I am bad at relationships.
Not in the “I haven’t been on a good date in the past few weeks” or “he didn’t call me” kind of way. Relationships are what I fear more than anything else but also the thing I desire most. Relationships are my personal version of a catch-22.
I am bad at relationships because I am terrified of committing to them. I really don’t think this is that uncommon of an issue. I am not alone in this endeavor. I think people think that not wanting to commit means that you are greedy. You don’t want to settle down because you might meet someone better down the line, you might meet someone different, or more exciting, or someone who just is simply more than what you already have. This is not me.
I am scared of committing and getting hurt. I'm scared to commit and have things be different. I am scared to get too comfortable. I am scared that if I commit to someone or something that that means I have someone else to consider in my life choices. The beauty of being young and unattached is that you have nothing to consider when someone says “let’s run away” or “there is a new amazing job waiting for you… 3000 miles away.” There is nothing to consider except if you want to go or if you want the job. There is no one to consolidate. There is nothing but options.
Maybe that makes me selfish. In fact, i’m certain it does.
Relationships scare me. I either love people too much or not enough and I am not sure which is worse. It is a vicious balancing act.
I said in a previous post that I go from “chillingly distant to alarmingly present.” I think that most the people who know me well know what I mean by that. I am not good at keeping in touch when my life feels overwhelming, and frankly I am easily overwhelmed by life. I forget to call or text back. I close myself off to the outside world because I need time to figure out how I feel about it. Then some days I wake up and all I want is to have conversations and to be connected with the people I love. Even in the times when I am distant though, I still care. My heart is still fully there, but I am not the type of person that calls people daily or makes my presence known. I sometimes have to remind myself that not everyone is wired that way. This is where I fail, because I think as a human it is easy to assume everyone loves and receives love the same way that I do.
I recently found myself on the phone with someone, hysterically crying in my car, telling them how I feel like I am bad at relationships. The feeling kind of snuck up on me to be honest. One minute I am happy with having a “me” day, and the next minute I felt like I was alone by default, not by choice. It doesn’t matter in what context, whether we are talking about people who I thought would be my friends forever who I haven’t spoken to in a lifetime, or the person I have cared about since I was seventeen and can’t ever seem to get things right with. I felt like maybe it was just me, that the one thing all these relationships had in common was me.
I have done some soul searching, and frankly, I can't continue to tell myself how horrible I am at relationships and then wonder why they don't work. I'm failing myself from the get-go. I sell myself out before I even give myself a chance.
I have decided that maybe I am not bad at relationships. I think I am just a work in progress.
I am working on not running myself dry to make someone else feel whole. I realize which relationships are worth watering and which ones are simply running me dry. Love is meant to make both parties better, to fill up all involved. Love does not empty you, and I refuse to give all of myself in an attempt to have a false sense of love.
I am realizing that I need to have relationships that help me grow. People who push me to do better, and people who believe that I am capable of doing the things that I was put on earth to do. I am realizing that this is mutual. Love doesn't work or last without this mutual understanding.
I am realizing that there is nothing wrong with being on my own. There is nothing wrong with being selfish sometimes, to pursue the things I feel like I was put on this earth to do. I want to travel, I want to explore, and have adventure, and write about each and every one I have. Maybe some of those adventures I will experience with perfect strangers, maybe, hopefully, my best adventures will take place with the same people who saw me in my darkest days and helped me find the other side.
I am accepting that not everyone I love is going to be there forever. Not every person is going to be permanent. I am beginning to understand though that thinking about how things enviably fall apart is the perfect way to cheat myself. I am robbing myself of love and I cannot do it anymore.
I am learning that the bravest thing is to risk the fall rather than missing the chance.
I'm sorry I've missed it before, but I won't miss it again.