Monday, December 12, 2011

Believing is reality

I have a set of sticky notes up on the wall in my bedroom. They've been there for years. When I first placed them there my significant other of the time found them offensive. The notes read: You can try to change a person, but you can't change their true motivation.

I can see why my boyfriend was upset at this statement. It seems to fit as a passive-aggressive retort, applicable to so very many of the arguments that couples normally have. And yes honestly that was one of the reasons why I had written it originally- even if this guy had chosen to spend both weekend days with me for example, it would have only been because he felt guilty or forced, not (at that point) because he sincerely wanted to, and that made me angry.

But that guy is long since gone, and the sticky notes stay. Now the anger has drained out of them and the lesson remains. I am reminded to consider the motivation of a guy who wants to see me again. Is it sincere? If so, in what way- is there something besides physical attraction between us? Is he on the rebound and just want to be in a relationship? Is he being non-specific because he's insecure himself or just not interested?

As if trying to discern these questions weren't enough, my own motivation also comes into play. There is the obvious question of whether my desire for a relationship colors the way I answer the questions in the preceding paragraph. Another problem is that it really is difficult for one to change their own motivation, even if they want to. My end goal is to be in a fulfilling, serious relationship. But sometimes I forget about the "fulfilling" part and only focus on the "being in a relationship" part. I admit that this has caused me to make excuses for guys who don't have it together, or might be rude, or not affectionate. Am I really ok "just going with it" with a guy I really like , or am I willing to forgo the label of an official relationship because it's better than nothing? Am I ok with the possibility of long distance or just not ok with choosing to be single again?

Sometimes I simply can't discern my motivation from my decisions because they are too entwined. And trying to balance these things can create an endless teeter-totter that may never really pan out, or a situation where you can never tell if you really made the right decision. I guess the key is to keep it all in mind and do the best we can. Then, we may not always be happy but can at least be comforted that we did not make them blindly.

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