can’t give up acting tough. it’s all that i’m made of. can’t scrape together quite enough, to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that i need love.
after talking with some friends about some recent dating situations i’ve come to a conclusion. one that is slightly frustrating, mostly because i thought i had shed myself of much of the baggage from the ex. but apparently this one has stuck. and i just don’t know really what to do.
so, i think i’ve mentioned that my ex had very very very needy and truly psychologically crazy girlfriends before me. and because of this, he had more than a tendency to react to things that i did like i was one of those crazy exes. after years of dating, he wouldn’t let me keep any clothes or girl products at his house, he assumed there were ulterior motives for all of my questions, and never ever did anything outwardly romantic, because he thought i expected it, therefore he wasn’t going to give it just to spite me. and this went on and on. and i basically told him that he is the crazy one and needs to take a chill pill.
but ultimately, it came down to the fact that he was treating me like i was crazy and needy no matter what my behavior actually was. he had this image in his brain of ‘girlfriend’=needy and when he looked at me, that’s all he saw. the image created in his head. NOT me.
so for a zillion reasons, we broke up. and i’ve analyzed every aspect of our relationship and it’s lasting effects over and over, here in writing, out loud to friends, and in my head. and it’s been three and a half years. and i was pretty positive that i got all that analyzing, growth and understanding out of my system.
it has come to my attention, based on the way i’ve acted with the past few guys i’d ’seen’ that a little habit that i would have previously prided myself on may actually be unhealthy, and reek of self sabotage.
apparently, the moment i decide that i’m into someone (romantically, like, more than getting to know if i like you as a person) i say calming and nicely to myself, “play it cool.” which is drilled into me over and over. don’t be desperate. don’t show that you like them too much. and i guess we’ve all heard the message, but forget where it came from, and really, what it’s purpose is.
play it cool so that if he/she decides that they don’t like you in return you don’t look dumb.
so here it is, a HUGE disconnect in what i preach (vulnerability at all times) and what i practice (defenses up). a disconnect of which i was honestly very UNAWARE. and there it is, the stain of my last relationship, coming through my fresh and laundered self. apparently (says accounts from my friends) i do and say things (in my conscious ‘play it cool’ attempts) that come off as not only playing it cool, but completely disinterested.
so here i am, at the beginning of any such swooning, deciding that this boy is one i’d like to get to know better, romantically, and i make the conscious decision not to throw myself at him. and in that decision i, in fact, act completely uninterested thinking that i am doing exactly what i need to be doing- acting NOT needy or crazy.
because that is what was drilled into me over and over and over throughout every interaction with my ex. don’t act needy. don’t act overly into anything. don’t be emotional. don’t show interest.
and it is so funny. because i know and say that openness and connection and emotions are real and allowed and NECESSARY in relationships. but i totally put up a wall and DON’T do those things because, when it comes down to it, i’m afraid they won’t like me back.
f*ck. i am that person. the jaded girl or boy who has forgotten the benefit of vulnerability and how good it feels when it IS right. and i’ve let my desire to no longer feel hurt or rejected over shine my desire for honest and real connection. all UNCONSCIOUSLY.
i guess i just don’t know the middle ground. i don’t know where the line between interested and desperate really is. because my benchmark of desperate is all out of whack from the ex.
and i don’t really know where to go from here. i’m feeling pretty unsettled with all of this. my muscle memory was trained that all things interested=desperate. and i don’t know how to change that, because i honestly don’t really KNOW the difference between interested and desperate.
so i play it cool. way. too. cool.
and continue to be single.