Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Commitment Issues and the Year of Yes

One of my best girls and I were talking the other day about her long term relationship. After years of being together, she was a little sad that they were still not married. "You don't always want to dance, but you still want to be asked." she said. We discussed the possibilities, and me being me, went right for the heart. "Your youngest is the same age as mine. Do you really want to push this guy to ask you to marry him when in a couple of years you will be free to leave? Do you want to stay here? Is this REALLY the life you want or is it what you're supposed to want?" Sometimes you really just want to be asked to dance, even when you know the answer you will give will be, "No, but thank you for asking." It's complicated. 

The tables were turned when I came back to work on Monday. As I discussed my thoughts and feelings on relationships, this same friend said, "M and I were talking about you and I said, 'She's adorable. I can't believe someone hasn't scooped her up.' and M said, 'Yeah, she must be really picky.'

When I asked for clarification, she said, "Well picky was all we could come up with." 
Jesus wept, this is me. 

She and I know each other pretty well. We have very similar lives. I know she was being kind when she agreed on the term "picky". She and I both know it's called a "commitment issue". Still, it got under my skin enough to evaluate it and overcome it like a mother f... 

It all comes down to that first relationship. It's like a bad Savage Garden song. "Daddy never loved her much... that's why she shies away from human affection...  somewhere in a private place..." (Sorry... I knew that song always stuck with me for a reason)

In some damaged corner of my mind, I decided a long (12+ years ago) time ago that any man I chose would eventually leave. In order to prevent ever being hurt like that again I did two things.

1. I only chose men with a terrible relationship history of being leavers. Deep down I knew they always left, so I wouldn't commit to them even if they asked. (I still wanted to be asked to the dance, dammit)

2. If anyone got close enough to like me, I shut it down. There are a couple of schools of thought there. 
    a) I don't want to be part of any club that wants me as a member. Seriously, if I am your ideal you must have really low standards. Therefore you are NOT the man for me. The man for ME has really high standards. I only want people who don't want me first. 
    b) I really like you and I'd like to see where this will go, but you obviously won't love me once you really know me and then you'll leave. Therefore I cannot ever want you because you will leave. 

I'm not picky. It's not like I sit around saying, "Oh he's got blonde hair? Pass. He's a driver? Pass. He only makes ____ per year? Pass. Oh he's a Republican/Democrat? Pass." I have dated some incredible men. They were kind, courteous, generous, attractive, wealthy, both foreign and domestic, and all around impeccable specimens of the male species." I still pushed them out. Many times I made the decision for them. I faded away before they could. It's been very reminiscent of the days when I made fat jokes about myself before someone else could. 

My mom really drove it home tonight. "Keep analyzing it and I'm sure you'll figure it out." She sounded sincere, but I know my mom as well as I know myself. I've been studying that woman since birth. What it meant was, "Stop over-thinking it, Angie." She said it with heart... because she loves me. The right choice isn't always the logical one. Sometimes you can think yourself right into the wrong decision. Sometimes, as my friend Brett will tell you, it's about following your heart. It's about following your heart when your head tells you to be practical. 

So this is my year of, "Yes". I will spend the year (Nov 2012-Nov 2013), money permitting, saying "Yes", unless it is morally reprehensible. You know who you are. 

What are the things you wish you had said "Yes" to and backed down because it didn't seem logical? 

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