Time and again, I am surprised by our emotional responses to our American style of dating. And I’ve written about this before here.
I am constantly questioning why we have been conditioned into an all-or-nothing, black-and-white-no-gray-area system of handling two human beings with emotional feelings for one another.
There is really no room for nuance – we must know and control every little feeling and emotion. What are we? What does this mean? Do you like me enough to want to be with me forever or just not at all?!
But, really, isn’t nuance and mystery the very nice/fun/delightful/sexy part of getting to know someone and being able to share yourself, body and mind, with them?
Instead, we tend to treat nuance as if it is something to be feared beyond anything else. If someone is not all over us 24/7, is that person really even into us? If I’m not head over heels for a guy right from the beginning, is it even going to turn into the “REAL THING” or am I just wasting my time?!
My Valentine, as we will heretofore refer to him, broke off our tiny summer fling for completely valid reasons, but it nevertheless caused me to question what mistakes I had made for him to come to this decision.
Because he was more of a relationship person and explained his reasoning to me, I still couldn’t help but feel that painful sense of rejection. I then proceeded to analyze every possible thing that I might have done to sabotage things – which is CRAZY.
I’ve always wondered why, even in the face of a respectful “detaching” of two people (it’s not as serious as a breakup, after all), we tend to want to find something (anything!) wrong with us in order to explain, control, and compartmentalize the situation instead of simply acknowledging the lovely times that were had with a certain person.
Interestingly, I was compelled to write this post about My Valentine’s all-or-nothing decision about our situation, but I then ended up taking a more introspective approach and thinking more about my own reaction and lack of being able to handle nuance in a more realistic manner. Which sounds a heck of a lot better than that twisted rampage of self-criticism and the desperate search for answers that literally don’t exist.
All things considered, I can’t count how many loves and likes I’ve had who I thought I’d never see or talk to again come gallivanting back into my life after months or even years apart.
Life is long, after all. Who knows what the future holds?