Okay, guys, I'm going to be real with you. In terms of relationship expectations and standards, the bar is on the floor. In fact, it's not even there. It's about six feet underground.
If you think that your girlfriend asking where you're going in the morning is 'crazy' or 'scary' then you need to reassess your priorities.
Caring about another person is never 'too much'.
In fact, if that's your attitude to a partner, you're in a fake relationship, basically. If you aren't there for each other or your approach interactions are already tired or ready to distance yourself, that's wrong.
If you're in a situation where you can't tell if the other person cares or not, or if you have to decode every little gesture of theirs, that's not healthy. Nor is it relaxing or comforting, which a relationship should be.
It's a sign of maturity to express your emotions too. Not just, I'm sad because my football team lost this week 'emotions', but 'I've been in a rut for a month and am really struggling with my goals' emotions.
Both overlap, obviously, but remember what Fleabag taught us… Talking about vulnerable things is not the same as being vulnerable with someone if they don't actually pertain to you. That's the discourse, not therapy.
If you can't be honest with your partner or truly feel that they care about your feelings, then you will eventually stop calling them when you need someone. Then, the relationship is completely void of emotional impact. How else is it serving you?
Marie Kondo your life!
She didn't just mean material possessions, after all – declutter your headspace! Don't be funneling all your care down the drain if the other person isn't reciprocating.
If the person you have been sleeping with for months wants to meet more of your friends, or maybe even visit your hometown or learn your parent's names, that's not unreasonable! If it seems out of the blue, you're likely just not looking for clues or totally ignorant to dating protocols.
Wanting clarity or a label on the relationship is another thing that isn't remotely unreasonable. If you are thrown by this or really don't want to commit or care about her any more than the terms of your friends with benefits deal, communicate that!
There's nothing inherently wrong with feeling however you feel, even if it's not the same as your partner, but that's where it's so important to be mature about it. You will do more damage the longer you leave it on ambiguous terms.
The asymmetrical relationship is truly a killer.
I was listening to a podcast by Jonathan Van Ness the other day about how all relationships are inherently unequal. Where one person is inevitably more invested in a relationship than another.
While it sounds sad and we will always presume that we're the most invested party, it's actually pretty healthy to have a degree of movement within the relationship.
As long as the proportion of caring is no more than 60-40, relationships go through ups and downs all the time. No emotion is permanent, and some days you will need your friend more than they need you, and vice versa.
That's fine. Just don't make a habit of entering into relationships that are more like 80-20 because you won't get the care and attention that you deserve. As soon as someone feels that it's unreasonable to care, it just shows that they don't prioritize you sufficiently to value their time spent with you.
It sucks, but you need to move away if they make you feel like asking to care is too much. If they love you, caring is never a chore but an honor.