I have been reading and hearing a lot of dialogue lately from people who seem confused and spend a great amount of effort and time trying to figure out what their respective significant others are doing/thinking/meaning. I see a lot of advice and reading material on getting back on your feet after a break-up or a betrayal. I’ve seen too much of the nauseating co-worker who posts pseudo-inspirational religious, cavity-inducing bullshit about meeting “the one.” She’s been dating this guy maybe a month? The ones who are in love with falling in love. So let’s have some realizations we should all understand up front.
There are pitiful few guys who will blog about their feelings when they have been betrayed. I said “few.” I see an awful lot more women who spend a great deal of effort blogging about the same issue over and over. and over. Now, I think it is truly healthy to talk about how you feel, pull it out, ponder it, break it down, analyze it, learn what you need to learn from it, cry, break glass, eat ice cream or a ball of bacon or both, then. fucking. let. it. go.
Repeatedly asking why someone did something when you know will never get a valid answer is a pointless waste of your emotional and mental well-being. Don’t give someone else that level of your energy, you’re only hurting yourself. They aren’t doing the same for you.
Most guys think exactly what they say they are thinking, there is usually little subtext, if any. Sure, there are those rare few that are strategic sociopaths, just as there are those who secretly cry to Steel Magnolias. When they are interested in someone, they simply behave in such a way that very clearly says “I’m interested, I like you, let’s be together.”
Now women… I’ve seen a much wider variety here. The clinger, the one convinced “hard to get” is the way to go, the unsettled/wishy washy, the one who can’t be alone, the one in love with falling in love….yet all too many of them spend a great deal of time and effort on what I can only described as microscopic dissection of every conversation they have ever had with their respective others to find the supposed “meaning.”
“He/She isn’t that type of person.” or “I would know if they were like that.”
Here’s a tough concept, but one that will help you immensely in the future. If you ever hear these words come out of your mouth or someone else’s, remember this… you will never, ever know someone’s true motivation unless they tell you honestly. Asking them can help with this.
A fem friend of mine told me about a book called He’s Just Not That Into You. Some of you might be rolling your eyes right about now, some may be thinking “well damn, that’s a bitchy title.” It was a “guide” of sorts. I did read it, and thought it probably could have been shortened to just a title but I think the overall gist was dead on. One line in particular stuck with me…
“It’s called a break-up because it’s broken.”
If you have ever been on a roller-coaster of a relationship that has had more lows than highs but for some reason neither one of you seem capable of calling it, this is your motivation. I’m not saying some relationships aren’t worth saving but there is a point when no matter how much you pour perfume on a pile of shit, at the end of the day, it still stinks because its shit.
Relationships, all relationships, should be a series of investments in the other with few withdrawals. I’m analogizing all over the damn place today, huh? What I mean is that every time you call, every time you ask someone how they are, support them, surprise them, be there when they cry, make them laugh, hang out, etc… you are making an investment in your relationship. Every time you miss an arrangement, lie, forget something important to them (like a birthday), fight, hurt them, etc… you make a withdrawals.
We all make withdrawals, its par for the course, we are going to fuck up… but we have to be careful that isn’t the majority of our interactions with someone we value. If you like relationships that are all about you, then you like things lopsided, you take and probably don’t have a lot of close connections and may not understand why. It’s time to start thinking about other people if you want that to change.
If you are maternal and give more than one person should possibly give to another, to the point where there is no room for you and you are secretly miserable, you’re a giver. That too is septic to a relationship. It’s nice to be spoiled, but not sharing more of our own needs and desires sends the message you don’t trust the other with your needs and desires. It also leaves you wanting more and not capable of asking for it.
Don’t ever ask for something you’re unwilling to give yourself. It’s unfair and makes you an asshole.
Are you dating someone an awful lot like your dad? mom? grandparent? One key love from your childhood? An Osmond? I’m not going to go Freud on you, but we tend to be drawn to people who are similar to people we have unresolved issues with, good or bad. If you keep failing at a fulfilling relationship, see if your exes remind you of someone else. For me, my ex was a lot like Grand personality-wise: strategic, passive-aggressive, manipulative, needy, self-centered, demanding. Grand and I butted heads a LOT. I was drawn to my ex to have those same damn fights with a different outcome. Just recognizing that helped immensely in stopping the cycle.
“I need closure.”
You don’t need closure, you want an excuse to drag out more contact with someone who is obviously not interested in being with you. I’ve heard this most from the type of person who believes that just not contacting someone (dodging their calls, not responding to their emails/texts) is the best method of breaking up.
You believe you have fallen in love with everyone you have ever dated. Or you believe you have fallen in love more than once in five years.
Translation: You are in love with being in love and are still not sure what the hell that really means beyond the reactions of a pubescent teen. Love isn’t a rom-com, and sometimes its boring and ugly. Being in love doesn’t mean glossing over the bad points, it means loving them anyway.
If you spend 3/4 of your time thinking more of your next piece of ass over your kids, you are a shitty parent and that is deeply telling about your ability as a partner. Spawn’s best friend lives with their grandparents because their mom has been through four guys just in the 4.5 years I’ve known her. She moves to be closer to where the guy lives, regardless of condition, she spends all her time at the guy’s house and very little with her kids. She very eagerly moves in any of them willing and of course, she is always in love. She’s younger than me and I believe this is at least her 2nd divorce. My next door neighbor is the same way… I am a big fan of adult time, but the level of obsession here is ridiculous.
The only element of a relationship that really means a damn thing is trust. It is the foundation upon which everything else is built. If you destroy that, everything else is a house of cards.
Sex is not love, you can have both and you can have them together if you’re lucky, but the presence of one does not automatically ensure the presence of the other.
Where do I get this long list for someone who is single? A hell of a lot of dating over the course of *cough* years… tons, one failed marriage, a few close calls, and owning up to my own bullshit, It also stems from walking friends through their respective bullshit, trying to get them back to sanity, sometimes knocking some damn sense into them, sometimes just walking the fuck away.
I’m not so much having a “dry spell” as welcoming the damn Sahara because its the tempting alternative. I’m enjoying the peace.
My last semi-dating stint was with someone I knew back in my younger days. We happened to bump into one another and later we met for dinner one night. They asked about maybe dating and I said something to the effect of “It’s really nice having an adult meal and conversation, but you have a personality that I would never consider for a long-term relationship. If you want hang out, sure but that should not be interpreted as interest. I will wish you the best if you meet someone.”
Want to guess how much of what I said was actually believed? That’s right. Not a damn word. I didn’t realize that at first.
Over the course of the next few months, they start to infringe unwelcome more and more in my life. Phone calls, texts. All fucking day and night. Hell they bugged the shit out of me on World of Warcraft. After a while, my reaction was to pull away. Theirs? Cling tighter, going so far to show up at my home unannounced.
I politely told them to never to show up without arranging it with me ahead of time, and reminded them that we were not an “item.” They mention wanting me to meet their parents. They’re confused when I refuse. They really could not get it through their fucking head I did not find them worth the effort.
It finally hit the boiling point when I sent a casual smartass response to something they said via text. It apparently came to them in two pieces (they had an old phone). I get an initial response calling me a choice name. I’m confused, but it was kind of the straw breaking that proverbial llama’s backside.
Their emotional roller-coaster is too damn much. I just respond with “lose my number.” Apparently, the 2nd part of my message, and its meaning, came over and I get a mass of apology texts and explanations. I just block the number and move on.
Then I get emails, begging to discuss things. I am accused of leading them on, that of course they would think we would move to the “next step,” they knew I didn’t mean any of that “other stuff.” They ask what issue do I have with them that I could cut them off so easily.
I sent them a bullet pointed list with a note that if they could work through those issues, they would probably have everything they ever wanted… but with someone else. I wished them good luck and I never interacted with them again.
How much easier things might have been if they’d just listened to what I said and not subscribe to their own delusional internal dialogue about “what I meant.”
What things have you found to true? Did you ever find a pattern of behavior you had to break out of?