Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In honor of a girl who knows her heart

One of my absolute dearest friends is in the midst of what may be the end of her first real relationship in quite sometime. It had a lovely start, two people coming together with similar senses of humor, interests and mutual attraction. I watched from afar (we live in different cities) and did a little happy dance as one of the people I treasure most in this world was rewarded with meeting someone who fell for the amazingly unique gal that I already know and love. Were relationships or the male/female dynamic easy, things would have ended there and they would have marched lovingly into the sunset. However - as we're all brought back to reality at times, things haven't quite panned out that way. And while my first reaction is to be sad for my friend, and chalk this up as to yet another example of how damn hard relationships are - I've started to realize that this is yet another experience she's had in which I can look at it as a whole and say, "you did this right - and you'll be o.k." Let me explain.

Though she professes to have little experience with serious relationships, this is a person who is consistently introspective and curious about who she is and why she experiences life the way she does (read: self-actualization - a favorite term brought back into my neo-cortex by a comment from Sadia). I have long admired this friend for this trait - and for her willingness to take certain steps to push her limits, try new things, meet new people. She is simply "doing life" the way I think it should be done. And this relationship is no different. She started dating when she moved to the city, met up with a variety of guys and took her time getting serious with one of them. She was cautious with laying her cards on the table, but not overly so. She was honest about her experience (or lack thereof in a relationship sense) and she was open to his honesty in turn. And each step of the way she's been realistic about what she's looking for, what she's comfortable with. And this is what is ultimately drawing this relationship to a close (we think). And for this I am very proud of her. Because while many people have certain needs that they are willing to set aside for the sake of being with someone, of having other needs met - basic unmet needs often contribute to discordance in relationships and building resentments that can turn lovey-dovey into a roller coaster ride. She has identified some basic needs that aren't getting met, and while she also recognizes the things she has found in this relationship and shares with this person, she's not pushing the basics aside for the sake of holding onto these things as solitary relationship gems. I am so immensely proud of her for this...and she is of course totally hurt and sad. Still, as I watch her experience this and do my best to comfort her, I know this is exactly why dating is so important in the first place. I know this experience will one day shed incredible light on an even bigger decision she makes to move forward with someone else and open her heart even further.

So stay strong girl - you're on the right track, and you are uber-loved.


Blogger should-be-working said...

Isn't that "honeymoon" stage an interesting one to observe from afar? Even the most grizzled, calloused person can't help but feel just the slightest twinge of hope for a couple who's just madly in love with each other. I'm sure this is hard, but I have a feeling she'll bounce back just swimmingly, especially with a strong support base.

11/15/2006 11:58 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

Something I've been thinking about:

Does dating around make you jaded? Doesn't it make it harder to recognize when you truly do have something special?

11/15/2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

SBW - I think so too :)

Eve - I think about that as well. But I think it depends just how intense the "dating" is. Meeting with different people for drinks or dinner in my eyes is an opportunity to interact on a basic level. While I think most dates rarely turn into anything, somehow the experiences help when you come across someone who really makes your heart sing - if only because you realize just how silent it was in other interactions. I guess you could get jaded going out over and over with people who don't strike your fancy (this definition of jaded applies 100% to me and my outlook on potential dates in Orange County) but in small doses I don't think it hurts.

One more thing (I am in serious work procrastination mode today if that's not evident by my excessive posting) - I think the more intense the dating is (i.e. more than dinner/drinks i.e. sex etc.) the harder it is to distinguish when something special comes along. If everything's already on the table - how would you know?

11/15/2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's to bouncing, and may she do it well.

Everything is hard in the beginning, but before long the clouds will clear. All the best to you both.

11/15/2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger H said...

Wow. I think I could learn a lesson from your friend. Good luck to her, although it doesn't sound like she needs it. As they say, who needs luck when you've got skill?

11/16/2006 4:53 AM  
Blogger Mac said...

When I was once again found dating in my mid-forties, it became kinda different...kinda like you say Megs...comfortible level.

Some dates were just plain stupid (bad screening); others turned into casual friends. Others went farther.

I use to have a policy, and that was the relationship did not go any farther than both parties were comfortible with. So, at times I may have been more interested...but what was the point if she was not?

I also learned to keep my own expectations low. That way I was often pleasantly surprised.

In time all things reveal themselves. You know how close Reese and I are (by the way, for those of you reading this, I am Megan's oldest brother, not some older guy who likes to read young women's blogs). In time (like your friend) we realized it was not working as a romantic relationship. But we are still roomates.

Now I have no idea what would happen if one of us started dating. To be honest, I've lost interest, which is not a bad thing at my age. It's actually rather freeing.

11/16/2006 5:33 AM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

thanks all - she reads this and will appreciate your words :)

Bro - I feel you on the dating. The only "dates" i have had or have pending are so uninspiring to me I don't even feel like writing about them on my "dating" blog. But I suppose that has been freeing in that I'm posting about things a lot more pertinent to my life right now - and that's been hugely gratifying.

11/16/2006 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's difficult to see the reality sometimes when the relationship is going along just the way we like it. I, for one, have made excuses for the hims in my life... the rose coloured glasses made me do it. It's amazing when we can finally take them off, see what the reality really is and be honest enough with ourselves about what we are going to do about it, then actually doing it.

Cheers to the girl who is well on her way to getting everything she deserves - far to many women settle for less.

And about her broken heart, here are four wise words that have helped me... "This too shall pass."

Thinking of you

11/16/2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger BGGrrrl said...

geez I thought you were writing about me for a sec. Crazy.

11/16/2006 5:08 PM  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

Alice - you're one of my favorite people too :)

11/16/2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger BGGrrrl said...

This reminds me of a song I've really connected to lately by one of my favorite singers...

Alguna vez te dije que me quedaba para siempre
y lo pensé, aunque ahora quizás no te lo parezca
pero no hablaba por hablar
era el momento y el lugar
y esta pena que siento ahora,
lo sé, que no me dejará igual

Porque, hoy es la última vez que hablo contigo
hoy es la última vez y no puedo explicar éste final

Notas lo que te digo ahora hablas si porque me duele
creen mis ojos que alguna vez cuando nos mirabamos
pero lo dejamos pasar
perdimos la oportunidad

porque hoy es la última vez que hablo contigo
hoy es la última vez y no puedo explicar éste final..

hoy es la última vez que hablo contigo
hoy es la última vez y no puedo explicar éste final..

hoy es la última vez que hablo contigo
porque hay tantos por pensar que todo lo podíamos arreglar..

The song is by Julieta Venegas and it is called Ultima Vez

11/17/2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

Hmm, that rings true. When you are comfortable relating to people, opening up, just being yourself, that seems like the time when you are more likely to meet someone or really connect. I think it's the comfort level. Oh, and what you say about recognizing when it really does happen, and the others as sort of warm-ups to the real heart-singing.

I guess I just don't like forcing myself to go on dates, the whole thing scares me a bit. I just want to go from free to wow. Unrealistic I am realizing.

11/17/2006 11:36 AM  

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