You Settled and You Know It

I pretty much find everyone’s relationship to be bullshit. I look at a picture of a couple on instagram and think “fake.” When my friend expresses doubt about moving forward in her relationship I think, “you’re not in love with him.” When a couple starts a family or buys a new house I think, “congrats! You’re stuck in a boring situation you can’t get out of!” The most logical reason for this type of thinking is that I’m cynical as hell or afraid of commitment, but I also really think that most people are so insecure and afraid of loneliness that they’ll grab onto the nearest viable option for dear life and try to mold it into the relationship of their dreams.

People hate the idea of being alone. They need someone to bounce ideas off of, to hold their hand through hardship, to always have a date on Saturday, to spoon them at night, and to support them in their goals. Life is hard and expensive. It’s lonely and scary. It’s much better to go at it with someone else at your side.

So people force things that aren’t there. They settle for good enough. They go on countless dates with the same person because he’s “nice” without feeling any sense of a spark. Not only should you feel a spark, but you should feel FIREWORKS. You should feel BUTTERFLIES! You should feel anxious and nervous and try on 7 different outfits and take photos of it to send to your friend to make sure it’s cute enough. You should get lost in thought fantasizing about that person and smile so big your face hurts when you see a text from them.

Otherwise what is it all for?

Think about how hard it is to actually be in a good, healthy relationship. You have to meet someone that you are compatible with, attracted to, and in the same stage of readiness for something long term at the VERY LEAST. Then you throw in age, profession, religion, sense of humor, politics, ideals, lifestyle, and future goals and hope that most of them match up. There has to be a lot of give and take, good communication, and each person should want to make it work and be willing to be selfless the majority of the time.

Even just to meet someone cool is like trying to hit a target, shooting darts, blindfolded, while drunk. She is cute and awesome but she has a boyfriend. He is funny and great but he just got out of a relationship. He is amazing but he’s 7 years younger than me. She is beautiful but she is an atheist and never wants kids.

Yes, there are apps and dating sites to make this step a little bit easier, and I know I’m in the growing minority when I say that I would rather meet someone organically, but even then you have to compete with an over saturation of options and laziness. If you live in a small town you are constantly surrounded by the same people. If you live in a big city you meet way too many people only one time and then never see them again.

It doesn’t happen a lot, you know?

If you’re like most people, you only love a very small handful of people in your lifetime. So when Erica from human resources jumps from relationship to relationship with barely a month or two of breathing room in between you know that shit isn’t real. But Erica will convince herself that it is because she feels like a leper when she is the only single girl at all the work functions.

Johnny your neighbor just wants to be a dad SO bad. He constantly dates girls who are wrong for him and the next thing you know you are getting an invite to his wedding in 8 months. He is suddenly converting to Judaism and pretending to like country music so that he can make himself become what Miss Good Enough wants and needs so that he can start a family.

The real thing takes time and won’t come if you’re operating from a place of lack. It comes along when you are a complete and fulfilled person in your own life. You can’t force it to fill a void. And if you settle you will always be unhappy. So many people just go for the easy win and will never again experience real and lasting love. What a bleak thought.

I have made a hobby of carefully analyzing other peoples’ relationships. Obviously everyone is different and I can never fully know what goes on behind closed doors, but I can tell who is in something good and who’s not. Those who are in something good look at each other with a sparkle in their eye.

It’s so funny what happens when you ask someone who is in a relationship they settled for what they like about their partner. First, they will have to search for something to say. Then they will reply with things like, “he’ll make a good father” or “he’s very supportive” or “she’s not crazy” or “we have a lot in common.” Those are all great qualities to have, but what about, “he’s fucking amazing” or “I’m madly in love with her and no one else can even compare!?” Using circumstantial adjectives devoid of emotion or feeling are how you describe your job or your boss.

There are SO many fish in the sea. Sometimes you have to wait for a long time for something to bite, and sometimes you will catch a lot of fish that don’t suit you. Just throw them back and recast your line until you catch a whale. Getting scared because it’s taking too long will 10 out of 10 times cause you to choose someone wrong for you.

I think being picky is an amazing quality to have. It’s not about having standards that are way too high, but rather, being more discerning with who gets to know you intimately. If you aren’t feeling it after a couple dates, cut it off. It’s not personal. It’s not business. It’s not a numbers game. It’s about finding the right one. Imagine all the cool and interesting people you could have met during the time you were with the wrong person.

Stop acting so desperate and dependent and just chill. Being with the wrong person is worse than being alone. Think of all the amazing things that being alone gives you! Freedom to do whatever you want! Time to focus on yourself! Limitless nights out with friends! Lots of time to catch up on your favorite Netflix series!

I’ve met a total of three men in my entire life thus far that I’ve seen a long term situation working out with. THREE. I only operate based on an overwhelmingly strong feeling of YES when deciding if someone is right for me. How the hell are you all constantly with someone? How can you possibly like that many people that you legitimately want to be with? You’re lying to yourself and you know it.

If you settle, you will live a life that tastes like vanilla ice cream. Good, suitable, does the job, but BORING as FUCK. Love should scare you and make you feel a little crazy at times. It shouldn’t make you feel out of control, but if you’re not operating on an awe-inspiring vibe that makes you feel buzzed most of the time then it’s probably a sham. Imagine settling for someone you don’t particularly even like that much and are forced to see their dumb face every morning? The Horror!! Just because they will provide you with a nice house, maybe a couple kids, a dog, and financial stability is not enough to get through even 1 year of listening to someone you don’t love clear their throat every 5 minutes or chew with their mouth open.

It does happen. Good things come to those who wait. The stars will align and serendipity will seem real and by law of attraction the universe will bring the right person who is vibrating on the same frequency as you and life will seem SO MARVELOUS and SATISFYING. So don’t block the right person for you by settling for good enough.

*This is an old post that I reworked. It feels very applicable to what I’ve been observing lately, AGAIN

 

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The One That Got Away

I’ve dated the same guy three different times over the course of 7 years. The first time lasted a month and a half, the second time lasted a week or so, and the third time lasted two years. He changed so much for the better over the course of that timeframe, but he also changed for the worse in the worst way.

I got a very first-hand, eye-opening experience to what happens to a person after years of heartbreak, baggage, compromise, co-habitation, rejection, and emotional turmoil. There was a HUGE difference from when we first dated to when he was actually my boyfriend. When I first met him he had a carefree energy and was much less guarded. He was completely go with the flow and excited to try new things and very open to sharing every part of our lives together.

When I met up with him this third go round, he had lost a little bit of his sparkle. He was the same guy I had remembered, just more reserved, cautious, and careful. I chalked it up to maturity, but as we got further and further into an exclusive situation it was clear that he was also untrusting, unemotional, and damaged seemingly beyond repair.

I was CONVINCED that I could get him to snap out of it. I thought that if I was patient and open and loving that he would eventually let his guard down and give himself over to me fully. But in two years time, that never happened. I don’t know that if I had held on longer that it would’ve changed or not but I had lost my will to find out. And my rejecting him because of it is probably only going to make him steel himself further. But in all fairness, his fear of commitment is what got us into this mess. And his fear of commitment got him the result he was fearing—losing me.

I get it. Relationships are scary and the fear that comes with opening yourself up to someone new all over again gets harder and harder every time you have to do it. And as we all get older, the more times we have had to start the cycle over again. But at some point it’s going to have to end unless you want to end up a lonely bachelor for all eternity.

And I say bachelor because I have found that men are overwhelmingly more prone to become damaged with multiple heartbreaks than women are. We have a nice little bounce back quality which most men seem to lack.

And what kills me is that I’ve found that most men drag all of their bullshit into the new relationship and hold it against YOU!

“Oh, my last girlfriend was very ungrateful when I brought her flowers one time so I don’t do that anymore.”

“My last girlfriend’s mom didn’t like me so, NO I’m not ready to meet your parents after a year of dating.”

“I was dragged around the wedding circuit with my last girlfriend so I don’t have it in me to go to your best friend’s wedding, sorry.”

“My first marriage ended badly so I’m never getting married again.”

COOL. Well that works out swell for me, thanks! I’m paying for all the problems that your last girlfriend caused? That seems fair. And on top of that you are a shell of the guy you once were so I have to be tasked with helping you unpack a bunch of emotional baggage before you can even consider moving forward with me? Sign me up!

Obviously we as women want to take the damaged little bird under our wings and help them, but sometimes that only makes it worse. And sometimes they never come out of it. So we could spend precious years wasting time trying to get this poor man that we love just literally back to zero!

It’s such a bummer to have a guy not excited about certain things because he has, “done it so many times before.” What a buzzkill. Why should I get the shit end of the stick just because your last relationship sucked the life out of you? And if it’s going to ruin everything else in your future then you might as well just get back together with the ex and have her fucking deal with you.

With every failed relationship we always learn valuable lessons and what not to do. We gain a lot of wisdom and tools that can help make the next relationship better. And what would make the next one successful is if we could all just focus on the future instead of allow our past to put us into fight or flight mode.

Women seem to be pretty good at it, why aren’t men? Why is it easier for us to give each new person we’re dating a fair shot and a clean slate? The only conclusion I can draw is that even though we may be damaged and fearful, we tend to trust a new person FASTER. Men take too much time and when they finally come around to you after years and tests and assurances it’s usually too late.

I’m really starting to worry for my own future because as I get older, the men I date are only going to be more fucked up. I guess I could date younger, but then I would have to deal with inexperience and the immaturity factor.

I don’t even know anymore. I’m so confused. Maybe we all missed the fucking boat and should’ve married our high school or college sweetheart like our parents did. Get each other before any other person can take a dump inside their heart and ruin them beyond repair.

I’m just tired of seeing girls becoming the “one that got away” to these guys who can’t seem to get over their pasts. Drop the bullshit and get over yourself. To feel great pleasure you also run the risk of feeling great pain. But that’s life and holding yourself and your emotions hostage are sure to make you end up alone.

The Post Breakup Rage Stage

I’m angry. No, correction, I’m FUCKING angry. So angry, in fact, that I have these dream fantasies about screaming in my ex’s face about how selfish he is. I want to get revenge in some way. I want to say something that will really hurt his feelings so that he will experience the pain and anguish that I had been feeling.

Notice that I say “had” been feeling. Apparently once you move out of the stage of crying every night and randomly throughout the day, feeling numb, eating your feelings, and watching too many reruns of Sex and the City, you move into the I FUCKING HATE YOU stage. I guess anger is better than sadness, but anger makes you want to DO something whereas sadness makes you not want to do ANYTHING. I want to punch him in the face, fuck one of his friends, or post some really provocative shit on social media.

And speaking of social media, the thing I’ve latched onto lately as making me the MOST angry is that he seems to be fine and going on with his life according to his Instagram photos. He’s all over New York smiling and making jokes like he didn’t just lose the love of his life. Asshole.

And then because I’m angry about that, I start feeling angry about all the things he didn’t do and all the ways he disappointed me in the relationship. Which is good I guess, but those feelings have no where to go. All it does it ruin my mood and put a bad vibe out into the universe.

I was the one who orchestrated the breakup, I know. But that doesn’t mean that I wanted it. Part of me feels like he wanted out and so he let the relationship get to such a bad place that it forced ME to end it. I’ve analyzed every possibility in the book and yet thinking about it and trying to rationalize any of it only makes me feel worse. But the least he could do is fade from existence for a while until this has all blown over.

Stop thinking about him. Focus on yourself. Move forward. You deserve better.

I have to repeat those statements to myself all throughout the day. Some days are fine and I can make it out alive with only fleeting thoughts of what was or what could have been. But other days I feel like I’m just floating through life without any direction or purpose anymore. Everything feels weird and not quite right.

And the weirdest thing is, about a week after it happened I felt mostly okay! I felt like I was being released from the shackles of my own pain and suffering from within the relationship. I was free from the disappointment and crushed expectations. But now what’s left is the empty hole where his presence used to be. Even though I didn’t have his presence as much as I wanted it or in the way that I wanted it, I still had it.

So it comes to a point where I either have to accept that it’s really over for good and treat it like a death, or hold onto the idea that we will get back together eventually. Those are really the only two options. The latter is a very dangerous path to go down and will keep me stuck and hanging on instead of moving forward. So death is it, I guess. I mean how do you reconcile going from talking (or at least texting) with someone everyday to absolutely nothing?

The only other option is to use the pent up energy for someone new. But the idea of being with someone new is way too scary for me. Plus it only prolongs the mourning and isn’t really fair to the other person. I’m not going to be able to fuck my ex out of my mind and heart.

Part of me feels like he owes me something. He owes me an apology for not giving enough of himself. Or he owes me some fucking tears because I sure gave him a lot of those! I don’t need closure or anything, I guess I just wanted more of a reaction out of him. All I have is silence. One of the biggest problems I had with him is I felt like he didn’t care enough. About anything. He’s showing me that I was right. Whether that is deliberate or not.

As we get older, each new failed relationship just piles on the baggage and the cynicism. It’s hard to believe that I have to go back into the horrible dating world. Or get used to someone else’s quirks and habits. Ease myself into showing someone new my face with no makeup on. Go back into the cycle of: does he like me? will he call? what does this text mean? It’s exhausting to even think about.

I know, I know. Obviously I’m just not ready to move on yet. I just need to find a new outlet to manage this anger and come to terms with the finality of the breakup. Because if not, I run the risk of becoming that girl who thinks there are no good men in LA or that they’re all afraid of commitment. I don’t want to become an angry, bitter person. I’ve been that person before and she was not fun to be around.

He did the best he could. I can’t be mad at him for only going as far as he was capable of. But I might have to block him on Instagram so I don’t have to see him thriving without me.

When To Say BOY BYE!

My friend had to knock some sense into me the other day about my relationship. I was feeling sad and depressed and very much like a victim in my current circumstances. I had assumed that feeling was coming from the fact that I was scared of losing my boyfriend, since I had just confided in her that I didn’t think the relationship was working anymore. And she told me that she didn’t think I was sad about that, she felt I was sad because I wasn’t being true to what I want. That for a little over two years I had been lying to myself.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You have been in this same cycle pretty much since the two of you have been together. He isn’t providing you what you want and you have continued to accept that.”

As the saying goes, what we put up with we end up with. Subconsciously I’ve known for a long time that that is what the problem in our relationship has been, but I was avoiding much conflict about it because I didn’t want to let him go.

Any time I feel sad or want to complain about my circumstances, this particular friend serves me up a healthy dose of tough love.

“If you keep accepting things for the way that they are then you are in a much worse position than moving forward. Do you feel good right now?”

“No,” I admitted.

“Exactly. You’re accepting nothing but crumbs from him and then trying to emotionally manipulate your way into getting what you do want. You’re never going to get it that way.”

I had to meditate on that for some time. My boyfriend accuses me frequently of being emotionally manipulative, something I believe has been practiced into a habit since early childhood. (I blame it on being the middle child.) It’s interesting to me that I use that technique and my friend suggested it had to do with my constant need to control.

You see, it takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you want and not accept anything less. It takes courage because the alternative is potentially losing someone you care about. But if they aren’t willing to meet your needs then they aren’t the right person for you anyway. In an effort to not lose him I keep the tightest hold that I can onto him while acting desperate and borderline hysterical in the process.

It has taken a long time for me to understand the difference between the things that I need and the things that I want. It turns out, you can really tell what you need by how you feel about not getting that thing for days/weeks/months later. For example, my boyfriend was out of town on my birthday. Not for work, and not because of some preplanned trip. He was out of town because his dad had a free plane ticket for him to come home and he couldn’t turn it down. Not even the celebration of the birth of the person he loves the most could keep him from going on that trip. And so, he went and didn’t invite me, and so I was left spending my birthday giving my friends excuses for as to why he wasn’t present.

I was upset and angry when he told me and we had a massive fight about it. And I was upset many weeks and months later. But then I started in with all the excuses in the world for as to why it makes sense that he wasn’t there for me. He has to see his son, he comes from a family that doesn’t celebrate birthdays or holidays, blah blah blah. I was the lowest priority on the totem pole and I (begrudgingly) ACCEPTED that position. I cried and I told him how hurt I was and how unacceptable that behavior had been and then allowed everything to go back to normal. He gets a hall pass for missing his girlfriend’s birthday? Wow, what a doormat I am.

And the thing that feels the worst to me is that I’m a very strong and confident person in my real life who never accepts less than what she wants. It’s become increasingly confusing as to why I would allow that to be okay in my intimate relationship. The more it happens, the more I come to expect it, the more he thinks it’s okay. I’m on this vicious hamster wheel of disappointment and yet I’m so AFRAID to get off.

Well, FUCK THAT. I’m done. I’m done being this sad girl who is able to do nothing more than express when I’ve been slighted. I’m an empowered woman who will no longer accept a bunch of bullshit excuses for treating me like an afterthought. The women who get what they want are the ones who say, nothing less than that will do. If you’re not willing to step up, then BOY BYE. I’m channeling my inner Beyonce so don’t give me a baseball bat or I will smash up some windows.

There is this fear inside of me that wells up that says, I’ll never love someone as much, I’ll never connect with anyone as much, I’ll never be as attracted to someone as much and YET…I’ve felt that way about at least 3 other men in my past so I guess I’ve been wrong every time. Fear is what will keep you complacent and stop you from growing and moving forward. I have to get clear about what I want and what I can’t accept and only vibe from that place. I will never be happy otherwise.

If I need my boyfriend to be present for my fucking birthday then that is what I’m gonna get. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant the request can seem. If it’s important to you then make sure that you get it. The result of not getting those things is built up resentment, anger, frustration, and eventual breakup anyway. Leave with dignity so you don’t have to leave when you’ve become a shell of a person and are so beaten down that it might take months, or even years, to recover.

 

Emotional Detachment

I’ve been working a lot lately on detachment and not allowing myself to be ruled by my emotions. I hate letting other people have so much power over me and how I’m feeling at any given time. What other people say and do says so much about them and says practically nothing about me, so why would I let it affect me so deeply?

The other night I was at a bar with a friend whom I’ve had a very complicated relationship with. She assumed I was going to watch her dog while she was away on vacation and when I said I didn’t want to do it (because she wanted me to stay at her place in the deep valley, which is 45 minutes away from my work, friends, and life) she called me a “selfish asshole.”

I’ve never watched her dog in the history of our years long friendship so I had no idea why she assumed I would suddenly be up for the job. Not only that, but to stay 45 minutes out of my way for free was a tall order to ask of anyone. So I had no idea why she reacted that way. It definitely received a, “woah” response out of me, but it ended there. I didn’t let it affect me and I continued on drinking with her for a couple more hours.

I was really proud of myself for having let that comment slide so effortlessly when in the past I would’ve responded much more angrily and I probably would’ve changed my whole attitude for the rest of the night. But I just brushed it off and let it go.

I know my friend wouldn’t want me to say yes to that favor just to ease her stress and yet feel resentful and angry for being made to stay out so far away from my apartment. And I didn’t want to agree to something that would make me feel unhappy just because my friend wanted to save a couple bucks.

So I learned a double lesson in that moment. When you ask someone for a favor, you should never tie any expectations to the response. And when you disappoint someone and they call you a name, remember that it says so much more about them than it does about you.

However, after I had patted myself on the back several times for that interaction I wondered how I could translate that to my romantic relationship. In friendships it’s so much easier to feel less attached to outcomes because you aren’t intimately involved with those people. Detachment tends to become a much bigger challenge when you are opening your heart so fully to someone spiritually, emotionally, sexually, mentally, and physically.

I started to wonder if it could be possible to interact with my boyfriend in the same way I had interacted with my friend. Could I have zero expectation when I ask him to do things? If I want to hang out with him and I ask to see if he’s free and he says no, sometimes it sends me into a deep spiral of fear and distress. Partly from past stuff and partly because I allow the fact that he isn’t available to suggest that I’m not a priority because he isn’t ready to drop everything for me like I usually am for him.

And as I type it here now it seems so pathetic and sad. When he is out of town for work and he doesn’t have the opportunity to say no to me I am happy as a lark. So in essence what I’m upset about is the fact that my boyfriend doesn’t do everything that I say and want whenever I say that I want it. My desire to control him and his actions is terrifying and will do nothing but upset me every time.

Sometimes there are larger things that I ask of him, such as coming home with me for Christmas, that when he says no make me think that he doesn’t value our relationship or see a future. I mean, can’t he just sacrifice a couple fucking days simply to make me happy? But see what the problem is here? I’m allowing his actions to either make me happy or not happy. What will happen if I go home to see my family and I’m by myself? I’ll have an absolute blast playing 19 rounds of card games with my brothers and sisters in law. Would I miss and feel his absence? Definitely. But I don’t have to allow his non-presence there affect the entire relationship or suggest that he isn’t invested in me.

And the danger of implying those things is that he will want to get further and further away from me. Because he feels as though he is walking on eggshells and that everything he says and does affects my happiness. That is too much pressure for anyone to handle and the only natural thing to do is to pull away as to not constantly give someone so much disappointment caused by you and only you.

It’s not a change that will happen overnight but it’s one that I’m willing and ready to accept and work on. I alone am responsible for how I feel. I can blame it on him all I want but the only thing I can change is myself. So if I am committed to him and this relationship, which I am, then I need to zen the fuck out and be happy regardless of his actions.