Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let the good things stay good

I was talking to my mom the other day about a place where I spent a lot of time a few years ago.  I was telling her how much I miss it and want to go back someday.  It was such a wonderful place and I wish I hadn't let it slip into my past.  She told me that sometimes it's good, especially when there's nothing you can do to change the present situation, to just let happy memories be happy memories instead of perseverating over the fact that they're over.  It will make the memories sweeter.  Now, I don't think that necessarily applied to the place I was talking to her about, because I can go back there and visit someday.  But it definitely made me think about things in my life that it does apply to.

The first thing that comes to mind is a relationship I had a few years ago.  It was a good relationship-- it moved at a healthy pace physically and everything.  Emotionally, however, it moved faster.  We (the guy involved and I) got very close, and I (in retrospect) might have become a bit too attached.  The relationship ended up dying in a really weird way.  I'd never really felt like I could be 100% who I was in front of anyone my age.  Because I felt so close and comfortable with this guy (I'll call him Bob), and because it was the first time I'd ever felt exactly that way around a boyfriend (or anyone), it was rough for me to have it end.

Since then, I've realized that I've had really bad luck with guys.  I think that having such a good relationship end before I was ready for it to end may have put up some internal brick walls when it came to romance.  I didn't really have a good relationship after that: little fling things here and there, nothing special or very long-lived.  It was weird because I wanted to have companionship so badly, but I couldn't bring myself to let go and just let myself have it.  I was holding every guy up to Bob's standards when, realistically, I would never actually find someone who was exactly like him- the world doesn't work that way.  A lot of it was also that it felt so awful to get my heart broken the way it did, that I don't really trust other men not to do the same thing.  Whenever I saw or thought about Bob, I felt that classic, butterflies in the stomach, heart pounding, lightheaded sensation.  (one time, I was with my friend when I saw him after not having seen him for a while- I wasn't expecting to see him and my friend looked at me and thought I was going to pass out because my face had gone white as a sheet.)  I kept wanting and trying to get back together with Bob, but we grew apart, and eventually, he became (at the risk of sounding cliché) the one that got away.

What was until recently my outlook on the subject.
So how does this tie into my first point?  Well, as time went on, my memory of my relationship with Bob became very sensationalized as this "perfect" thing that no relationship I have in the future can ever live up to.  If I hadn't let it affect me that way and just listened to the more rational side of me that was saying, "it's ok- there are more fish in the sea.  You'll find someone who's just as good for you if you let this one go," but I couldn't do it.  Even now, I have some (pretty deep-rooted) intimacy problems that keep me from getting into any sort of meaningful relationship.  I look back at my time with Bob and feel the same sort of infatuated feeling, but with some bitterness thrown in, because now, it seems like that relationship cost me a LOT of romantic years.  I feel wounded.

When really, at this point, it's been long enough that I need to turn my finger around and point it at myself.  I need to just let that relationship be something that was great that happened in the past, that I tried (and failed) to resurrect, and that I now need to move on from.  With that mindset, I've gotten to the point where a real relationship no longer feels like a waste of time, but something that is worth my time.  I'm breaking down my mental brick walls.  So that's a start.

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