“Friends, Lovers, Or Nothing”

I don’t know how people are able to be friends with an ex after they break up. I asked the question a while ago, and I decided that I’m just not ready for that, or maybe I’m just not capable of with a guy that I deeply cared about.

I have a great friend that blurs those lines all the time. Friends than lovers than back of fiends, sometimes friends with benefits sometimes just friends. She seems happy so more power to her!

I could never understand how she could do it, and keep sane all the while.

After endless nights of picking her brain over glasses of wine, I decided to chalk it up to being two extremely different people. She is excellent at compartmentalizing, and I am not (although I can fake it for a while and I can be pretty convincing).

I realize I am All or Nothing in pretty much every part of my life. I am all in or I make it pretty clear that I’m not interested.

I make quick decisions about work, people, relationships, books, wine…you name it. I continually work on developing my intuition (not that I am always wise enough to listen to it…) so that I can learn to trust my gut and go with it.

Even beyond that, when I am dating a guy I know pretty quickly what category I plan to put him in. Is there a short shelf life on this guy? Am I just going to date him as long as it’s fun? Is he worth sleeping with? Is there long term potential here?

For better or worse, I make these decisions pretty fast. Maybe I move good guys into the expiration file too fast, but if I’m not interested why fake it for a while? Life is too short to be around with people that may or may not blossom over time.

If I have put the guy in that long term potential category I am all in, fully invested, I want to make this work and give it it’s best shot. And if it doesnt work, my heart is broken for a while, but there is no crossing over into the friend zone.

I have been able to do this once, with my college sweetheart. But he left the country for a few years and we didn’t speak for probably five years, so there was plenty of time for it to transition.

But to do that transition in just a few months? Or weeks or days, like my friendship? No way, not happening.

I had this realization about myself a few days ago, and it put things into perspective. I have always wondered why I want to rush the initial dating stages with guys I really like. I just want to get to the good part, where you’re settled and in love and happy with each other. (Yes, I know, it’s all the good part with the right guy, but in the moment I sometimes just want to fast forward to the part where we know each other inside and out)

I often look at my flaws and try to find how I can improve myself. But I don’t necessarily see this as a flaw. I see it as an opportunity to be aware of myself so that I can be better person in relationships. An opportunity to be completely honest and open. I have a sneaking suspicion that this may be just who I am and it’s not going to change.

Whenever I discover something like this about myself, I get excited. I think that the more I know myself, the better I can be when I show up for the people in my life. I can be honest about my expectations of myself and others. And it helps me sort through the guys even better, because I know if I am not accepted for who I am (all of me, even the flawed parts) then I can wish the guy well as he exits from my life.

It’s why I don’t feel bad for calling a guy I’ve been dating and suggesting a date, even though I know they should always do the chasing in the beginning. I tell people how I feel, I express my opinions, and I show my vulnerabilities. If they don’t like that about me, then they are probably not someone that would fit well in my life.

Here is the video of the John Mayer song that inspired this post. It has inspired an idea for a playlist that I am currently working on, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

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5 thoughts on ““Friends, Lovers, Or Nothing”

  1. Pingback: Reflections and Lessons Learned About Being Friends With An Ex | Single Gal Starting Over

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