That first rush of infatuation, the giddiness of a new relationship. It is like riding a tilt-a-whirl at the carnival, up and down, faster and faster and then the sudden stop. The world comes crashing in and down around us.
Does he like you as much as you like him? Is he the one? Are you the one for him? What should you do, how much should you do? What does he like? Who can you ask that will tell you his likes and dislikes with precision so you can follow a script to his heart. When will he call again? Should you call him? How many texts a day are too many? His last girlfriend was a blond, should you bleach your hair? His last two girlfriends had big tata’s, does this mean he is definitely a breast man, how do yours measure up? Should you ask him or just get a new rack as a surprise, how much does that cost anyway.
Do you find you have suddenly stopped girls’ night out? Are your friends wondering where you are or worse who you are because when they call you these days you rush them off the phone to keep the line free while you wait for him to call. This is a sure sign you have begun the slow descent into the strange and horrifying world of lost personalities and lives, that place where you leave yours at the door called ‘relationship’.
Linger too long in this bleak alternative universe and it is a hard road back into the life you left behind. Worse yet, the partner you are pursuing might not join you in that desolate place you have stumbled into; you may be on a lonely excursion. What were you thinking when you made the decision to forget yourself, your friends and even your family excluding them from your life in favor of your newfound paramour? Did he ask for this sacrifice or is it just your way of showing him your dedication and love.
If you remember the list from the first in this series, Chasing Perfection several of the items on that list had a consistent theme:
- Giving up our own life (family, friends and interests)
- Lack of Ambition or Sacrificing Ambition
- Not being our authentic selves
- Trying to change ourselves, worse trying to change him
These are clearly woven together into a single strand and for those of us who transform ourselves in our desperate attempts to be loved and accepted we are ultimately lost to ourselves and those who truly loved us just as we were. So what happened? Where did we detour on the road to self-actualization, personal ambition and fulfillment in favor of what can only be termed emotional thralldom.
Before going further, it is important to sweep out the notion that we are talking of those circumstances brought on by abusive partners. Those partners who isolate you from society and strip you of self-esteem, financial support and personal ambition do so to enable their abuse. While it is true if we see the early signs and don’t run, we are enablers through our continued presence. Usually abuse of this nature is slow and stealthy. The abusive relationship has an entirely different pathology and one that we won’t delve into here.
Lost in Transformation
The phone rings and you don’t answer unless it is him. How many Friday nights have you waited for him to call? When did you determine his phone call was more important than chatting with your friends or for that matter a
Saturday of shopping? You use to take on special projects at work, sometimes working late nights or over the weekend to complete them; this represented opportunity for you to advance in your chosen career. Now your boss wonders if you are ill, perhaps have a brain tumor because not only aren’t you volunteering for special projects your regular work is suffering and you are out like you have rocket fuel under your heels at 5:00pm sharp.
You are making clear choices in your life, giving up yourself your friends and your personal ambitions to mold yourself to someone else. Ask yourself, did that person ask for these sacrifices? Are you far enough along in a relationship where these sacrifices are warranted? Is there any clarity to your thinking in making these changes, who are you becoming and in this becoming how authentic are you now?
The person you were when you went on your first date who was that person? Isn’t that who was attractive to the man you are now changing your cosmos for? Will he still be attracted once you change yourself completely into who you believe he wants?
Do you honestly believe in making the changes you will somehow, some way retain your true and authentic self or is that less important than gaining the man?
How happy will you be once you have converted entirely to a shadow of the person you once were to gain the esteem and love of a man you barely know and who will now never know you.
Red has done a marvelous piece on Self-Actualization and I recommend a stop at her shop to participate in this discussion.