatting. But the girls can’t seem to go more than a few hours without saying something and it’s a lot of fun.

But it’s the men that I notice that I’m often the one reaches out. There are a couple of males friends that will send a message to check on me. And then a week or so will go by and we don’t talk at all. And that’s okay. There are no rules when it comes to friendship. I have lots of friends where we come and go after a few months or even a couple of years and just pick up like no time has passed.

My Minnesota man is pretty good at communication. Not long ago, I was keeping busy and he messaged me about 7 hours later and was like, “You’re being uncomfortably quiet today.” It made me laugh. Other times, we might not talk until later in the evening or after he’s done work. And that’s okay too.

For the next week or so, I’m conducting an experiment.

I’m going to see how many friends reach out to me first if I go radio silent for a few days. I’m pretty sure I know who will reach out. But it begs the question….

Are they really interested in me? Or do these guys just love the chase?

I guess I’ll find out.

Communication in all relationships is a two way street. If one person is doing all the reaching out – it gets tiresome. If that person stops reaching out then what? Does the friendship just stop all together?

I get we all have bad days and I don’t demand ANYONE to message me daily. I even told the Man that early on and he was the one who insisted on daily communication. And there hasn’t been a day we haven’t sent a few texts back and forth in six months.

So…tonight starts a 7 day streak of no contact.

Well. It’s not no contact. It’s just to see who is willing to reach out and reciprocate the energy given.

Two things I’ve learned recently.

I don’t chase. I attract. I refuse to chase anyone who isn’t interested in being with me. If for any reason, they lose interest – so be it. I’m not going to put any energy into that person.


Match the energy given to you. If your person starts to distance themselves from you, try and find out why. If they refuse to talk, then do your own thing.

Sometimes they come back. And sometimes, it’s just better to let go.

On sabbatical from love

Since no one stepped in and told me to stop- I am still chatting with an ex. I could blame the booze. But I only had one glass of wine last night. So, it’s not that. Maybe it’s COVID and isolation. Being cut off from my usual group of friends and acquaintances. You all know I’ve been struggling with this.

The dreaded question came up. Well, not so much of a question but a statement.

“That’s fine if is works for you. Unless you’ve dated since we last talked.”

The last time we talked was over a year ago. Maybe more? Like two years? I’d have to go back in my Facebook history. I know I’ve only seen him once since moving into this place. We got together and caught up for lunch not long after I moved here. And that was six years ago now.

Wow. Time flies.

So, who is this guy and why am I talking to him again? Well, because love is blind, deaf and extremely dumb.

And let’s be real. You never really fall out of love with someone you really loved at one point. You can let them go. You can get over it. You can move onto someone new. But part of you remembers that love. For all the good things. And love, as stupid as it can be, trumps logic.

Don and I met when I was 18 and living at home. Or 19. I can’t remember the specifics. It wasn’t too long after James and I broke up and I was dating like – well, what do you call a 19 year old who dates a different guy every week?

I remember sneaking out of the house to meet him at the mall. My mother was very strict and didn’t approve of me meeting random single guys “online”. I used a party phone back then. Cell phones were still really expensive back then. This is like, over twenty years ago. I’m dating myself.

So, I had to sneak out and lie to my parents when I was meeting up with someone. Which for like a year there, it was a lot of random someones. To be honest, I was trying to find myself through various men. It took me a long time to realize that I needed to be on my own to find out who I really was.

Don was in his early 20s – 24 I think. We went for a beer and shot some pool. Which is what we all did back in the 90’s. Pool halls and bowling alleys were our key source entertainment after the drive in theatres closed.

Without getting into intimate details, we had a nice “relationship” for a few months. He was easy to talk to. We had chemistry. There was a spark there from the moment we met. It went deeper beyond friendship. We just – clicked.

So, what went wrong you asked?

The Marriage

Don had been in a long-time relationship with his high school sweetheart. They had a young child together and split up after a year or so realizing how hard it was to be a parent at a young age. One day Don called me on the phone and said that he really enjoyed our time together but he and the ex had been talking a lot. And he wanted to marry her and try and work things out.

Now at that age, I had no idea what real love was. I thanked him for calling – like wtf? Hung up the phone and cried for like a minute. A WHOLE minute. And then shrugged it off and called another guy I had been seeing off and on — Steve the trucker. Who I have written about before.

Don’s marriage was a rocky one. We lost touch over the years until Facebook was invented. His name popped into my head and I looked him up. We started chatting and he not only remembered me – but he wanted to get together for coffee.

Coffee. It’s a harmless get together right? An excuse to catch up with someone and have a visit. No big deal. Oh, how wrong I was.


When chemistry is real, it never really fades away. There’s a natural spark that happens with two people. Whether they’re good for each other or not. Whether they can make it work or not. Chemistry makes it impossible for two people to stay away from each other. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Don had been married since we the year that we broke up. He said that they were in an open marriage and he was free to do what he wanted. I had just lost a bunch of weight, was feeling great about myself and was just in the mood to have some fun. James and I had parted ways again. And I don’t know what I was looking for at the time. Maybe I just wanted to show off. This was back in 2008 – I had just moved to my old condo.

When he came over for coffee that first night, that chemistry – it was still there. And it was strong. We chatted most of the night. He finally got up off my couch at three in the morning and went home. That was it. We just talked.

As he left, I felt a twinge of sadness thinking that must have been what I had been missing. That connection. Communication. Just having someone to talk to like that.

The Heartache

I can’t summarize a decade long friendship in one blog post. There was just too much drama to even get into. And to be honest, I’m not comfortable sharing that much information about relationships. But what I learned was — open relationships aren’t all they are cracked up to be.

Someone almost ALWAYS gets hurt in the end. And usually, it’s the third person coming into the picture. I’ve been in all kinds of relationships over the years. And this is the only constant thing I learned.

I fell in love. Hard. Head over heels love. Madly, deeply, truly. To quote a cheesy 90’s song. I know that Don had feelings for me – but I don’t think they were as deep.

And when we parted ways for the first time in 2009, it broke my heart. I mean literally. I fell into a deep depression. But I was also struggling with hormones at the time and was on anti-depressants. So, it was a combination of things.

We remained friendly over the years. But I learned to not get romantically involved again. Even though the chemistry is still there. Even over texting – old habits are hard to break and flirting is hard to stop.

But — what’s that quote?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting the same results. And insanity would be giving into those old feelings. And while I can appreciate the friendship and catching up – and even staying in touch this time.

This old heart of mine just can’t take another “break up”. I’ve had one too many and one too many toxic relationships with toxic men who I thought were everything to me.

And so… my response to his casual statement about dating?

“I’m on sabbatical from love. At this point, it might be a permanent thing.”

Him: “So, you’re getting a cat now?”

Me: “Cats eat your face.”

And so, that’s where we are this new year’s day/night. Thoughts on past loves. What could go wrong with that?

Isolation and the impact it has had on communication skills

Something I realized this week as I started reaching out to people via phone calls and texts, is that COVID-19 has cured my hatred for talking on the phone. Talking on the phone is something that we all did as teenagers in the 90’s. We didn’t have cell phones or even a home computer in those days. Instead, we spent many hours glued to our phones while hiding in our bedrooms.

I didn’t get my own phone until I was about 17 or 18. And when I did, I spent most nights glued to it. To the point that my dad’s customers couldn’t send faxes. I had to cut my phone usage back to between 9:00 pm and 12:00 am. It’s kind of funny when you think about it now.

But since smart phones came along – most people that I chat with prefer communicating by text. And I am a terrible texter. Give me a computer and a keyboard and I’ll chat your eyes off at 99 wpm. But on a cell phone? I’m all thumbs. No really, all thumbs. I inherited my mother’s fat and wide thumbs. I have to use auto-correct every text I send. It’s painful.

The summer months were better for me. I was able to visit my sister and her family. We had a couple of dinners together with just the kids. We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving in October. And I was allowed to see my dad every Saturday. Even though I wasn’t working during the week, I had a set schedule. Saturday visits with dad. Sunday mornings at my volunteer gig with the church. And the occasional visit with friends – which was rare.

Then September hit and cases were on the rise. We’re seeing numbers as high as 1600-1800 daily here now. The province is in mandatory lockdowns for the next month. People are back to working from home. I went out today for the first time in weeks to attend another funeral. It was small with only ten people. We followed protocols. But I’m afraid that’s it. Services are cancelled until further notice. Visits with dad have been cancelled since October.

My two reasons for leaving the house are now – cancelled. I’m allowed to have people visit me. But most already have their families they live with. It’s going to be a lonely Christmas.

But that’s besides the point.

Last week as I started getting more calls for work reasons, to update some medical information and just day to day business in general, I found myself reaching for the phone to make a call instead of relying on emails. Just hearing someone’s voice on the phone made my day better.

Friends have been reaching out more and more. I had cookies delivered on the weekend. And while I miss human contact in general, and hugs, god I miss hugs – I’m finding that being in isolation has improved my communication skills.

I’m able to discuss my feelings more openly. I have no fear of picking up the phone and calling someone to say hi. I still call my dad daily even if he can’t hear me at best of times. I’m catching up with old friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Zoom chats are more enjoyable and it’s just good to see people’s faces. Masks are so impersonal. And while I understand they are important for our safety, it makes it harder to connect with others in general.

I miss seeing people’s smiling face. I miss hugs. I really, really miss hugs.

And so, those are my thoughts on this sunny day as I wait for another phone call.

I do love this whole being at home all day though. If I can find some work to do on a part-time basis – even better!

How are you coping with isolation these days? Let me know in the comments.