January 10, 2012

I'm in an Unhealthy Relationship.

                                           (Giddy over the ice displayed on my ring finger)

As the stresses of planning my upcoming nuptials with Alex start to give me borderline anxiety attacks (whoever says that a wedding is only about the couple getting married is lying), I've been trying to refocus on what a wedding really means. Not only am I reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed (thank you, Herbie), but I've been breaking down the elements of what makes a healthy relationship.

Like thoughtfulness, for example. (I know you like smoothies in the morning, so I made you one despite the fact that I always ask you to make me coffee but you don't do it unless I beg you.)

Patience. (It's okay that you left your clothes hangers all over the bed despite my repeated requests to not leave hangers all over the bed, just please try to remember next time k?)

Compassion. (It's really annoying that you're zoning me out right now, but I know that you're stressed, so instead of complaining to you and making you more stressed, I'll zone you out and pretend I'm zen.)

Short-term commitment. (I just got asked to dinner with some friends tonight, but because we already agreed to watch a sports game tonight that I don't really care about it, I'll still watch the game because I value date night.)

Long-term commitment. (I promise that even when I get really sick of you, I'll stick by you).

So, as I started to reflect on what attributes I wanted my relationship to have, the more I thought about, well, me.

This entry is not about the healthiness status of my relationship with Alex: it's about my relationship with myself.

Comparatively, and I'm not sure if it's a good thing or bad thing or anything, my relationship with myself is far less healthy than my relationship with Alex.  I'm certainly not thoughtful to myself. I mean, I have a lot of thoughts, but surely that in itself doesn't make me "thoughtful," right?  Rarely do I indulge  in sweet kind acts for no particular reason but self-love. (Flowers for me? Nah, not worth it). I'm not that patient with myself either. (You did it again you mindless dweeb--you forgot to respond to that email. Get your act together, woman!) I know I lack self-compassion. (You say you want to write a book, but you don't even have a good enough discipline to write on your blog consistently, so surely you make a terrible writer (and person, for that matter.)) I lack short-term commitment. (Dear Workout, I was going to totally spend time with you tonight, but instead I'm getting a gluten-free pizza with bacon, sorry.)  And, I certainly lack long term commitment. (Dear God, I know that I've committed to this whole "spiritual practice thing," but it's just not as passionate or fun as it used to be, so I'm not saying that its 'You' per se, but it's just too daunting right now to think of having to meditate for "forever.')

Sigh. I'm in an unhealthy relationship with myself.

When did I start cheating on my well-being with my promiscuous mind? When did I start to think that I wasn't worth flowers and patience and and compassion and commitment? When did I start to falsely believe that I could I have a healthy relationship with others when I couldn't even have a healthy relationship with myself?

Screw the golden rule for a bit. I need to do undo myself the way I do unto the people I love. And, maybe with some TLC to good ole me, I'll realize that I don't need a prince charming to live happily ever after, I just need a healthy relationship with Me.

(Although Al and a castle on the Jersey shore would certainly be a nice bonus.)


  1. Love this post - it's so true! Sometimes it's so much easier to be loving to a significant other, and look to THEM to give us the compassion, patience, love and commitment. Ultimately, even in the best relationship, it has to boil down to us fulfilling our need first, and the significant other simply accentuating it. The flowers mean something because he thought of it and loves you, not because you were down and needed them - you erase the need and instead they fulfill the extra special "mmph" of a relationship with two.

  2. Thanks MamaRose, and amen. I like the thought of thoughtfulness filling the "mmph" of a relationship, and not the expectations of the relationship itself.