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.

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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

Letting Go Of The Past and Future to Make Your Present Perfect

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“Why do(es) anxiety, stress, or negativity arise? Because you turned away from the present moment. And why did you do that? You thought something else was more important. One small error, one misperception, creates a world of suffering.” -Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher best known for his book, “The Power of Now”, which teaches the importance of living in the present moment and not fixating on past or future ideas. It is a very simple, and yet extremely powerful and transformational way to live. If you are stuck in past ideas you can experience (among other things) anguish, longing, regret, and disappointment. If you concern yourself constantly with the future you can experience fear, stress, anxiety, or doubt. But if you stay in the present moment and see things as facts that are ever changing, you can experience such freedom and happiness. 

I haven’t read his book yet, and all I have to really go off of are quotes of his and interviews with Oprah on YouTube. But already I feel so much lighter and more positive with everything in my life. By staying in the here and now I feel so much more gratitude for what is and not anger or fear about what isn’t.

This applies to my creative life, and more importantly, my love life. I’m always trippin’ out about being single and focusing on that fact instead of just being free and happy to live my life today in whatever way that I want and allow love to come into my life when the timing and the person is right.

D.H. Lawrence said, “Those that go searching for love only make manifest their own lovelessness, and the loveless never find love, only the loving find love, and they never have to seek for it.” 

It’s so refreshing to think that I can relinquish the control I’m trying to have over my own love life and just let it go! All of my concern and anticipation of the moment of finally getting my fairytale love story is leading me to think that then and only then will I experience peace and happiness. Tolle says, “People believe themselves to be dependent on what happens for their happiness.” And let me tell you, that is EXHAUSTING. I don’t want to be marred by that anymore.

Yes, I am definitely ready and open for a relationship. But it doesn’t have to be forced and it doesn’t have to be wrapped up in my impatience. I’m letting my ego get the best of me when if I just focused on the present and had gratitude for what I DO have I would be so much happier.

And don’t get me wrong, I am happy in so many ways in my life. But I do feel like having a special someone would just be a nice little added bonus to my already awesome existence. Maybe the fact that I’ve been so focused on it has prevented it from manifesting itself in my life. Who knows, but from today forward I’m excited by the idea of letting go of all of my future hang ups about it.

***

My most recent ex lover (whom I’ve talked about before, whom we will refer to from here on out as “Boyband”) and I had a discussion/argument/talk/heart to heart last week about our current situation. We have a very long history together that has evolved from a friendship to a crush to a hook up situation to love and then to destruction and back to ??? again. It’s mentally and emotionally draining and we can never seem to figure out if we should be together or not.

Anyway, every time we have one of these talks he ends up mentioning his ex girlfriend. Apparently she was like me in so many ways even down to the fact that we have the same Astrological sign, which he puts WAY too much importance on. This girlfriend basically sucked the life and happiness out of him and they ended up hating each other. I can feel the bad energy from him every single time I do something that reminds him of her and it makes me self-conscious. 

He has to understand that we are different people and it’s not fair for him to constantly compare me to her, but he also needs to make peace with his past and stay in the present moment or else we have ZERO chance of success in OUR relationship.

It took me a really long time to realize that this was the main problem between us. During our talk last week he mentioned her and I said:

“Do you realize that I’ve NEVER spoken about my ex boyfriend to you? And yet I have to hear about your ex ALLLLL the time.”

And Boyband said:

“That’s because you didn’t learn anything from that relationship.”

I responded with:

“Yes I did. I learned that all men cheat.” (Which is a pretty true statement, but that’s a subject for a whole other blog post.)

After thinking about that exchange so many times I realized that the correct response from me should have been, “No, it’s because I’m not living in the past.” He has to reconcile in himself whatever happened with her or else there is no way in hell that he and I can move forward. I’m still not convinced that he and I can have a successful relationship anyway but our chances are at 0% if we can’t even get to the point of ENTERING the relationship. All I see in his eyes and in his words is this fear of repeating the past. I can’t compete with his ideas about the past and I can’t soothe his fears about the future. Either he will live in the present moment and take it for it is or we will never be together. 

It’s not all his fault though, of course. I’ve wondered before if my PRESSURE on him to make our union exclusive and committed hasn’t ruined it already. I was so eager to seal the deal to placate my insecurity that I came off looking a little desperate and controlling.  

He needs to let go of the past and I need to calm down about the future and maybe we can make our present perfect. 

***

A lot of people struggle to deal with demons from their past, especially men in my opinion. When women are done with a relationship they usually have an easier time making room for someone else. But it takes men SO much time and effort to open their hearts to someone and express their feelings, especially after multiple breakups, that I wonder sometimes if they will always be damaged forever by that ONE or FIRST heartbreaker. 

Maybe our parents were the smart ones who married their first love right out of college. They don’t even KNOW love pain.

With every failed relationship our hearts feel chipped away at more and more. But it doesn’t HAVE to leave scars forever. Don’t make your current boyfriend or girlfriend pay for your past. With every new partner it’s a clean slate. A new experience. A chance to be your best self at the present moment. 

It’s about changing your mentality and the framing of your life and the lens at which you see things through and it isn’t going to happen overnight. But as my acting teacher always says, “if it doesn’t serve you, then don’t allow it to consume you”. Easier said then done, but knowing the freedom that present moment living brings is enough to get me to forever work on it. 

xx

Lover Lo

 

I Miss The Boyfriend I Never Had and The Relationship We Were Never In

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Oh, hormones. You’re annoying.

I hope that’s what I can blame this heartsick feeling on anyway. PMS! Yes! I always feel more emotional and needy right before bleed week…

But it’s not just this week. I’ve been feeling this way ever since I walked away from you when you decided you couldn’t give me what I wanted. And I know that was the right thing to do, but then why do I miss you EVERY FUCKING DAY? 

You weren’t even that good to me. We were never in a committed relationship. You did whatever you wanted and saw me when you felt like it. I did the same, but I bet your mind wasn’t going as crazy as mine was. Maybe those were games both of us were playing or maybe you really just weren’t on the same level as me.

We’ve never been on the same level. You wanted me more and chased me for almost two years before I finally came around and fell for you. Maybe you were over it at that point. But I’ll never know because you are such an emotional warrior that you refuse to let me see you vulnerable. I was that way too until I fell in love with you. I thought you were slipping away and so I laid everything out on the table and now I’m left heartbroken.

And the funny thing is, I don’t even think we are right for each other. I think you and I both fell for the wrong person. We fight all the time and rarely give in to each other. How could we possibly survive a relationship? Yet I still want it…

I see and feel reminders of you all the time. I still wear your oversized T-shirt to bed. The pictures of you making out with me in the photo booth on my birthday are still hanging on my bulletin board. Your career is taking off again and I have to see your dumb little fans tweeting at you and leaving stupid messages on your Instagram. But it doesn’t matter because I know you like me best…

Why couldn’t we make it work? Why did you say you loved me and then claim you never said such a thing? Normally I see these things as the universe telling me, “Get out! It’s not meant to be!” But I cannot swallow that this time. Not after 3 and 1/2 years and after I saw that look in your eyes saying that it’s going to be hard but you want to make it work with me.

But then there is that other look where you cast your eyes down and mutter things like, “I just want to have fun”, which makes me think you are more of a boy than a man anyway. You could never give me the attention and affection that I need and deserve. Or could you?

I don’t feel like I’ve even experienced half of who you could be. I wonder if I closed your heart to me by brushing you off for so long. But I’m here now and I want you now. You said you loved me on four different occasions. I know I’m not the only one who wants it. 

The first time this ended was easier. I just thought to myself, “well, I guess I have to move on now.” But then you came BACK and made me THINK that you wanted to really go for it. But then you chickened out.

I KNOW I’m just like your ex. You tell me all the time. I KNOW that you guys fought a lot too and that it took a toll on you. I KNOW that we technically have astrological signs that clash. I’m scared about that too. But I would rather fight with you then be with anyone else. 

There are SO MANY men in this town. WHY do I bother giving you any minute of my time and thoughts and energy?! 

Because I love you. 

And I will continue to love you and miss you until there is someone else I guess.