I write about love as I see it on my blog because I don’t remember what it feels like to be loved by a lover or partner. I have been sitting for over a month with my recent heartbreak. I wonder how I got here. I planned well. I avoided love by way of having lovers. That’s what divorcees do, right? Protect their hearts while they raise their children alone. Or do they do what seemingly half the divorced population does and marry again within a year or two? I’m the other one. I open only when sparked, and that happens very rarely.
I prepared for heartbreak. I set up the perfect situation, but I forgot pieces of myself that I’d closed off in my younger, depressed years. I also mis-remembered certain important details of my former lover’s situation. Diversity is exciting, yet sometimes differences can break a relationship if communication isn’t happening(yet appears to be happening). In hindsight, it clearly wasn’t happening.
I am left feeling, for lack of a better term, used, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This feeling tells me that I created illusions in order to be ok with something I missed. My lover was clear in this, but our understanding of what love is and how it is demonstrated was definitely different. To me, love is a sharing. An honesty. A reveal of the things I fear about myself, an unveiling of parts of me that not everyone else gets to see.
Love is a dance of many veils being removed, one after another until you stand naked. As is. If it is good love, love that edifies, you want to dance in it because there is so much joy. If the love is fearful, full of anxiety, or selfish, it hurts. There is a range of this, which is why I often think back to the times when things “almost worked”. Why do I do that?
I am left vulnerable and open, trying to figure out why I loved so hard, when they were clear that they didn’t. Perhaps if I had felt treated with respect in more than a sexual way, in this case, I think I would be less angry. This one was not intended to work, and I was ok with that. It hurts more because the lover I knew, the one I thought was also unveiling to me wasn’t. I just wish there had been more honesty and consideration.
Since there wasn’t, my exit shouldn’t be a surprise. I do love myself. I look forward to further exploring what that means as I continue to let go and move forward with the rest of my life. I just want to meet more people that really understand how to use healthy boundaries and sharing.
A big heartfelt “Thank you!” to Zoey Hart (https://zoeyhart.wordpress.com/author/zoeyhart), for agreeing to let me use her poem on my blog. I caught it on twitter and it was perfect for use here. She gave me the courage to post this instead of just writing it to myself.
Several recent flirting expeditions brought to my attention how I see follow through in regards to relationships. Follow through? What is that? It looks like many things. Follow through is completing projects, calling when you say you will, and showing up when you say you’ll be somewhere. We all know that things happen. Sometimes something comes up, social anxiety hits, you get sick, etc. Part of follow through is making sure your excuses are not just excuses that land you on the sidelines. Did something come up just this one time and you followed through on the next attempt? Yes? That is acceptable. The problem with lack of follow through is in the consistency of it.
Follow through is not a desire or motivation issue, contrary to popular belief. It is a discipline issue. Teaching yourself to finish a goal is a matter of perspective, and is accomplished by breaking a large task into smaller, more manageable ones. You want to call that guy or girl, but anxiety is keeping you down? Text is ok for a while. Introduce playful banter, and then ask them to call you. Make it a game. Are you overwhelmed in the writing of your first novel and swimming in a sea of words, lost in your own timeline? Try note cards, a science project board with images and handwritten notes on it, or use a dry erase marker and your bedroom wall. The thing is to do something out of your ordinary, something you won’t forget or lose track of, which helps with consistency.
In relationships, lack of follow through is a breeding ground for resentment and mistrust. It leaves the balanced power of a healthy and loving relationship extremely vulnerable to sabotage from inside, suffocating one (or more, if you’re polyamorous) partners power. Consistent lack of follow through can be a major reason a dating relationship never grows into more, and why an established relationship falls apart. The ability to date even after the relationship is “secured” by living together, domestic partnership, or marriage is imperative to the strength and health of the partnership. Lack of follow though in the long-term relationship creates distance and an imbalanced power dynamic. It affects dependability and respect, (yes the all-important “R” word). I find it extremely difficult to respect a friend or partner that has trouble with follow through. Mind you, if this is a known issue and the affected is really working at discipline, i.e. trying different methods to spark creativity, or using multiple reminders to remember appointments, etc., I tend to rethink the “R” word and cut them some slack.
Again, consistency is key, and we are not all machines. The ability to grow and evolve are very attractive qualities. Someone that knows they have an issue, that sees it, and instead of letting it victimize them uses that knowledge as fuel to grow and move toward balance, well…that is quite interesting. Admirable. Sexy. Inspirational. That is the kind of person I want to know, to be close to, to be friends with or possibly more.
You are not stuck with your “flaws”, they are pieces of you that are ripe for growth and evolution. They don’t define you, and they are definitely not all of who you are. Vulnerability is not just opening up about feelings. It is about honesty. One of the highest forms of love is honesty. Loving yourself is the first step to empowerment. Empowerment is about knowing yourself, why you make the choices you make, and knowing that you can make new choices. Being able to change things in your life gives you freedom, which then leads to happiness. Empowerment is about seeing and effectively using personal power in a healthy way. Lack of follow though is often an issue that can be investigated, troubleshot, and corrected if you approach it as an area that needs growth instead viewing it as a weakness you’re stuck with.
Back in my flirting life, I’m having lovely conversations and getting to know some great people. What separates friends from potential lovers (if there was initial attraction) is consistency, follow through, and the ability to evolve. Attraction is different for everyone, and one person’s criteria for a perfect ten will be different from another’s. Remembering that helps me see that there is someone for everyone. Maybe even someone for me.
Follow through affects more than interpersonal relationships. Please see below for a few links with more information on how to transform this condition.
An article outlining was to combat follow through in business: http://psychologyforbusiness.com/articles_psychwork5.htm
A more personal take on how to get past the guilt and negative self-talk that comes from lack of follow through: http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/01/your-problem-isnt-motivation/
Lovely article, “The Art of Following Through”: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/learn-the-art-of-following-through-5-steps-to-ensure-you-will-achieve-your-goals/