Thursday, September 18, 2014

#TCKCHAT chronicles: The TCK & Dating

I have been volunteering my time to co-host #TCKCHAT on Twitter with some fabulous TCK folks. There is one every two weeks. The next one is on Oct 2nd and it will be at 10 am EST or 10 pm EST. The topics have ranged from being the new kid to dating to mentoring TCKs to transitions. If you are on twitter join in or follow the #tckchat conversations.

I wasn't available for the #tckchats in July so I started in August. I was looking through an old archive and found this gem:

TCK Chat #2: The TCK & Dating storify highlights

Some difficult questions asked. Inspired to answer some of these difficult and I will try and be a bit brutally honest about it.

Q1.How has your TCK upbringing influenced your dating relationships?

I like interesting people that I can have a conversation with on a multitude of subjects and depth of conversation but also someone who can make me feel at ease, laugh, comfortable, safe, etc. This is not just in dating but also how I make friends and connect with people in general. When you find a connection someone it can often be a turn on! On the negative side of things, I get very restless. I don't know how to stop that often nagging feeling and not knowing how to think about the future in terms of dating relationships. Perhaps my biggest obstacle. I am a little bit skeptical about planning too far ahead in the future. In terms of TCK upbringing, its tough to think about where to settle down to find a partner and maybe have children. Who knows what the future will bring. Dating is like playing roulette. You just never know who you will meet, when you meet, how you meet, etc. If timing is everything then you could possibly meet your match at the most wrong time of your life. And then, if you are in a steady relationship, when and if you two will marry and/or start a family together and where in the world. Its just all a lot of stress to think about if you ask me! hahahaha. A bit of a commitment-phobia is common among TCKs and those tough questions are common among TCKs in relationships. I'd say on a personal level, I have a bit of this phobia because I don't know how long I will stay in one place or what forever means.

The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark

Q2. In a relationship with a non-TCK, have you anticipated miscommunication because of your TCK upbringing?

Oh my... this is going to bring up a can of worms but I will spare you of the details.
I think whether a TCK or non-TCK miscommunication is the biggest obstacles everyone faces. With TCKs and Non-TCKs relationships, I think perhaps the TCK could be misunderstood that leaving or planning to live in different countries and cities as leaving the relationship. Someone in the #tckchat mentioned this: @DipKidAmber "A2 I applied for a job in China once. My partner took it to mean that I wanted to get away from him when really I just wanted the experience"
Also some TCKs have a bit of a loner streak in them when they grow older to become adults because they spent their youth packing up and moving without much say in where and when they are moving. They may become adults who want to be in control of where, when, how they move (that is IF they move) without much thought on another person. They just assume that other person will move with them and adjust. This can lead to loads of miscommunication that could ultimately make or break a partnership up.

View from Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Q3. A TCK and non-TCK come from diff backgrounds. What challenges have you faced to make it work? What pleasantly surprised you?

Challenges in my previous relationships include long distance, commitment-phobia, not knowing what the future will hold, communication, and wanting different things in life. With that said, I was in a 7 year long relationship in my twenties. He wasn't a TCK and he tried very hard to understand my TCK restlessness. What surprised me was how much I liked stability in that relationship. It was a solid one and I thank him for giving me that at a time in my life that was hectic and stressful due to being an artist in New York City.

From the #tckchat:
@dp_saxon writes "A3: Some non-TCKs seek out relationships w/ TCKs b/c they've always had the spirit to travel but not the opportunity."
My response will always be the fact that the world is small and time is short. Time and health is the most important currency of all so what you do with your time on this earth should reflect that.

@danautanu: "A3. Challenge:Them not getting why I'm not grounded and why it's hard."
Its not that TCKs are not grounded. TCKs have a different grounding where grounding is interchangeable and adaptable. Just like seasons, our life isn't static. I don't think life should ever be static. We are in constant motion. Learning, discovering, and evolving.

Winter in Central Park, New York City

Q4.Does the idea of “settling down” with a partner scare you? Or do you relish the idea of stability after the constant change?

I used to be scared about this. I like the idea of stability but I don't want my future partner to "shackle" me down or want to do the same to him. "Settling down" with a partner means to me more about a partnership of going through life together with its twists, turns, ups and downs, adventures, stability, and difficulties.

@TweetingAuthor wrote: "A4: The concept of settling down is terrifying. From marriage to children, the idea that moving could stop scares me to death."
I don't think marriage or children should ever cause a cessation in moving. What causes the move in the first place? If the answer is to run away from responsibilities then yes, that needs some growth. But if the answer is a career adventure, then why the hell would you not take the opportunity and bring along the person you love and if there are children and pets involved. Bring them along too!

@unsettledtck wrote: "A4: Admittedly the prospect of marriage or something super permanent makes me hyperventilate a little"
This is quite common among many TCKs. I am still scared of permanence and the idea of forever but decided that in the traditional societal contexts we live understand of it - yes, I am terrified of that. But in my own sense and thinking - no, I am not scared. Nothing is permanent in this life. Marriage is a scary concept but so many couplings are choosing not to buy into the construct of traditional marriages with a huge proportion of marriages ending in divorce - who wouldn't be skeptical.

Then we have these responses from the #TCKCHAT:
@marilyngard "But can I go back to Q4 - we got married and embarked on a life raising TCKs - would do it again in a heart beat"
@dp_saxon "A4: I hope to "settle down" with someone who's open to thoughtful and regular change."
@TayoRockson "Yes and sometimes I wonder if my future kids and wife will like to move as well."

Homemade Pandan triple chocolate cookies, New York City

Q5.Change is part of TCK life & can lead to unresolved relationship probs. Do you struggle w/ this now? How do you address this?

Absolutely! I am hyper cautious these days because I do not want misunderstandings, miscommunications, and ultimately break anyone's or my own heart. But to err on this side of things, it can absolutely backfire on me. I let relationships flow naturally whether its dating or friendships because when over-thinking we lose sight of what really matters most. Enjoying another person's company whether its a friendship or a dating situation. Life is short, time is precious, health is not guaranteed. Live a balanced life that makes you content.

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