Friday, August 26, 2011

Shaken by the Past

I'm looking ahead on my more looking back!
Yesterday, I ran into someone I used to date. Physically, I kept it moving—didn’t pause, didn’t look back, didn’t miss a step. But mentally, I was a bit rattled.  I didn’t expect to see him; I hadn’t seen him since we had stopped talking…

We had stopped talking so abruptly that I always imagined that if I ever saw him again I would have so many questions, so many things to say, so many things to get off my mind. But when I actually saw him, I had nothing to say. It wasn’t worth it—I didn’t care. In that moment, I was so happy with myself and with my life that it didn’t matter why this person did the things he did. I didn’t feel like absorbing the negative energy of a past relationship; drowning myself in the “what ifs” and the “how comes.”

It didn’t matter.  In that moment, the thing I felt good about is that I have a man who loves me; who wouldn’t hurt me; and who’s here for the long run. I have the absolute right man for me and this man that I had just run into was just a step in the journey toward finding that right man. 

But, I must admit, even with being so in love with my boyfriend and knowing that he’s the right one for me…my emotions did go haywire for a bit when I saw him.  We were walking toward each other and I didn’t know if I was supposed to smile or be mean, if I should wave or not move, if I should stop and talk or keep walking…

So many questions, but in the end, I think I did the exact right thing and kept it moving. And that’s just it…you got to keep it moving. You can’t look in your past and try to analyze it or try to make it better than what it was. It’s in the past for a reason.

I needed to look ahead of me and get to where I was going…so that’s what I’ve done.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Infinite Wisdom of Grandparents

Simply put, my grandfather’s perspective on relationships is, “When you see something you want, you better get it before it’s gone!”

That’s what my grandfather was thinking when he proposed to my grandmother 60 years ago at the age of 21 (she was 19).  They had both grown up on farms in the small city of Unadilla, Georgia.  They had known of each other’s families growing up and started dating once they were adults.  After dating for just a few months, my grandfather proposed.  He knew what he wanted.

Sixty years later, he’s sitting beside his 26-year-old granddaughter who has been dating the same guy on and off for 5 years, and he asks me, “So why aren’t you married yet?”

I chuckle because that’s a very loaded question.  It catches me off guard because we hadn’t been talking about relationships or anything like that. I pause and I respond simply, “Because no one has asked me.” 

Apparently, that was an insufficient response because he nodded his head and said, “Well, the next time I see him, I’m going to ask him what is taking so long.”

I smiled to myself.  I love the fact that my grandfather is going to ask the magic question that I’ve been wanting to ask.  My 82-year-old grandfather is going to ask my 24-year-old boyfriend, why it’s taking him so long to propose to a young woman he’s been dating for some time now!

I love the picture that the image paints in my mind and I’m also eager to hear how my boyfriend responds.  My boyfriend is of the mindset that the situation has to be “right” before he proposes.  But my grandfather would say that if you spend time waiting for a “right” time, you might lose out on a “right” woman.

My grandfather saw in my grandmother the qualities that he wanted in a wife and 60 years later they are still together…he just wants the same thing for his granddaughter; because what he would also say (in his infinite wisdom) is that if a man is making you wait too long, you need to move on!

Friday, August 19, 2011


I’ve noticed that relationships require a certain level of stability in order to last.  A relationship that is constantly changing, constantly adapting, constantly presenting new questions and new issues usually falls apart.
Some relationships can’t even take infrequent changes.  I heard of so many cases where a couple was doing fine, but as soon as they got married, the relationship crumbled.  Or two people who were dating exclusively, as soon as they put a title on it, they broke up.  It’s like they let the commitment associated with marriage or with being “boyfriend and girlfriend” put pressure on them and the relationship.  So it was really the pressure of the change, not the change itself that formed the crack in the relationship.

So many things can add pressure to a relationship: having babies, not having babies, changing jobs, losing jobs, relocating, death in the family, illness in the family, even going through a significant weight gain or weight loss.  Humans need a certain level of certainty, so when change happens, we get anxious because we don’t know how to live in this new environment.  We become very uncomfortable and that level of discomfort makes us very conscious of every element of the relationship—the good, the bad, and the crazy people!

That’s what I’m most nervous about when I think of my long-distance boyfriend and I moving to the same city—the pressure of it causing our relationship to deteriorate.  The romantic in me says that love can conquer all and that if we’ve dated for this long, nothing can break us now.  But the realist in me says nothing is guaranteed and in matters of the heart, things don’t always make sense. 

But the alternative is we don’t ever make a change; and that’s also not realistic.  So I’m going to have to take a risk…make a change…take the plunge…bite the bullet…and whatever other cliché I can insert here.

I guess if my relationship does fall apart, I can’t say that I didn’t take a risk…

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Choosing YOUR Best Option

When you know there's a better option, do you just leave?
Does having options of who to date make us feel good about who we choose or make us indecisive of who to choose? 
We live in a land of opportunity; a land of choices.  You have a choice of how and where to get our groceries, a choice of which of the 300 TV stations to watch, an infinite choice of music and multimedia at our fingertips…even a choice of hair color, eye color, and body type.  We have a lot of options and our options are increasing every day.  With that increase of options, we also have many options of people to date and ways to find those people.  With the introduction of online dating and social networking within the last 10 years, it seems people are becoming more indecisive about whom they want to be with and if that person is right for them…

Even once we start dating someone, we are always wondering whether this is the perfect person for me or if there is someone better out there.  So what ends up happening is that we let “little” things erode our relationship and end up breaking up in pursuit of something better… 

…Once we are broken up, if it takes a while for that “something better” to come along, we start to doubt the decision we made to break up.  Also, around this time, loneliness starts to set in.  So then we are doubtful and lonely—these factors alone cause us to call up our exes and eventually get back together…at least until the next thing happens that causes us to want to break up again.

On and on it goes—this cycle of indecision.  I am extremely guilty of demonstrating this behavior.  My boyfriend and I have broken up twice since we’ve been together.  Now, I must admit, both times we broke up, it was for a reason.  BUT honestly, the first time we got back together, we shouldn’t have.  It was too soon—nothing had changed.  But we were lonely and were not confident with our decision to break up—we were indecisive.

So what I’m learning is that although there are a lot of options, there may only be ONE best option for each person and if the person you are with doesn’t feel like the “best” option—make a decision…LEAVE.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Making Plans—With or Without Him

I don't know what the future holds, but moving forward regardless.
As I’m planning out my life, I want to make sure my boyfriend is included in those plans, but I also don’t want to make any assumptions.  Every time I’ve started to assume things, reality smacks me in my face.

I want him to be a part of my future, but I don’t want to assume he will be a part of my future.  On the flip side, I don’t want to assume that he won’t be a part of my future either.  I’m in a lose/lose situation—when I don’t include him in my future plans, I hurt his feelings; but when I automatically do include him in my plans, I risk getting my feelings hurt. 

How long do you have to be dating before you can start automatically including the other person in future life plans?

I have a friend of mine who was dating a guy for ten years.  They were extremely happy (at least, it seemed that way) and they had been talking about marriage and babies together.  Well, one day, the guy just up and left my friend…left without a word, without a reason, without a sorry.  He left her wondering what she did wrong.  The truth is she didn’t do anything wrong, but that’s not how she felt.  She was comfortable in that relationship and he ended up blind-siding her.

Now, the moral of the story is not Never make assumptions in a relationship.  But I bet that is what she will take away from that relationship.  The moral actually is Always keep a sense of who you are in a relationship, so you’re never left feeling incomplete without the other person in your life.   

So then maybe it’s not about when you can start including a person in your plans but what plans you are including them on and making sure you both want the same thing...then I guess you won’t have to assume anything anymore…you would just know.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What More Could You Want?

Is it enough to have a man that loves you or does he need to be in love with you?
Is it enough that he cooks you dinner or does he need to make all your favorite meals?

Is it enough that you’ve met all his friends or should you have met his parents too?

Is it enough that he has a job or does he need to work in Corporate America?

Is it enough that he has his own place or does he need to own that place too?

Is it enough that he spends money on you or does he need to be able to buy you all the nicest things?

Is it enough that he has a car or does he need to have a luxury car?

Is it enough that he cares about you or does he need to have a plan for your lives together?

Is it enough that he wants to marry you or does he need to be popping the question tomorrow?

Is it enough that he has a plan for his week or does he need to have goals and plans for his life?

Is it enough that he spends time with you or does he need to spend all his time with you?

Is it enough that you and he have the same basic morals and values or do you need to be lock-step on all issues?

Is it enough that you can tolerate his family or do you need to address his mother as “mom”?

Is it enough that he isn’t out of shape or does he need to have a ripped, bulging biceps?

Is it enough that deep down he is everything you’ve ever wanted or do you need to know something more?

What more could you want?...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Everything's Back in Focus

I feel different today—I feel differently about my boyfriend.  I feel like my love for him has finally graduated to the next level.  I can’t explain it, but something is definitely different. 
I have a renewed focus on our relationship and want to do things to make him happy.  I have more security in our relationship and feel excited about where we are going.

But it can’t all be roses and sunshine—there has to be a catch.  Every time I start to get comfortable in a relationship, something happens to tell me, don’t get too comfortable, don’t let your guard down, don’t lose yourself.  So I’m waiting for that “something” to happen.  I’m waiting for the ball to drop, the bomb to go off, the mystery to be revealed. 

But by waiting for something bad to happen, will I inadvertently create something bad?  Will I be looking so hard for that “something” to appear that it magically yet irrevocably shows its face? 

I want this happy moment to last, I do. And I will do what I need to do in order to make it stay.  However, what I’m realizing is that I’m usually the issue, the “something.”  It’s me that usually sabotages our happiness.  So I need to save our relationship from me.

I need to not drop the ball.  I need to not set off the bomb.  I need to not uncover a mystery.  It’s on me…I’m my own worst enemy.

So with that in mind, I’m going to do my best to get out of my own way.  I’m done sabotaging my relationship.  I love this feeling I have now toward my relationship and I want to make it stay.

They say “awareness” is the first step to recovery, so I’m on my way to be a recovered “relationship sabotager”!  I wish there was a meeting for us, cause I’m not sure I can sustain this on my own forever!  : /

Friday, August 5, 2011

Where's the Passion?

What happens when the passion fades in a relationship?  What happens when there’s no more excitement, no more thrill, no more “pizzazz.”  What happens when you stop putting in time to really please your mate? 
What happens is…your relationship gets dull, gets stale, gets boring!

I’m desperately attempting to save my relationship from getting boring.  I feel it going down that path and I refuse to let it continue.  I refuse to be in a relationship that doesn’t have any passion.  I need to have passion toward my man and he needs to be passionate about me…

But recently, my man has lost his “mo-jo.”  He doesn’t have as much game as he used to.  He used to sweep me off my feet.  He used to do little things for me to surprise me.  He used to catch me off guard. 

Now, he surprises me by how boring he has gotten.  He’s not creative anymore or spontaneous. I know he still loves me deeply but we are starting to act like an old married couple instead of a young, vivacious in-love couple.   

I want the world to know we are in love.  And, right now, if someone looked at us, they would think we are friends who kind of liked each other. 

That’s not good enough for me.  I need “wow,” I need “pop,” I need magic. 

So now the question becomes, “how do I put the magic back into my relationship?” 

I need help figuring that one out…

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Matter of Choice?

Is it true that men are unable to multi-task and think comprehensively?  Or is it that they choose not to do multiple things at one time, choose not to get involved in the details and choose not to engage on all levels? 
Are they really incapable or is it a choice?

As women, we experience multiple situations where we’ve asked the man, our man, to do something and even though they’ve agreed to do it, they wait a long time to get it done, don’t do it all the way, or totally forget to do it altogether.  So are they really incapable of doing what you’ve asked them to do in a timely manner or is it that they don’t choose to do it until they feel like it?

I’m starting to think it’s a choice…

I’ve asked my boyfriend on multiple occasions to please check his work calendar and find a weekend that he has off so we can plan a vacation together.  To me, that seems like an easy thing to do.  But for some reason he has yet to do it. 

Surely, he’s capable of checking his calendar and seeing when he will be off, so by process of elimination I must conclude that he chooses not to do it. 

I don’t think he makes the choice to not do something maliciously or even intentionally.  I believe he chooses not to view it as a priority and, consequently, forgets to do it. 

Maybe that’s it.  Most men view half the things women request of them as a low priority... 

Take out the garbage?...low priority

Mail something for me?...low priority

Call me at a certain time…low priority

Call the insurance people?...low priority

Feed the kids…low priority

Take the dog out…low priority

Pay the bills…low priority

Or maybe it’s the fact that we “the woman” have requested it that they view it as low priority.  So if they’ve thought of it themselves, all of a sudden, it’s a brilliant idea that needs to be handled immediately. 

So I’m shifting my energy away from getting him to do something that I’ve requested and toward getting him to come up with the idea himself…you know, let him be the man!  ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Loving Without Restriction

I need to be happy.  No matter what happens with my life, no matter what I end up doing, I need to be happy. 
I need to be happy with myself and I need to be happy with the one I’m with.  My man needs to make me happy…at all times.  I want to be happy at all times.  I want him to be able to fix my bad days, lighten my heavy mood, ease my weary spirit, solve my toughest issues.  I want him to love all over me and kiss away my pain.  In times when I can’t make myself feel better, I want him to come to my rescue. 

I must admit, sometimes I need him.  I need him to be there for me and that’s hard for me to say.  It’s hard for me to admit that I need this man in my life, not out of dependence, but out of desire.  I need his spirit, I need his energy.  I need him.

Although I need him, I refuse to tell him that.  I refuse to let him know my full desire for him.  Why?  I'm not sure.  A pride thing, I guess.  I can’t let him know that my happiness is reliant upon his happiness. 

When I was totally reliant on him in the past, it burned me.  He ended up abusing my love and I just can’t go through that again.  I used to be smitten; now, I’m smarter.  I don’t want to love blindly…I don’t want to get hurt. 

I want to be happy. I want to love freely. I want him to know how much I love himbut at what cost?