I’m stressed. And I just ate a shitload of candy. Feeling disgusting. My distraction from purging and hating myself even more: writing. So, let’s get to it.
My dear friend Gabriel read my last post, commented, and got me thinking (as usual!). He wrote:
“What’s important about him is he made me realize I deserve love. And nice things. And a good man.”
Question: Has anyone else before this new guy made you realize the same things as this new guy? And if so, could this be a cycle you’re going through of feeling like you need a guy to give you these things rather than relying on yourself to give you these things? And if so, should you really be jumping into yet another relationship in which your well-being depends on someone else?
I know, personally, how difficult it is to not allow your well-being to be determined by someone else (I’ve gone through yet another example myself recently), but what I’ve learned is that in the times that I let go of this need, in the times that I can observe myself loving me and doing nice things for me and being good to me, it’s these times that I feel less depressed and feel like I could actually end up being okay.
He gives great advice right there (as usual!). And you should definitely check out his writing/blog.
So, Gabriel got me thinking about a lot of stuff. First up, to answer his first question: no. What I learned about myself with C hasn’t been the same as what I learned about myself with the Russian. In part, this is my fault for being so quiet on the blog lately.
I’d say, with the Russian I learned that I can, in fact, do the whole dating thing and snag a guy I find attractive. With C, I’ve learned that I deserve much better than the Russian, and, the most important part: that it’s up to me and only me to choose that goodness for myself. If a guy isn’t cutting it on the goodness scale, then it’s up to me to let him go. In summary, it’s up to me to demand better things for myself. That’s something I didn’t do with the Russian, unfortunately. I have to be good to myself, but I also have to demand others to give me that goodness. Nobody else is going to do it for me, not even the guy who claims to like me and want to date me.
A while ago I told my best friend from med school, how I had noticed that before meeting the Russian and at the beginning of our dating tryst I felt so happy with my life, and with myself in general. I mostly felt comfortable with me during the month of September.
That, of course, has never happened to me. So it was something new and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hence, I was very protective of myself and setting my firm boundaries when I first started getting to know the Russian. That’s how things should be in relationships, right? However, as time passed by, I became less protective of myself, began tearing down those boundaries, and became more dependent on the Russian…more vulnerable, but not in a good way. I was dependent on him to make me feel happy with my life and myself…something I had been doing for myself for about a month by then.
When I came to realize that I was so angry at myself, and I felt so disappointed by what I had allowed to happen. In short, Gabriel, yes, I do fall constantly into a cycle where I feel like I need a guy to validate me, instead of validating myself. It’s my default behavior. What’s funny is the following: I was happier during the month of September, when I was providing that validation for myself, than during the month of October, when I was depending on the Russian to do it for me.
It’s embarrassing to admit that that’s my default. But! There is still hope! The month of September proves that I can do that validation all for myself! The problem now is this: How do I continue to validate myself while being in a relationship? How do I *not* depend on a guy, but still have him by my side? Granted, I’m not in a relationship right now, but if I ever am in one, that will be the number one challenge I’ll have to deal with.
Why is it that I’m capable of validating myself when I’m alone, but turn into that self-conscious pubertal 12 year-old once a guy notices me? Is it the stress of dating that makes me revert to old ways? What is it?
I honestly don’t know. All I know is, as much as I detest dating and all it entails, it’s been a necessary process for me to grow into my own skin. Up until this year, I’d never seriously gotten involved with anyone. And, as weird as it sounds, adding guys to my roster of failed dates and potential relationships has helped me be more selfish in a good way.
However, I’ve yet to learn how to break that endless cycle of depending on guys to validate me. It’s not the first time I’ve thought I might not be suitable for relationships due to my fragile sense of identity.
To be honest, at this very moment, I don’t think anything solid is going to develop with this new guy C. Maybe I’m just letting the stress get to me (I’m riding high on the haterade today). But, if something does happen, that will be my challenge: to validate myself, to be selfish, to protect myself, to obtain that elusive balance of vulnerability in a loving relationship all the while maintaining a firm concept of who I am and not depending on the other person to make me whole.
I have to be whole on my own first. I think I have an idea of what that feels like after September. But how do I stay whole while being with someone?
(I don’t know if I made any sense in this post. But I guess it was more of a self-directed post so I could organize my thoughts. If anyone relates and understands what I mean, then let me know in the comments.)