I hated you when I loved you

I hated you when I loved you. I hated you because all of a sudden I wasn’t enough. My beautiful life, that I had carefully crafted over so many moments, that I had broken tiny pieces of my heart to build – it suddenly wasn’t enough. The value of my life was now in the corners of your smile, in the light in your eyes when they first opened into mine.

When you left, I was shattered. I keened inwardly, for the sense of loss was so much that I couldn’t even bear to exchange my pain for breath. I picked up the threads of my time, and weeping hot tears of shame, began to repair who I am. The threads were softer now, their strength no longer immutable. Instead of a barrier, they made a blanket and brought me the comfort that I had looked for in you. 

I want to tell you that it’s not your fault that you broke my guard. I was not living: in your own way you saved me. I do not blame you for not loving the rubbles and I thank you for turning them into something I could build hope with. 

What do I want? To be awesome of course.

I’ve spent this weekend reading the brilliant work of Hadley Freeman, in her book ‘Be Awesome.’ I actually lifted it from my friend, because I am the sort of person that will come over for a cup of tea, spend all my time making eye contact with your pets and raid your bookshelf like a story-starved locust.

Hadley makes many brilliant points, one of which being that marriage is not the only happy ending available for women. This reminder is particularly timely for me; I am currently single, in the sense that I have myriad minor attractions with different people, with no real commitment or sense of purpose. Moment to moment, this is not an issue, and is liberating. Taking a longer term view however, I struggle with the ‘lack of purpose’. This conflict usually leads to the pattern of behaviour of starting something casual, and then trying to find deeper meaning where there isn’t any – leading to both parties feeling frustrated, as our narrative becomes more and more prone to mis-communication until we are paralysed by the awkwardness. It’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time, leading in part to my friends’ belief that I have  excellent ideas ‘let’s seize the day! Dream big!’ but make epic bad decisions ‘let’s cripple ourselves with overanalysis!’.

So this has led me to ponder ‘what do I want?’, which is another point that Hadley emphatically makes. In fact she has a brilliant version of the Bechdel test, which she concisely calls the Hadley test. It’s for regaining clarity in relationships, and is easy to apply

  1. Do you actually like this guy as a person or just as the concept of a generic boyfriend?
  2. Does he make you fell happy in yourself or are you slightly hysterical with insecurity? (and if it’s the latter, do you know that is a bad thing and life does not have to be this way?)
  3. Do you like him so much that it doesn’t matter that you need your friends to translate his messages for you?
  4. When you are asked ‘what do you want?’, is your first instinct to think ‘what does he want?
  5. No. What do YOU want?

Retrospectively applying this to my last few liaisons, I can see that 2,3,4, are all big fat warning lights. Oops.

It’s pretty weird how uncomfortable I feel thinking about whether I want a person or not; shows the strength of social conditioning that my knee jerk reaction is to just be overwhelmed with gratefulness that someone likes me. The good news is that remembering to frame any relationships in life against what I want has led to some pretty entertaining nope! moments as the penny has dropped earlier that maybe this person isn’t what I want.

Exhibit A:

What I want: someone who shows respect when talking about my career and ambition

What he said: Oh, you’re applying for a doctorate? Dr sounds pretty sexy 😉

Exhibit B:

What I want: someone who is kind

What he said: check out this video! it made me LOL! If you like it, just search for ‘fat kids tripping’ on Youtube, there’s loads.

Exhibit C:

What I want: an emotional connection

What he said: I really like your mind and your body, but I think we should just spend time and sleep together without any emotions being involved.

Previously, I would have thought A was laughably cheeky, B had an on-the-wire sense of humour, and C just desperately wanted to be loved, but was scared of being hurt. All of that may still be true, or it may not have been. The point is I am not sticking around to invest my time trying to solve their riddle. If they want to portray themselves as something that I don’t want, then that is their choice. We’re all adults and it’s about time we stopped playing games with each other.

 

 

 

Why I’m Not “Good People”

Jenny's Library

I’m not a nice person.

I’m not a good person.

I’m not a kind person.

This isn’t to say that I don’t ever try to be any of these three things.  I do, especially the last two.

It’s more to say that, for me, surviving in this cissexist, racist, ableist, heteronormative, classist, often fucked up world of ours has involved rejecting the idea that “good” and “bad” are static states of being.  I will never be a “good person” because, to me, “good” is not something that you achieve.  It’s an ongoing process that never ends.

It is, in fact, almost impossible not to be doing bad things as well as good when you are human and therefore flawed.  Especially when you are part of a messed up system, as we all are.

This, to me, is why it’s important to call out bad behavior, or hurtful language, or even…

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4 little known facts about online dating 

So I have recently decided to venture back into the dating world – and have started to mine some wisdom that I thought I’d share! Feel free to leave a comment and add, I need all the help I can get….

Sunday night stats are phenomenal. Hands down, if you ever feel like you want to set aside some time for online man hunting AND maximize your efficiency (cos, y’know, you’re a busy gal with other shit to do) I cannot stress how weird and wonderful Sunday nights are on a dating site. Something about the dawn of another week seems to focus everyone’s attention and they start to play their A game. Reflective desperation, the most potent aphrodisiac known to man. Whoda thunk it, right? 

  

You will be speaking to so many people that you need to reread your conversation history to figure out which one this is. This does not make you a ho. 
  

At some point, you will be simultaneously overwhelmed by how many different people out there are looking for love; and underwhelmed by how uninterested you are in any of them. This will make you think you are some sort of sociopath and that you will die alone. As I am currently in this stage, I have no words of encouragement….this is awkward. Look, a distraction!

  

The dude who seems really cool in his profile and emails will be a knob. The guy who you responded to out of a meh moment will probably be your soulmate. It’s just the way it goes. Seriously, i did a quick poll of my long term relationship friends about how they met their other halves….and the one thing all stories had in common was that they felt sorry for him and did not think they would see him again. Heartwarming stuff, huh?

Kinda like this owl. 

 

Communication, Chasms and all the LOLs

I was talking with my best friend the other day, and because we’re massive people creepers in general, we were talking about communication and swapping anecdotes about epic communication fails we’ve had the pleasure of taking part in. One of my all time favourites happened in a corporate presentation, when the speaker was pitching about extra funding an outreach program had secured. How she actually phrased it was ‘with this money, we will be able to touch lots of girls in lots of different places.’ I promptly burst my spleen from the internal pressure of not dying of laughter. In fact, I think the air pressure of the room actually plummeted from the amount of inhaled, held breath. The co-speaker smoothly stepped forward and clarified for ‘those people who might not know’ that ‘touch’ was company jargon for introducing people to the company brand….and the world moved on. 

My best friend has held that position for many, many years and as such she has the ability to hold onto memories that I blissfully blocked out. During this conversation she reminded me of a personal beaut….it made me laugh, so I thought I would share.

It was a few summers ago, and I was working crazy hours with a full time job, studying for a degree and managing a startup…so of course I thought it would be a good idea to start a relationship as well. Because why not? 

Luckily, he was a sweetheart, full of good intentions, if slightly inexperienced in the relationship arena. This was amazingly illustrated one Saturday morning

Me: ‘y’know, I think Saturday mornings are my favourite time of the week. It’s the only time I’m not rushing to get things done, and can just spend time with you’

Him: ‘I think I might get behavioural therapy for the cat’

Me: ‘yeah, that would be good – she’s nuts. What is your favourite time of the week? I love this snuggling in with you’

Him: ‘I think her behaviours getting worse’

Me: ‘are you even listening to me?’

Him: ‘did I tell you she bit me the other day?’

Me: ‘are you freaking kidding me?!’

Him: *pained sigh* ‘babe…..do I have to acknowledge everything you say?’

Suffice to say, he was then suitably educated on why it might be important to respond to your loved one….

We’re no longer together, for completely unrelated reasons, but I just want to take the opportunity to say to his future girlfriends: ‘you’re welcome!’

Someone much, much wiser then me once said that communication is hard, and we’re all just screaming at each other across a chasm. Personally, I find this to be completely accurate…the trick is to find someone who harmonises your echoes.