Sunday Edition #16: My Column in Yellow
In my last serious relationship my partner was steady, predictable, stable and kind. It was perfect on paper. But I was miserable and ended up leaving in a dramatic way. I’m just starting to date someone new and his stability scares me because I worry that maybe I’ll get bored again.
What if being with him means I am confined to be ordinary and ultimately unhappy?
The chill in the New York City air brings about a longing for a big heavy blanket, Netflix and someone to cuddle up on. We crave the love story on TV, movie screens and in books. We look forward to the sigh of relief when the struggle of “being single” finally comes to an end as we change our Facebook status from “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship.”
Slowly the sigh of relief turns into a choked suffocation and all the windows in the room are painted shut. You can’t breath. How is this happening?? Two possible scenarios are at play here. You are either with the wrong person or you are afraid of commitment.
Let’s talk about commitment.
We as a society are getting married later and later in life. With that comes a stronger independence and attachment to how we live day-to-day. Our schedules (or lack thereof) become part of our identities, our way of life. So, it becomes harder to make space or let someone into our schedule.
Many of us who married young (such as myself) are divorced and back out in the dating swamp dealing with healing and lessons learned. Personally, I’ve worked hard since my marriage ended 10 years ago to rediscover who I truly am.
I want commitment but I’m afraid of it. I’m afraid life with a stable Lover will tame my fire, mute my passion and make me ordinary. Which is why I run from men who will give me a safe home and fall into the ones who will rip me apart.
I’ve wrongly associated Stability with a loss of self.
It is easy to blame others for our personal boredom especially in a relationship that doesn’t involve drama. We are addicts of drama because it creates extreme emotions that simulate the feeling that you are living life fully rather than just existing within it.
Maybe you are sacrificing your true self because you feel you have to match their more steady way of life. I did exactly that in my marriage. But the thing is… I did it voluntarily. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. Guess what. You don’t.
Being stable doesn’t mean being stuck. You can still pursue your passions, go out to parties, bars and clubs, have random and spontaneous nights on the town. You can still be the person you were before them and you should be because that is who they fell head over heels for on that first date.
Could it be that this new guy isn’t right for you? Sure, but from your question, it sounds like you have a pattern of sabotaging then bailing out on the steady life. Find gratitude for what you have. Change the narrative from suffocating and boring to stable and nurturing so you have somewhere to grow from.
Also, having a relationship isn’t a life requirement. We have been conditioned to believe it is and we are failing if we don’t have one. But really, failing is living a life that belongs to someone else.
Ultimately, this isn’t about them. It is about you and could require a deep dive within yourself to discover why you are avoiding a stable Lover.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.