I was (yet again...or still...) reading my old journals last night. I came across the entry I wrote after I first met one of my ex-boyfriends from my mid-20s.
This is what I wrote:
"He's nice, but I don't feel a mental connection."
What did I do? I proceeded to go on further dates with them, which developed into an on again off again relationship for two years!
I also recall my feelings for another ex, who I dated in my early 20s. A good friend of both of ours was trying to set us up. We finally met and I felt no spark. I remember everyone else thinking he was so good-looking, but I was not attracted to him at all. He was nice enough, but again, I didn't feel a connection.
You can guess what happened there too. I let a relationship happen anyway, though we were only together about three months.
I did this same thing with my most recent ex too. That's the sad part. I did like him from the night we met, but even after one, two, three dates, I wasn't sure I felt attracted to him. I liked spending time with him, but beyond that, I didn't know if romance would ever spark.
Why do I do this? I have a few theories.
One. I live too much in my head and not enough in my heart and my gut when it comes to relationships. It's funny though, because with work, I'm way more in my heart. I follow my gut and my heart and quit jobs all the time, in search of something that "calls to me." Yet in relationships, presumably more a matter of the heart, I'm in my head. Go figure.
So when I meet these guys, I talk myself into liking them. Or at least convince myself that I could be in a relationship with them. With my most recent ex, I saw what a good guy he was -- truly the best guy I've dated so far. He has a good heart, good intentions, he's financially responsible, and we had a lot in common.
I knew he was the type of guy who would stick around. Who I could count on. Since that has been a lifelong issue for me, and a problem in past relationships, I thought I was definitely moving up in that area, so I could make a go of it. The relationship that is. I thought I was ready to "settle down" and I'd never met anyone more stable than him. Who better to settle down with?
Two. I don't like to hurt people. In relationships I tend to put up with stuff for the sake of the other person's feelings. What about my feelings, you ask? That's a whole other issue...
Three. If he likes me, that's more important than if I like him. Now I wouldn't go out with someone repeatedly who I detested. Who I'm absolutely repulsed by or who's mean to me on a regular basis. But if I feel anything at all towards a guy, and he likes me, then I convince myself that my feelings could grow over time.
Four. The heaviest of them all. I haven't felt that I deserved anything better.
I use the word "haven't" instead of "don't" because I'm working on this and I'm finally learning that I do deserve better. I deserve the best. I deserve to be loved like I want to be loved. I deserve to be respected, cherished, and valued.
But I haven't always felt this way. I felt completely unvalued for most of my life. Like I wasn't worthy of real love, wasn't worth sticking around for, wasn't important. I know why I felt this way too, but that's a whole other blog, for another day. Too much to go into right here, right now. Suffice it to say though, that's how I felt, and what I believed, and what I let guide me into relationships.
I will always be grateful to my most recent ex for helping me work through many of my issues. He showed me that I am worth sticking around for, that I can count on people (namely men), and that I am important. I know for me, that was the point of our relationship. I believe all people come into our lives with a purpose, and that was his.
Up until this point in my life, in all of my romantic relationships, I ignored what I knew. I ignored my feelings of not being attracted to the guy, ignored my feelings that he wasn't right for me, ignored my feelings that there wasn't a connection, etc.
Life is nothing if not a constant learning process. "The Earth School" as Gary Zukav coined it.
Will I "do better" next time? Will I listen to that feeling in my heart and my gut when it comes to relationships? Will I have the courage to end a relationship when I'm not feeling it, instead of letting it progress until either I get dumped or I just can't take it anymore?
Only time will tell. But I'm hopeful.
I'm learning. I truly know more now than I did before. And I'm starting to believe that I can have what I really want and I don't have to settle.
Quotes of the Day:
"The place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." (Ivy Baker Priest) http://www.wonderful-quotes.com/encouragement-quotes.html#sthash.QWDR8n3R.dpuf
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." (Edmund Hillary) http://www.wonderful-quotes.com/encouragement-quotes.html#sthash.QWDR8n3R.dpuf
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life....Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." (Steve Jobs) http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/s/stevejobs416854.html#5ZgRULOsLhhECrOK.99