a hope design

Posts Tagged ‘boyfriends’

Miscommunication is a bitch

In Being Healthy, Relationships on March 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

I dislike a back and forth relationship. I’ve never been able to understand those couples who seem to always be breaking up then getting back together again…over and over. I like to make an educated decision then stick to it.

But. What happens if I realize my decision was based upon miscommunication? Can I be a big girl and apologize and try again? Will my pride allow me to do that? Being wrong really sucks.

spock bobble-head

If I were human, I believe my response would be: ‘go to hell.’ If I were human.
~ Spock in ‘The Final Frontier’

Here’s the deal. Based on human psychology, we don’t always hear what another person is trying to say. They say one thing based on their preconceptions, filtered through their past experiences and in a language they understand. Their words are then filtered through the recipient’s past experiences, preconceptions and the recipient’s own personal myth of reality.

What I’m saying is that when Larry said, “I don’t want to be a boyfriend anymore,” I heard, “I don’t want to be YOUR boyfriend anymore.” Or the short version, “Wahwah wah wah REJECTION wah wah.”

Instead of saying, “Please clarify,” or “What do you mean?” or “What brought this on?” I said, “You need to leave. NOW.”

Having had a few days to cool off, I’ve begun to ask myself, “Why did I do that?” What would Larry have said if I had channeled Spock and just looked at him and said, “Explain to me why and how you’ve come to that conclusion”?

I’m beginning to see that I have a problem with understanding why anyone would want to be with me. I STILL have a self-esteem problem. I can’t see myself as lovable. I don’t see my worth. That is a ME problem, not a man problem. That is a problem I thought I had dealt with, but I’m not quite there.

If you have the opinion that you are not worthy of love, affection, respect, etc., everything you hear is filtered through that notion. A person can have shit-colored glasses just as easily as rose-colored.

I didn’t hear the part about Larry still wanting to be in my life but wanting to make sure I wasn’t missing out on something better by being with him. I heard I don’t want you. You are not good enough. I’m looking for something better than you.

I didn’t hear beneath his no longer wanting the responsibility of the boyfriend title was a need for some reassurance that I wasn’t feeling cheated by what he has to offer right now. I didn’t hear his guilt. I didn’t hear his feelings of inadequacy. I didn’t get the story that hearing his brother talking about falling in love made him feel insufficient because he doesn’t feel capable of “falling in love,” and “Alana deserves someone to ‘fall in love’ with her.” (Not my opinion, by the way…a totally OTHER post titled “I am bitter about love” or “How many perfectly decent marriages have been spoiled by someone ‘falling in love’?” or “I’m not 16 anymore.”)

I’m not saying that misconception is always the case; however, it is very important to ask for clarification. It is as equally important to be aware your own psychological filters. Making assumptions can ruin a relationship, whether it be romantic or a friendship.

I am happy not being a “girlfriend.” I am NOT happy about NOT having Larry in my life. He truly is a treasure, NOT PERFECT, but still a treasure.

So we step back and try again. Not the same relationship but maybe a better one. I have this great friend who loves to go hiking with me on a Sunday when we are both free. We have interesting and thought-provoking conversations, and we BOTH enjoy being together. He treats me really well. He’s kindhearted, considerate and genuine. We also enjoy our own space.

Did you hear that, Larry? I ENJOY MY OWN SPACE. Don’t assume I want a man living with me, monopolizing my time.

Don’t assume, period. Just ask. When I answer, make sure you are hearing ME, not your preconceptions.

Advertisements

Love is a gamble

In Relationships on March 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm

When I was a little girl, I loved Kenny Rogers. This was long before his sex hotline scandal gave him an ewwww factor. Other than Ruby and Lucille, my favorite song was The Gambler.

As a kid, I thought it was about playing poker. But it’s really about love, isn’t it? Love is probably the biggest gamble we make in our lives.

Hearts

Ev’ry hand’s a winner and ev’ry hand’s a loser.

You gotta know when to hold ’em,

Know when to fold ’em.

Know when to walk away

And know when to run.

How do you know when you have a good hand? I’ve never been very good at gambling. I have never been lucky at slots either. I’ve always found the casinos to be a waste of time and money. Hell, I’ve only won a couple of prizes my whole life. One was tickets to a football game, and the other was tickets to a Vanilla Ice concert where I went on my second date with my second husband. Y’all know how that turned out.

Everyone says that no relationship is perfect. I’ve heard that many times. You have to accept that everyone has faults and then decide if you can live with the particular faults of your partner.

With my first two marriages, I decided I couldn’t live with the faults. I decided that there was no way I would ever be happy with certain aspects of each of those relationships. Despite how much it hurt, I called it quits. Looking back, I have at times questioned if I gave up too easily. I know I was very unhappy in both situations. I came to the realization that the man I married was never going to change – both times.

I’m not one to try to convince someone to change. You can talk to a person about what is bothering or hurting you a few times, but if they keep doing the same thing over and over, you have to cut bait and reel in your line.

Did I fold too quickly? Should I have bet another few rounds, invested more? The more you invest, the more it hurts when you lose.

Having given up twice, I was not so ready to give up this third time around. I was willing to invest more. I was willing to risk the hurt. Larry is unlike any man I’ve ever met. There is no bravado with him. He is straightforward and never puts on airs. He doesn’t expect to be impressed. He is genuine. He is sensitive, kind and honest. He likes whole oats, dried fruit and dark chocolate as much as I do.

I know you are all smirking, right? Love is blind! No one is perfect!

Indeed, no one is.

Larry is very bitter about romance and love. He’s willing to be the best friend you’ll ever have, but he’s “not ever going to be in love ever again.” Surprisingly, that was not a deal breaker for me. No matter that he would not say, “I love you,” his every action made me feel more loved than either of my husbands had with their daily vows of devotion. What are words when your time together is so rich with caring actions?

What is my perfect ex-boyfriend’s other negative trait?

Larry is a runner.

I’m not talking about marathons and 5Ks.

When we first met, we joked about the dinosaur in Toy Story. My favorite quote of Rex is, “Oh, great! Now I have GUILT!” Larry’s favorite Rex quote is “I don’t like confrontations!” If I get mad at Larry, he runs. He feels he’s not good enough and throws in the towel. Larry gives up.

Now, I’m a pretty laid back woman. I don’t yell. I don’t throw things. But how many men out there can go a full year without making a woman mad? NONE. It is impossible. There are certain times when a man can make a woman angry simply by being visible.

Larry has made me mad a total of three times in the last year. Larry has left me a total of three times in the last year.

The third time, last week when he was in Arizona, he came home and told me he didn’t want the responsibility of being a boyfriend to anyone anymore. I asked him to leave. “Now.”

I didn’t ask him to clarify. We didn’t talk about it.

I folded. I didn’t walk away. I ran.

When you add my lack of confidence in myself with Larry’s running, you get a crap hand.

I guess that’s when it’s best to fold — before you invest everything you have and before the other person decides they don’t want to play anymore.

Love is only a few small hurts away from hate

In Relationships on February 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Love is only a few small hurts away from hate, so don’t hurt the ones you love or the ones who love you.

Two weeks ago, my boyfriend of the past year stopped me in the doorway between my bedroom and bathroom, took my face in his hands and said, “I think I am falling for you a little more every day.” Today, he doesn’t want to be a boyfriend anymore.

A lot can happen in two weeks, but I can’t figure out what it was. (More posts to come on some of my theories.)

He drove to Arizona for his cousin’s funeral weekend before last. He spent time with all his siblings together for the first time in a long time. They talked about their relationships, some married, some divorced, some casually dating. This is where it gets a bit tricky. He drove there with his ex-wife. She has family there. She was close to his cousin’s wife and their kids. I understood. I was not happy.

I can tell what you’re thinking. No, I wasn’t happy about his road trip companion, but I trusted him and didn’t really give him any grief about it. Once, I lost my resolve to not make a big deal about it and mentioned it sarcastically on the phone when he called to see how I was doing. I said, “Yeah, you know I’m really happy about your being in Arizona with your ex-wife.” I could not resist the sarcasm, but I didn’t pitch the expectable girlfriend fit. There were no tears. There was no screaming.

So why did he come straight home and ask to be excused from what seems like a really good relationship — two people who have tons in common?

decorated photo

“One day I will be sorry for what I’ve done.”
~ Mr. Poopy Head

Of course, I asked him if he’d decided to start sleeping with his ex. Of course he denied it. Of course he says there is no one else. Of course he says he just wants to be free and not answer to anyone, not date anyone, not have the burden of expectations to carry. (Trust me, if I put any fewer expectations on this man, we would barely be acquaintances. We see each other every other weekend and share texts and the occasional phone call in between. We both have very busy lives that include children. I like my alone time.)

You know what the kicker is? He expects me to be all kind and nice and sunshine and happiness about it. I was just hit by a freight train out of nowhere, and he wants to smile and “let’s be friends and hang out.”

Obviously, the relationship would never have gone anywhere because he is out of his freakin’ mind. How many people — no let me rephrase — how many WOMEN would respond to that situation with sunshine and rainbows?

I hurt HIM because I did not respond to his texts for a day after he dumped me. Maybe not even a full 24 hours. He dumps me, and I am supposed to be OK with that. Everything is hunky-dory!

Do men even have working brains? Seriously.

At least I am writing tonight instead of balling in my wine glass. So the healing begins…AGAIN.

What I’d like to know is can there be healing without the cycle of hate? Will I ever be able to remember driving and camping our way to the Grand Canyon this summer without crying? Then there was our wonderful drive up the Natchez Trace only a few weeks ago when we camped and hiked at Paul Busby and Tishamingo State Park. Will those memories ever bring me happiness again?

Hate can be a very effective tool for healing a broken heart. If you remind yourself of every little thing wrong with the person, it takes the sting away from rejection. What is there to do if you don’t want to hate that person? Are you destined to stay an open, aching wound for ages in order to save the happy memories? And how do you stop hoping they will change their mind, that it was all a big mistake brought on by a frustrating situation? You don’t want to make yourself hate the person if there is a chance of future reconciliation. How do you quit second guessing your own judgement?

An even better question is this, “When will life quit giving me curve balls and let things start looking up for me for a change?”

%d bloggers like this: