Monday, July 30, 2012

Would you take him back?

It’s been a few months since the end of my relationship. A mysterious package in the mail (that turned out to be from my LS), had today’s topic be what would I do if my ex showed up and wanted to get back with me.  To the extent of “the professor” giving a very in-depth scenario of what he would do to make me feel special if he was my ex and was trying to win me back.  Honestly the things “the professor” said he would do brought tears to my eyes. This stuff were the things women dream of. Just the ticket and if my ex had done these things for me, it would have taken me a LOT longer before realizing he didn’t love me. “The professor” was of the opinion, that I would cave in only a few days.  I, of course, was of the opposite opinion.

Most men would say I am either being stubborn, playing hard to get, or trying to make him suffer. If I was still in the healing phase, one of those answers would be true. I will be honest that one of those answers would have been true all the way up to last week. Right up until I wrote my last blog. The difference between now and last week is one simple epiphany.  The epiphany was that he DID CARE for me.  It’s confusing I know.  During the last 6 months of our relationship, I had started to convince myself that he just didn’t care about me. That I was just a time filler. When the things came out as they did, I didn’t need to convince myself. I knew it. So if he did show up and started to show me he cared, I would have been skeptical, stubborn, but moved.  I would have eventually went back to him, just for the cycle to continue. So what event caused this realization?

I was at the book store last Monday with my best friend.  He has been reading Steve Harvey’s "Think Like a Man, Act like a Lady” at the book store rather than buying it himself. He was telling me that majority of the stuff in the book was real. Not all of it, but at least 90%. This may be a shocker. But, I had never read this book. Honestly I have never even had the desire to read it. But when my friend got a phone call and set it down, I picked it up out of curiosity and boredom.  I didn’t read it all. Just skimmed through. I read one section about the signs of how a man shows he cares.  Reading it, I grudgingly accepted that my ex did care for me.  I didn’t want to because that made me feel worse.  He cared, but we still didn’t work out.  I still was unsatisfied in our relationship.

So why does knowing he cared changes my reaction to him showing up and showing he cares?  Because I have no doubt that he cared for me, it’s simply not enough. It’s not what I want. I want someone who LOVES me. Not someone who CARES. Even if one day he wakes up to the knowledge that he lost something great, the only thing he can do is look for someone greater than me and do things right with her.  Sorry people but the harsh reality is this, some things are irreparable. So with that in mind, I hope everyone starts living life like there IS a tomorrow and one that you want to ENJOY.

If you are in a relationship that is unfulfilled, what are the reasons that would cause you to leave and not look back?  Take away all thoughts of love that you have for that person, your feelings are obviously what keeps you there. What are they doing to keep you or make you want to leave? What circumstances would make you take someone back after you have broken up? Is there something he/she could do to give them another chance?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Caring is not Love

I am out of my first serious relationship. My best Friend is always good to tell me, no matter how much it frustrates me, that no one ends up with their first love. He truly believes that first loves are a learning experience that teaches you what you can and can't live with. Although I do agree that dating does teach people what they won't accept in a mate, I am totally against the idea that no one ends up with their first love. I don't like this for a reason to why things don't work out. I would rather hear "It wasn't in God's will,"  before "First loves never work out." Too many place too many hopes on their first love if it is to be debased into something insignificant to get out of the way so you can get to better experiences in love and finally happy ever after. But this is where I get to the crux of my problem.

Before first love, "happy ever after" seems possible. After first love, "happy enough" is what we hope for. Call me a pessimist if necessary, but I can't seem to reconcile the idea of people in general with even the idea of being happy enough. This ties into one of my earlier blogs about when love may not be enough.  I watch people. I observed the lengths that people will go to justify their selfishness. I have seen people who call themselves christians, and profess so proudly that they love the lord, give all types of excuses as to why they can't do the things that are pleasing to God. I have been guilty of this myself. I didn't even see the selfishness of my ways until God revealed it to me. Although my relationship with my ex was not ideal and didn't have the ideal end, I am eternally grateful to the experience because I have a clearer understanding of the differences between Love and caring.  We can all attest to what love isn't. We know it when we see it. We know how love shouldn't look. But how many people can tell you the signs of love? Not the fake sense of caring, but LOVE. I prayed a very simple prayer and the wisdom and knowledge gained from it is immeasurable. I prayed for God to show me what love is, and He did.

I seemed to never get my ex to understand during the course of our relationship, that doing the things he was willing to do already, were not enough for me.  Through this constant struggle with him to do the things that were pleasing to me, made me understand that Love is selfless. It's not about what we want to give to the other, but about about what that person wants to be given. We understand that we are two different people with two different sets of wants and desires.  Even when I would tell him verbally, that its nice to feel the caring from the things he was willing to do, I would only feel the love when he started to do the things that I had said I wanted.  That doesn't mean that caring is not important, but it should be a precursor to the things done in love.

If I were to write down what I needed from a man to know I am loved, it would be a lot simple things that are simple to do. But people's unwillingness make it hard. And that's the biggest reason, why I can't even seem to hope for love with a man on this earth. I know plenty of people who can't even seem to commit themselves to loving God, their own creator, provider, and protector. So how can I begin to expect them to be able to love me? I know I am not greater than God, and I know my imperfect self will struggle to be able to love in the way God loves, but at least I am willing. But there are many that will give excuses to cover up their unwillingness. When I had a conversation with my ex about why he was unable to fulfill my needs, I asked profound questions that all people who say they love God but are not doing the things that are pleasing to Him should ask. I asked when does his reasons turn into excuses? When does it stop being unable and start being unwilling?

God revealed the simple, hard truth. It was always an excuse. He was always unwilling. The only thing that is a reason for a person not doing what they need to is ignorance. The simple, "I didn't know," is a frustrating but valid excuse in the beginning. But even that becomes an excuse after a certain point. There were things that he didn't know at the beginning of our relationship, but once made aware he did them. There were no excuses, he just did them. But when I begin to notice the other things I needed for progress went unaddressed, I would get excuses. Of course at the time these sound like valid reasons, but as time went by and no improvement, discontent settles in. I am not saying that a person will do things perfectly as soon as they are made aware, but you will see the attempts.  If no attempts, even clumsy ones, are made then you should know right then to run not walk. And even if a a clumsy one is not corrected, you should run. No one that loves you will give you crap and think that's enough. They will find a way to make it better.  "At least I tried," does not count as love. It just says, I cared enough to try, but not enough to do it right.

Look at the disaster of a love confession I received from my ex. I will say now, yes, he tried to please me. He made an awful first attempt and I told him as much. Maybe, I was too blunt or maybe he thought it was unnecessary for me to say that his love confession was unacceptable. But I told him that so he can learn and try again.  If I never spoke up, I would have been stuck with the crappy love confession after I had nagged him about making it verbal. I told him, needing and fully expecting that he would try again. He never did, he just kept throwing those empty, "I love you's" at me, to the point that I got sick from hearing them come out his mouth. I even stopped saying "I love you" to him, just so I wouldn't hear him say it in return. Did I stop loving him? No, my feelings were not dependent on how he felt for me. This event just caused me to put our relationship under the magnifying glass.  It caused me to see other things without the rose colored glasses.  This was definitely the beginning of my heartbreak, even though we didn't break up until almost a year later.

It took a while for me to accept that although my ex "cared" for me, he didn't "love" me. I did accept it, but even after accepting it, it still took a while before I ended it.  The end happened when I knew my love was wasted on him. It didn't stop me from loving. It just stopped me from showing. Ever heard "Don't cast pearls before Swine"? It is the best adage for relationships. Never give something valuable to someone who won't treasure it. And although Care is a good place to start, it will never be enough. And so I look at the caring people around me. I know they care, and that their caring is sincere. But it's not love. I want love.  I am a loving person. I will only be satisfied with another loving person. Unfortunately, there are not enough loving people in the world.