Wednesday, October 19, 2011
In Lindy Chaffin Start's blog post Monday, she detailed conversations that decisively ended relationships. I was impressed. Me? I seem more like our reader Denise, who commented:
Oh, you are so not alone. I always see the good and write the bad off to just a bad moment. I will forgive just about anything.
Here are some examples from the past.
Me: "I am thinking about going to University of Colorado and getting my Ph.D."
Serious Boyfriend: "Go for it. But I can't promise I will be waiting around for you when you are finished."
Stunned silence. Eventually, I give up my dream of getting a Ph.D. and marry the guy.
Me: "So what's this big secret you want to tell me?"
Friend: "I am having an affair with John Doe."
Stunned silence. John Doe is married and all of our mutual friends know it. I don't approve, but I keep her secret, lying for her when friends ask about their relationship.
Me: "What just happened?"
New Boyfriend: "You're just not as slim and slender as I originally thought."
Stunned silence. I am 5' 2"; at the time, I weighed 105 pounds. My confidence is shattered, but we talk it through and I end up in a four-year relationship with the guy.
Denise went on to say:
I do have a line or two and am drawing more. There's just so much a girl can put up with, right?
I like to think my learning curve is also improving. I am learning to speak up for myself. I divorced the husband. I broke ties with the friend. I ended the four-year relationship. And here are some examples from more recent history.
Me (on a third date): "So tell me more about your situation with your ex."
New Boyfriend: "Well, she isn't exactly my ex. We aren't exactly separated. And she doesn't exactly know I am seeing other people."
Great balls of fire! I don't date married men! Please take me home!
Me: "That's a great idea. I would love to spend Valentine's Day in the mountains with you."
Boyfriend of Six Months: "I'm going to have to cancel our weekend reservation. My mom is expecting me at her house for Sunday night dinner."
I hope your mom will also keep you warm at night! Bye-bye!
I don't know why it's taken me a lifetime to figure this all out. But the good news is that am no longer willing to spend five minutes with a man who diminishes me in anyway or puts me at the bottom of his priority list. Nor am I willing to keep dirty secrets for a friend or put up with any kind of abuse from anyone--whether it's directed at me, at a minority group, or anyone else. At this stage of the game, it's about being true to myself and treating others the way I want to be treated.
If that isn't true love, I don't know what is.
Where do YOU draw the line?
Author: Pam Asberry