Making The Effort

When Night starts having problems it’s my duty to help her sus them out (which I actually quite like to do, believe it or not), and recently she’s been going through some new relationship issues. In the past her boy troubles have been on issues I’ve not been able to relate to (sub blues, uncommunicative closed shut men, etc)… but this time it’s been helping me see how I’ve acted and felt in the past in my relationships. And it’s been revealing to see that I’m not the only one who does these things.

I was going to go on a rant about how society tells us not to be “needy” and so on, but I realised that there’s already a blog about that. And she put it much better than I ever could. So instead I’m going to talk about how that has affected me, and my psyche.

Effort is a big make-or-break factor for me. I’m quite quick to get out of relationships where I don’t feel like I’m being myself (or more relevantly, I don’t feel like the other person wants me to) and since making an effort to communicate properly is a big part of my identity, I find it has been the main reason for break-ups in the past.

This becomes obvious when I compare my recent big break up to my latest new relationships.

I was crazy about L, and she about me… but when I went off on my discussions of self-descovery (as I often do), she didn’t have space for it. The more this happened and I felt rejected the more little mindsets I formed to try and save this relationship that was doomed to end. One of which was trying to convince myself that everything was down to me (which was actually an attitude she sort of implied as well) – the reason I wanted to believe this was not that I’m insecure and self-loathing… more that if it was all a problem with me, then I can fix this on my own. I suppose, in a way I *could* have changed to suit her way of working, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that’s not a long-term or healthy solution.

The reason, I realised, that I wanted to justify fixing things on my own was that she didn’t have the energy for me. She wasn’t motivated to put in the effort that our relationship deserved. So when we realised this we tragically decided to go our separate ways (though it took a bit of fumbling for us both to really let go. More on that some other time perhaps).

Since the big split with L, I got into two new relationships: C, and much more recently – G. And one major difference seems to be our attitude towards problem solving. I’ve had a fairly good dose of mess to work through with both of them, but; We all make the effort to get a problem solved and to be really honest about how we are feeling. And most of all, and I feel this is essential, we all make the commitment to grow. And ultimately, that’s what I aim for in my relationships. A mutual commitment to growth, and potentially helping each other achieve that.

But the big problem there is effort. That shit takes serious effort. It sort of seems like there are two ways relationships can work: You can either agree to ignore all that stuff, or “deal with it alone” – Or you can agree to always address it. And if you’re not agreed on which method you’ll take, there will likely be some issues with power and balance. I dunno, do you think I’m making too much of a dichotomy of this?

If I can make some kind of conclusion out of this it’s that, at least – for me; relationships always need to have a mutual agreement to Make The Effort™. In future, I hope to spot those who won’t do that with me, so I can get out while I still can.

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