Are we relationship material? Boy this sounds like a loaded question. A question that I have been spending quality time asking myself. And you know what? I still don’t know the answer. I see adults, ranging in all ages, with life experiences that have either brought them into relationships or out of relationships. I see some that are quite content being alone and others that appear to make a relationship look easy. Some people have married and now are not and some have never taken "the plunge".
I’ve spent a majority of my life gauging what is right for me by what I see society doing... Well, maybe more by what my circle of friends, or exposures I’ve witnessed, seem to dictate as not only acceptable but preferable. I’ve processed these types of stimuli by asking myself: 1) is something I consider in line with my morals and principles; 2) can I see myself in that situation; and 3) does it meet my goals. Of course I too have been victim to rationalizing when it comes to this process and have no one to blame but myself for compromising these personal meters.
After living 31 years I now have discovered that my worst enemy hasn’t been life or others – but myself. I always wanted to be a Pleaser. In fact I felt best in this role. I like harmony and peace. I shy at confrontation or disagreement. In fact you’ll find me usually being the first to apologize even when an apology isn’t needed.
Going through this year's journey has opened up many doors for me. Inner-self doors. It’s truly been an amazing road. And the true delight is knowing that it will never end. Only by my choosing – and I choose not to.
The location of my journey currently has found me wondering if I am relationship material. I sometimes think – I think too much. But I feel this question is vital to my future. If I’m to discover I am not relationship material, then I want to learn to accept it and be comfortable. I don’t want what isn’t mine to have. It's much more satisfying to be grateful for all the blessings I do have, than to want what I can’t have. My counselor asked me why I don’t think I am relationship material. It’s quite hard to express -- it’s more of a feeling.
I wonder if we’re all given our relationship token and if we choose to use it frivolously then the repercussion is " that’s it" -- no "but that one was defective" excuse to get another token. I feel like I’m on that carousel ride and I used my token on my marriage, and when I failed, the attendant said "I’m sorry Miss but you used your only token, this ride is closed."
I question my ability to enjoy the kind of relationship I want since I failed at something that was pretty important to me -- something that I respected and worked quite hard to keep. A marriage and two beautiful daughters, my dreams come true – or so I thought. Of course I must confess that at 19 years of age, I thought I knew what I wanted for the rest of my life. Well, I did, but what I didn’t consider was how much I would change with maturity. Now, I really enjoy self-awareness, spirituality, and spending this time with myself. I seek to learn more about myself and how I interact with people, how I’m influenced, how I process my choices, and how can I, if possible, be relationship material.
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Even though I failed at my marriage, I know that married life is where I want to be. I want to enjoy the love, passion, respect, security, trust, friendship, and compassion that marriage represents. Yes I know not all marriages represent those qualities, but my personal definition does. I want a man in my life that looks to me to share his high and low for the day. I want to be the one person in his life that he knows fail-safe will always be there for him. That I will be the one that he wants to rush to share his successes, his failures, his silly moments, his secrets, and his vulnerable side. I never want to be invisible again to the man I love. I always viewed marriage to be a bond between two people that if built properly would weather any storm and come out stronger. But now I question if these views are too idealistic and not obtainable -- making me a relationship disaster.
I’m considering that it may come down to expectations. Are my expectations too high? Are they absurd? Am I simply ungrateful for the level of participation one wants to share in a relationship with me? I read once that just because someone doesn’t love you "the way you want him or her to" doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all he or she has.
The struggle I’m left to face, for now, is how do I balance what I believe to be important in a relationship and hold true to myself that isn’t unrealistic? This can’t be answered overnight or found on a fortune cookie. It’s all a part of the journey; a journey that if I trust will not fail me. I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person that thinks this way. Do I have too much time on my hands? Am I just being an insecure impatient person? That’s probably it. Mix that with an over-achiever who has something to prove to herself and now we’re talking volumes.
Am I relationship material? I think we all naturally assume at some stage in our lives that yes we are. Of course we are. Why wouldn’t we be? There are millions of people out there – we must be compatible with a few. The one thing I have learned that will forever remain true for me -- I cannot make someone love me. All I can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.bookrelationship1
About The Author
Tracie Ann Robinson is a woman on a mission of self discovery. She was recently divorced having been married her whole adult life (she is now 31). She is a professional woman and writes part-time with the goal of sharing her relationship experience and insights. She has writtennumerous articles for InnerSelf Magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]