The day before my college graduation, standing in streets covered with a slippery thin sheet of ice, Mr. Idea and I screamed at each other hunched under an awning a block from my apartment.
It wasn’t either of our finest moments.
It ultimately led to me throwing a high-heeled shoe in his general direction out of frustration, unchartered emotion and a little bit of booze. It didn’t hit him but he was astonished at my actions so much that he screamed (much to the dismay of my roommate): “You threw a shoe at my face! Lindsay! What’s wrong with you?” Equally as loud but through a thick stream of tears and unflattering nose-runnage, I replied: “I just want you to make me feel like you care and you don’t!!! Why can’t you just make me feel better?”
I’d like to say I’ve grown out of that immature statement but the truth is, I’m not sure we ever do. Maybe those totally-Zen, consistently healthy and one-with-the-world people are clear and peaceful in their relationships, but I don’t happen to be part of that demographic.
I’m emotional. I’m impatient. I can overreact. I have a tendency to overanalyze. I think people should give me just as much as I give them, though I don’t take all that much. When I’m mad, I cry. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m furious, I need to take a walk (and apparently throw things). And when I’m upset in a relationship, as I was with Mr. Idea and probably as I’ll be with any man I date, I tend to think they should make me feel a certain way.
They should be understanding and kind. They should sometimes prioritize me above other things. They should have my best interest at heart and work hard at bettering my life, just as I hope to make their day-to-day brighter. Promises should be made and kept, not haphazardly planned and forgotten. I consider myself a great catch and you, whoever it is that I’m dating, should treat me as such. You should know what you have when you have me, and gosh-darnit – you should make me feel like the most amazing creature on Earth.
Well, maybe that worked once upon a time in never-never land, but in real life, in real relationship that are messy, complicated and flat-out irritating at times – things aren’t so cut and dry. While your partner should make you happy and positively affect your existence, they are not and should not be responsible for making you feel any way. And if you find yourself yelling at the top of your lungs, Jimmy in hand, begging them to make you feel differently – maybe you should check yourself. Check your emotions. And above all – check on the relationship.
There will be ups and downs and there will be fights. Hell, arguing can even be healthy occasionally and shows you how someone handles themselves in the heat of the moment or when tensions brew. But if there are more bad times than good, if you’re not getting what you want, if you’re not feeling what you want to feel, if you’re not finding that loving feeling as often as you’re battling the urge to run away – then what are you doing?
You’re waiting for someone to make you feel a way you can’t with them and maybe asking them to feel something they don’t. And if you can’t and they don’t, then the answer to your questionable exit strategy is…go. Breathe. Revel in yourself and in the possibility to meet someone who doesn’t frustrate you. Who doesn’t stand outside in the cold threatening to break up with you on the eve of your college graduation.
Because really, the only person who can make you feel the way you want to feel is you. The you who one day finds a love that doesn’t make you doubt or wonder constantly. And if you’re with the wrong one, you can never meet the right one. If you’re too busy fighting, you don’t have any energy to love. And if there is no love left, then girl, go out and find it.
And before you find it, find yourself. Decide your give-a-damn is broken and make yourself feel so in love with you that nothing else can compare.
Great post. I’m pretty crazy when I get in a relationship. But I’m working on it very much. I’m learning to make myself happy and not rely on a guy. I’m learning not to rush and enjoy taking my time to learn about him.
Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone!
Thank you Lindsay! Today’s posting could not have come at a better time in my life. :)
I admit i still haven’t outgrown the neurotic girl in a relationship phase, which might be why my relationships don’t last..
From a nice guy’s perspective, if you girls had better sense, you’d notice or chat occasionally with quiet guys, and might discover some of us are just quiet and respectful, but loads of fun if a girl likes us. No girl ever threw a shoe at me. Or beg for me to be whatever is that you wrote about. What she needed, she had.
A lot fewer guys would be jerks, since they would be the ones never getting dates. But you girls think getting your heart broken is worth the experience over and over. Up your “count”. Take away my three relationships, my count is an abysmal 1. But for 34 years of three long relationships, there was a whole lot of great sex, and not one shoe thrown.
You should never need to stay and wonder if the guy will change for you. Most guys like the way they are. Let evolution take jerks out of the dating pool.
A 3 or 4 month relationship ? Never heard of it. Once a fun girl gets into me, they keep me. Nice guy, finish last ? Total number of partners, yes. Time together with a woman ? I suspect I am a big winner there.
Yep, chasing the feeling doesn’t work. Step away and see if this is really what you want.
You are right Lindsay that’s true the only one responsible for your happiness is yourself actually. No one else really is especially when it comes to your adult life. At the end of the day it balls down to how you feel though. If you’re in a relationship with a person and they consistently aren’t making you feel good about yourself or if they are and you notice it. If they aren’t looking out for your joy and happiness that is a bit of a wake up call. If happens too often there is a chance you may need a change of scenery from that person too.
Oh how I remember that night so clearly!
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