Dec 31, 2009

"Don't become a guy's practice run"...

... I told my friend, after she called me last night upset, confused and deeply hurt by a guy she felt she was still in love with.

What is it? Well, its a bit like being in the 'friends zone' except in the past you've been more than that, but ultimately its worse, because you know what you are missing once its over because you got a taste, a teaser of what it could be like 'if only'.... like Christmas presents and weekends away, meeting a few of his selected friends and feeling occasionally like you're part of his life, like full blown dates and that soft fuzzy closeness later on... essentially you're the girl he dates before he meets the one, you're the training wheels, you're the practice run.

And it hurts once it hits home that he'll never love you the way you love him. You're comfortable and you're reliable, and always there... but wake up! you'll always be second best. He is looking for someone else while he uses you to fill the gaps in his life. Men get lonely too and dating is hard. And how nice it is that theres someone there to soften the frustration of it all.

I wish i could tell you that its easy to spot and that you'll see it a mile away, but it isn't. This type of denial only becomes apparent when, even though you're just friends now, he just keeps on hurting you. I used to think that if a girl wasn't sleeping with the guy then that defined the relationship as 'just friends' and made it ok. But truth is, there are many aspects of a relationship that a guy can use you for that go beyond a physical one. A few friends of mine have this type of dependency on each other, despite him being gay and her being straight. It works because sex isn't everything needed to 'make' a relationship. There's also an emotional connection (you make each other laugh and have fun), an intellectual connection (a mutual respect and appreciation of qualities) and a deeper connection (you have feelings or care for each other).

Writing this, i know how it feels, and it sucks... truly. You have a mutal dependency because humans need connections to thrive and feel happy, but without comittment its just a ghost of a real relationship. It doesnt move forward because one or both fear the change, and the only person who can break the mutual dependency is the one getting hurt the most. Reasons why not vary.... but usually you convince yourself you're strong enough, or that cutting down on the amount of the other person in your life will hurt too much.

So let me put things into perspective... when he meets the girl who is the one he wants to marry and starts having children with her... that will hurt even more. And i wouldnt wish that kinda pain on anyone, not after having to go through it before. Don't be willing to wait around for things to come. He'll never want you as he would have made you his by now, and especially not if you're always there for him.

So go out and date, put yourself first and live your life as though he's not in it. Be email friends or something to that effect if you wish, just make sure he's no longer in your inner circle. Shift his ass to the furthest orbit if you can, or if you're feeling brave cut him out of it all together. And i know in as little as 6 weeks you'll be back on track and his memory will be ashes in the wind.

New years resolution anyone? :)

Dec 17, 2009

Why women who have it all are hard to please... otherwise called 'denial'

I realised this morning, after waking abruptly from a disturbing dream, that i have quite a large chunk of denial still hanging over me. The dream, or rather nightmare, dragged up all those old feelings of dissatisfaction in my life, especially love. In my dream my ex wanted me back. Dream Lisa much to my dismay took him back, falling straight into old patterns of stepford wife versus ungrateful bastard. Still dream Lisa was happy because she got what she wanted... or did she?

You see theres never been a guy good enough for me. I know now that at one point, possibly very early on in the relationship but still, the 'long-term ex' was essentially a good guy. It was my being so very difficult to please that pushed him into behaving the way i expected making matters worse and confirming my worst fears. In fact, looking back throughout all of my relationships i'm never happy. I mean he can give me the moon and i still pick away at his faults.

This is my denial.

You know, 'denial' the story we tell ourselves (and others) to avoid the pain of the truth about our own shortcomings - like feeling jealous when others succeed, acting critical when we should offer love, selfish when we should be giving - these little faults we are so ashamed of that we even lie to ourselves that the exist? After all its so easy to build up reasons in our minds why we act harshly towards others, like they deserve it, or to teach them a lesson.... sound familiar?

The hardest thing to accept is the darker side of ourselves, the side that isn't so pretty. I should know, pretty is very important to me. But sub-consciously we all have this side, even saints. The key is to remember that when the ugly truth is brought to light - say a loved one pushes the right buttons, winds you up, makes you angry/upset or react in a negative way... they are just bringing to the surface a part of yourself you could never confront on your own. And this feeling was there way before this person even came into your life and triggered it.

Its up to you to recognise that this person should not be blamed for parts that need work (in fact you should thank them for making you aware), and take responsibility instead. Yes, own it., before it owns you. Until we start to own these bad feelings and accept that they are ours, they will simply continue to control our lives, the dramas will repeat themselves over and over, people will keep coming into our lives who are better and better at triggering and we will still remain the victim. Never happy.

In my case, i'd blame the guy i was with because he wasn't doing enough of the things i thought he should to make me feel loved, secure, smug, satisfied, complete... etc Each time he fell short of my expectations i would experience a whole array of disappointment, frustration, and loneliness, that i was misunderstood and ultimately unloved. I blamed the men in my life for feeling this way and in the end all that did was push them away.

Other times, when guys i've dated have had the integrity to shower me with affection, and done too much, ive gone the other way. My insecurities at not being enough and essentially failing him, or my fear of being manipulated combined with lack of trust that surfaced when pushed to 'give up', as i felt my 'supposed' personal freedom.... made me aloof, distant and overly critical. Like before, i would sabotage the relationship before it could develop deeper and lose out on sharing my life with someone who really did care.

In both i was replaying pattern i'd picked up from my parents and old flames, when at times their restrictions and expectations either brought about a need in me for unwavering love and support or a desire in me to exist beyond their manipulations and control.

Funny today of all days i can clearly understand the lesson in the powerful demonstration of just "pointing a finger" at someone. I mean if you look carefully three times as many fingers are pointing back at yourself right?

Dec 2, 2009

The power of the small things (like little kisses xx)

Finally i feel like i can breathe!

I moved in to my new flat a month ago and between the reels of xmas fairly lights and endless trips to consumer-hell that is ikea, its only just coming together. If fact its almost perfect ;)

Still according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs i've been slumming along at the bottom of the pyramid for quite some time now and as a direct result... everything else has suffered, especially the little projects i've been nurturing to fruition all these months (including this blog!).

But now im all settled and cosy i can at last take a look at introducing some damage limitation, such as reconnecting with clients, chasing up those loose ends, planning, writing and creating... I feel creative again. Its like i can't stop smiling and everyone keeps asking me why i'm so happy. Its just because i'm settled, safe and secure. You see while i was homeless nothing else seemed important. I needed a roof over my head, and not knowing the details put a lot of things into perspective. In fact i realise how much i took the small things for granted, like knowing where everything i own was and being able to get to it easily, and going home to the privacy of "my room", cooking in my kitchen instead of eating out... those sorts of things.

And as always its also the small things that men do that make a difference, well to me anyway... like he remembered what i said in passing 2 weeks ago, he cuts the tomatoes exactly how i like them, he called me when he landed at the airport just so i wouldn't worry, etc.

But the smallest has to be the "xxxx's" at the end of his messages. Take this new ad from blackberry for example:

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

We watch while the couple argue because he is late, she storms off likely to never speak to him again, but then changes her mind and comes back to him... but only AFTER he messages her.

I'm that girl. Put me in front of a guy trying to say sorry and its embarrassing and confrontational. For me communication is not always better in person, especially if feelings are involved. The hardest for me often saying sorry (i hate to admit i'm wrong). The words stick in my throat, i get teary, i avoid eye contact... its not pretty.

Lucky for me messaging has given us a "get out of jail free card". We can dress the words in any way we want and make it sweeter and funnier just by adding a cute wink or a couple of xx's in such a way to assist communications rather than limit it. Whatever has happened... say your bf forgot to call you back or is busy, those little x's tend to soften the blow to the extent that the words are meaningless.

The funniest thing is that my guy has realised just how golden a few xx's are with me. I'm a sucker for sweet talk and if there is any disappointment, suddenly all IMs are littered with a kiss or two at the end of every sentence. I don't know why they work but they do, even though most of us use them for friendships all the time. They should be meaningless.... i mean its just one little letter for goodness sake, but they aren't - to most girls a small "x" means hes affectionate, sorry and sincere all at the same time.

Now i'm wondering if there are magic letters for men that could 'say' as much? Other than *ahem* a "b" and a "j" of course :$

Probably not...

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