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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

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.

BEWARE of the Love Zombie!

In Relationships on February 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Don’t be the rebound bitch.

Men who are going through a breakup or who have recently divorced are needy. They are open wounds grasping for reassurance and acceptance, seeking affirmation. Do not, under any circumstances, confuse this with feelings for you. Stay away!

Men on the rebound are the zombies of the dating world!

Larry as a zombie

I must have your heart! Uggghhhhrrrggghhh!!!!
~ Mr. Love R. Zombie

These love zombies will feast on your heart until they are human once more, then they will leave you in their dust.

Like zombies, they don’t even know what they are doing. They are mindless creatures driven by need, confused and ravenous.

Hone your skills of perception, ladies. A love zombie can be disguised as your perfect mate. He may have all the markers of a life companion, custom tailored for you, but he cannot change what he is inside.

When he awakens a new man, restored by feasting on your heart and soul, you both will be different people. The likelihood of a healthy relationship will be non-existant.

When a love zombie comes stumbling your way, you must save yourself! Grab the nearest baseball bat and run, run, RUN!!!

Never underestimate the power of an apology

In Relationships on February 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I was thinking yesterday morning about how fragile love is. Love is supposed to be eternal, everlasting, unconditional. But when it involves two humans, it rarely is any of those things.

Love between humans must be nurtured, handled gently and carefully. Water it, feed it and sing softly to it like your favorite potted plant.

Yes, it’s about that ridiculous if you think about it. So why do we want to go to all that trouble? Why do we go to great lengths for love?

red heart

Forgiveness is the final form of love.
~ Reinhold Niebuhr

Because to love is to be alive. Love adds color to our world and a special brightness to those colors. Love is the element that makes life just a little better, a little brighter. As Shakespeare said, “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

Do you remember that scene from Disney’s Bambi? Who doesn’t want to feel twitterpated? It’s AWESOME!

But. Except. There’s one exception.

If love is one-sided, it is more like a bad case of influenza. In extreme cases, it can put you in your grave. If it doesn’t actually kill you, you wish it would.

But I digress…

So, I wondered, if love is so fragile, how do some humans make it last?

Then it struck me that an apology for wrongs done has miraculous restorative power.

A sincere and heartfelt apology goes a long way toward erasing the inevitable hurts in human relationships, whether between lovers or friends.

If you don’t want to go through life alone, you might want to learn how to say, “I’m sorry,” and really mean it.

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?”

What is love?

In Life is Random, Relationships on May 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

…and yeah, you are supposed to say the title like this.

I have thought about love the past two weeks for a lot of reasons.

Monday, my second ex-husband called to tell me that he had made the decision to have “our” dog, Lucy, put down. He and the vet discovered that she had advanced heart worms that had gone undetected in previous blood tests. No one suspected heart worms because she has been on HeartGuard since we adopted her in August of 2003.

I love Lucy

Thoughts of the day we brought Lucy home from Wellsfest that hot day a month after we were married led to thoughts of our relationship and why it failed. We had a good relationship. We talked. We enjoyed some of the same interests. We had similar musical tastes. Then  things changed. Shit happened, as it is wont to do. Eyes were opened, mistakes were made, and we grew apart.

We ended it before ugly words, restraining orders and police were involved. Way before. Maybe none of that would have ever happened because we are both peaceful people who communicate calmly, but I saw War of the Roses in the ’80s. I was influenced.

I like that today we can sit together and discuss our daughter without bitterness and strife mucking up the conversation. I like that we astound onlookers at parent/teacher conferences and school plays.

I like that we met at the veterinarian’s office and both had our hands on Lucy while she breathed her last breath. She was our first child.

Just, please, don’t ask me to live in the same house with him. Ever. Again.

We had an awesome relationship at the beginning.

But was it LOVE?

What the hell is love, anyway? I loved that dog! I love my kids. I love a lot of people in general. I feel emotion and want to hug a lot of people and tell them I appreciate them. Is that love? Both of my husbands told me they loved me…a lot. However, their actions didn’t line up with their words. Their words, as a result, felt hollow.

I guess the bigger question in my mind is this: What does it take to make a romantic relationship work? How do you know if you can go the long haul with a person? Is that a different thing than LOVE?

Here is a conversation that took place this week between my boyfriend and me via text:

Larry: I’ve been thinking about the word love. [That] it’s much more than affection. It’s a commitment word. How much loyalty you’re willing to give. Love is a word that implies that you are attached. An extension of you. Joys, sadness, pain and pleasure. The other will never suffer without [the person] feeling it themselves. They regard the other as much as themselves. Is anything less really love?

Alana: I think that is what love is supposed to mean. I don’t think that is what “love” is for most people in relationships today.

When you said last night that I still love Jason, I don’t think of him that way. I “loved” him, past tense, but that feeling was destroyed by circumstances involving his lost job, his attitude toward Jeramie and his lack of deep emotion. [More reasons involved, but, hey, it was a text, and I couldn’t list everything.] I care about him and his happiness, but my heart is closed to him. I cannot give him the emotion nor the commitment required for “love.”

So, if pushed to say I “love” him, it is a brotherly, humanity-type love that a caring person can feel for friends and family. I wish him no harm. I want him to be happy in life. I do not want to share my life with him. I respect our memories.

What I feel for you is much different. I feel it is tempered by my past experiences in relationships. I feel deep emotion when I am with you. I don’t care what name you put on it. It doesn’t change the depth of my feelings to call it love, like, respect, choose, care for, want to be around…

I feel as if I have my eyes wide open and am making an educated decision. Sure, that is not out-of-control, fairy tale, sweep-you-away…maybe not even romantic, but I can put all the reasons I want you in that special place in my life down on paper, in ink, read it out loud and feel confident that it is a good decision. Every conversation, every hour spent on projects together, every time you kiss me… [censored] reminds me of that list of reasons.

I don’t know what the future holds, and sometimes I get a little afraid of feeling too strongly for you. Saying I love you isn’t as sweet to me since you told me how you feel about the word [Previous conversation: the word is overused and doesn’t mean as much anymore], so I may not say it too much anymore. But don’t mistake that for a change of heart. The word is useless. Actions are what matter.

Larry: That’s got to be one of the most romantic things I’ve ever read. I’m driving now.

Alana: Don’t wreck.

Larry: 🙂

Is that LOVE?

I don’t know.

I guess time will tell.

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