Relationship or Her: An important question to ask
As I was doing summer cleaning in my room the other day, sorting through things and throwing out others, I came across an item that caused me a bit of pain to look at. It was a box meant for some very large boots, but it had been re-purposed to hold all of the memorabilia from the year long relationship I had with my ex. I had emptied the contents of it into a garbage bag, and while I was doing so I had remembered a crucial lesson I learned; a lesson that I believe every single person entering a relationship or in a relationship should take the time to figure out and answer.
The story of this lesson began two years ago around this time. I had just failed another opportunity with a girl, and I was feeling the frustration of it around my friends at their lake house. I told them that I was through with women, and that I would forever more remain single. After putting aside the shock of thinking I had become gay, they threw out a suggestion that I regret taking to this day.
They told me to throw away all preferences and interests and to basically just shoot at everyone. Whoever seemed to show interest in me would be the one. I did exactly that, and one girl did in fact stick. For two weeks, we chatted, did things together, and eventually I asked her out, leading to the relationship. The first thing I did was call my best friend and I told him that I was finally in a relationship. That should have been my first warning sign of the path I was heading down.
From August to March, I did all sorts of amazing and unique things for her. I performed public acts, such as getting her twelve little presents for the twelve days of Christmas, and bringing her roses in class when she wasn't feeling well. I became known as the most awesome boyfriend in the school, and I loved it. That was another warning sign that I ignorantly missed.
The intimacy between us was intense. Nearly every time I went over there we made out. Hell, it was actually my goal to do so every time I went over there to see her. I gave attention to her, and played along with her, but in the end what I enjoyed the most was the fact I was kissing somebody. It wasn't the emotional bond, it was the physical bond that reigned supreme. Another bad sign I ignored.
Time passed, and as the relationship progressed, all I cared about was being with her. It got to the point where I ejected my closest friends out of my life for seven months. I changed myself so that the relationship could survive. For the first time in my life, I had a real girlfriend, and I was not about to let that go. I became religious, cleaned up my humor, basically did everything so that we were equal.
Then, in one week, everything changed that set the relationship on its downward spiral.
It was Spring Break, and my girlfriend was leaving for Florida. There was talk about bringing me along, and I was hoping for that. However, it did not happen, and I became deprived of her for one whole week. During that week, I decided to go to a card party with my long-lost friends, and I experienced something that I had not experienced since my painful years of long ago.
I could not talk.
I felt alienated to the people around me. I did speak, and it felt like the good old times, but it didn't feel like it at the same time. I could not talk the same way I could with them before. I felt detached from everything, like I was no longer the person who had spent nearly half of my life with them. When I got home, I looked at myself in the mirror, and I tried to figure out what in the world had happened. Why did it feel so odd to be around them? Why couldn't I talk?
I eventually began to hang out with them more to change myself, and as I did so I came to realize that the girl I had supposedly fallen in love with was the exact opposite of what I wanted. After going through an internal crisis over whether I was truly a good guy, doing a bunch of stupid things to get her to break up with me, getting pressured back into the relationship, and being tormented by my own family constantly for being a bad guy, I finally broke up with her for the last time and moved on.
I have now learned my lessons, and I now know what to do in the future. However, the scars of the past remain. I am still tormented from time to time of those memories, both from outside and inside forces. After much research and application of how to get rid of them, I do not believe they will ever go away.
So what is the moral of the story?
Whether you are thinking about going into a relationship, or already in one, sit down and take the time to answer this question:
Do you love her for her, or do you love her for the relationship?
I had so desperately wanted a relationship for so long that I stopped caring who it was. All I wanted was a relationship. After I had it, I had fallen in love with the idea of being in a relationship, not being in a relationship with the girl. When I finally saw what I had done, I realized my error, made even more errors, and ultimately scarred myself and everyone around me. I now regret ever having dumped my standard, and I vow never to let it go ever again, no matter how unsuccessful I became.
As you are answering the big question, here are some things to think about: How much do you like her as a person? Is she truly your type? Do you focus more on the emotional interaction, or the physical interaction between you two? Are you just in the relationship for a specific perk, like wealth or sex? Would you say the best perk of the relationship is not being single, or not being single with her? Do you value her more so as a trophy, a success of the seemingly impossible, or as a person that you admire?
"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." - Malcolm X