In the pursuit of love, we go in with eyes wide as saucers, barreling headlong into the heart of a relative stranger. We are hopeful about the future, and giddy at the mere thought of the individual to whom our affections belong. With the frenzied feelings, we lose a bit of rational thought and become blind to potential issues as they arise.
I like to think that, as we mature — on the whole — most adults are capable of pursuing love in a manner that is logical, rational, unhurried, and respectful of the other hearts involved. Sadly, I must report that my experience does little to reinforce this line of thinking. If we take a moment to stop and pay attention, the manipulation, feigned concern, and emotional barriers are clear to see. The energy put into the games, into “playing it cool”, into “not giving away too much too soon” is absurd.
Why do we do this? What is the point? Does it really save anyone from being hurt? No. But we continue doing it anyway, and the confusion that is caused by being, at best, less than truthful lessens our ability to really get to know the people we’re involved with. We do this cautious dance and, as a result, have caused hurt and have been hurt. So now we’re jaded and have increased our measures of self-preservation. When we meet that next somebody, we’re much less quick to open up. We stay guarded, we keep our thoughts and feelings close to the chest, inducing the wonderful feelings of doubt and insecurity in one another because they have absolutely no idea what’s going on or where we stand. Why do we keep doing this? Why can’t we be honest, open and willing to communicate? Put past aches and heartbreaks behind you and open up! Be willing to communicate honestly. Be willing to share what you’re thinking and feeling. Be open to developing feelings and be receptive to the feelings presented to you. The guarding of hearts is based on the hope for self preservation, which is not inherently bad. It’s the fear of inflicting pain and/or having it inflicted upon you that is where it all goes to hell. Pain is a side effect of feeling and attachment. If we want to invest in someone, it’s important to remember that there will be periods of pain.
I have hurt and have been hurt, but I want to change this process as it seems, to me, counterintuitive. Lets work on being open and honest, while still understanding that sometimes things don’t work out, and when we realize this, we need to have the guts to cut the cord. Don’t string someone along because you’re afraid of hurting them — it’s going to hurt regardless, and prolonging the end will likely make it worse. Don’t hold on to a sinking ship because it’s [mostly] comfortable or because it’s there. If you can’t think of a good enough reason to stay, that’s reason enough to go.
I’ve been on all sides of this. I’ve openly shared where and how I was with relationships and I’m also guilty of keeping things to myself when I should have been open. And I’ve been on the receiving end of both of these as well. It’s frustrating to “play the game”, frustrating to realize that you don’t know how the other person is handling everything.
I’ve decided that we need to change this. So I’ll go first.
I promise to be honest, if you ask a question, you’ll get an honest answer. I’ll be open, if you want to know something about me, I’ll tell you. I can only enforce these rules for myself, but I hope you’ll follow suit. If not, I may be in for a lovely bout of heart ache. But I’m a risk taker. I’m holding on to hope. I’m also a bit of a sap and a romantic.
Who’s with me?