Relationships seem to come in three stages: the honeymoon – where everything is green and full of endless opportunities and butterflies that seem to swarm in each direction; the reality – when things become settled and easy, comfortable and committed, where being a couple is the everyday,and not just the possibility; and the aftermath – the period that follows the end of a love that was, a union that separated back into two individuals, living opposite lives, attempting to forget and overcome the joint world they once created.
Let’s be honest – the latter is the most difficult to go through.
Why wouldn’t it be? When you’re filled with opportunity, you’re hopeful and when you’re filled with what is, you don’t doubt what could be, because everything and anything seems probable. But when it’s over, or as Sugar Ray says, when it’s really over – there is nothing left to hold onto. No chance of making up for the break up or going back to the starting line – when a relationship comes to a close, most of the time, and as it should be, there is no way to make a difference. It is what it is, and what it is is, is finished. So what’s a girl to do? I mean, if feelings linger or the rose-colored glasses fade into the harshness of black-and-white, where does all that good go? How do you let what was be what it was and still find the strength to find what the world could still hold for you?
How do you get over it?
I can’t say – I don’t really have an idea, to be frank. My prescription for mending a wounded pride or broken heart is not intelligent or strategic – it just involves an oversized bottle of wine, the company of friends who know how to bullshit and make you feel fabulous, and the remedy of attention from available (or unavailable) men who make you remember why you’re desirable. Given, this may not be healthy – but then again, I am writing a blog about overcoming a self-proscribed love addiction, so who am I to advise?
Regardless, one key of having successful relationships or releasing the pain of the past has nothing to do with getting over a man, but more about getting over yourself. Or over those unrealistic notions we’ve developed since we were children. Or maybe just those qualifications we started demanding once we discovered that some guys, or most guys, don’t measure up to what we want. Or what we think we need, anyways.
But if we think and if we reevaluate what it is that means the most, we find that what matters isn’t why a relationship didn’t work, how tall a guy is, how much money he makes, or what he does or doesn’t do in bed – but rather, the person he is. And to really see someone for who they are, flaws and immeasurable qualities and all, the first person to see clearly is ourselves. Even if the reflection we realize is ours is far from what we thought it was.
A rather new friend of mine, K, sheds an interesting insight on my perspective of dating. Not just in Manhattan, but in general. She is someone who has played the field as frequently and with as much fire as the game has been played on her. She’s loved and lost, found what she wanted and changed her mind countless times. Our conversations are deep as far as Gchat is concerned and usually, a blog or two comes out of the words she easily spews (as a writer like me, should I expect any less?). Unlike the majority of my friends, K is tall – towering at 5’10” ish, and though I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel, she accepts guys of all shapes and sizes, as they are, lower or higher than her measurements. My co-worker H, around the same stature, has the same liberties in the dating world.
Hearing this, I found myself flabbergasted. Here I am, made up of 5’4″ and 125 pounds, and I’ve never dated someone shorter than six feet. Maybe it isn’t something I would never settle for, but as far as height is concerned, I’ve always had a thing about the build of a man. I’m a fit girl who takes care of herself and therefore, should feel not only cozy in her own skin, but sexy and confident. And yet, because the first man I truly was intimate with, Mr. Curls, was rather skinny and scrawny, which made me feel larger than I was, I’ve found myself going for, chasing, and being attracted to guys who suffocate me. Not in the emotional way, but when we lay together, or walk side-by-side, I feel small and protected, petite, and feminine.
But do I need a man to make me feel that way? Or is that I need to get over my own insecurities to realize it isn’t a guy who can give me security, but it is myself? And that some of those hardened rules I’ve developed need to be softened to allow me the chance to see and to discover possibilities I’ve so frequently ruled out? As K gave as reasoning to why she doesn’t discriminate based on height, if a guy was to judge or reject her because she was taller than most women and that would make her feel inadequate, why would she turn around and do the same thing to a different man? Isn’t that a double standard?
If so, the question remains – how do you get over yourself? How do you allow yourself the freedom to be who you really are and indulge in those desires, those things you found inappropriate or unacceptable by the rules you’ve enforced on yourself? How do you say ‘yes’ instead of constantly engaging in the ‘no‘? How do you spread your spirit and your mind and if the wind blows in such a way, spread your legs to accept that you too, are a sexual creature, and maybe from time-to-time, casual sex is in your cards?
I haven’t gotten over myself – I haven’t come into my own, if you will. I haven’t fully embraced who I am and allowed myself to be vulnerable and liberated, completely open-minded to my own longings, and enchanted by the idea of the person I could be, instead of being stuck developing the person I am. But if I was a guessing person -which perhaps I am – the first step to getting over yourself, and thus getting over the world – is living.
Be thoughtful and careful, understanding of the consequences of your decisions, and the road you’re taking -but take it anyways. Know that choices you make may affect your future, but make them anyways. Realize that you may not always agree with what you’re doing or what you did or what you hope to do – but do it anyways. It may take months and years to let go of who you were in an effort to become who you want to be, but get over yourself anyways.
Because if you can’t get over yourself, you’ll never get over anyone. And if that’s the case – will you get yourself anywhere?