I like to think that I've handled my share of uncertainty, what with life being what it is. Not to mention I've already been divorced, experienced more than a few loved ones battle life threatening illnesses, to say nothing of the colossal mistakes I've made and learned from over my 34 years.
But why is it when it comes to romantic relationships that I have the worst time trusting my gut, grabbing at whatever direction is available to me, be it in the words of a top 40 song or (ouch) on a tv reality show (which, just for the record, I despise under every other circumstance)? Please, tell me. Why? I'd really like to understand this ridiculous behaviour of mine.
What is it about relationships, or potential ones, that get me so bent out of shape? The poor fella doesn't stand a chance in my whirlwind of over analytical neurosis. For the most part, I'm a fairly well adjusted, mature, accomplished woman. Hard to believe with all the proof here but you'll just have to take my word for it. I can make a confident strategic decision about the direction our company should take without a second guess but I conveniently throw my common sense out the window most times when it comes to decisions of a romantic nature.
Why am I so quick to put my feelings aside and behave as if what he thinks is somehow more important than what I think...about me? Why do I so willingly put his needs above my own? Why do I become this pathetic person who is so genuinely surprised that he is interested in me that I turn my 'red light' alert off during critical times? (and "he" here could be anyone...I'm not speaking about anyone in particular, just my dough-head pattern).
I put my feelings on the back burner. I over accommodate his wishes. I hold back parts of myself. I feel like a moron much of the time, or worse, an actor. I either downplay my smarts or say very little. And yes, I do ask myself the question of whether or not I want to be with someone who would value these less than stellar qualities. The answer is always a resounding no, and yet they seem to persist in my insecurity. The intelligent part of me does in fact realize that I am cheating him from getting to know the real me...and yet, I still seem to go there more often than not. Or, on the flip side, I shut down any potential before I have an opportunity to behave this way.
I beat myself up. I annoy my close friends. I hibernate away from the world and try to distract myself with work. I move things along too quickly because somewhere along the way I found sex to be a whole lot easier than intimacy. And I hate that I do all this.
I have such a high wall built up around me that it would take someone truly super human to try and break it down. Clearly unfair and ridiculous of me to expect that responsibility to fall on anyone's shoulders but my own.
I'm scared. This precipice before stepping off the ledge into a relationship feels to me like every shred of skin is gone and I am walking around vulnerable and exposed to the elements. I have to laugh at myself (cause really, what else can I do?...listen to me!). This shouldn't be so hard. I was in a wonderful relationship once upon a time. I know what it can be like. I know it exists. I have a benchmark. And perhaps that is where a lot of this pressure I put on myself is coming from? Perhaps I have an unchecked expectation of the very same type of experience unfolding again in my life. Can anyone live up to that? Is that even what I want again?
I don't have the road map. No crystal ball to rely on. I'm done trying to read the tea leaves, the astrological charts and the tarot cards. It's all crap anyway, especially if I can't read myself and trust my own feelings on the subject.
The one thing I say I would like most in my life right now (which is right in front of me), is the one thing I don't trust myself to judge accurately. And it is the one thing there are no directions for. Ain't that a bitch?!
A wise friend once told me that we are more often afraid than we are actually hurt, although we often behave otherwise. I am afraid. I am not hurt. I can do this ("this" being get over myself and get in the game), if I would only just let myself.