Don’t Sacrifice too much for Love

love-balance-life-balance

Over the weekend I met a friend for a walk around the seawall.  Dee is a wonderful person I met a few years ago and we’ve often said that we met exactly when we both needed one another.  She was going through a divorce and I was struggling through the end of a horrible relationship.  We supported one another through the healing process and really gave each other the courage to heal and have the courage to believe in our biggest dreams.  She and I have talked often about our past and currently relationships in very supportive ways, so it was no surprise that we started talking again about how we were doing in our love lives.  She said something during our talk that really struck a chord.  She thought the reason my past relationship failed was because I sacrificed too much.  At first I wasn’t sure that was right, but she started lining it up for me and I couldn’t say anything .  We all sacrifice for the people we love, but there is such thing as giving too much for not enough return.

Here’s the list.  I gave up my home in the city for his home in the suburbs.  I’m the type of person that loves the hustle and excitement of the big city, so moving to a place where the closest coffee shop was fifteen blocks away and everything closes at 7 was a real change.  I don’t usually get home from work until 7 or 8, so basically once I got home there was nothing to do.  He was a hiker and mountain biker, so I gave up my lifestyle to make his easier.  At the time I didn’t mind because I loved him and I wanted him to be happy.  I tried to make it work.  Moving away from the city meant I gave up the ease in which I saw my friends.  They went from living a few blocks away to at least a 30 minute drive away.  I gave up my food routine and adapted to his way of eating because he complained about not getting enough of certain things and I was the only one who cooked.  I gave up big portions of my weekend because we moved into a bigger place than I was used too, and he didn’t really help clean.  He tried sometimes, but he just didn’t get it and I didn’t want to nag.  Now none of this seems particularly huge to me.  We all give certain things up.  But what Dee pointed out was that I got nothing in return.

I’m not a give and take person all the time.  I believe in karma and positive energy, and sometimes you help someone just to help them.  I don’t always need a reward or payment.  But in a relationship, there needs to be a certain equality.  After awhile, the things I was sacrificing piled up until I started to resent it, and because of how unhappy I was, more and more things started falling away from me.  I sacrificed my health because I was depressed.  I was eating poorly and eventually ended up medicated for anxiety.  I stopped seeing my friends because getting to them was too difficult, and I felt guilty about asking them to trek out to me.  I sacrificed every ounce of confidence I had at events because I was constantly worried about him and his social anxiety problems.  I sacrificed time with my family, because his anxiety made it hard for him to visit them, but it had no affect on seeing his family, so we visited them way more than we visited mine.  In short, it became all about him and not enough about me. Continue reading

I Want to Marry a Rich Guy?

Marry a rich guyI’ve been having this strange series of thoughts lately.  It’s going to sound really out there if you’ve been reading my blog until now.  Here it is… I really want to marry a rich guy.

I know right?  I’m all about independence and experiencing everything that makes me happy.  But the truth is, part of me is tired.  I’m tired of taking care of myself, making my own money and stressing about my own budgets.  I’m tired of being the one to support people and take care of all the people around me.  Of course I’m not going to stop supporting the people I love!!

I have a good life.  I’m happy and healthy, and I like where I am.  But am I missing something? And is that something marriage to a rich guy?  I’m going to go with ‘no’.

It’s really the idea of someone taking care of me.  That sounds a little selfish, I know.  It’s the modern persons want of an easier life.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but the part that concerns me is that it’s manifested into a very ‘not me’ kind of way.  I mean really?  Since when am I the ‘marry any rich guy’ sort?  And the thought has permeated to the point that I realized I was checking out peoples average wage section on match.com. Continue reading

Follow Up After Meeting the Ex

breakupYesterday I wrote about seeing my ex for the second time in over a year and a half (you can read it here).  The first time was a few weeks ago, but over the weekend we actually sat down for a chat.  I explained how seeing him again has convinced me that I shouldn’t have him in my life as friends should really bring you up, not bring you down.  I’d like to follow up on that.

I’ve spent the last year and a half absolutely dominating life.  I’ve slowly worked my way up to a happier and healthy me.  The happiest and healthiest I’ve been… ever!!  I’ve never regretted the choice I made breaking up with him because I simply feel so much better about myself.  The longer we spend apart, the less and less he is part of my thoughts.  I remembered him in this sort of fond way.  The good memories are definitely coming through, and I could honestly say to people that I had nothing but good feelings for him.  Other than stories and some things that reminded me of him, I had begun to go about my life without considering him anymore.

The last two days has been totally different.

After seeing him and talking to him, I wrote the post about how uneasy I was.  It took me a long time to realize the reason why.  Just being around him brought me back to how I used to feel.  Inadequate.  My year and a half of hard work had taken a massive hit and I was reverting back to the person I had been with him.  So I decided I wasn’t going to pursue being his friend anymore.  Yesterday I wrote about it, but I still felt uneasy.  I have now spent the last two days thinking about him, feeling totally confused, and I’m a little angry about it.  I still don’t regret my decision, and in fact I feel completely justified in it now.  After spending so much time being happy lately, I resent that he so easily kicked me down.

A year and a half feeling amazing, working through this break-up and re-taking my life, one meeting with him has turned me into an obsessive ex-girlfriend.  I’m not obsessing over whether or not I made the right choice, I’m obsessing over my choices in relation to his.  I stayed up late last night thinking about him, and I thought about him as I got ready this morning.  The more I thought of him, the angrier I seem to get.  And then I realized I was comparing my life to his as if it somehow reflected badly on me?  What?  How is me being happier than I’ve ever been in any way a failure?

Here are the points I really need to remember…. Continue reading

Friends Should Make You Your Best

friends with exI had a conversation over the weekend with my best friend.  She and I have been through all kinds of highs and lows together.  We’re going on ten years as best friends and I’m happy to say she’s been a real constant in my life.  On this particular outing we talked about what a friends role is in your life and what it shouldn’t be.  A friend should lift you up and make you the best version of yourself.  You should do the same for them.  You are they might get low sometimes and require love and support, but for the most part the people in your life should make you feel happy.

Yesterday, I saw me ex for the second time.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s been a year and a half since I broke up with him.  We’d been together for seven years and were living together.  It was hard finally making the decision to leave.  I was at my lowest point ever.  I just packed up one day and decided I needed to find a way to be happy and I wasn’t going to be able to do it with him.  He took it hard.  After we figured out how to pack up all our things and give notice to our landlord, he told me in an indirect way that he didn’t want to talk to me unless it was an emergency. Because I’d been the one to leave, I decided that he was entitled to not wanting to see me and I did my best to give him that.  I was really bummed of course because I hadn’t stopped caring about him, and I was used to him being my best friend.  But I didn’t call him at all.

Fast forward.  A few weeks ago we were at an event together and it was… weird, but fine.  We were polite, we talked, we quickly caught up and said ‘let’s not be strangers’.  He told me to text him if I was ever in his neighbourhood.  So yesterday, having brunch with a friend in his neighbourhood, I casually texted him to say ‘as promised, letting you know I’m a few blocks away’.  I was surprised when he told me to swing by his place.  I thought we might go for coffee or something, but apparently he wanted me in his home!  I was thrown off by this, but I sucked it up and went over.  There was a time I’d been too self-conscious to even consider it, but I’m now able to trust myself to handle even the most awkward situations. Continue reading

But I Still Love Her

love

My boss recently went through a huge breakup.  Things were said between them that there is just no coming back from.  He told me some stories that I had to honestly say ‘as a girl, I still don’t understand why she said those things to you’.  I don’t usually like pulling the ‘girl’ card, but sometimes I’ve talked to a guy friend and he’s said ‘can you believe that?’ and I’ve had to respond ‘actually yes, that totally makes sense to me’.  In this case, I couldn’t see how he could be so much in the wrong to deserve what she said to him.

They were both at fault.  There was no doubt that the relationship needed to end for sure.  It was toxic.

Fast forward to now.  They’ve been apart about a month.  On thursday he called me into his office and closed the door.  He was super uncomfortable and showed me his phone.  She’d texted ‘can we go for a drink?’.  He hadn’t really spoken to her since they’d broken up and he was flustered.  I asked him why he was nervous, and he admitted that he’d been having these fantasies of hugging her.  Not anything else, just hugging her.  It was his minds way of longing for the connection they’d had.  I asked him if he wanted to go for a drink and he said he honestly didn’t know.

In the end, he went.  I could tell at once things were better the next day.  He was relieved they’d been able to get together and talk.  No pressure, just friends.  He didn’t say it out loud, but he missed her like crazy.

After the weekend he comes into the office and we sit down, and he starts talking about how great it was to see her again.  Now that they don’t live together and are not co-parenting her six year old son, all of the drama was just gone.  He had fun with the kid and they reconnected in a  way they hadn’t been able to in months.  Today he started talking about ‘if I get back together with her, how am I ever going to tell everyone?’ Continue reading

Breaking up is Hard to Do

BreakupI read an article recently about divorce entitled ‘The Harsh Realities of Divorce’.  You can find it here.  It really just goes through how it actually works with all the decisions and lawyers.  It made me think about my own breakup over a year ago now.  We have been together seven years, and while we weren’t married, we were living together and sharing a life.  So in a way, it was a lot like a divorce.

But here’s the thing.  I didn’t want anything.  When we broke up, I was just out.  I looked around at all our ‘stuff’, and thought ‘I don’t care’.  I mean some of it was expensive, and some of it was 100% mine, but I was at a point in my life where I just wanted out.

It was hard at first to consider walking out the door with a bag and starting over.  It was extreme, and it scared me.  I mean I was going to be losing a lot of money.  But really, what does that matter?

Starting again is hard, but what it allows is a complete new beginning.  I’m not held down by anything I carry from my old life.  We had a lot of entertainment stuff; a flat-screen TV, blue-ray player, Xbox, DVDs, sound system, etc.  The few things that weren’t 100% mine we had split.  A lot of it I’d had before we got together, or bought myself.  I took a look at it all, and knew he’d nickle and dime me over it all, and said ‘take it’.  My new life would be without TV, without Xbox and without perfect sound.  But I had my laptop and some amazing Bose headphones, so I could make-due.  I took a look at all the furniture we’d collected and said ‘the couch is my moms, she’ll want it back, and the bed is mine because I paid for it’.  Nothing else matters.  The treadmill, the chairs, the coffee table… just take it. Continue reading

My Boyfriend Hated my Bun

hair BunThere was this fight I used to have over and over again with my ex.  It focused on the pile of hair on the top of my head.  Any girl that has long hair is a friend of the bun.  The messy, throw it up and keep it off your face and neck fix for long locks.  I love my long hair.  I wear it down, straight, curly, wavy, and sometimes just blow dried out.  But sometimes, I just want it out of the way.  Those sometimes are when I’m working out, cleaning, cooking, or just spending a saturday morning mucking about before going out.  There are so many times my hair doesn’t have to look perfect, so I throw it up out of the way.  The bun.

My ex told me it reminds him of one of the winter hats with the pom poms on the top.  My reaction to that was ‘that’s so cute!’, but apparently that’s not the angle he was taking.  Apparently, it was a huge turn off for guys.  Not just him, all guys.

Now, my first question was ‘are you the speaker on behalf of all guys out there?’.  Of course not.  So I went to the internet.  Out there are all kinds of tutorials for girls on how to get the perfect, carefree looking bun.  It’s a fad now, piling your hair on the top of your head.  I’ve always done it for convenience, but the new hipster trend of looking like you don’t care yet somehow look perfect, has taken over.  Buns are all the rage.

So I went back to my ex, at the time, and said ‘you’re going to have to get used to it’, to which is responded, ‘what’s wrong with a ponytail?’.

Which brings me to a very strange thing to admit.  And this is not meant to be mean in any way. I grew up in a not very wealthy neighbourhood.  Cigarettes and cheese puffs were the way of life for a few of my friends.  I had some overweight friends, and they used to slick their greasy hair back in ponytails every day.  So when I pull my hair back, I think of them.  Because I’ve always struggled with my weight, it’s become a fear of mine to look like them.  I know, it sounds awful saying something like that out loud.  They were beautiful people, but society taught me that the way they looked was not what I wanted to look like.  That lesson, although I’ve learned a lot about accepting people for who they are and what they look like, has apparently never really left. Continue reading