Wednesday, May 03, 2006

after 15 years of dating, maybe i should make some changes

I am neurotic. There I have said it. I freak out over little things and need assurances for the truly stupid things.

For instance...

All things related to men and me.

I have massive trust issues when it comes to men. But at the same exact time I am way too trusting. I won't give my heart over to just anyone. Practically no one actually. But when I do find someone I trust, I hand it over very fast. Probably too fast, but I'm neurotic and have trust issues, so it's really hard for me to say. And quite frankly, I don't think most of the recipients have ever known.

So lately I have been thinking about the recipients and the things they have had in common. The recipients fall into 2 distinct categories- the jerks and the funny ones. And clearly, after 15 years of dating, this isn't working for me. So then I started thinking about the men that never became unwitting recipients (also known as the guys who never knew i gave my heart to them, or otherwise ignored it fully). And there's just so many of those guys that I can't even begin to describe their characteristics.

One thing I have noticed throughout my relationships, and other people's relationships, is the "Center of Attention/Audience" factor. And I've been talking a lot about this with different friends lately. I have noticed that in many happy couples there tends to be the "Center of Attention" (COA) and an Audience. Or in other words, one half of the couple is the social butterfly/look at me type, while the other one is content to do the watching. This is, of course, a gross generalization, and these things don't necessarily correspond to the interpersonal relationship, as much as it does in the large group relationships. In my discussions with my girlfriends on this subject the one overriding theme I kept hearing was that they all want to be the audience in a relationship. Which truly cracks me up because I don't know that any of my girlfriends are capable of being the audience ever. And that is when it really hit home for me that girls really do want to have a man that they can rely on, lean on, depend on. In short, they want a man to take care of them- not that they need the help. IMHO, when my girlfriends all said they want to be the audience, what they really meant is that they want a man that they can respect.

What do I want? I'm not sure. I know what I wanted in the past- a class clown, a strong leader, the center of attention. My happiest relationships were with guys who fit that description, but then treated me as their equal. But those relationships also all ended for the same reason- in short, they couldn't handle my ambitions. (actual quote there, folks) So maybe it is time I change that. Maybe it is time for me to start looking less at the loud mouths and more at the nice and simpler guys. I've heard rumors that nice guys do exist. Maybe what I need is an "audience" guy. A quieter, more reserved guy to play off my loud and COA ways?

If at any point someone thinks that I am suggesting that an audience personality is a negative thing, you are greatly mistaken. It's a yin and yang thing. It's a human nature opposites create balance thing.

So I have met two great guys lately. Neither one of course has a clue that I am more than willing to offer up my heart to him. Because, as always, I have fallen into my usual bad habits and turned at least one (the front runner actually) into a "good friend." I don't need any more good friends. I'm rather full up on good friends right now (not that a girl can ever have too many). Of course, what this unwitting recipient doesn't know is how rarely I allow someone to become a good friend and that along with it comes my heart.

So how do you do it? How do you just tell someone your heart is being offered up to them? How do you say, "You're not what I thought I wanted, but our friendship has convinced me otherwise?" Especially to someone you hardly know? And how do you tell them that you see the obstacles in your path as well, but you have what it takes to get around them? Especially without breaking your own heart in the process...

1 comment:

  1. You don't do's too scary! The few times I have gotten the guts to say something to someone I'm interested it has backfired, so I just don't do it anymore. Maybe that's why I haven't been on a date in forever...


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