This is the way the conversation was concluded last night as Miguel and I had dinner for the first time in well over a month.
What was the topic?
The continuous presence of his love, his better half, his girl friend, his reason for not drinking quite as much, his smoochiekins as it were.
A little background first...
Miguel is not the greatest compromiser. He prefers to have his own place. He likes things his way. If you can get past this and accept it you'll find he is a great guy to hang with.
2 years ago Miguel moved in with an old friend, Drew, they shared a good sized place. Miguel never felt 100% comfortable with the situation because the place wasn't all his. There was compromise on cleaning and music volume and guest visits that he had to navigate through.
But Miguel is a trooper and he pulled through respectfully.
It was while living here that his love entered his life. Over the months she became a larger presence in his daily life. This included her coming over and staying over with ever increasing frequency.
But now Miguel has moved back into his own place (Drew is getting married *start 'taps' song now*). And things are different.
keep reading cause this is where it gets good!
Miguel confides in me how the other night when his beloved was over he was watching a game on the tube while she was in her own world doing schoolwork on the laptop. Miguel began suffering an imposing feeling of claustrophobia. If she was going to be doing her own thing, why couldn't she do it at her own place? Why couldn't he have his space to himself to truly relax? It was driving him crazier by the minute.
He did say something to her about her presence causing him undue anxiety but I believe the relationship is salvageable at this point. That's a post for another day.
So at dinner Miguel asks me why he would suddenly be having these feelings? It was never an issue in the past? Why now?
I knew Miguel, the way he works, the way he thinks, what makes him tick, etc. Therefore I knew the answer.
And I stated it like this...
"Miguel, you like your space. You want the things the way you want them. Plain and simple. The less you have to compromise the happier you are. When you were sharing a place with Drew, the place was 50% Miguel's. But when Ellen was there it somehow made the place 66% Miguel's. Are you following me?"
"Go on" he nods in understanding. Math is one of his strong suits.
"But now you have your own place. When you go home you go home to a place that is 100% Miguel's. You love that. But now when Ellen is over, your place suddenly becomes 50% Miguel's."
"Yes!!" he lights up in a Satori moment. He seems relieved to have a clearer understanding of the nature of his ill. But then a look of concern and perplexity takes over.
"Okay, so how do I tell her this in a way so she understands without taking offense?"
"Miguel" I say, looking directly at him with all seriousness "You want to tell Ellen that she has gone from a +16 in your life to a -50 in a 'way so she understands'? Man, let it go!"
His solem lowered eyes expression told me he knew the words I spoke were indeed wise.
He then ordered a jack and tonic.