This morning I was thinking about romantic relationships. Inspired by a brief YouTube video about something that's not usually on the forefront of my mind. I'm interested. I'm paying attention. I'm out in the world where the right man and I can stumble across one another's path. But I'm not in a hurry. I don't even feel that I'm waiting. I have a lot going on. A lot of creating of the reality I want to live in. Even if it's in my own head, it's way better than looking at reality that I don't want. Actually, what I'm doing, is looking at the same reality, and just interpreting it another way than I used to. And so now, more and more often, things fall into place the way I've imagined them. (For instance, awesome parking spots. Every time. The little things matter too.) So rather than "waiting" I more feel a sense that I'm looking after my own happiness, which frees me up to take the time and care to be discerning in my relationships. Romantic and otherwise.
But back to romance. I've talked about this before, but it's been awhile. As I first starting wading back into the romance pool, I thought that I was now owed by the Universe a relationship that would make up for all the things that weren't to my liking in my marriage. Guess how that went? That's right. Not well. That's a lot of unwarranted pressure to put on someone else. It's asking the impossible. Make me feel better because someone else "did these things to me" and now you need to make up for it. Lord, that was such the wrong end of the stick. Yeah, turns out that people don't like to be responsible for your happiness.
Funnily enough, that was the same thing I told my ex, when he first told me he didn't love me anymore and that I wasn't "making him happy." What an unenviable chore. And then, I turned around and did it to other people. Don't get me wrong; while I don't think you should wander about subjecting others to your bad mood, neediness or whims...i.e. - try your damnedest to own your shit and not put it on your partner, it's okay to ask for things. It's fun when two people are aware of the little things that make life easier and more pleasurable for the other, and lovingly do them for one another.
But if you're coming from a place of fear, hurt, anxiety, feeling out of control...etc., and trying to bring that stuff into your relationship as if it's something the other person can soothe, it's going to be mighty uncomfortable for the both of you. I mean, if you've fucked up, apologize, move on, and don't do it again. If the other person has fucked up, you can expect them to own that too. Let them. Then let it go. If they can't, don't or won't, that's just where they are. You have to decide if you want to stay there with them. There's nothing wrong with fucking up, or being fucked up, as long as you fix it.
It took me awhile to get to a place where I could see how wrong-headed my thinking was. But I got there. I saw it. And I fixed it. Now I'm not going to be bringing that energy-sapping neediness with me everywhere I go, and to every man I meet. I can honestly say that I genuinely love those men who I thought were causing me such grief. (Except my ex. Still working on that. Progress is slow.) I have zero desire to have them out of my life. It's in the bumping up against what they couldn't/wouldn't give me that I found my joy. I don't know how they feel about me. Most are still "around" and we interact to varying degrees. One left the country without so much as a "goodbye forever" (though we're still in touch, in the softest way possible, and I suppose the way that's easiest for now.) All I know is that in seeing their worthiness, I found my own. What better basis for relationship? I like to keep my loved ones close around me. Once I love, I can't unlove. (Except my ex. Again, slow progress.) Nor do I want to. But I don't like the feeling of being chained, and the men I'm drawn to don't either. So I'm satisfied with the certain knowledge that the right man for me will come along. And it won't feel like chains, but a silken, flexible, infinitely stretchable golden bond.
In the course of working though this stuff, I found that I'm complete and happy all on my lonesome. But I really love learning and being with others in a place of intimate relationship. Supportive, loving, fun, sexy, appreciative...all those things are already in my sphere. And I expect them to be enhanced in a relationship where my man is in the same place. It's going to be delicious.
Two people, complete unto themselves, yet eager to celebrate how the interaction of their complete selves creates something new and unique. That's the most joyful union of all.