Standing Outside the Fire

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Apologies to any readers who received this post twice!  Albeit a great letter, the intention is always to post new material… We are in the midst of trying out a few new things, so thank you for your patience!

Dear Dharma,

I’m in desperate need of your help but haven’t reached out until now because I’m still pretty sensitive about what’s going in my life. I’m going to bullet point this because it will make my cluster f*ck of a life more understandable.  Bear with me….

  1. I haven’t been single since I was 13 – I’m now 27.
  2. My relationship of 3 years ended because we didn’t want the same things (even though he knew what was important to me the entire time). He didn’t value building a career and wanted to focus on his athletic dreams, which I get, but would have been nice if he told me that from the get go.
  3. I just started dating a friend of 7 years and we have the exact same values but then he told me he didn’t want a relationship because he couldn’t handle uncertainty in his life, as he was under great stress due to education goals. FABULOUS. However, he still calls and acts like he’s into having this half assed relationship.

This all happened within the last 2 months. Oh and I bought an apartment and got a dog all on my own.

I’m trying to focus on my life at this time but it’s hard when all my friends are in long term relationships or married and I’m eating my feelings at home. F*ck.

So my question is how long is learning to focus on me going to suck?  And when am I going to become an independent bad ass woman who don’t need no man. Right now I have this overwhelming feeling like I’m going to die alone – have you seen what’s out there? Double f*ck.

Dharma, I hope you have your crystal ball out for this one.

Mo

Dear Mo,

So, the first thing you need to do, sister, is ease the f*ck up on yourself!  Beating yourself up like this is only going to leave bruises, and nothing good comes from that.

The next thing you need to do is start owning who you are.  The good, the flawed, and the flawless… The sooner you do that, the sooner you can start putting some solutions in place.

Based on the history above, you are clearly someone who prefers to be in a relationship.  That doesn’t need to be a bad thing.  Except that you think it is.  You think it makes you weak, and you are fighting that with every fiber of your being.

There are lots of people who are great at being single, being alone.  They are just a better version of themselves when they have their own space.  On the same token, there are lots of people who simply do better when they are in a relationship.  I know this, because I’m one of them.

However, admitting that you are this type of person does not give you a free pass to make crappy decisions as to who to be in a relationship with.  And it doesn’t give you a free pass to blame these guys entirely when things don’t work out.

Let’s take Guy #1.  You say he didn’t tell you what he wanted from the get go.  Except that… he did.  Every day for 3 years he told you that he didn’t value building a career as he focussed on his athletic dreams.  Every day he told you by his actions, but you let it slide because, come on now, we all know that the heart is so much louder than the brain.

And wishy washy Guy #2… he’s told you he doesn’t want the actual commitment of a relationship, but he’s still hoping you’ll let him spend the night.  You know you have a say in this, non?  To the curb, my friend, to the curb.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Mo, it sounds to me like you have a lot of positives going on that you don’t want to acknowledge.  You’re 27 years old and you just bought an apartment.  That’s a huge accomplishment these days.  You also took on getting a dog all by yourself!  Dogs are a massive responsibility, and as cute as they are, they never grow up.  You’re in it for the long haul and here you are, doing it and making it work!

What if you channelled some of that strength into other areas?  You say you are trying to focus on your life, but… it’s hard.  Because, you know, some of your friends are married.  You might think this is tough love, and that’s okay, because sometimes that’s what we need.  I think you are so much better than you think you are.  You sound witty, self-aware and accomplished.  You just might need some help getting things on track.

You ask how long this all going to suck for?  Well, I’d say for as long as you let it.  A counsellor would likely be very helpful to you in gaining some positive focus, and I’m hopeful you’ll at least consider that?  The strongest people are the ones who ask for help when they need it.

In the meantime, surround yourself with things that make you happy that don’t have to do with boys.  Walk your puppy, take him to obedience classes, decorate your new place exactly how you want to.

But most of all, know that Dharma’s crystal ball says you are not going to die alone.  But that only helps if you believe it too.

Dharma

 

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Categories: Advice, Dating, Relationships

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