Although I fall closer to the prudish side of the scale when it comes to these things, I do believe that when it comes to matters of the heart sometimes you have to take risks and try something out, without over-thinking it. I guarantee if you weighed up the pros and cons and carried out in-depth background check on every potential person before you got involved with them, your life would be incredibly dull.
Once upon a time (not so long ago, actually) I was on the brink of embarking on a relationship which I probably knew deep down wasn’t for me. When I went to an older and wiser (questionably) friend of mine for advice she told me that in life we should grab love wherever we could find it even if it was unlikely to be our #happilyeverafter. At the time, I ended up crying to her because I was tired of relationships that just ended and I just wanted this to be my end game (which everyone, including myself, knew wouldn’t be the case). Although, the relationship was relatively short and sweet, it wasn’t terrible. And although, it wasn’t the exact kind of love I wanted or needed, it was still love (and about as much as he could give me). Imagine dying without having ever been in love. What a terrible fate that would have been. So, eventually, despite a tonne of fun, the relationship came to an end (as predicted). I was heartbroken (obviously). At least I didn’t blame him for cheating me out of my ‘childbearing years. But is it fair to say that this experience could have potentially sabotaged my chances of finding #happilyeverafter (or at least delayed them)? I wonder…
It’s OK to Accept Scraps But Not Of Love
Like many young girls, there was a time in my life when I thought I’d marry my first love and live happily ever after. THE END. Wouldn’t that have been lovely? Yes But No But. Well, there probably wouldn’t have been much to blog about had that been my fate. As I’ve grown up, I’ve learnt that not everything has got to end in #happilyeverafter (although chances are it may have to end!).
What I mean here is that there is a time and place for everything. Flings have a purpose. They give you something to get excited about. Booty calls also have a purpose. As does the odd one-night stand. I won’t spell it out for you. If nothing else, all of these encounters keep life interesting. But the thing is that (at least from my limited experience) this is only the case if you can keep things light and fluffy by learning to keep your feelings out of it. It’s when feelings and LOVE get involved that things get messy.
So sure, there are times in life when you accept scraps of banter, the odd ego boost here and there and even seize the opportunity to get in on some bedroom action. But scraps of LOVE? That is where I think that things just become really difficult. Why? Ugh, I don’t have all the answers but once feelings start to feature and your lives become more intertwined it becomes harder to cut ties, yet you know that you can’t really settle for what you are getting. Still, like a drug, they’ll keep giving you lots of temporary highs (don’t forget the epic lows too) until you hit rock bottom.
Learning To Walk Away Is An Equally Important Skill As Being Able To Keep Your Feelings Out of It
Sure, in my old age I’ve just about mastered the art of keeping my feelings out of it. And let me tell you, that doesn’t necessarily make an experience bland in any sense. There can still be plenty of chemistry, fun and even a few big Os. Having established clear boundaries in your mind also makes you feel pretty smart as in : Sure, the banter is great and the hottie makes me feel really good about myself, but can I expect him to join me on a double date with my besties? Hell No!. Knowing that you won’t be heartbroken when the encounter ends if also something that is pretty satisfying.
Learning how to walk away is something I still need to work on. I almost did it once but quickly realised that the offerings out there weren’t much better so I quickly turned around returned to this bloke with my tail between my legs (although to me credit, I did downgrade him in my mind, which helped!). But yes, if you know something isn’t going to work and you don’t think you can keep your feelings out of it for whatever reason, then you should walk away. But again, it isn’t always that easy. You should at least try though.
Why It Has The Potential To Stand In the Way of #HappilyEverAfter
Getting emotionally entangled in something which has no realistic future is problematic in a number of ways. Firstly, once you’ve developed feelings for someone however much logic tells you that things aren’t working and have no chance of improving, it won’t be easy to turn your back on a relationship. In many such cases, there will be a lot of toing and froing (and possibly even a formal separation or ‘break‘) before you finally bite the bullet. And by the time you do finally get around to taking the leap, you’ve lost a lot of precious (potentially child-bearing) time. Jokes. Even then, having just come out of an (unhappy) relationship, you probably won’t be all that emotionally stable (e.g. I was bursting into tears at the sight of a wheelly bin – don’t ask!) or dateable. Finally, god only knows how long it’ll take to work through your issues and undo the damage of the past.
And Finally, Why This Type Of Over-Analysis Is Futile
Now, let me contradict everything I’ve just said above. We could spend forever and day sitting here, going around in circles about what could have been. Chances are while you were busy growing feelings and accepting scraps of love (or whatever) from the wrong person, your Prince(ss) Charming probably wasn’t sitting right under your nose (if they were your goody two shoes virginal cousin would have been sorted yonks ago!). And whats to say that the potential lessons your learnt thanks to that experience doesn’t make you a better prospect for when The One does come along. That, or it could have traumatised you to such an extent that you resign your self to life as a sad spinster eating berries and living in the forest. Who knows? The possibilities and endless. It happened. Hopefully you can take something positive away from it.
So, I think the advice of accepting love wherever and whenever it is available isn’t such great idea. That said, nor is a life as an eternal virgin. So, train yourself to see things for what they are and learn that not everything has to be about #happilyeverafter. Of course, its OK to dream of finding End Game but don’t forget to have some lighthearted experiences on the way.
Rinsers. What are your thoughts on the matter? Should you seize every opportunity to at having a relationship? Or should you try to take a step back and see things for what they are before proceeding? Does accepting scraps do more long term damage? And does everything really need to be about #happilyeverafter? Share your stories in the comments below.