Recently, a friend of mine said that they really liked and benefitted from some of my advice on the subject of relationships, so I thought I'd spread the love.
Romantic relationships are a huge focus for many people on this planet. Even if you don't want it to be, even if you try to stay away from it, romance finds you for better or worse. Maybe you are only attracted to Asian plus sized models, but Russian Playboy types are the only girls who call you. Perhaps a little bump and grind at the lady-boy's club once a month is enough for you, but your slightly attractive but strangely socially-invisible neighbor keeps offering to have you over for instant ramen. We all have our difficulties. The point is, you gotta love the one you're with. Not the one you're with could be if they weren't raised by republicans, or the one they could be if they had a little plastic surgery, or the one they could be with a little more ambition, or the one they could be if they felt the same way about you as you feel about them; the one they are.
Do you love him, or do you love who he has the potential to be? Do you love who she has proven to be through her actions, or do you love who she tries to convince you she is with her words? If you have accepted and love the reality of the person you are with, you are golden. If you are attached to the idea of what this person could be and how your relationship could be, you are suffering, or you will suffer, and you will continue to suffer until you respond to your reality instead of your imagination.
It doesn't take much at all to know if someone is worth your time and energy. I can understand why people pour over their memories of a date and try to analyze the details; this love stuff is emotional and it's human nature to invest in them deeply. We're talking about procreation here. That doesn't mean you have to be stupid. Did they call you when they said they would, or did you have to text them, Facebook them, and talk to their friend to get a second date? Let's be real. I don't care how much time they spent telling you how amazing you are. You cannot trust words. You cannot make life decisions based on words. You must look at a person's behavior over time, even if it's a short time, and judge if this person behaves in accordance with their words and your needs right now, because life is not the movies, and people very rarely create real change in their lives.
I am saying that people should stop torturing themselves and wasting time on delusions, in turn tying themselves up with false people when they should be available to meet someone great. If at any moment you realize that this person is not the person you need them to be, tell them and move on. If you know this person will never feel about you the way you feel about them, recognize the reality and let it go.
I was asked how I came to these conclusions. After I thought about it, I realized that it was by force of a broken heart. Many years ago, I loved this guy so much, and he didn't love me, and I had to - I had to - think of a way for it to be ok. I thought it through, and came to some realizations. I realized that I wanted something that didn't exist. He existed, but a connection between us did not exist, and I had to stop trying to have something that did not and would not ever exist. I wasn't heart broken over something real, I was crushed by something imagined, an imagined reality that I thought could or might someday exist. That's the kicker though: Possibility. Especially when it comes to relationships, we're living in the future, because we believe that (especially if you are American) anything is possible in the future, right? I had to realize that I couldn't live in an imagined future, because it was tearing my present apart.
And that was it. I learned from that experience. I still have a long way to go, but things are looking up.