The Last Lesson From Your Lover

July 17, 2015

Write about us. Write about us. When the voices won't stop echoing through my head, I know it is time to do the only thing I know how to do to make them shut up: write. Write about us. 

This should probably be handwritten on paper, and not typed for the world to see on the internet. But paper is slow and typing is fast and you like this and I like pleasing you too much. So here we are.
The last lesson. A moratorium of sorts, and the only way I know how to "end things well" -- with words. I always did need to say a thing too many times in too many ways before finally getting to the end. Go Shakespeare on me, one last time.


Lesson One: Find a Cheerleader

Find a lover who is more vocally proud (publicly, privately, whatever floats your boat) of your greatest achievement than even you are. Find a champion, not a savior -- this, this is the thing. Someone who will never let you forget how far you came -- because you worked really hard. They want to celebrate what you accomplished -- and there is such beauty in that celebration of the individual spirit, that combined makes a stronger whole. So pick a cheerleader. Not a doting fool, not a self-centered, faux-selfless savior. 
Find someone who is so proud of what you did, and who will remind you when you forget or are down or discouraged (or feeling too proud) so that you are always ready to take that next step for yourself.

Lesson Two: The Beauty's in the Want

When I first met you, I think it's safe to say I was obsessed with marriage. Several friends and family members could testify to my willingness to give up several limbs in any combination if only I could be married. Oh the hours I wasted in anxious worry and self-induced guilt. And then I met you. And I fell. And you were always so damn busy*. 

You asked me once to write about (God I'll miss that) how it was to date someone who was always busy**. And I said I couldn't, because I didn't know how yet. But somewhere along the way, while not necessarily figuring out "how," I think I figured out at least why.

Dating someone who was constantly busy*** reaffirmed my own independent strength in a way relationships never had before.

I have always been a strong individual. This is not something I question. And yet, whenever I entered relationships all the strength I carried in my other interactions just melted out the door.

I'm pretty used to getting my way in relationships and having someone who dotes on my every move and is constantly available to me. And the thing about dating someone who is busy****/unavailable, isn't that they don't care any less than someone who isn't as busy/unavailable, they're just busy. And after a while, I started to filter things through the mindset of 'given that I know they only have limited X amount of time to text/call/speak through the day, what is actually the most important thing I want to get across in that limited time?'

Let's give an example.

When I start dating someone, I am the type of person who tells them everything. Car made a weird noise? Tell them. Coffee was cold? Tell them. Weird student loan bill? Tell them. Spent hours walking through a graveyard? Tell them. That was always my instinct -- tell them, tell them, tell them. And then I would get reaffirmed when they texted back.

Here's the thing. Dating a busy person forced me to get better at identifying what I really needed at that moment. Car made a weird noise? Call a mechanic. Unexplainable jump in student loan bill? WTF. He didn't even have student loans, call your loan officer. I slowly got better at thinking what do I really need at this moment? Sometimes I needed a mechanic, sometimes I needed a loan officer... a best friend to talk things through or a niece to make me laugh. Now I'm not saying your partner shouldn't listen, comfort, console, make you laugh, talk, etc. But, that's a lot of expectations to put on one person. And, I am perfectly capable of calling a mechanic. And, just because I am not sharing the experience (by talking about it, doing it, blah blah) with the Man Friend does not negate the goodness/badness/validity of the experience. I think that was what was most key for me to learn. I used to think, everything will be better when I have a husband. Bad days will be better and grocery shopping will be better and laughing will be louder and blah blah blah. 

But that's not true. I still had a good time -- or a bad time -- whether I texted him 24/7 or saw him 24/7 either way. The experience was still the experience because it was mine. And somewhere in there I realized... the beauty's in the want. In the wanting to share that.

(THIS IS WHERE I GET TO THE POINT) === Essentially, what I'm saying is this. Person A texts you and asks you what you had for lunch. You answer. Person B texts you and asks you what you had for lunch. You scream, throw the phone into the passenger seat, and wonder 1) Who the fuck cares what you ate? and 2) Why does it matter.

The difference is in the want. 

And there is beauty in the want. And there is contentment in waiting for the right person who you want to share things with. Lunch was fine, with or without Person A or B. Lunch was mine. Lunch will happen either way. And one day, you'll find someone who doesn't make you scream when they ask you what's for lunch.

Does anybody get what I'm saying? That was a long ass paragraph. The point is... dating someone who was busy***** made me get better at maintaining my own independence while looking forward to sharing the little things.
And for now that's all I'm saying. 
For now.

post signature 
*Busy: Not to be confused with married. 
**Busy: Not to be confused with married.  
***Busy: Not to be confused with married.   
****Busy: Not to be confused with married.  
*****Busy: Not to be confused with married.  

1 comment:

  1. I kid you not when I say that I had the same conversation regarding texting about lunch. I was talking to a friend and telling her that I literally hated being texted asking what I had for lunch by the guy I was talking to at the time. She looked at me, said I'm going to be honest and preceded to say "stop talking to him, get out of that relationship. You don't want it enough". Gosh sometimes it takes hearing it over and over again to really have it sink in. I love your tips and can't wait to see if you post more about this "busy" person in your life :)


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