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Monday, December 19, 2016

Feigned Love - Part 3

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

- Joseph Campbell

You must have expectations that you hold firm to. The last time Perturbado and I spoke, he called me and asked me out to dinner. I was perplexed because I didn’t hear from him in several days. The entire time we were "dating" he never called me just to invite me out. It was usually me asking him if he wanted to hangout. A big part of me wanted to say yes. I imagined that we would go out and he would apologize for all the things that he did and said to me. But the voice deep inside said no. The inner voice was the loudest it has ever been, and it no longer wished to be strung along. 

So I asked him “Are you inviting me out to dinner as a friend?” Hell, I wanted to know. Three nights ago he made it clear that a relationship was out of the question. So why do we need to get dinner together?

His response was "I am just inviting you out to dinner." Translations: He wanted to keep me on his string.

You see, I was tired of feeling strung along. A few days ago you told me we would never work, and now you're inviting me to dinner? Keep in mind, while we dated, I complained that he never called me and invited me out… so this is when he finally decides to do it?

Trust me, I was confused... and it was a feeling I didn’t want to endure any longer. So, I declined his invite for dinner. 

After we hung up I felt terrible. I thought I may have really hurt his feelings and that he may feel rejected by me. I wanted to call him back and tell him sorry for turning down his offer and explain to him that I was just trying to move on and going to dinner with him would just make things worse. But then I had to ask myself "why am I feeling guilty?" He did this. He created this distance. He wasn’t concerned about my feelings. He was concerned about himself. And it was about damn time I started doing the same. So I let that guilt go. I declined his invite because it was the best thing I could do for myself. I should never feel guilty about taking care of myself. And that is when I started respecting and acknowledging my needs. 

What made it hard for me to move on? The rejection. More than anything. The rejection burned through me like a freshly lit cigarette bud pressed against my beating heart. I cared so deeply for someone that discarded me so easily. I had to continuously remind myself that there is something better out there for me. If there weren’t, the Universe would've just left me to rot in an unhealthy situationship. But, the Universe didn’t. It pulled me out of that black hole. 

I would think back at all the mistakes I made with him and the mantra “You fool!” would go off repeatedly in my head. I was such the fool. An ingenuous fool. An openhearted fool. A nurturing fool. But a fool, nonetheless. I spent several weeks looking in the mirror with questions racing through my mind.  “How could you be so foolish? Why did you tolerate the way he treated you? Why did you believe his lies even when you knew he was lying to you? Why did you sleep with him? Why did you let him say that to you? Why didn’t you cut it off with him?” I was mad at myself for opening up to someone that did nothing to deserve such intimacy, care, or attention. 

Not wanting to beat myself up anymore, since I was already beat down enough, I tried to bring my head above water. So, I researched what to do and what not to do in relationships for future reference. After one failed relationship after the other, I wanted to pin down “what I was doing wrong” so I began inundating myself with relationship articles, podcasts and meditations. (I also medicated. Red wine is great for easing a heartbreak.) It didn’t take long for all of the love advice to start sounding the same. 

To fall in love you have to be (1) extraordinarily understanding and patient (2) give the best blow jobs (3) a bit cold but not too cold hearted… so pretty much a bitch but you still have to be likeable (4) confident… because being bitchy is only sexy when your confident and (5) did I mention blow jobs? (6) Blah blah blah blah blah.

It was bizarre. All this advice. All this research. All this these experts. But yet so many people are looking for love. Even those who are already spoken for seem to find themselves lonely and unfulfilled. Hell, half of these “experts” are trying to sort out their love life themselves. After all my delving, I felt like there was one main theme that could summarize it all, and that was SELF RESPECT. 

I mean, it all makes sense. Take my story for instance… my biggest regret is that I allowed him to treat me poorly. I wanted him to give me something that I had failed to give myself, which was respect. Regardless, we probably wouldn’t have lasted either way. However, I would have preferred an ending where I could have walked out with my head held high. An ending where I realized that I deserved better than what he could give me and left the situation before I was so battered and bruised. 

Self-respect is tantamount to self-love. When you want to be loved and respected, it starts by loving and respecting yourself. People aren’t always going to recognize your worth and treat you the way you should be treated. When you respect yourself, you ensure that your worth will not be overlooked. You ensure that no one batters and bruises you, only to leave you as a damaged good reducing your value. Self-respect breathes confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, self-love and more. Self-respect is the most profound way you tell others that you value yourself and that in order to have a relationship with you, they will have to value YOU too.

You can cook for a man. But that isn’t going to make him love you. You will just be the girl that cooks for him and he will come around to eat when he’s hungry. You can give a man great sex. But that isn’t going to make him love you. You will just be the girl that gives him great sex and he will come around whenever he’s horny. You bend down for him to ride your back and he will. A man will only do what you let him. And if he knows he can do whatever it is under the sun and you will still be there waiting on him, he will do exactly that… everything under the sun. 

When they know you will always be there no matter how much they hurt you, they will most certainly take you for guaranteed. Your love will be like bottled water in a USA grocery store. He knows he needs water to survive but he doesn’t cherish it because whenever he’s ready for it, he can run to the local grocery store and grab himself a bottle off the shelf.

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