Carolina Man celebrated a big birthday last week, and since it was also our first together, I decided to make his birthday extra special by making a game out of his gifts. I created my own version of Dirty Minds with each present having three dirty-sounding clues that would lead CM to his gift. Like, "Press me up against something thick and juicy" and "I love you to hold my rear end" for the tomato knife I'd gotten him. Most of the gifts were small things, but it was fun creating a game out of it. I gave him a gift a day during his birthday week, with a couple extra ones on his actual birthday.
It's amazing how having a thoughtful partner makes me want to be more thoughtful. Even more that that, knowing how appreciative he is of the effort I put into it makes me want to make every occasion that special.
There's a fine line there, though. Both CM and I tend to be others-focused. Most of the time that's a good thing. We consider what other people are feeling and experiencing. But for me, it can definitely go overboard, and it was nearing that with this birthday. I felt so much internal pressure to wow him, to make his birthday perfect that I ended up putting a financial strain on myself. I kept feeling like I could do more and more, never knowing when I'd done enough. I suppose there's still some insecurity there about this relationship being as good and solid as it feels, and so I feel the need to overcompensate.
The best part is I could tell CM all of this. We talked through it all, even going back into birthdays past and recalling the thoughtlessness of our former partners. And it created even more closeness to talk about those insecurities rather than to act as if they weren't there. I'm very grateful for that openness we share.