Friday, July 1, 2016

The Myth

There's this myth, I was raised on it.  It has propaganda-like proportions.  It's that (romantic)love conquers all, that if you really care about someone it will work out, YOU will make it work. If it doesn't work out then it couldn't have been true love and you were just a fool for believeing it was. This is such a harmful belief system.  Not only for the worst case scenario of men and women staying in abusive relationships, but even for those staying in sub-par resentment-building ones. Where both people are in love with each other but want/need different things. So they struggle to carve out a little peice of what they want within their partner's wants and they tell themselves that this sacrifice is necessary for love.  Compromise is a big part of a healthy relationship, I was taught.  I've learned that falling in love with someone who doesn't share your passions/belief systems leads to a lot of compromise should you choose to remain in a relationship with them.  I learned that loving someone does not mean you should BE with them at all.  I love several people at the moment, none of which are a good relationship match, so I enjoy them as friends instead. I fall in love quickly, I generally see the best in people and can be quite blind to "flaws". Next thing I know I've invested myself; time, emotions and sometimes money.  Then I notice the compromises...at first they are small and easy to shrug off. They are hard to see in that fog of oxytocin and endorphins, but as time goes on I begin to feel uneasy, like something just isn't quite right.  That's when I start taking note: do I spend more time happy than I do any negative emotion when it comes to this relationship? If happy outweighs the negatives I generally stay it out.  If it starts tilting and communication is not helping then I am gone. Too many years I have wasted expecting others to change, how unfair was that to both of us?

I do set boundaries when dating, such as: no borrowing amounts of money larger than a meal or so. No getting drunk (for me) in the first couple weeks of seeing eachother.  The first time sex must be sober, planned, safe and emotionally significant (I can't just kind-of like someone, I have to feel a potencial for love). There are deal-breakers for me too.  Things where as soon as they do this thing I
know I have to end it.  It can be hard to stick by these, but they are worth it.  For example for me a
deal breaker is telling sexist or racist jokes: they are huge indicators that this is not a person I can succeed in a relationship with, or be near, or seen with...

There are other types of boundaries which are harder to set.  There are things you just have to feel out. Do you feel like you are constantly telling yourself to stop making a big deal out of something in the relationship?  Are you telling yourself that you are just being too sensitive? Are you letting your responsibilities go? Have you stopped doing the things that bring you joy to make time and space for this new person?  Do you spend more time worrying about the relationship than enjoying it?  All these are signs that despite how attracted you are physically/emotionally to this person this is not a healthy relationship to continue.  Now stick that if-you-really-love-them-you-will-make-it-work belief system in there and you usually end up with two miserable people who just think they are doing the right thing.  You end up with resentment and drama.

It's hard not to take it personally when someone doesn't think a relationship will work, honestly though if one person thinks that than it's simply true.  Thank them for saving your precious time and go back to enjoying sleeping diagonally across your bed and not being self-conscious of your morning breath.