Later that evening I got to thinking about relationships. “Baby, I love your way” came on my Spotify shuffle and I was immediately brought back to a not so distant memory of an old flame. Seems like yesterday we had just met and found ourselves singing our hearts out to this song and others he so desperately tried to play on his guitar.
Unclear what was more off tune, our voices or his strumming. Regardless of how far from professional we sounded, it was a very sweet moment. That night, two strangers bonded over an abundance of vodka sodas and John Mayer lyrics.
Eventually the drinks weren’t enough to mask the fact that this fellow and I really had nothing in common. He was an attractive distraction and maybe for a few weeks that’s what I needed, but eventually, he breadcrumbed his way right out of my life.
Maybe some relationships aren’t supposed to end with a trail. Maybe some relationships are supposed to end with a good memory. Like a song, or scent that brings you back to a familiar and happy moment.
If I had developed deeper feelings for guitar boy maybe his breadcrumbing would’ve saddened me and made me wish that our time together ended the night it began.
I used to think that every relationship with a guy had to lead to an official relationship unless it was with one of my bro friends. I would often find myself wanting to define where things stood and possessing very high and at times unreasonable expectations from the get go.
If you aren’t careful society can scare you into surrendering your single status for something secure, but not right. When I look back on my life, I realize this is why I was almost engaged at 22. I think about where I would be now had that happened and what my life would look like and I can’t even imagine it.
Due to societal pressure around age and the fleeting of time, I’ve found myself putting unnecessary pressure on relationships. I’ve found myself fearing the loss of someone I never really had; picturing a life with someone who hadn’t yet proved that they deserved space in my world.
I would get so caught up in the idea of someone and what that looked like that I missed out on the present. Inevitably one of two things would happen:
- I would scare them senseless
- Or they would cling to me like Velcro
So either I would fall hard and fall fast only to push them away, or I would fall hard and fall fast only to have them fall harder and faster and push me away. I never intentionally hurt anyone and I’m sure for the majority no one intentionally hurt me either.
This leads me to my next thought and something I’ve applied to friendships most recently, you only lose what you cling to.
I used to offer an open table, no reservations necessary. You show up and be kind and you have a seat at my table. F that. You can take a number and consider yourself lucky if you get a call back with availability.
Lately, my time has been spent evaluating relationships and where my priorities stand. I’ll tell you this much, I refuse to chase anyone or anything that doesn’t make me a better person and build me up.
This leads me to my conclusion which is that people who want to be in your life are going to be there. You can waste your time trying to convince a person that you’re worth their time, or you can surround yourself with people who validate you and don’t make you jump through hoops to see them.
I suppose knowing that has been the reason for my recent growth and ability to live in the present. It has increased my self respect and trust in the fact that I’m not wasting my time and that I’m channeling the right things and people into my life.
This new found freedom has allowed me to enjoy moments for what they are and not for what they could be. It’s alleviated the pressure of defining something before learning more about it. For example, not getting wrapped up in the idea of someone so easily.
I’ve been taking my time to really be present and learn more about people. Unfortunately, most of the time when you do this you realize you don’t want most people in your life. I shouldn’t say unfortunately because it is a good thing, but you would be shocked how hard it actually is to connect with someone.
So until you find someone who makes you feel like the world just collapsed under your feet, don’t settle. If you don’t want to waste your time, spend your time seeking understanding.
Figure out how deep the water is before your dive in head first.
Dance and sing and laugh until the day you find someone to do all of the above with you. If someone doesn’t accept you, who cares.
There are millions of memories to be made, so go out there and make some.