priorityWhen I read a comment by long time reader Fearless on my post about actions matching words, it reminded me how we can get sidetracked by creating backbreaking missions for ourselves.

“Well, what I realise now is that I have never seen relationships with men in terms of what I wanted from a (any) relationship with a (any) man. I always saw relationships in terms of what I wanted from this (particular) relationship with this (particular) man, so that my desire for a relationship was always about a specific man to me and never about relationships in general or about men in general.”

I can totally relate to this, as can any person who has persisted in putting their bucket down an empty commitment well in the hope that on the gazillionth try, some commitment water will finally come up.

Who you are, your values, goals, desires, plans etc then become focused on each person you’re involved with. ‘You’ drop into the background or are even completely forgotten while they and what they’re not offering become your focal point of what you believe you want, in essence distracting and even blinding you. It becomes a backbreaking mission to extract a relationship or commitment.

When you don’t have a clear view of who you are, that grounds you and ensures that you’re living congruently with your values, it’s a bit like roaming around playing pin the tail on the donkey or a very messed up game of tag. It’s like you meet someone and even if they’re the biggest jackass in the universe or keep telling you that they don’t want what you want or they show you, you keep pinning the tail on them or shouting “You’re it!”

Relationships then become this transient desire that’s tied to people not giving them which also means your values around it become transient too.

When you have even less of a clear view of what a healthy relationship looks like, it can seem like your job is to attract someone and then convince and convert them into commitment regardless of what they’re capable of or even what they want.

If you check into a hotel today and complain about the lack of sea view even though you’re bang smack in the middle of a built up area, you’ve either got to accept that the view is the view, or move to a hotel closer to the beach. End of.

In relationships, we become sidetracked because we think, unlike the view from the hotel, that we can change a person or that if we have feelings for them and want the relationship, they should give it, even if they act and say differently.

Instead of knowing what you represent, what does and doesn’t work for you, your priorities etc, you meet someone and they become the vocation that you’re sinking all of your energy into. You don’t do your homework and find out if you have shared values etc – all you know is that you now want a relationship. In fact, it becomes “What values?” This is why I hear from so many women who became focused on getting one man or a series of men to give them relationships they weren’t giving, that are regretting not folding and feeling like they’ve ‘wasted’ their lives.

You can end up wanting a relationship and commitment for the wrong reasons. Instead of it being because you genuinely have a mutual relationship with the foundations for progressing into something that’s potentially long term, you want the relationship because:

It’s not on offer and in fact, you know it many never be on offer so you want to be made the exception to the rule – chasing love against the odds because it seems more ‘worthy’.

You want to be ‘right’ and ‘win’.

You don’t want to admit that you’ve made a mistake.

You think it’s love now (or claim you love), get the relationship qualities later. In fact you may think that love and maybe some common interests and some hot sex is all you need.

They represent a ‘type’ that you’ve had little success with that is actually based on unhealthy ideas about relationships and is even catering to a long held pattern.

You feel like you’ve put in too much time, energy, emotion to turn back now so the least they can do is cough up a relationship.

You just do. Sometimes you want the relationship just ‘because’.

When you genuinely want a relationship that reflects your values, you’ll recognise when you’re around someone that doesn’t want the same things and fold. When you want a relationship from someone even if it’s not on offer, you’ll latch onto their ‘good sense of humour’, their great job, intelligence or status, ‘chemistry’, the fact that you both like Marvel comics and recycling, and claim it feels so ‘right’, when off paper it’s going so wrong.

What you don’t realise when you pin a relationship on a person that isn’t appropriate, is that while you’re trying to ‘get them’ to give you the relationship, you end up having to live by their values to a large extent in order to ‘keep’ them, which in turn leaves you miserable and out of sync with yourself. You’re trying to convince them into your values and they’re sticking to their guns – incompatible.

You’ve got to align yourself with someone that’s on a similar path to you. When you truly want something, you don’t invest a chunk of your life trying to get it from someone that doesn’t want to give it and shows they’re not giving it.

After things ended with the guy with the girlfriend and then the barely there relationship with the next guy for five months, I had to tell myself the truth:

The ‘cheater’ was in no position to offer me a relationship because he was already in one with someone else. I could throw my toys out of the pram, stamp my foot, and throw out ultimatums and threats, but I wanted something that he couldn’t give me. The other guy never actually said that a relationship was on offer. Oh he showboated very quickly out the gate at the beginning, but his actions for about 4.5 out of 5 months were not those of a man with a relationship to offer. When you throw in the fact that there was no direct verbalisation of anything and I was in some very ambiguous territory.

I convinced myself into believing I wanted a relationship from them because it wasn’t on offer so it was like “WTF? It’s not on offer? Why not? Don’t they know who I am? What does this mean about me? Right, I must get them to give me a relationship!” Privately I was very concerned that I wasn’t entirely sure that I wanted the relationship but I had set these missions to prove to myself that I’m good enough to be given a relationship, especially from a reluctant source.

When you genuinely want a relationship, when you find yourself with someone that doesn’t offer one or throws you some half baked excuse for one while telling you that their crumbs are a loaf, you walk.

Stop hammering your square peg and pinning your hopes for a relationship on a ‘type’ that may actually be working against one. Get happy with you, work out who you are and what’s important, and align yourself with a relationship that reflects this instead of only getting the ‘relationship erection’ when you know that one isn’t in the offing or having to ‘suffer’ for your mission. You can tell a lot about what someone truly wants and how they feel about themselves by the relationships they’re in and the people they claim to love. Fact is, if more of us prioritised our self-esteem and our true values, there’d be far less unavailable relationships! You’re the only person you’re in control of, so don’t stand in the way of your own progress.

Your thoughts?

The new edition of Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl is now available to buy both in print and in digital formats plus check out my ebooks the No Contact Rule and and more in my bookshop.

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