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What Do You Do When You Want The Exact Opposite Of What He Wants?

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.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Jairo de Leon

    Well, it is tough to try to hear your partner when you may feel that you are not been heard by your partner. The easy and safest way that I have handled a situation was by putting myself in my partner’s shoes and trying to see their perspective. At the same time it is healthy for the partner to do the same and find a midpoint “of course in a perfect world” ha ha!. In reality one is going to have to sacrifice their needs and wants at that momment for their loved one and maybe in another situation their loved one may do so as well.
    In the case of the vacation, I belief that the male knew he could take on the bear and the mountain lion all on its own to prove to his loved one that he is her protector. Yet, reality hit and he decided “For her protection” we should leave sooner then it was planned.

  • Stacy

    My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon. We spent 10 days on a Canada/Alaska trip. It was fantasic. However, there were a few times when we had different ideas of what we should do for fun. One day, my husband and I wanted to do two separate things. I really wanted and needed a relaxing day at the spa and he really wanted to go wine tasting. I do not drink wine so this did not appeal to me at all as fun, but as possibly very boring. He felt that relaxing at a spa would not be fun, but boring for him. We finally agreed it was okay to spend a short time apart, do what we wanted then come back later to meet for lunch. It gave us more to talk about when we met up later.

  • Vondie

    Thanks for your comments, guys!
    You both gave such good suggestions like — doing your own thing, if you can. And putting yourself in each other’s shoes.
    Jairo, Henry will be thrilled that someone understood his perspective and took his side!

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