You know, I’m beginning to think I may have been a little hard on myself.
When it was initially pointed out to me that I have a habit of following a pattern in my relationships, I didn’t think to question the idea that any pattern must be unhealthy. I also ended up categorising this “problem” as a male-only issue of mine, when in reality that’s not an entirely fair assumption to make – based on the fact that, in my whole life, I have only had two relationships with women that have lasted more than a week. Although, you may understand why I made that connection when I tell you that those two relationships were/are far far more comfortable than any relationship I’ve ever had with a man. And perhaps that’s a coincidence (I do feel blessed with the relationship with my wife), though it’s also possible that there just aren’t that many males out there who can really fulfil what I need in a relationship.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what I need in my relationships, and perhaps more relevantly – what I’ve not been getting from the ones that haven’t worked out. I think I must have made the assumption that all of these failed relationships were down to me freaking out and running away from my problems. And after a little observation I realised that it was much more that I wasn’t getting what I needed and didn’t feel like I could be myself around them anymore. And this has happened time and again, and all (I believe) because I just wasn’t getting the right amount or quality of communication that I need for my relationships to flourish.
I came to this conclusion because of the fact that Night admitted to not really needing that much communication in her relationships to feel quite happy. Until recently I thought this was an absurd notion, and she must be in denial about something… I still wonder, but the fact of the matter is – we’re all different, and who am I to judge what other people need. This brought me around to the idea that maybe it’s me that’s different in this area, and that maybe I just need more communication than most people tend to need in relationships. And I don’t see anything wrong with that, in fact it makes a lot of sense. As soon as I started to think about this it was fairly clear that I leap out of relationships as soon as I can see that communication is not good enough. Sometimes it’s because they refuse to talk about certain things, or sometimes they’re just not capable of the level of openness I need because they just don’t understand themselves well enough to really discuss and analyse the things I need to.
Recently, I was asked if I had any ‘dealbreakers’. A few months ago I may not have known quite what to say to this, but it seemed fairly relevant to all my recent musings. So I compiled the following list of dealbreakers based on my experience with initial chemistry and then what I need for a functional relationship (and naturally what problems I have encountered in recent relationships):
- no sex appeal,
- too insecure,
- too assertive or stubborn,
- has pride issues
- not willing to communicate,
- not able to communicate due to lack of self-awareness,
This also brings me to my last topic, which is my ‘user manual’. I don’t know how many of you know about cunningminx’s idea to write your own user manual (I’m pretty sure it’s her idea, i’ve not managed to find it anywhere else)… but the general idea is to write a basic guide about ‘how to date me’. I’m tempted to put mine online like minx did, but I think if I do decide to do that I would leave out all the sexual stuff. I prefer to have one-on-one conversations about these things, it can be a very sensitive issue for me (more so than most I think). But the main section that has been gaining additions over the last few months is “How I work emotionally”. I think this is fascinating, because it puts into simple terms the things I think about a lot in so much detail.
- Respected and appreciated (not for my actions, but for my identity)
- Not excluded – I need to feel invited, but not necessarily included
- Like I have space, time, and am not being pressured. I function happily only in a relaxed environment
- Free to speak my mind and like people are interested in what I have to say
- Able to express my opinion without provoking a strong reaction.
- Opened up to and trusted
- Able to bond through a mutual sharing of thoughts/feelings/problems “