Keep Going or Give Up?

How do you know whether to give up or keep going in relationships?

I think about this at least once a month. “I want to give up. It’s too hard. I’m disappointed all the time. I’m unhappy. I’ll never get the future I desire with him.” Those thoughts run on a loop in my head anytime I don’t get what I want or have my expectations dashed by him. Sometimes I feel like a petulant child or that I’m pinning too much of my happiness on him and other times I feel like he goes out of his way to disappoint me and show me that I’m not his main priority.

But then I think about having to start over with someone new and it sounds awful. I say to myself, “just hold out longer. Keep your mouth shut. Be agreeable. If you’re patient and cool you may get what you desire.” And then that dialogue runs on a loop until I convince myself that it’s really not that bad. But I think the problem lies in trying to decipher if I’m being too pushy and controlling or if what he is and who he is isn’t enough for me.

He complains that I get my heart set on timelines and goals and if he doesn’t meet those in the time frame that I have decided on in my head then I get upset and pick a fight or try to end it. And I’ve definitely done that. I’ve definitely been close to ending it 4 or 5 times and ended it for real for 6 days once. I don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf but I also don’t want to be the girl who held out for as long as she could stand for a guy who was never going to give her what she desired in the first place.

And he almost has a point, I guess. If he tells me things will happen but they just haven’t yet, shouldn’t I just be patient and relax and know that he just takes more time than me with all of these milestones? But what it he’s just telling me these things will happen to shut me up and keep the peace? He might keep delaying progress until his face turns blue and then I’ll be in a worse position than I was before with even more time wasted and resentment built up.

Relationships are hard and they take work and we have done so much work and have made progress but I just don’t know if it’s enough. I don’t want to feel like I’m begging him to move forward with me all the time and I don’t want to feel as if I’m waiting for the moment when I’ll finally be happy.

Sometimes it just feels like it will never be enough. Never enough time, energy, attention, or care put into cultivating our partnership. I feel like I’m giving everything I have on my end and not getting enough in return. No one wants to be with a needy person and if that’s the vibration I’m putting out, then he will feel that and want to pull away. So at times I don’t even blame him for the way he behaves, but if I’m not getting enough of what I want then obviously it’s going to manifest itself somehow.

Isn’t the point of being in a relationship to share all of the important moments with the person you love the most? Do I just have to come to terms with the fact that I will be going alone to most events and experiencing a lot of life without him or with friends instead? Is that so bad? Or do I want my boyfriend to always be there with me all the time for everything?

Maybe adult relationships are about separate people with separate lives doing their own thing and coming together only to enhance each others’ lives. That sounds really nice and independent and shit, but what about those moments when I feel more alone than I did when I was actually alone? Because you only miss someone who isn’t there. You don’t miss someone you don’t have. When I miss him it feels worse than being single.
I should be grateful and appreciate what he DOES do, right? I need to focus on the ways he tries to make me happy and respect the progress that he HAS made, no? But then why am I always in tears about things that he has failed to do and opportunities he’s missed to bring me even the slightest bit of joy? But if I give up, will I be MORE sad than I am now?

I definitely don’t expect too much. I expect way less than I would’ve in the past because he’s forced me to lower those standards. So the result always feels like I need to express to him that I’m not fulfilled and walk away to find my desires elsewhere.

And then the cycle starts over with someone else at some undetermined point in the future when I’ve kissed enough frogs to find someone suitable. And then what if I don’t like that person as much? What if I realize I’ve made a huge mistake and he won’t take me back? Assuming that this person is good enough and respects me, what if I discover the same problems and then I’m back in the same position after even more years of waiting, wishing, pushing, and hoping.

“Just keep going. Stick with the one you love so much. Give him a break. Relax. Focus on yourself/your career/your friendships for happiness.” This is the cycle of thoughts I usually settle on. But I honestly don’t know how many times I can keep doing it.

So will it always be something? Will I never be satisfied? Once I get the things I’m asking for now is there going to be some earth shattering glow of happiness that will suddenly wash over me? Why can’t he just fucking do everything I want so we don’t even have this issue to begin with?!

For now I guess all I can do is take a breath, have a glass of wine, and wait for the PMS to pass.

Change Can Be Uncomfortable

My acting teacher always says that there are only three constants in life: death, sickness, and change. Death and sickness are obviously terrible and change can seem like it too. But most of the time, if you are patient and open to it, it can bring about new opportunities and better situations.

When I find myself in times of sadness or anger about my current romantic status I always have to check myself. First of all for being a whiny bitch and not being grateful for what I do have and not taking responsibility for why I’m still single, but also because I know that change is only a matter of time. I could be in a partnership by Christmas if I’m lucky. I could be married in 2 years. And so could you.

Almost all of my friends are currently going through a painful breakup. Almost ALL of them. At the same time. It’s so coincidental and forces me to have to play therapist all day long. Which got me thinking, it’s so strange how jealous I was of all of these couples just last year and how much their life is changed now. They are all single again. They are all single again just like me except THEY are single and heartbroken whereas I am single and happy.

So my single friends are going to have to go through many months of self-care and therapy and anger and sadness and sleepless nights whereas I am generally happy everyday and having genuine fun with my friends and enjoying alone time. Both single, but in very different stages of single.

There is NOTHING in this world worse than being in the depressing, lonely, nightmare-you-can’t-wake-up-from fog of heartbreak. Everyday you wake up with a weight on your chest and a feeling of emptiness and slog through the hours of your day wishing you could fast-forward time and erase your memory. That is the shittiest feeling and the reason a lot of people are so frightened of falling in love again. But I digress…

How much better is life when you are just single as opposed to single and sad? SO MUCH BETTER. Enjoy that state of being! If you fit into the category of single and sad then just know that change is inevitable and time heals everything. It sucks and you might be there for quite some time. But you’ll either die or you will live through it and be a whole person again in due time.

I do have some advice though for what to do during that time. And none of it includes rebounding or sleeping around because you know what that will make you do? FEEL EVEN SHITTIER.

People say that the only way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but all that does is transfer the pain. A broken person has nothing to give. Everything that new person does sucks because they aren’t doing it like your ex did it. All of the things that the new person does that is like your ex that annoyed you will make you angry way more than it should. Your ex-partner’s dick was perfect, this new guy’s is weird. He kisses weird. His hair is a different texture. He smells different.

Even if you have NO DESIRE to ever get back with your ex, these are probably thoughts you will still have. When you have grown so accustomed to one person for so long, newness is too different too soon. If you like the new guy it will make you miss the ex. If you hate the new guy it will make you miss the ex. See the problem? Give yourself TIIIIIIMMMEEE. That shitty feeling will go away faster without adding a new schmuck into the mix.

My friend Tara (name changed) has been broken up for all of a month with a guy of 1 and a half years and yet she is already on Tinder and Match.com and setting up 2-3 dates a week. Most of them she ends up canceling, she’s told me, but she decided to go ahead and take the plunge last night. She asked me before the date if she should tell this new guy that he is her first since the ex.

“Um, HELL NO.” I replied. “If you can help it, don’t say ANYTHING about the ex.”

Clue #1 that it’s too soon: that you would even think about bringing up the ex on a first date. WHYYYYYYYY?

Then she preceded to tell me that she hopes she doesn’t cry afterwards.

Clue #2 that it’s too soon: If you think you might cry after your date.

When I was rebounding from The Producer (my only long term relationship) every single time I brought up his name to the new guy I was seeing I started crying. It was completely involuntary. Twice I remember saying to the new guy, “I promise I’m over him. It just upsets me.” I have no idea why he didn’t run for the hills after that.

After the date Tara told me that they had sex 4 times (face palm) and that he rubbed her back until she fell asleep. (P.s. this was a guy from Tinder. So essentiality it was a blind date.)

Clue #3 that it’s too soon: If you are falling into intimate relationship tendencies with someone you barely know.

I wrote a post a while back, which has since been deleted per her request, about a really good friend of mine who was super fresh out of a separation from her husband and how she was handling it (hint: not well). In it, I detailed what happened on the dates with new guys she was seeing. Basically what she was trying to do was skip all the fun of dating and getting to know someone and go straight to cuddle sessions and trips out of town. She was looking for a replacement for her ex-husband.

Clue #4 that it’s too soon: If you are trying to fill a void instead of enjoying the journey.

Change will happen whether you like it or not. My friends were all happy and in good relationships at this time last year. Nobody wants a relationship to end, but it happens. Nobody wants to be single, but that changes. You can be envious of everyone in the world for everything they have but that you could be you someday. Or those people could lose it all tomorrow.

The trick to happiness in life is to enjoy where you are any given moment even if it sucks. There are lessons to be learned and opportunities for growth. Look for the good things you have and don’t try to force anything.

 

xx,

 

Lover Lo

Heartbreak For The Highly Sensitive Person

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I always used to wonder why I would be the only one in my family or friend group covering my eyes in a movie theatre during a super violent war type film or sobbing at the tear jerker ending in something as silly as a romantic comedy film. It was so embarrassing for me one time when I went to see “The Help” with my best friend a couple years ago and I was crying so hard that I was shaking my entire row of seats in a packed house theatre. I almost had to leave and compose myself in the bathroom, but I didn’t want to miss any of the movie. My friend looked over at me several times and laughed a little at my mascara smudged face and offered tissues from her purse. Her eyes were a bit misty, but she was nowhere near the level of my agony.

I had always been thought of as the “tough” girl who never cried and hardly showed emotion when I was younger. I prided myself on not letting little things get to me and never letting anyone see a vulnerable side to my personality. But a lot of people know, and I discovered, that the toughest ones are the ones who are covering up the most. Through acting classes my true feelings had to be unlocked in order to truly emulate other people and experience empathy, and boy did I experience it. And once pandora’s box was opened, there was no going back. I can’t help but feel everything so deeply now. My own feelings and the feelings of others. And through my most recent teacher and mentor, Diana Castle, I discovered that I am a “highly sensitive person”.

The personality trait “the highly sensitive person” (HSP) was made popular by Elaine N. Aron Ph.D in the 90’s. The characteristics, such as crying easily, being sensitive to smells, sounds, and light, and being emotionally reactive, describe me to an absolute T and I finally was able to identify why I have so many issues in my relationships with friends and lovers.

Fights with my friends or boyfriends can turn really nasty and hurtful because I only think from an emotional standpoint and not rationally. If they hurt me I want to hurt them even worse to experience what I’m feeling. When I get angry I get MORE angry than most people and when I am hurt I am MORE hurt than anyone else. So when a relationship ends for me, I absorb a debilitating blow that affects me so much that sometime I think I’m going to die of heartbreak.

I have been trying so hard for months to get over my most recent “lover”, who I felt I needed to cut out of my life because he couldn’t commit to me, to no avail. I have good days, but I also have really bad days where I can barely make it through without crying. And it got me thinking: out of the 3 times that I’ve been in love I have been an absolute mess of the most epic proportions after the breakup. More than most people would be. And I know this because I am a nosy little fuck and also a good listener to my friends who have been through the same thing. They ain’t dealing with what I have to deal with. My friend who’s husband had been cheating on her for 8 years seems to be doing okay after 4 months. If that were me, I would never leave my house and probably take up heroin. My brain and my emotions churns NON-STOP. It’s so awful and distracting. Everyone deals with things differently, but to even be able to go out at night and have a good time like her at this point would be torture for me.

For most people it probably takes a good solid couple weeks or maybe months to get over an ex-lover. For me, it takes sometimes years for me to come to terms. I just FEEL ALL THE FEELS for so long and so intensely. I care and I hurt and I cry more than the average person. It’s really not fair. And it’s no wonder that I’m so afraid of being open and vulnerable. If I do my heart will take a major beating when it inevitably ends. So it’s smart to just avoid it all together, right? Well, no. But I do have to be more careful who I open my heart to. I have to make sure they’re worth it and that they deserve me.

When I’ve had my heart broken I go through so many different stages of emotion. But it usually starts with depressive sadness to the point where I become a shell of a person. I have to read self help books to ease me through the process and to know that I’m not alone. Then it develops into anger and cynicism for life. And then it turns back to sadness and extreme attachment withdrawal. Finally it turns back to anger once more and throwing my body at someone else to help numb the pain. It’s super fun. Not.

The relationship between my most current ex lover and myself is not over, that I know. And it makes me wonder if that’s why I’ve been in so much pain. Because it’s over right now by my own decision when there is still so much passion and love between us.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying to move on and experience other opportunities. But it does mean that no other guy is going to be able to have my heart until it’s TRULY done between him and me. Our timing just hasn’t lined up, but if and when it does I hope we can actually have a real relationship and the pain will subside.

It’s quite the hard-knock life for HSP’s like me. If you are not one of these types of people, you lucky bitch. If you are, I’m sorry and I hope that you can relate. The good news for HSP’s is that because we experience everything to it’s greatest potential, imagine what we’re like when we’re happy! We are SO HAPPY!!! And when we love we love SO MUCH. So a relationship with us will be full of affection and attention, however, we may stab you in the eye in the middle of night if you cross us. But it’s worth it. 🙂