When it comes to relationships i often wonder if any guy is 'worth' it. What makes a guy different from the rest, that i would change my behaviour enough for the kind of compromise spending time with someone can demand?
Lately i've been too absorbed in my own love affairs and confused feelings to write anything of value on the matter. Truth is i simply don't know. But i'm exploring. I've asked a lot of men and women this question. And caught up in reading the 'TrueBlood' series, where the heroine Sookie encounters a variety of men problems, i'm beginning to understand the motivation behind putting yourself out there or not. And what have i found.... well that each situation is different and each coupling is unique,
but the main thing it comes down to is 'how they make you feel'.
Its always been about how someone makes you feel. And if you feel good enough for the majority of the time you spend with them, you will always seek them out to spend time with them because they make you happy/comfortable/safe/understood etc.
I used to think building up a deposit full of 'good shared emotions' with someone could set enough of a foundation so that if the shit ever hit the fan, you would still have those good feelings to fall back on - so you realise why you are making the effort, why this person is worth the squeeze. But this isn't the case. All it takes is a few well aimed blows at your achilles heel to knock off your rose-tinted glasses off and you no longer feel good about that person or good when you are around them. In fact you may feel a only tiny amount of negative emotions, but in the right forumula, they skew your view of the whole relationship enough to potentially want to leave it. I won;t divulge the storyline of the series but TrueBlood (the book version) has many examples of this happening between Sookie and her guy(s). He crosses one line, that is very important to her, and he is dust (no pun intended!).
For me i can tolerate a lot of guy drama. I'm a very understanding girl (that doesn't mean i would sit there and take shit from a guy either... I have my boundaries). Despite this there is one thing that i find i won't stick around for. And that's having to 'convince' someone i'm worth it too.
How do i feel when a guy makes me question what i'm worth to him? Well I feel like i've tried and failed. I feel disappointed. I feel tired, despondent and very alone. Like i'm fighting for something no one else wants. And i don't like to feel that no one has my back. That i'm exposed. I've never been good at sales. If the buyer doesn't see the value in the jewel i'm offering i lose interest. I've played all my cards. Its at this point i feel theres nothing left but to hold up my hands and walk away. Possibly increasing the initial price so he'll never have another chance at buying in to play another round ever again. Time wasters beware.
It turns out this is an 'emotional trigger for me. These are 'triggers' that can be traced back to an event or a series of events that led to an emotional reaction.
Mine I think it stems back to when i was going through a messy breakup with my long term ex. He would constantly play with my heart by changing his mind over if we were worth another go or not. He drew me back in several times in the subsequent years after we broke up (yes. years!) and i let him. In the end i learnt the hard way how to end it once and for all. My emotional baggage means that if anyone starts to remind me of my ex... i get restless and wary enough to feel that should be making a hasty exit. The feeling is not a nice one. Its choc full of old insecurities and fears and anyone who manages to flip these 'emotional triggers' gets associated with bad memories and emotions. No matter why they choose to exhibit that behaviour (Because most of the time people don't act the same way for the same reasons. And even if you know that... your 'emotional memory' won't.) And you will react according to habits in your chemistry, not through logic or reason.
So how does a guy trigger this emotion in me? The usual suspects - pulling away, seeming distant, sudden lack or passive communication, and of course.... telling me 'he isn't worth it' or 'he's not good enough for me'. These are all sins of my long term ex who just really did/said all those things because he knew he only wanted me around to boost his own ego and felt guilty for it. I stuck around because i 'thought' he just wanted space/time to miss me or to think and because i felt he was worth it and was good enough for me, but his low self-esteem prevented him from realising such a fact. If only i had cottoned on that he was only telling me these things just to get rid of me 'in a nice way' that made him look like a martyr.
I do wonder why he didn't just say 'I don't feel the same way and i'd rather you realised that now than later. You're lovely but i don't feel the connection with you that i'm looking for. I think we should end this now to avoid you getting hurt and allow me to find it with someone else.' but he didn't and i guess men will always say what they think women want to hear, rather than just the truth.
how do you know what is a 'trigger' for another person's baggage and insecurities? As the last thing you want to do is cause your lover to link you to their shitty past. In my experience you need to:
1) Know their boundaries and relationship history. What has caused them hurt and pain in the past? What do they tolerate well or not? What are they likely to get sensitive or 'over-react' to?
2) Build trust based on honesty. Be aware of your behaviour in similar situations that have caused them pain in the past. Even if your reasons are different and you can't avoid it, at least be honest about why you are acting this way so they can understand your reasons.
3) Be understanding about their irrational fears. Sometimes you'll feel like getting all defensive. This creates barriers of miscommunication through fear. Remember this isn't always about you. No one likes to open their heart and say what they are thinking, especially if they're likely to get shot down. Your reaction primes their future honesty on the matter. If you get shitty or don't understand.... they won't be likely to open up again ever.
And if you have these triggers?
I can only relay what i'm going through right now, which is so over whelming... the 'juice' just doesn't seem worthwhile going to all that effort. I do think my emotional trigger is not one to be taken lightly, and sometimes we have them for survival. Like learning that a flame will burn if you put your hand in a fire long enough. There are others though that are just plain over protective and can prevent you from finding happiness. Sometimes risks are part of life and even if the 'juice' is not that great, at least you can say you squeezed. It takes courage to do that without knowing what you're gonna get... i should know.
Reminds me of that age old saying.... "you should never regret the things you have done.... only the things you haven't".