If someone told me in 2019, that later this year, you are going to meet someone. It is going to have the same excitement and attraction as other guys you had liked, but what will be different is that you will feel a friendship and ease with this guy and that this relationship, unlike all the other ones that lasted a few months, will continue and make it even in to a year, I would say “no way! not in this lifetime!”
I just could not imagine the possibility of an easy, loving, relationship that lasts more than a few months where I am not perpetually anxious.
I was so convinced that I would never have a long term, easy relationship and I had plenty of proof for it.
Some of my proofs were:
1- All my relationships last a few months and this has happened for so long and so often, so why would the future be any different? And this is what I have realized is that we often take the past and project it as proof in to the future. If it has been this way so often and for so long, then it will definitely continue to be this way.
2- I heard or read the advice that said “you have to know exactly what you want. You should even be able to imagine it fully, for it manifest”. Well…. I couldn’t imagine anything. Even when I tried to imagine myself in a good relationship with some ideal guy, in my own imagination it’d start going sour and I’d feel rejected in my own daydream which was comical. But I took this as evidence that I can’t meet someone since I can’t imagine it and I don’t know exactly what I want. Which caused further anxiety about this topic. So, I stopped trying to imagine it.
3- They say “it happens when you least expect it”. This also was not really helpful. Because even though I had completely given up on the prospect of a long term relationship and wasn’t actively searching, but it was always in the back of my mind and I was open to it and still very much wanting to meet someone I’d like to be in a relationship with. So every time someone would say “it happens when you least expect it”, I’d think “shit, well I think I may be still expecting it”
4- I also heard at times or perhaps read somewhere “you may be picking the wrong men or can’t appreciate a guy who can truly love you if you don’t fully love yourself”….. so every time I’d realize I am somehow not loving myself, I’d feel more certain that I am nowhere near a healthy, good relationship and this will just be how my life will be forever.
When I met my current partner, it started with the same excitement of meeting a new person I like and admire. But maybe what was different is that I had just finished the school of Byron Katie and had had some epiphanies that made me decide to practice treating men exactly like women. Seeing them as friends. Not as a potential romantic partner that I’d want to impress.
We met as friends but within a few days of him showing interest for something more, I thought “here we go, I wonder how long this will last. 3 months or 4 months?”. I kept doing the work of Byron Katie on every fear. and kept telling him everything that was going on with me as sensibly as I could. I kept practicing treating him like a girlfriend despite all that I heard in my entire life about “don’t say this to your guy or don’t tell him everything” And when I would open up about an anxiety or insecurity, he’d be surprise me by being totally like a friend with no trace of judgement.
And every month, I’d think I wonder how long this will last. Even now, one year and 2 months in to it, practically living together, I wonder how long this will last.
But what is obvious at this point is that, even if this relationship were to end tomorrow, my previous beliefs and proofs were not true. Because here is one woman who had repeated, short, anxiety-provoking relationships for over a decade, who was working on loving herself (but didn’t fully), had totally given up on a relationship and yet still very much wanted it, couldn’t imagine a good relationship and didn’t even know exactly what she wanted, who suddenly found herself in a relationship she could not imagine in her wildest dreams.
So here is my question to myself (and anyone whom this may resonate with), what other beliefs are you so sure of and have even evidence and proof for that are just causing you pain? What if your hard core beliefs that make you sad and hopeless were just not true? Who would you be without your story?