Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jenna: Some Things Never Change

To all the ladies out there who think that being in a crappy relationship is better than being in no relationship at all:

A person who is lousy to you will probably always be lousy to you. You should never have to work hard for someone's love or attention. It's hard to remember this and easy to excuse going to great lengths in order to get someone to respond to you, but if things start out that way, it's never going to get any better. And without a mutual effort on both ends, the chase becomes very, very tiresome. Take it from a woman who's been there and done that.

I have a friend who I call my other single friend, because we always keep each other sane and entertained in the midst of our singledom. She's gorgeous, intelligent, and talented, as well, so I know it's not just me. :) Over a few glasses of wine the other night, we were discussing the pros and cons of being part of a couple, with her sister providing the perspective of the "others".

Don't get me wrong. It's nice to have someone to share experiences with. Someone who calls you first to tell you about the weird/funny/sad/amazing thing that just happened to them. A person who's voice you love the sound of, to watch movies with when it's shitty outside, a person that makes you want to go out of your way to do something nice. And sometimes you go a really long time without feeling that way about another person, and it drives you to look for this potential in others. To really search for those qualities about someone that you might be able to love. Because everyone deserves to love a little. It's hard to recognize somebody's bad qualities, the red flags, an imbalance in the way you care for one another when things are passable, a relationship is okay on it's good days, and the desire to not be alone overtakes your reason.

But here's the flip side. When you spend a lot of time with yourself, when you learn to be your own ally, cheerleader, best pal, and captain of your personal team awesome...you're investing in something. You're making an investment in the improvement and evolution of yourself and working on making yourself a sincerely fabulous person to be around. You build something for yourself. You learn that you don't need someone else to validate you, that you can be independent, and that youre completely worthwhile on your own. You learn how to talk to strangers, how to be in new social situations, and grow a confidence that you're entirely responsible. For those of us that have made it that far, I present a question. In what universe is it worthwhile to compromise all of that for a lukewarm relationship? You owe it to yourself to find someone who's worth it. Someone who doesn't require you to compromise any of it, but who was attracted to all of that in the first place. Someone who celebrates it and makes you want to be a better person around them.

And if that's not there from the get go, no amount of work is going to make that happen. Don't work for it. You're wonderful. And way, way better than all that.

And here's an interesting link to an article in the NYTimes sent to me by my friend Andy. Who sends the best articles and has always celebrated my inner goddess.

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