There is a tension between the excitement of meeting someone and feeling that mutual attraction and knowing that I need to protect my time so that I can be happy.
It seems that whenever I've been in a relationship, or even just getting to know someone in a romantic kind of way, all the time that I usually spend on things like keeping the house/car clean and maintained, taking care of myself, reading, catching up with my friends, writing and art projects -- all that time gets eaten up by the new beaux.
And it is great at first, but after a couple months I get angry. I start wondering why I can't get anything done and I start to resent the time spent with said person. I try to draw back and start spending more time doing the things I need to do -- laundry -- for example. But the other person always sees this as a personal affront and the relationship starts to crumble.
What is the solution to this?
Always be single? That is the approach I have been taking for the past few years. But what if I am ready to be open to a functional relationship where I CAN have enough space. What if I've decided that this IS a possibility and that, now, after 2 years of going solo (and sexless) I am warming up to this option.
I've written recently about being an introvert. I think that the main thing I need to find in a potential partner -- from the get go -- is someone who can understand and respect my need for personal time and someone with their own interests and friends and passions. Someone who needs time for his own projects and interests and relationships.
And then, I need to allow things to be slow and easy instead of fast and hard -- which is my usual approach.