Lately I have been getting quite some requests for advice on like, Love Stuff. Which is funny because I am actually not very loveydovey when it comes to Love Stuff advice.
BUT. The fact that I am not really the right person to ask Love Stuff Questions actually makes me a great person to ask Love Stuff Questions to. Paradox alert. I am harsh, pragmatic and a tiny bit judgmental when it comes to your matters of the heart, which makes me an excellent neutral party. Especially considering the fact that I do get it. You like the guy. Or you love the guy. It’s hard.
BUT. I actually don’t give a fuck about your “..But he’s sensitive” and “He is usually really nice” and “He’s way different when we are together.” I don’t take into account your extensive history together. Zero fucks are given about his complicated personality and every other possible issue, complication or circumstance. Zero. Here’s why.
First of all, let’s go in the begin stage of Love stuff. When I talk about Starting Out Love Stuff I am referring to the “Will He Call”, “Does He Like Me”, and “Is He Serious” of it all. Always a
fun nerve wrecking stage, right?
Love Stuff like that? Actually not so complicated. We just (try to) see what we want to see. Our feelings, both our love for a person as our need for them to love us back, are clouding our judgment. Most of the time the facts are super-straight forward: We just don’t want to see it.
Here’s the deal. 90% of all ambiguity in his behavior towards you, you perceive. You are creating it for yourself. The sign is actually “He’s not (that) into you”. Sorry. You just don’t want that to be the scenario and therefore do some extensive analyses on whatever is available. Sorry. Again. But if someone sleeps around, ignores your messages for days, is a dick to you or simply seems not very excited about the romantic developments. you’re dealing with a boy who isn’t (that) into you.
And you can analyze his texts until your brain spins, obsess and talk to your friends until they block you on Facebook and execute tactics like you’re in a fucking teen movie, but we at Love Stuff Forecasts foresee No Happily Ever After with a chance of Failure.
In Love Stuff like this, but also when you’re in a relationship (of sorts), I recommend you stop taking his excuses for whatever he’s doing (to you) as valid. Instead, disregard your own feelings, take a step back and actually observe his behavior more neutrally. And remember: If he acts like a dick, he is a dick.
If he is in a relationship with someone else but fucks you on the side? Dick.
If he bootycalls you during the weekend but you hear nothing from him during the week? Dick*.
If he flirts with you when you’re alone but treats you badly when you’re in a group? Dick.
Enough commitment to hang out with you, sex you up and claim you but doesn’t want a relationship with you because of his commitment issues**? Dick.
Breaks up with you but continues to have sex with you? Dick.
Treats you badly because of his emotional issues, stress at work or previous relationships? Dick dick dick.
Now, two techniques to look at this differently:
1. If it was your best friend who was with this dude, in your situation. How would you feel about this guy and what would you recommend and encourage her to do? Would you want your best friend to be with a guy like yours?
2. How you let other people treat you sends a message to how you think and feel about yourself. Take a moment to appreciate that. How your boy(s) treat you, what they say to you and what they do, how they make you feel: What sort of conclusions can you draw from that?
Besides, and this is an argument your (grand)mother might use on you all the time: BOYS ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD. While the maternal women in your life might claim it’s ‘education’ or ‘career’ or ‘family’, I’m telling you that it’s YOU. You are the most important and constant thing in your life. You should treat YOU as such. Not the guy you like or love right now.
But when we have feelings for someone we forget that and we make how they feel about us and what they think about us*** the most important thing in our lives, which creates mindfuckery, obsession, wrong assumptions and clouded judgements. Occasionally this can take us to really dark places.
However. After being so harsh about everything, it’s time for the hippie aunt part of the article: I believe that you can wholeheartedly, passionately and truly love someone without putting up with their shit. Love does not equal having to take everything from someone. Sometimes love is actually letting go. Sometimes love, real love, life changing love, is looking beyond attachment and romantic notions and letting love just be love: A feeling you have for a person, nothing more, nothing less.
You can love someone without being with them. Love the guy all you want, just don’t do something stupid with it like letting someone who doesn’t know how to deal with that rule or ruin your life! You can love someone and make the decision not to be with them because it’s not good for you.
I love some of my ex-boyfriends, in a way. I don’t want to be with them (and most sure as hell don’t want to be with me), but I do love them. I think of them with positivity, gratitude and affection. After all, they helped me become who I am now AND they put up with my shit in the past. They loved me well for however long a time: That’s something to be grateful for.
Another good way to look at relationships is as assignments. Gabrielle Bernstein actually writes brilliantly about that. This person you chose to be with or fall in love with is a reflection of something in you or your life that needs work in an area. Or this person is a lesson you need to learn. There is wisdom to be found in your relationships.
For example, my first boyfriend taught me that sometimes the biggest act of love is leaving someone alone. I kept breaking his heart. After the millionth time of me running back to him and then changing my mind again****, he asked me to stay away forever and I did. It was hard but I did it. I loved him enough to give him that. I still love him enough to give him that.
Another boyfriend taught me how to how to truly be considerate of your partner. Another one taught me the value of honesty and loyalty, and my soulmate taught me how to love unconditionally — That last one especially was lifechanging. Now (casually sidestepping what a total tramp I was from 15 to 21), as you can see I learnt a lot from my relationships with them and my love for them.
So. My hippe advice to you would be to realize that love isn’t so much always about the actions and romantic attachment, It’s way more a feeling you cherish for someone, regardless of circumstance. You want to love him? Love him. Love is a feeling. Also, relationships are lessons. Allow them to teach you things.
And I know it’s hard. We want to be liked, loved, to be found attractive and doable and all that jazz. But if you don’t float the boat of this one guy, well fine! His loss! Go find someone whose boat you can rock!
*Unless the arrangement is fine with you, in which case: Bang on!
**Most of the time, not wanting to commit is specifically not to you. Sometimes it’s not to anyone. Either way it’s fucking bullshit.
***While actually, you can totally like and even love someone without that really being relevant. I can totally keep doing my own thing while being (un)romantically crazy about another person. And I have often liked or loved people without the need for validation or affection in return. I had a coworker that I silently adored. I think very affectionately about an acquaintance who might not even remember my name. How they feel or felt about me is not as important, it’s how I feel about them that mattered!
****My issues were no excuse. I acted like a dick, hence I was a dick.