This blog started out being about myself and my thoughts about men, how I feel about what I have been taught about men, what I think of them from my own experiences and of course the interaction between myself and the men I come across.
Since starting this blog I came to the end of a great relationship and I have been distilling the lessons I’ve learnt from it. The most important one has been, I can have as much love as I am ready to receive and no more, therefore I have to work on my ability to receive and not on finding a better partner.
But what else I’ve learnt is that when you are full and you know how to fill yourself up, when you look for your own approval before searching for that of others, when you make an effort to live up to what you know about yourself and who you want to be, you become a pest to many. In my case I became an annoyance to my lover because I didn’t play the love game.
We have been taught that relationships are something we engage in to get what we don’t have and in order to do procure what we lack we have to make some sacrifices. We have to give to get. We have to love because we want to be loved in return. I think how we view our relationships has nothing to do with love, it’s rather a protracted bartering experience. We don’t love because of love itself, we love for an anticipated reward. When that reward isn’t forthcoming, love dies; or more accurately, it is withdrawn.There is of course another side to the dynamic and we often practice the withholding of love to instill fear and get our way more than we do the expression of the good we have to offer.
Like I said before I became a pest in my relationship because the withholding of affection and approval didn’t bring me to heel; it didn’t make me more compliant to the wants and desires of my lover. I feel that love should be given for love’s sake and sometimes there will be breaks and disagreements and even two people who truly treasure each other will not be able to see eye to eye. Maturity says to me that I should not expect the other person to abandon their view or amend their feelings, but to be big enough to accept them. It is of course much easier to write it here than it is to practice in real life, but to me the intent, the desire and an attempt to do so is as valuable as actually getting it right.
So when we disagree and he tells me that he doesn’t feel like talking to me and disappears for some time, I leave him to it. It’s his decision after all, and I can’t force a grown man to do what he doesn’t want to, nor do I have a need to. The problem comes now when days pass I don’t make the expected whiny-voiced phone-call. I know enough to know that men manipulate women by using withdrawal to negatively impact women’s need for connection. This I am tired of: stupid games where my feelings and my needs are used as the mean to keep me hostage to another.
A few weeks passed and my lack of response became a problem in itself. I don’t think Ihave never seen him as angry as the day he said that because I’m ignoring him he never wants to have anything to do with me ever again. I think he’s a great guy, but his outburst made me wonder about his sanity and intelligence. I decided that if he so vehemently expresses his desire to keep the distance between us, I’ve no choice but to give the man what he wants.
Several weeks of non-communication was suddenly broken by an unexpected gift which came at a time I needed it most. I really appreciated the gesture and I know that regardless of what went before he wouldn’t have made the effort if he didn’t really care about me. So much water has now gone under the bridge that beyond an expression of my heartfelt gratitude I‘ve been unable to find anything to say to him. I’m not angry, I think maybe we just got to the end of our being together.
I knew from the start that he was a person for whom the approval and admiration of others meant a great deal. And since we tend to think that everyone sees the world through the same glasses we have on, he assumed that what he feared losing, I did too. I also know that from where he stands my mistake is of course the perennial complaint about my inflexibility. Point taken. I acknowledge that it is difficult for me to understand how a person could repeatedly say things he doesn’t mean with the intent to create a sense of insecurity in me that he could use to his advantage. I’m a very thoughtful person, not in that I think of others first, nothing that altruistic. I put my foot down on the place I want my foot to be and I keep my foot on the place I want it to remain; after thinking thoroughly about what such a step would mean. If that makes me inflexible in the eyes of those who deal with me, I’m sorry they feel that way.
As for the case of my lover, I still love him, I’m just not sure that we should be together. I was ok with him being angry at me at first, I was angry too. I was ok with him wanting his space for a while, I wanted some air too. I never said anything about walking away because I knew I didn’t want to. If he did I wasn’t going to stop him because above all things I want a love that is freely and joyfully given.I’m not going to put forward a dissertation on the merits of being with me. Either you want to or you don’t. Had he returned at a later date when both of us had cooled down I believe we would be together now, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead we made a bad thing worse.My inflexibility and his belief that I should be beholden to him because of a need for affection and approvalare what keeps us apart.
It is better that I find someone who doesn’t see my inflexibility/thoughtfulness as a problem or can at least live with it and he find someone who understands the whole play of affection and approval in the way he does.
Love is not supposed to make the person you’re with miserable and they shouldn’t feel like a reject from the human factory. Love should make you feel good. I couldn’t stand how angry and unfulfilled he seemed at the end of our being together. I didn’t want to be the girl who made him feel that way.
Sometimes two great people who love and care for each other can’t find a way to be together for reasons that have nothing to do with love, but have everything to do with who they are and how they view the world. I think sometimes that the best relationships are the ones with complimentary flaws, rather than complementary strengths. I don’t know what the complementary flaw to inflexibility is but I hope the one who has it crosses my path some time.