A few years ago I went on what you might call a kamikaze mission.
I felt like I was having a lot of conversations in my head revolving around my past crushes and relationships and I was coming up empty. Looking back I spent a lot of my high school and college years in what I like to call the “pseudo relationship.” I would meet someone and without ever really discussing ANYTHING we kind of tripped and fell into a relationship. Not much differently than the time I tripped and fell on that dance floor in college after losing a battle to margaritas. Awkward.
These pseudo relationships would last anywhere from 2 weeks to six months and would usually be a roller coaster ride…. And not the fun kind, but the ones where you are sick for over half of it and are pretty sure you are going to throw up your funnel cake. It would start with some flirting, which lead to hanging out, and then at some point kissing would commence. Since I was basically just a ball of nerves, I would never talk about my feelings or what exactly what the heck we were doing (I didn’t want to scare them away, right?) So I just kinda waited around hoping for it to turn into something that I would recognize as a relationship. Usually, somewhere along the way, someone would hurt the other’s feelings and it would either end abruptly or fade away…. into the night. Le sigh.
The end of those pseudo relationships was always terrible since I really didn’t know what happened and it left me with my own thoughts to create reasons why it ended. None of those reasons did me, or my confidence, any favors.
So, one day I woke up and did something about it. I started calling all of these pseudo exes and asking them why we broke up. Starting with some small talk, I moved toward sheepishly asking them the question that had plagued me for years: “So, why exactly did we break up again?” I braced myself for answers that had been running wild in my mind. They usually had to do with them losing attraction to me or that they could see “the crazy” I was feeling since I never really knew where I stood. And do NOT underestimate “the crazy.”
As I awkwardly asked the question, they usually paused for a moment to think. Then the big moment happened. The one where I finally found out that I was totally and completely wrong. In every. single. case.
Turns out, they didn’t wake up one day and find me un-kissable, and most of them knew I was a little crazy (in the good way) when they started dating me. The funny thing is that most of the time it really wasn’t about me at all. It was usually about timing.
Here is what I have figured out, and stay with me here, smart stuff is a’comin’. We are all just moving through the ebb and flow of life and trying to do the best we can. Relationships start and then end for hundreds of reasons and most of the time when they end it really isn’t about you. We all have millions of experiences that help us decide who we are attracted to, who we want to date, and what we think love and relationships look like. Good or bad. When something happens that registers as similar to a former experience in our/their brains it can either help us move forward towards a relationship and stronger feelings or it can have us stopped in our tracks scratching our heads because it goes against what we know or are okay with.
It’s the reason why someone who has been abused in a relationship usually finds an abuser in future relationships. It is why we find mates similar to one of our parents. Why all of our past boyfriends and crushes may look different and even act different, but probably play a similar role in the relationship. We naturally gravitate towards what we understand and know of love and relationships, but it is also what helps people gravitate towards or move away from us. It is why we “literally” can’t be upset or offended when someone doesn’t choose us. It actually has NOTHING to do with you, but instead what they know and have learned of love.
So, if all of this isn’t about us, what can we do to find love and create a great relationship? Be in charge of what you can control. You. And the way you respond to it. Here are a few other things…
*Be yourself, it is going to show up at some point anyway.
*Take a look at who you are gravitating towards and see if it is a good thing or not so good.
*Don’t take it personally if something that has potential doesn’t work out, you just might not be their potential. So what?
*Keep your expectations realistic so that if something doesn’t work out you can be ready to look for a better match instead of spending 3 months recovering from the last possibility.
When you find yourself in a new possible relationship that doesn’t feel right, step back and ask if you are uncomfortable because someone is treating you badly or because this is a new type love you haven’t experienced before. Ask yourself: is this healthy? If it is, keep on giving it a chance.
With this knowledge you can beat the system, learn about how you view love and gravitate towards the right matches that want to take love to a whole new level with you. Isn’t that what it’s all about?