Booooo, it’s Monday. But hey, I’ve got a lil treat for you—a post from Matthew over at Inside the Nice Guy. After a breakup, Matthew is putting himself back out there, and what better person to discuss it but him (since there is clearly no chance of me ever getting a date). So, enjoy!
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You don’t need me to tell you relationships are hard.
You first have to meet someone who finds you interesting enough that they want to get to know better. Then once they actually get to know the you-behind-the-person-you-show-them-those-first-few-times-together you have to hope they stick around. From there you subject yourself to large amounts of vulnerability and likely new experiences. At times you may put your feelings on the line by saying things you didn’t think you’d say or doing things you didn’t think you’d do. The more you say, the more you do, the deeper those feelings get. Before you know it you haven’t just offered those emotions up for sacrifice but your heart is on the line too.
Wondering, waiting, questions, and doubt all come next. Where is this going? Can you trust how you’re feeling? Do you know how they feel? Do they feel the same way you do? Do they really feel the same way you do? How much can do you divulge without scaring them off? How much longer will they find your little “quirks” cute?
The relationship prospers and you become an exclusive couple. Happy times and puppy dogs ensue.
In time the next stage is reached, L.O.V.E. How do you know it’s love? Do they love you back? When do you tell them? How do you tell them?
You climb up another rung in the relationship. Life continues on for [x] months.
Then suddenly, or not so suddenly, it’s all over. Whether things changed with you, with them, or if it was mutual, the how doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are no longer moving forward with this person. You’re back where we began a few paragraphs ago.
This article isn’t about the particulars of a relationship, the stages you encounter during one, or even how to maintain one. No, this is about one of the possible (many) ways to move on. More specifically it is about continuing the quest for what you’ve always believed is out there, love.
This is about the search for someone you have an unprecedented chemistry with; both romantic and platonic. Someone who makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you care. A person who invades your mind and heart. A person who can drive you completely crazy, but the moment you think of their face/eyes/smile/etc., all you can do is smile and think of how grateful you are that they’re in your life.
Honestly put, this is not going to be advice for the hurt, the bruised, or the cynical. I’m offering personal advise for those who don’t want to be hurt, don’t want to be bruised, don’t want to be cynical. This is for those who don’t want to give up. If you need to know anything about me you should know that regardless of any other options presented, I will always choose to believe in love.
Earlier this summer I re-entered the world of ‘Single Life’ and discovered a few things. After the end of any relationship you take time to reflect and/or heal any “wounds”. Family, friends, and co-workers may offer (un)solicited advise on how long you should take before jumping into the dating pool. One common coin-of-phrase is, “You should take half of the amount of time you were in the relationship before getting involved again.” How do I recommend you respond that jewel? Fuck that.
There isn’t an iron-clad time frame required before you take a stab at dating, or even enter another relationship. Whether you take a day, a week, a month; it doesn’t really matter. When you are ready…you are ready. Just trust yourself. Trust your gut. Trust in your ability to recognize a good thing when it smacks you in the face. My philosophy is that it is better to learn from your mistakes than to possibly live forever in the shadow of regret from a missed opportunity that had the potential to become something great.
If you say, “But Matt, I’m scared to get back out there,” I may reply with, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Again, you say, “There aren’t any good guys/girls out there. I’ll try but I just don’t think I’ll find anyone,” I may reply with, “Do, or do not, there is no try.”
If you try to make excuses I’ll annoy you by quoting movies, and that could get weird (I’ve seen thousands).
There’s one particular movie line I came across while watching a trailer for a new movie (coming out in November) Silver Linings Playbook. From what I assume is actually some clever audio editing towards the end, Robert DeNiro says, “Let me tell ya. You gotta pay attention to the signs. When life reaches out with a moment like this it’s a sin if you don’t reach back. I’m telling you, it’s a sin if you don’t reach back.”
Sure my interpretation may be completely off base from the actual context but you can see the applications here can’t you?
Basically if life hands you something good, just accept it. Recognize a great thing when it is in front of you. Pay attention to what is going on all around. Don’t simply let life happen, take control and make things happen in it.
At the risk of being repetitive, trust yourself. Be honest. Believe in everything you have to offer. Accept any faults knowing that there is someone out there who wants you exactly the way you are.
Should you become lucky enough to meet someone who makes your whole body tingle, do something! Don’t hesitate. Don’t run. Don’t worry about any number of “What if…?” questions.
Fear should not control your happiness and the potential for love.