Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What’s the Worst Best That Could Happen?

A psychological technique my last counsellor taught me is to drive fears as far as they can go, until they become ridiculously overblown and you can laugh at them. The absolute worst that can happen is often so absurd that there's no sense thinking about it. I’ve made a habit of this to the point where I very rarely get caught up fretting about what might happen any more. I’ve got that tendency under control. I know that no matter what happens I’ll probably be okay.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about standards. I compromised my standards to be with MD because I was enjoying other aspects of the relationship. That didn’t end well! I have read and believed plenty of times that one will never be happy in a relationship unless one’s standards aren’t being compromised, but I don’t think I really KNEW it until things with MD went pear-shaped.

My standards are not all that exacting. Obviously, anyone who is a bananahead does not meet my standards! Unfortunately MD was a stealth bananahead. But for people who aren’t bananaheads, there’s things that I need that people might just not have. At the core, these are the things in my life that a relationship must not alter or damage:
- My health (beyond bananahead things like no substance abuse & no idiot driving, they need to at least understand good eating & exercise)
- My faith (I need to be able to practice Christianity unashamed and unhindered)
- My location (I am building a life here in Perth and specifically in the hills, and will not move away for anything unless it’s a mutual decision!)
- My interests (they need to be ok with and even enthusiastic about the SCA and all the activities involved, the degree I’m doing, and my philanthropic goals, and so on)

Sometimes it feels like an impossible task to find someone who will enlarge and expand and enhance my life, not narrow and restrict and impede it.

So what happens if I never find someone who can do that? What if I never meet a guy who is a compatible non-bananahead?

I’m not going to sit around fretting about that, but I asked myself . . . what if that is a positive question? What CAN I do if I never find someone?

I’ll finish paying off my debts and start saving.
I’ll start travelling overseas.
I’ll buy a house and start building a real estate portfolio.
I’ll keep teaching and studying until I decide that I want a change.
I’ll start fostering and raise families of foster children.
I’ll buy that big bush block and build an eco-home and a self-sufficient veggie garden.
I’ll have pets and more foster kids and a wide range of friends and interests and I’ll lead a fun, fulfilling life.

Not so bad, actually.

Everything I’m reading about healing from bad relationships recommends taking the desperation out of dating, and recognising that a partner should complement your life, not complete it. I think I’m edging closer to really getting that. I can see from exercises like the above that I will be FINE if I never find someone. I’ll lead a happy and purposeful life on my own, and a life full of dreams that are not worth sacrificing for someone who is going to make my life a poorer, lesser thing.

Naturally, if I do find someone, those dreams will drift and alter a little because we’ll be forging new, combined dreams. But they will be dreams that are a whole made up of two parts, not a whole created by chopping parts off and casting them away.

It’s time to start living my life for me, and living the knowledge that my life is going to be wonderful whether it’s coupled or alone, because I choose to make it that way. If someone comes into my life to live their dreams alongside mine . . . great. If not, I will make my way regardless. Because I am me, and I am enough.


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