Picture if you will, that you dated a person for about 6 months and in that time had high hopes for a future together.
Imagine that somewhere along the way you started falling out of love with the idea of building a life with that person. Then, after some amount of self reflection, and coming to terms with ending another relationship, you muster the courage to have that tough conversation.
Not only are you letting go of the hope you once had, but also faced, again, with a life that’s lacking a very necessary ingedient. Saying it’s not easy feels like an understatement. It’s fucking tough.
But you have the conversation and in it are forced to hear all the ways or reasons that it’s not a good match, from the other persons perspective. Things you are already aware of but hearing them out loud is also tough.
Add to that, the extra slap in the face that in that other persons eyes, it was never defined as a relationship in the first place. “Because ‘we’ don’t need to label things and put boxes and boundaries around what it is or isn’t.”.
He said ‘we’ but never asked me to be included in that. I was included as a party to it through only my own silence and inability to say what I wanted or what I needed. Will I ever learn from my own mistakes?!?!
So we were never “we”. And there was never “us” so there’s nothing that needs to end or change. That’s bullshit but I’m a chicken shit, so I don’t call him out on it. Again, I maintain my silence. And in silence my, implied compliance.
Now.. picture if you will, less than a week after that painful, slap in the face, heart hurting conversation, the other person lets you know they need you for “business venture foo”. What do you do (after you are done lamenting WTF??!!)?
As a dedicated, good-hearted person, I agreed to go. Then I went and gave 100% of myself in that effort. Pro-bono.
Toward the end of that business meeting, the client looked at him and then at me and then asked, “So how did you two meet?”
I was not touching that one for all the bitcoin in the world! I looked at Simon and raised my eyebrows to signal, that ones for you my friend.
He answered “online”. Which of corse led to more questions. So there we were, two people never having “labeled” what we were and subsequently what we are. I let him continue… and he floundered. Eventually she looked at me.
I said, point blank, “We we’re dating but we’re not anymore”. There. How hard was that? And as it turns out, that’s enough of an answer that we could turn the conversation back to business.
There are two big takeaways from this…
1.) If you are going to successfully operate in society, as flawed as it is, you have to conform, in part, to the constructs in use by that society. Labels and definitions are not optional if you want to communicate with people.
Further, the lack of definition and boundaries and rules causes misunderstanding which ultimately leads to negative feelings and sometimes, on a very broad platform, chaos.
2.) Don’t be afraid to say, out loud, what you want. (This applies only to me and anyone else reading who may exhibit some of my same timid relationship behaviors).
If I were to take my own advice, I would level with Simon and make sure he understands these points. I would also provide him with the definitions and boundaries for ‘us’ if we do, in fact, continue to collaborate on his ‘Startup’.
Scratch that! Remove the ‘if’ and replace with ‘when’! So then it really becomes a question of when. And you know by now what else I say.. “Today is a good day to start”! 😉
Improving communication and understanding at every opportunity.
In Peace and Harmony,