I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
When he walked through the door you were intrigued that someone so charming would find you attractive. Or maybe you weren’t. Maybe you said to yourself, “Yeah, that sounds about right. I’m a catch, goddamnit.” But if you’re anything like me, while you were kissing for the first time you thought, “Oh my god, do they see what I see in the mirror? Isn’t my voice annoying? Did they not hear how I fumbled over my words when answering a simple question?”
And if you’re like me, you stuck around because you were surprised that you found such a good deal. You were shocked and amazed that someone intriguing and sexy would want to sit across from you over dinners and found all of your broken pieces intriguing. And why wouldn’t you? While people like us might have the understanding that we can attract people, it is still uncanny when anyone fascinating and appealing finds US attractive and wants to be with and around us for any extended period of time. So we were like, “Holy shit. I get to be around you all the time?! Well, I’m going to do whatever I can to not mess this up.”
And this is where we veer off course. Because excitement and desperation are the magical combination that causes us to focus on all the things we are getting and subconsciously avoid all the things that are missing or unhealthy.
There is a moment of clarity in every relationship. One where we either recognize that we have truly found our best counterpart. Our shipmate on our voyage. Someone that makes us feel not so ashamed about what rattles around our head and supports us in all the ways we never knew existed. The person to open our world to a level we never thought possible. One to make us feel warm, like someone held us so tight that it moved all those broken pieces back into place.
And that is the dream. That is the feeling we hope for from the moment we become aware of our insecurities and what happens to so many of us is that we get so excited that we may have found our “one” that we put on the blinders to what makes us truly fulfilled. Maybe one day they didn’t respond to our text quickly enough, or they have no desire to make our relationship “Facebook official”, or they don’t want to bring us around their friends and family. And as ridiculous as that may sound, they are are valid. For better or worse, those things do matter in the current state of our culture, and sometimes all it takes are those simple little things to make us feel a little more secure in our investment. And make no mistake, that is exactly what it is – an investment of trust, faith, and the lowering of a drawbridge into and through our walls. It really doesn’t take much. And that’s what we tell ourselves. And that’s what we say when that inevitable first fight pops up. We scream, “It doesn’t even take that much.” And we wonder why it is so hard for them to do just the simple little things that would make all the difference to us. We yell, “I am telling you how to love me!” And it’s like they don’t listen or pay attention. Or even worse, they do hear the words but they don’t care. They actively go out of their way to ignore the simple little changes they could do within the context of our agreement that could make us feel like we weren’t fooled.
But we were.
Because we fooled ourselves.
We allowed the glare of a prospective future blind us from all the bad and we only focused on the good. And when that happens, we set a precedent. When we look past the little red flags because we have our eyes somewhere else, we tell our partner how certain behaviors are acceptable. If they respond in a shitty way and we don’t call them on their behavior in the beginning, they assume that is what they will be able to get away with for the remainder of the relationship. And it’s not fair. And someone should give us a heads up. And most of all, people should be respectful of each others time, faith, and emotions. But unfortunately, they aren’t. And we need to be better equipped for when we get let down.
To say that the majority of relationships are destined to fail or end in ways we don’t see coming isn’t pessimistic, it is realistic. And we have a better shot at finding a healthy partner and allowing ourselves to be truly happy if we go into these things eyes open, shoulders back, and prepared to take one on the chin. Although, it would really be nice if the punch never comes. And that is the hope we should never lose. We have to believe that each person we encounter will not let us down, but we need to have the coping skills and the intelligence to see it coming.
Maybe you are a catch. Maybe you are a weirdo full of contradictions and broken pieces. But none of that matters. What does matter is how long you will stay and allow someone to take advantage of your faith and trust. How long will you stay in a relationship and allow someone who is unworthy of your presence steal the time you could be using to do anything else other than waiting for someone to treat you with the respect you deserve? We have all been there and we have all stayed for a multitude of reasons but time doesn’t care about excuses and every day that passes is one more day you have wasted believing someone can change. But they don’t. Most people don’t. And that’s fine. They will one day be someone else’s problem. And one day you will be happy, by yourself or within a healthy relationship. And while you can’t control another person, you can control what day that is going to be.