happy & single looking at relationships

My life is in a pretty happy place currently. I think having a relationship would be nice to have eventually, but I don’t feel like the lack thereof is the path to a miserable life. Loneliness, sexual needs, and general boredom come and go, but these are casual feelings I now understand do not impact my overall happiness. It has me thinking more clearly though about my outlook on relationships, both the negative and positive. I’m a confusing person sometimes. My trust is constantly skating on thin ice. One moment can make me feel completely at home with a person, then another moment can make me feel lost and totally uncomfortable. I make people feel safe and willing to open up, but I also get tired and need to escape when I don’t feel reciprocation. Worst of all, I’m total shit at communicating my needs. Best of all, I’m loyal to a fault…if I know you’re there for me in the way I need it.  

I have a couple of friends with whom I feel 100% myself. The two of them know who they are. I’m not sure if this connection is built on their level of human compassion or us having things in common, but I know when I speak and act I’m being heard and appreciated. There is no second guessing it. I struggle to find this in relationships. That need is what I’ve always kept a sharp eye out for but have never seen. I question my patience, but I always try to respect the first impression I get when people react to certain things. A part of me is content with accepting this aspect about myself. People easily exhaust me, and it only gets exacerbated when I feel like you’re not getting me. 

So yeah I’m a total pain in the ass. I give someone all this benefit of the doubt and then disappear because I have some underlying code I didn’t let them in on. I recently dated someone who taught me the value of being myself and doing what I want – and if that doesn’t line up with who they are and what they want to do, then we can amicably part ways. I don’t need to take things to a level of resentment because I don’t feel an equal share of give and take. As short of an endeavor as it was, it was probably one of the more important relationships I’ve had for that lesson alone. 

So as for my attitude going forward, I’ll strive to not be afraid of communicating. But I won’t compromise that feeling I need to be comfortable. And if I’m not comfortable, I won’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

a good conversationalist

Standards rise in a realistic way for once. Perhaps I’m a ticking time bomb waiting to detonate once I discover the fragility of romantic thought. Whatever the case, most people disinterest me. They don’t know how to talk, often bogged down in themselves. To have an inner source of power and truth, but act only outwardly is so attractive. No one can run this drill 100% of the time, but imagine crossing someone with it at least as their default. Asking questions out of real curiosity and not fear of appearing disinterested. Then hitting the jackpot realizing you actually have values and interests in common. Follow it all up with an appreciation for the moment and not trying to dig your claws in to preserve it forever. Shooing away inevitable feelings of loss. To understand that life is a path people will sometimes walk with you and not always at the same time. Feeling your hope die is unpleasant, but to be grateful for having any hope at all is next level. The rare great conversationalist – calm, collected, beautiful with confidence, considerate, and in the rare intimate occasion: compatible. They’re ones hard to let go. But life will stay just as sweet when you encounter such rareness again.

“compatible”

  • A word that feels reserved for artificial intelligence
  • How can you apply it to anything human?
  • Surely chemistry is more organic, more in line with what makes up us
  • Compatible sounds like a third party computer processor making a decision for consenting and fully able beings
  • Pretty insulting to some degree
  • Intuition would have been a more suitable piece of vocabulary
  • How do you tell someone their future is hard to see though?
  • Let the computer do it I suppose
  • Yet my intuition wasn’t a completely reliable source, one might say incomplete
  • Let’s say 55-65% complete
  • So what we’re saying is that both the arrogance of the CPU and the statistical data of our intuition didn’t have complete information
  • Now is the time, do or die
  • I can’t blame myself, I’m only human
  • So let’s blame the CPU
  • …and we’re not compatible?
  • Fuck you computer boy

communicate

This is delicate territory for someone like myself. Communicating what you want or need but trying to remain open and receptive to others’ desires and perspectives is an area I’m still not the most comfortable. Bending to others’ viewpoint has been my standard default because I’d rather not argue and fight. Where some crave it, I find it taxing and exhausting. However, I’ve learned the dangers about compromising my own needs and wants to keep some sort of collective harmony. Even worse, I assume both sides are working towards satisfying each other to find some middle ground. What I forget is that there is no middle ground if it hinders what you need or want. Not to say finding some middle ground isn’t beneficial, but it needs to be on terms that works for you. You have to do what you want for you in the end, and fearless communication is the only way to see that you’re getting there. It’s no longer worth getting frustrated waiting for someone to “meet me halfway”. This is a long winded way of saying to stick to your values I suppose. I need to learn that communicating yourself is everything, whether it leads to an agreement or argument. I’ve been so quick and dismissive of others when they are willing to fight against me. Maybe I’ve trained myself to believe that one single attack by them is equivalent to permanently dismissing me. I’m so easy to open myself to the many different outlooks of others that it often surprises me when people quickly and sharply disagree with me. What I forget is that they have a right to stand up for what they see as truth, as do I. I’ll keep an appreciation for my ability to listen, but this so called balanced scale must always tip in favor of my direction first and foremost. Communication can’t be effective if both sides just blindly accept what the other offers.

trust your gut

trust your gut

Do you have trouble trusting your own feelings? Do you find yourself inclined to only make decisions with third-party approval to look back anyway to wonder if you missed something? At the beginning of the summer, I began a journey of self-reflection. I wanted to learn how to be better at being myself while trying to let go of egotistical tendencies and other identity issues. 

I began dating someone around this time. I liked her a lot. She was weird, talented, and beautiful, but she had underlying issues that I could never get a full read on. She seemed like she turned to certain things to give herself identity, but I knew from one-on-one moments that she was a kind, considerate, and overall a genuine human being despite having a mixed opinion of herself. 

I quickly found juggling my own journey and trying to pursue a new relationship to be difficult and anxiety inducing. I can’t help but make relationships my entire world. I stress constantly over details out of my control, and I’ve never quite come to accept the fact that it’s a leap of faith. This situation felt too delicate to learn and balance casually on the fly. 

Whether they want it or not, I tend to prioritize those I care deeply about above my own values. Putting myself on this journey was a game changer, and I decided to not let myself tightrope between listening to my own internal values and fighting old habits. So I ended it.

Nearly three months have passed, but not a day passes without feeling some sense of selfishness, guilt, regret, or all three at once. The idea of her moving on and finding happiness while I spend time alone reflecting makes my time seem like a waste. I try to remind myself that I deserve this positive change even though growth takes time.

Trusting your decisions and your gut values is one thing. The ability to put it above other people’s feelings is the hardest thing for me. This is my most important lesson. Understanding that loving, understanding, and being present for others is an amazing trait to blessed with; but also knowing that you owe yourself the exact same treatment. 

Finding validation from others is a painful game that never quite gives you what you seek. Even in looking for their approval, I never once felt insincere about wanting to put others before me. Still I know I have to selfishly take care of myself right now, but muscle memory is hard to break and it gets lonely. I want to be proud of my decision and understand that letting go of this sought out approval is the first step in learning how to treat myself as I’ve treated others. 

by ty miller

understood

understood

There’s always a bigger picture to construct. Where others sense and react on first impulse, I always try to fit a moment or feeling into the larger scope. I’ve gained a vivid imagination from this practice, but I’ve also failed to live in the moment. The shock and excitement of meeting new people takes me out of this imagination-land and throws me back raw into a hard sensing world. I never allow myself the time to take it slow to adjust to my surroundings especially with new relationships – I  tend to revolve my entire world around them. The pendulum swings back too quickly and I panic when the “new” and “exciting” fades away. 

Once my anxiety spikes, the wear and tear of too much sensing all at once breaks me down. That’s when my exhaustion is taken advantage of by the bigger picture. Normal people call it overthinking.

“You’re tired. You’re losing who you are. This energy is unnatural and not you. This person is selfishly draining you for all you’re worth. Here we go again with another one-sided relationship. You’re going to get stuck and become a shell of yourself again.”

I heard the line recently ‘You never really know yourself’. I think I’ve heard it a lot actually, but it never stuck until I found some application for it. I’ve always wanted so badly to be understood for what I think I am. I was recently having a discussion with a friend and realized that no matter how I willed my behavior and words towards him, his interpretation of me would always be his own. The fight for control suddenly became a liberation. You have no control of your perception in others, in turn, that gives you a greater sense of control in yourself…or at least a peace of mind in letting go of the grip you think you have on yourself. 

Being understood is nice, but complete access to your most precious inner-workings is not necessarily the best course of actions particularly for introverted people. We do solid work here because we’re by ourselves. Who we really are, whoever that may be, is constructed here. Why crave to let someone in to such a delicate place that you have never fully known yourself?  

So am I saying our lives are to be spent misunderstood with a lack of human intimacy? No, I think connecting, being vulnerable, and expressing honesty is still a vital part of existence. I think I want to feel acknowledged and appreciated for my intuition and imagination rather it be massively understood. Tuning in and being present even when you can’t breach the wall of comprehension is enough of an indicator that someone cares and enjoys the mess of a person you are being mysteriously constructed behind closed doors. 

I’ve always tried to open up too quickly to those I feel connected with. As if bearing witness to my own chaos would ascend us together to a new cosmic plane. Likewise, I draw the bigger picture of others too quickly before allowing them to naturally unfold themselves. These broad assumptions only complicate things further because I built up my pride in believing I had them figured out. In reality, I only got an enjoyable first glimpse. Deep down I never want to expose myself too quickly, nor do I want to ruin the journey of getting to know someone over time. I just need to take a step back, breathe, practice some patience, and feed these senses small bites of information at a time.

by ty miller