Sooooo, I met a girl. Side Note: The original title of this was going to be: ‘How To Lose A Girl in 3 Weeks’ lol. ‘How,’ you might be wondering...well, ex-pec-MF’n-tations! Like money is the root of all evil, expectation is the root of all disappointment. If I were to write a one sentence post it would simply say this: I can’t hold on to my expectations too tightly because there is more than I know. But since y’all know I’m not that short-winded, lets brainwork(dissect/analyze) this thing real quick.
I meet this young lady who inspired intrigue through an ease in conversation that fostered an effortless connection unsullied by an altered state induced perception (I really should simplify that sentence but that’s actually how it came out...and I like it). Translated: I met a girl who I couldn’t help but like given how fluid our conversation and connection was without booze serving as a buffer. Here we are, two weeks into interactive bliss. We are mutually intrigued and having a great time; so what do I do, go for more time....duh! She wasn’t feeling the heightened time requests and started to withdraw. This didn’t compute for me, I mean, I KNOW she digs me so why isn’t she stuck under me?
Some backstory: I’ve spent a tremendous majority of my adult life as a partier so anything remotely resembling a relationship, or should I say reLUSTionship, was founded in the false reality of bar etiquette, connection, and standards. If we were still interested come morning we’d start spending all of our free time together and when we couldn’t be together in person, we were texting. This was the standard operating procedure, riding the wave of infatuation until we conjured up some seemingly real emotion to match the actions.
Expectations are a natural emotional/behavioral/mental projection spawned from routine.
In my personal opinion, SHOULD is one of the worst words in the English language, it’s just a synonym for expect. In AA we talk about how expectations lead to resentments and resentments lead to fuck ups, ergo, minimizing expectations is the logical remedy. Well, that’s easier said than done my friends.
Do you know how many times I’ve been in a Wal-Mart or Target and seen all 72 of the registers manned? #NEVER So when I’m done my shopping, I’ve come to expect to wait in line (while bitching about how few registers are available). Granted, when the check out process is prompt, it’s a pleasant disappointment because I’ve always had to wait.
As small children, when we were given something, (most of) our parents were quick to ask, “Now what do you say?” and we’d then timidly utter our prompted “Thank you.” This training was consistent until it was hardwired. Now, when we hold a door, give a gift, or do a favor, a ‘thank you’ is anticipated. Modestly we’ll throw out an “oh don’t mention it” or a “no sweat” as though it was nothing; but how fast are we to get in our feelings if there’s no show of gratitude offered. If the same were done for us, we’d have said thank you, so they should, right?
I point those things out just show that expectations are common, natural, and subconsciously adopted; we often don’t realize we have them until they are either pointed out or unmet. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.
We wound up in this tug-of-war of interactive norms. She felt like my actions were indicative of prematurely advanced feelings, I felt like her actions weren’t indicative of the feelings I knew she had. There was a disconnect. In discussions about it, we were in total agreement on mutual interest and a desire to pursue/allow its development. What wasn’t really discussed was what that looked like to each of us.
Needless to say, things didn’t improve. I’d reached a point where I was reluctant to inquire about hanging out and she was feeling like time spent had become an obligation rather than an anticipated activity. Having reached a point of exhaustion, I hit her up and asked her over to talk. I‘m sure my undertone conveyed the nature of the conversation I wanted to have so she took the lead. She reiterated her like of me while sharing her dislike of my expectations. So with no bad blood, we agreed to let it go.
I completely understood the why we ended it but I needed to brainwork the how it got to a place that warranted termination.
Well, not only was I allowing my past norms to shape my present-day expectations but I took a good thing that was unfamiliar, which is probably why it was good, and I tried to reshape it into something familiar. As I’m writing this I’m actually chuckling at my own ridiculousness. There isn’t a single relationship I’ve had that I’d go back to, so why the heck would I want familiar?! If the brand of relationships I want to have, platonic or romantic, are to in no way resemble a past I loathe, I have to recognize a lack of ease in situations as a call to seek where I AM NOT aligning, not where they aren’t aligning with me.
More important than any interpersonal dealings, is realizing the subtle draw of the human comfort condition. We’d often rather be miserable in familiarity than be uncertain in change. Comfort is found in familiarity, familiarity is the antithesis of change, and change is the conduit to growth...and “growth is what we do here.”
The unfamiliar is where the commitment to growth is tested and in the willingness to navigate it is where growth is found. If I have to approve of or fully understand something in order to allow the experience, I am choosing to have a drastically more shallow life experience. What expectations are is unavoidable; what expectations aren’t is law. If I remain teachable I’ll see why I can’t hold onto my expectations too tightly, because there is more than I know.