Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The First (Push)

I never wanted to blog about boys.  Not really.  I always figured that stuff was supposed to be private.  And SJP had done it up in Sex and the City and I really never wanted to be a cliche or a sad wannabe.  But, here I am.  25 and single and seriously revisiting my previous relationships and behavior and how I got here.

In some ways I feel like I "wised up" in reverse.  I was so good at protecting myself, my head, and my heart when I was younger.  I'd always let the guy pursue me, date him for a bit, and then break it off before he or I got too bored.  I'd always have some new guy waiting in the wings, too.  Nothing serious, but just another guy I had been "talking to" for a bit and knew was interested.  It helped soften the little lonely periods that follow any breakup.  This is apparently the way you are "supposed" to do it.  (According to experts and my more successful and suave lady friends).  But as the years passed by I started buying into Hollywood's movie chick-flick rom-com brainwashing and started to think I had to give every passing John, Dick, and Harry my 110%.  Love doesn't have a chance unless/until I give it one, right?  So I'd better give every single heterosexual dude out there a chance... Or so it seems that's what I thought.

Anyway, in all those years of skepticism, and even now, it seems I've held fast to one (bad) habit: pushing guys away.  Looking back, it seems that pushing the guy away was my ulterior motive.  I guess despite all my ideal romanticizing, I never really stopped doubting.  I never fully believed that another person would or could love me, all of me, and so I pushed, I would push and push until finally, the guy would just walk away - just give up and leave.

In retrospect, it gets easier to forgive the guy and easier to be hard on myself.  There was my college boyfriend, A2.  I was A2's first everything.  And maybe that's part (or most) of the reason why, but really - this guy just would not quit.  Maybe, if I hadn't been so difficult, maybe he would've been the one to stick around and love me.

Now this is all just silly talk.  We were too different to ever really be compatible.  And my annoying habits were his pet peeves and vice versa.  And honestly both of us were too selfish for it to ever last in the long run (like when real sacrifices would be involved - moving for jobs, grad school, etc.).  In fact, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did (although not surprised at the lack of stability in the relationship).

Nonetheless, I don't mind giving credit where it's due.  Despite his selfishness, despite his pride, despite his short temper, he really tried to give me, to give "us," a shot.  The way the relationship started off had been a bit shaky - pretty much with me giving him an ultimatum: make it official or I'm hooking up with that cute blond in my dorm.  And perhaps because of that, I never felt fully comfortable, fully secure in feeling that A2 really liked me.

Unfortunately, the result of that insecurity was my acting out, my pushing him away - just to see how far I could push before he left.  And to his credit, he came back.  So often, and after such strong pushes, he always came back.  (Clearly, there was a point when he didn't - but that's a story for another time).  If I could I would apologize to him (would I?)... OK, maybe I would theoretically apologize.  Like here.  For being such a child, such a baby.  Granted, I was 18 at the time and finding my way in the world, but I was impulsive, dramatic, hyperbolic, emotional, paranoid - well, maybe not really all these things, but I sure acted as though I were.  I wanted to see how much he could take before leaving.  And for that, I apologize.  I'm sorry I tested you.  I'm sorry I couldn't just accept that you wanted to be with me.  I'm sorry I put you through all that to ease my own insecurities.  And I thank you, too.  Because in putting up with me, you showed me what it meant to be a man - to accept responsibility and commitment.  Anyway, maybe the fact that he put up with so much meant he would've stuck around - had I not pushed him so adamantly and so hard.

But again, that's beside the point.  The larger lesson is, and what I'm most afraid of is, that I've actually met guys I"m more compatible with, that maybe really would've stuck around, but left too early because I made them.  Just to prove to myself that no guy is "for real" and that every guy disappoints in the end, I've created my own self-fulfilling prophecy.

This is a fault I'm starting to come to terms with and trying to change.  I'll be wonderful, normal me when I first meet a guy, and then as soon as he seems interested, I magically know exactly what type of girl/behaviors he hates, and I have to start being that girl and displaying those behaviors.  As soon as he seems like he might like me, I act out in ways I *know* he doesn't like, and start to push.  If he likes independent girls, I get needy.  If he thought I was thoughtful and reserved, I'll start shooting my mouth off and doing things I'll regret.  If he thought I was chill and down-to-earth, I start acting all high maintenance.  If he thought I didn't judge, I start acting all elitist.

Anyways, this got a lot longer than I meant it to, but that always happens with me and blogging.  But identification/self-awareness is the first step to fixing any problem, right?  I admit that I'm a Pusher: I have a horrible habit of prematurely pushing guys away.  Oops.  Operation: Try to just be "me" in a relationship: kindof underway...

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