7.07.2008

a curiosity for curiosity's sake

y'know, i've mentioned that i've done a lot of reading about men, women, and relationships. what makes a good relationship between two people? what creates strife? what tendencies are women guilty of that create drama in an otherwise good relationship? what habits do men have that kick-start those drama-creating insecurities in susceptible women? what can be done to avoid them? what is "emotional maturity?" how does one foster "objective observation?" and which situations is "do nothing" the best answer, and why?

and so on.

i was on to something when i mentioned my own unknowing conditioning of the men i was with, back in early february, and i said that it was my fault they treated me well in the beginning and like garbage at the end. i'd conditioned them to it with my insecure behavior, drama queen mentality, and stereotypical female tendencies that chase men away and cause the insecure and immature ones to act like jerks.

one of the biggest pieces of advice in all those books i read was to detach yourself from the emotional investment of the outcome. basically, what happens is going to happen. but you can't control the outcome; you can only control your own behavior and reactions. so go out and live your life, enjoy the relationship but don't try to influence where it goes. just sit back, watch, and have fun.

so i've been doing just that. and i've been having a blast with it, too. for a while i was taking other advice, too, which was to date a variety of people, and to date often. and i was. my friends were calling my dates "contestants 1, 2, 3..." and so forth. and i was having fun, feeling pretty, feeling desirable, and some of my best traits were starting to emerge again. but i kept it low-key and detached myself from any emotional investment of the outcome. if a relationship budded, then great! and if it fizzled, then great! i had fun, spent time with an interesting person for a night, and my faith in good men was affirmed by the way they treated me. because good men really are out there. i've met quite a few of them in the last few months.

i just had to make sure i was putting myself out there as an emotionally secure and mature woman who expected to be treated a certain way. and they rose to meet my expectations. those that didn't realized they couldn't, and gracefully bowed out. or not so gracefully (e.g. the international secret agent) but then, who wants to be with a jerk who doesn't even have the decency to say, "y'know, dinner was great and our conversations are fun, but there's this special girl and i wanna explore where that goes." i'd have been like, "dude, more power to you!"

why?

because i was detached from any investment in the outcome. i'm a big girl, and i can find my own love somewhere else.

but the whole point of this entry was because i've been seeing someone quite regularly. at first he was too softspoken for my taste, but we had so much in common i was willing to see where it might go. that was another piece of advice: explore a second date even when they might not be quite your taste. how do you know "your type" isn't just a way to protect yourself from real intimacy, holding people up to standards they can't meet? so i did. and as i get to know him better, he's really not all that softspoken...

and i'm glad i did! but, in keeping with the "no expectations" thing, i haven't wanted to post anything about it because i'm not assuming anything at this point. it's going very well, and he's taking things nice and comfortably slow. whenever things "step up," it's always a small, gradual step that feels quite natural and i'm therefore completely comfortable with things. he's respectful of the boundaries i've learned to maintain, and he really invites me to come out of my shell in a lot of different ways.

but i won't assume anything. we haven't had "the talk," and anyway, it's too soon. i won't call him anything until he calls himself something. but i also haven't wanted to put anything up here about it because of that tendency to want to assume, y'know? he's someone i'm seeing, nothing more or less. but i don't want to be so casual and non-invested either, if that makes sense. i've been the objective observer, watching as things happen and watching my emotional reactions with curiosity and acceptance. and i like where this is going. i'm going to continue to sit back and observe.

but if it seems i've been leaving all of you, beauty and truth fans, out of the loop, it's really not like that. there's just a lot right now that's kind of like 2nd gear in a car. it's the small stopgap between getting the car started, and really getting momentum. it's the breath between notes for a great vocalist. it's the nothing that happens while the dough is rising. the silence while the jukebox shuffles through the vinyls.

y'know?

1 comment:

Bohemian Single Mom said...

("detached from any investment in the outcome")
Wow...never thought of it that way.
Makes all the difference in how we behave with men, doesn't it.
This is such an awesome post.
I may give this new found epiphany of yours a try.
It makes so much sense to me!
xo