I was asked to give a presentation on how to build healthy relationships. Yeah me? I don’t honestly think I have ever had one in my life. Putting it in perspective though I may be the best one to do this because I certainly know what unhealthy looks like. I could talk for decades on that subject.
Needless to say I forged onward and began my research this week for the presentation. I surprised myself that I already knew a lot about what a healthy relationship looks like. Perhaps it is just because it is the opposite of what I thought it looked like in the past. Communication is the key. I had that one figured out already. If you cannot talk things through with your partner you are doomed for failure. Healthy boundaries is another. Ugghh… it has taken me a lifetime to learn how to do that. One thing I do want to share that I thought was invaluable was that you should analyze how you feel when you are around your significant other. Are you free to be yourself or do you become someone else? I never knew I should really look at my feelings and not define myself with how the other person feels. How eye opening.
I am baffled sometimes that I have other facets of my life working to a tee. But in the dating arena I have about zero skills. I have realized I just need more practice. Like the wise teachers say… practice, practice, practice and you will get good at it. So while I am a rock star at developing boundaries and successfully communicating with my family, friends and at work (ok most times) I still struggle to do this with a significant other. How can I be so smart in one area but struggle with the same skills in a different area?
I have opened myself up enough to date. Ok, busted… honestly not that much. I am dipping my toes in the water just to get a feel for the temperature. I cannot say I have been very successful. However, I have learned a lot about myself in the process. Who knew dating was to learn about yourself? Fascinating! Yes I have been told I have high standards. But if I am fine alone then it is going to take someone pretty special to make me jump. So forgive me for expecting a lot! I dated a guy who told me on the first date how good he was in bed. WHAT? Is that acceptable? On the third date he proceeded to tell me that after three dates sex naturally follows. WHAT? I wouldn’t even let him pick me up at my house yet. I seriously did google this to see if this is what actually happens in the real world. To my surprise it is and perhaps expected. What to do for a girl like me? I then dated the needy guy who bought me a diamond necklace for Valentine’s day. I freaked. I know not a normal response but we had only been dating for a month. Now a normal girl would love this gift. Me, I literally almost vomited. I remember I opened it and put it in my desk drawer. Too much too soon. Besides my red flags were going off before the over-the-top gift. With this one I did practice laying down my boundaries. He did not respond well and proceeded to dig himself deeper in his hole. Needless to say I am single again.
So I forge on. Continuing to practice but not actively seeking it out. For the first time in my life I like myself and I am okay being by myself. I will leave you with this one last thought I heard on Sex and the City. Don’t judge! I learned a lot from that show and in my next life I want to be SJP. I learned the following and I challenge you to ponder this… The hardest relationship you will ever have is with yourself.
Stay tuned for the trials and tribulations of a dating life for Stacey. May be awhile before I get back to you on this subject….