It’s easy to talk about self-care and self-love when you aren’t in a relationship. It’s also tremendously easy to pass on brilliant words of wisdom to others who are in relationships that from all outside appearances lack any healthy boundaries. We tell our friends to just walk away when they’re not being treated right, asking them “what would you tell me to do if I was in the same situation?”. These detached insights rarely seem to bring them to their senses though.
When the relationship tides of life change and we find ourselves caught up in our own struggles with the opposite sex, that’s when we really get a sense of who we are. We realize that the application of all of those relationship columns we wrote to our friends about self-respect seemed to only apply to them, and not ourselves. Then the sad day arrives and when we realize we have become that nasty hypocrite we told ourselves that we would never become. We realize we aren’t practicing what we preached all of those years, and somehow are very own boundaries have fallen to the way.
We start accepting less and less from our new fling, and we start justifying their shortcomings because we’ve finally found someone who captured our senses in a remarkable way. And maybe we don’t necessarily feel worthy of their attention. Finally we’ve found someone who makes us tingle with excitement. Obsession then starts to creep in. Constantly we check our phones to see if they have responded to our texts. If they haven’t, we keep our eyes glued to the screens holding on to hope that their response is sure to arrive any second now. It never comes. We drool with elation at any approval they toss our way.
Cupid seems to have struck us in a way that we thought for sure we had been prepared for. But we still weren’t ready. The genius we all carry within shouts and screams at us to steer clear, but we rarely heed the warning signs.
We somehow already know that this new love won’t ever make the mark, and yet, we dig deeper still. “We’re just getting use to each other”, or “they’ll change” we tell ourselves. The day they see just how great I am is just right around the corner. Or so we think.
We wouldn’t dare tell our partners how we really feel, because we are sure they would run for the hills if they sensed any degree of neediness. We transform ourselves into the image of who we think they really want, just for a small shot at love.The ever expanding degree of mercy we provide these leeches of love would infuriate us if only it was someone else and ourselves doling out the insanity. They get away with the things we would told ourselves and others to never tolerate.
This internal tug-a-war continues on, sometimes for months, but eventually we are greeted with our moment of awakening. We then pack our bags and run for shelter, or a safe harbour to lick our wounds and broken down self-worth. Some might even recognize and affirm to themselves that they we truly worthy of an unremitting love, from someone who loves who they truly are, with ugly secrets revealed and stretch marks unapologetically shown.
We start to run out of lies to tell ourselves to keep ourselves in this ugly game any longer. Even though our heads swarm with cunning optimism as we lay restless in bed, that voice of reason seems to only catch up to our grand delusion. It becomes apparent that something just doesn’t quite feel right.
Our once lost courage is returned to its rightful owner, and we allow ourselves to heal and possibly even start all over again. Our faith slowly starts to sprout up again, and we give ourselves permission to hope for bigger and brighter things, the things we would have told a younger version of ourselves we were always truly deserving of.