My boyfriend and I just got back from vacation, and let’s just say, it didn’t go exactly as planned. We were staying at a cabin in the Sequoia Forest at 7,000 feet. And I was looking forward to a week of rest and relaxation surrounded by nature.
We’d been assured no one had seen any bears or mountain lions in the area. So, we were pretty surprised when a bear and her cub ran across the road in front of us on our first walk.
The mother bear stopped and looked at us just long enough to make sure we weren’t a threat. It was probably only a few seconds; but trust me, when there is nothing between you and a bear, that can feel like a really long time.
We went hiking every day and I was completely on edge. The area was pretty remote and we hardly saw anyone else. One person we did see reassured us that bears were rare and would run from you and mountain lions were even rarer.
But, we saw lots of animal tracks, including some bear tracks and some we thought might be mountain lion tracks. My boyfriend thought this was “cool” and he even hoped we’d see more wild animals.
And midweek, just as I was starting to calm down, we learned not only were there LOTS of bears around because of the drought. There was also a “big,” “bold,” “aggressive” mountain lion that had been seen in broad daylight in the area where we were staying!
Well, that was it for me. My boyfriend offered to cut our vacation short, and we came back the next day. I felt bad about us leaving early. He was loving the wilderness and it was beautiful. But I knew I needed to take care of myself.
So, what do you do when you need one thing and your good guy wants the exact opposite?
- Acknowledge your different desires. My boyfriend was clearly in “Wild Kingdom” heaven and I was clearly afraid.
- Respect the other person’s feelings or perspective. We didn’t do so well with this one. He thought I was overreacting and I questioned his lack of fear.
- Differentiate between wants and needs. After we found out about the mountain lion, it was clear that I needed to go, and my boyfriend got that.
And I have to give him credit. He only really understood what I was going through after we got back and talked more. But, he was willing to cut our trip short anyway. And we finished the rest of our vacation in Glendora.