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Serious Stuff, Like, Totally Kills The Mood

March 5, 2010

Image Credit: Exploding Dog

You know when you’re dating someone and its in the beginning stages, but then something kind of tremendous happens and suddenly it’s make it or break it time before you’re ready?

Well the other day, Love Interest E found a dead guy at work.

In fairness, he works in the medical field and dead people aren’t all that rare, but this one was unexpected.  Love Interest E found him; there was blood and chaos and the whole scene sounded rather traumatic.

When he texted to tell me, sounding a bit frantic, all I could think to say back was, “oh, that’s awful … good luck?”

Not the most sensitive of replies.

Truthfully, we’d entered make it or break it time. He was vulnerable and upset; my reaction would be extra important to him. Not being in a field where finding dead people is an occupational hazard, I had no idea what to say. I phoned a friend. Friend D is a nurse and thus sees dead people a lot, I guess. She was all, “Well, tell him you’re sorry about his patient.”

Oh. Duh.

So I did, and it was the perfect response. He even opened up a bit about how losing a patient feels and why this one was more upsetting than usual. And I was all understanding and it was a real breakthrough for us I think.

The fact is, while you’re dating, life still happens. And sometimes it happens in awkward ways. How you handle it in the beginning is an indicator of how you’d cope as a real couple. Love Interest E and I made it through our first mini-trauma unscathed.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. cyrae permalink
    March 5, 2010 8:38 am

    Ah, listening – the greatest underused human skill! Sometimes that’s all people need; you don’t even have to come up with a brilliant solution to the problem – just be willing to listen and give a little of your own heart back.

    Death and serious illness are always difficult situations; just being there can be a great comfort.

    • March 5, 2010 10:20 am

      Good point, he really just needed a sympathetic ear. Is it weird it felt vulnerable for me to lend one? I always want to joke things like that away. Resisting the urge to joke allowed him to open up I guess. Thumbs up all around.

  2. March 5, 2010 3:24 pm

    all I can do is offer some moral support. It means a top to show you’re there for someone on that level.

    • March 5, 2010 3:24 pm

      I meant to say A LOT not a TOP… wth, lol

    • March 5, 2010 3:38 pm

      its true. i had to be genuine and supportive, which is more of a challenge for me than I’d like to admit. but, had I been in his shoes, that’s what I would have wanted.

      • cyrae permalink
        March 6, 2010 5:03 pm

        That might be the trick – stop to think what YOU would want to hear or how you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed – then do that. It’s not always easy if you haven’t experienced the same thing, but usually you can find something close.

  3. March 8, 2010 6:11 pm

    well *i* think you handled it super well. way better than i would have, which would have been the “well that…sucks?” answer without even thinking about it’s repercussions.

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