In many relationships, we find ourselves at stagnant points and we secretly dream about what it would be like to be with an ex or another person whom we could’ve been with. I recently read something that if you have had many partners, this may hinder your ability to be happy with your current relationship. This came as a shock to me because I’ve always felt that it helps to have multiple partners, for it can show you what you really want in a mate and help you appreciate what you do have. However, there are many who do not feel this way. Those who think often about ‘the other woman’ do so because of inadequacies in their personal lives, their relationship, or themselves. When this happens, they tend to dream about a different life and a different path that may have played out.
What this does is that it causes a larger rift in your current relationship. You will slowly disengage from your partner because you feel as if you are missing out. You will constantly think about this other person and build them into someone they never really were in real life. They are but a shadow of someone you knew, and yet, the dream is ever so enticing. It’s easy to blame your current situation and romanticize the past as a form of escapism, but it does not help anyone. The truth is, there is no knowing what would’ve happened if you had actually continued on in that path, but the fact that you keep obsessing over it prevents you from enjoying and appreciating what you currently have. If you don’t let these obsessions go, they will consume you and your future. You will always feel cheated and angry that life did not deliver what you thought it promised.
The truth is: life has never promised you anything. It never promised you a soul mate. If you keep holding on to the idea that you are owed these things, you will always feel resentful towards yourself, your life, and your current partner. If you are able to accept life for what it is, you will be able to enjoy it for what it is. Oftentimes, we are secretive people who live in our own thoughts, rarely sharing them with our partner. We dream of another time and place where our life could be instead of admitting that we are not happy with where we are. If you are not happy with your partner, confront those feelings. If you are not happy with your life, ask why. If you are not happy with yourself, change how you view yourself. Change what you can, and what you can’t change, change how you view it. Oftentimes, that is the only change we really need.
I’m nearing that age where the talk of marriage looms indefinitely in the air. My friends and family ask if this is a thing that will ever come to fruition. I tell them no, that marriage is not in the future for me; not because I don’t want it, but because my relationship does not warrant it. My partner does not desire to be married and we’ve had long talks about it, but it is not something he would like to do. I’ve pestered him to the point where he has said, “if you really want to get married, I guess I’ll marry you.” And that was when I realized that I don’t want to marry someone just for the idea of getting married. I had to re-evaluate what my needs were and gauge it against the needs of my partner.
I asked myself what was really in a marriage. Some people think a marriage will tie a neat bow on a present and that is the end of it. I get it. They want me to be ‘settled’ and happy, but even those who are married are not guaranteed happiness. No one is. As a child, I’ve always had plans of being married in a beautiful, white gown. Being proposed to. Taking engagement photos. Having a wedding song to dance to. I’ve had to acknowledge that it is incredibly sad to let those dreams go, but at the same time, I’ve seen that it was simply that: an idea. The idea of marriage is to bond two people romantically and legally, but it does not guarantee that that marriage will work out.
I know that he will not leave me. I know that he would not cheat on me to the best of his abilities. I know he would stay by my side if I got sick. I know he would stay by deathbed and hold my hand when I am old and fragile like the dreams I hold on to. These are tangible things that I know will happen. Being married does not necessarily grant that these things will happen, but we all like to hope that it does. In my case, I would not want to force someone to marry me just because I thought it was socially appropriate to do so. If marriage was important enough for me, I would simply leave, but I would never press that person into an entanglement they did not desire.
There are more and more people who are staying unmarried in committed relationships. Perhaps it is because of the economy. A telling sign of the times. Or the changing morals and values they carry. Or lastly, I want to believe it is because the notion of marriage is changing. When you are looking at a 50% divorce rate, do you blindly put on that ring, or do you search out if you truly have a solid foundation to stand on? It seems many people whose relationships are faltering are buying into the idea of marriage, but they have not investigated if they are truly ready for the commitment or even try to invest time in trying to build the relationship from the ground up. Often enough, they are broken individuals who are searching for something to make them whole, and finding it never does until they are whole themselves. For me, I have a solid base from which to build on, and if a marriage happens, I would be happy, but if it does not, I will be just fine. So you don’t have to ask anymore.
There are those of us who wonder why they keep choosing the wrong person every time. There could be a plethora of reasons why, but in most cases, it is because they themselves are also damaged in some way, so they seek out partners who are also damaged because picking a partner who isn’t damaged will point out their glaring faults and the fact that they actually need to work on themselves. When the other person is just as damaged, they do not need to look within themselves as to what they need to work on, but rather project all their problems onto their other half, and exclaim that if only this person shaped up, their lives would be much better, when in fact, the majority of these individuals will go on to choose the same type of partner if they never own up to what is in their past.
Sometimes, when someone who is more well-adjusted gets in a relationship with a person who is damaged, they will try to fix them. A damaged person will always let you know that you are too good for them. They do not say it with words, but with their actions. If they belittle you all the time, they are trying to lower your self-esteem and bring you down to their ‘perceived’ level. If they ever cheat on you, they are letting you know that you are too good for them and that they are giving you an opportunity to leave. You can never fix a damaged person unless the person in question wants to be fixed. Oftentimes, that person is in denial about who they are and will bring you down to make themselves feel better. The best thing you can do for them is to leave, which will cause them to become more introspective, but if you stay, they have no reason to change.
I hate when famous people break up and they show a clip from 2005 where the couple says they are very happy and content in their marriage. And inevitable, the commentary goes the way of ‘perhaps she was covering something up because now they are divorced,’ not taking into consideration that the initial clip was from 10 years ago. And those who view the relationship through their own eyes try to analyze the demise of a relationship they know little of. Perhaps they were never happy. Perhaps he cheated. Perhaps people like to make up stuff to fit narratives in their heads. People refuse to see that relationships are organic and change over time. Just because they were happy in that moment in time does not guarantee that it will stay like that forever. People change and situations change and in turn, the dynamics of the relationship change.
People want to know what led to the break up so they can feel satisfied in knowing what happened, but they seldom care about the individuals themselves. If we view success as never breaking up, how do we react to those who can’t leave a bad relationship? The demise of a relationship means the relationship ended, but it doesn’t mean the person lost. Oftentimes, we view break ups with a victor and a loser and love to assign blame, but in actuality, break ups can be one of the most healthy things to happen in a relationship. It is nothing to be ashamed of or looked down on. It is also none of anyone’s business what happened in that relationship except for the two who were in it. Just like relationships are organic, so are we as human beings. We are growing and learning all the time, and perhaps, we can learn to be a little more understanding.
Your soul can feel like a frequency and when someone recognizes yours and their frequency harmonizes with yours, you feel a deep connection. We search for this raw connection in all our relationships, hoping it is the one thing that will lead us to our one true love. We operate on feelings and wavelengths, but these things only result in emotional attachments, but not actual working relationships. You can feel love. You can’t feel someone else’s love for you, but you can feel electricity in the air when you are interested in someone. You feel a physical and emotional connection that can bond you, but just because you lack these things doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful relationship. Love in its first incarnation is based on these factors, but these are the factors that eventually fade away in the mundane routines of life. A relationship is not built on any of these things. You can love a drug addict with all your heart, but that doesn’t mean your relationship will be good, for that is what feeling love is like: being hooked on drugs. There are also people who know how to kindle an emotional bond to hook you, but they may not be the best at a relationship. If you find you’re not feeling the emotional bond or sparks, it doesn’t mean you should just quit. You need to ask if there is enough there to start the foundation of a relationship.
How does one become an expert at forming emotional bonds but not relationships? You have to learn to spot the details. There are tricks to the trade. A good trick is simply engaging in eye contact for a few seconds to establish a connection. There’s a lot that goes on when you first look at someone and there’s a lot to be read into them as well, so if you know this trick, you can employ it to your advantage. Someone can make you feel wanted and secure by lecturing you. Sometimes, girls feel cared for when a guy looks out for her well-being and makes sure she is safe. Does every guy who does this aware of what he is doing? Obviously not, but those who are aware of its advantages can use it for their own gain. And oddly enough, if they remember some inane detail you uttered and repeat it later to you, you’ll feel as if they are really into you. The best trick is to tell her personal things about yourself, which makes her feel as if she’s privy to things no one else is. These things make a girl feel wanted and emotionally connected, but they do not ensure a good relationship. I’ve seen guys who are really good at this easily snag girls but watch as their relationships deteriorate because they have no idea how to maintain them.
What does this mean? Are you settling for a relationship instead of the fireworks and sparks? Can you have both? Yes, you can definitely have both, but oftentimes, I see girls hold on to failing relationships because they can’t let go of the sparks they initially felt. Other times, I see girls taken in by the charms and tricks only to find the guy had no real intentions for a relationship and they wonder if their feelings were real or not. Recognize them for what they really are and how they affect you. Your soul is a frequency, but there are people who have learned to tweak it and you are vulnerable to them because you crave the emotional connection so much. All of our childhoods, we are taught to never settle for less, so we keep letting good guys go because we don’t feel immediate sparks when in actuality, they may just be bad at forming emotional bonds. Yet, some of us wonder why we keep dating the wrong type of guys when we are only looking for the sparks.
Lately at work, I’ve been experiencing that restless feeling of wanting to leave and explore. It gnaws at you and you fill it with food, distractions, and whatever you can find, but it is still there. It makes you uneasy and ready to leave, so I did. I left and the feeling has dissipated. I felt like that as well in a previous relationship, but kept tucking it away. I tucked it away for four years until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I decided to put some distance between us and it give me a lot of breathing room to assess what I really wanted. I didn’t understand the feeling at first, but I realize now that it is not something to be ignored. When you are in a bad situation, you know it and if you can’t come to terms with it, you will still feel restless. Feeling restless means you want to escape, and a lot of people are in that boat.
You don’t always have to leave, but you should confront that feeling. Ask why you are feeling restless and tackle the issue. Leaving does not always solve the problem, so get to the core of it. If you get that feeling over and over and leave every time only to feel restless, know that there is something missing in you. Search for what you really desire in a job, a mate, a home, or yourself. If you find you are trying to outrun yourself, know that nothing will ever satisfy you, so you need to stop and figure it out. Above all else, listen to yourself and your needs. If it means letting go, you let go. If it means reevaluating your priorities, then do so. If it means you need to do some soul searching, leaving will not work. You must instead look within.