The World According to Humphrey

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Tightrope

Posted by humphreysworld on October 8, 2011

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some of the most incredible women in my life. They are artists, writers, cooks, musicians, business owners, designers- I am often in awe as to what my friends have accomplished in their lives. And yet, for some of them (us), there is a piece missing. It seems as though they (we) are willing to do whatever to get it- even if it means compromising them(our)selves.

I’m talking of course about relationships.

I would like to say I can’t relate, but that would be a boldface lie. There have been a few times in my life that I took more bullshit than I should have/would have, turned  a blind eye when things were so blatantly out of place, sacrificed more of myself than my partner was ever willing to do- with each experience ending with disastrous results.  I made a number of excuses for my behavior to myself and to my friends, not willing to accept the truth that confronted me every time I was stood up, lied to, made to be the fool. The fact was that I wondered whether or not I would end up alone. And I told myself that if I bent over enough, I would be able to convince this person that I was in fact worthy of their attention and love. Needless to say there were no happy endings to come from an existence like that.

I often wonder if men go through these same conversations with themselves. Do they feel a level of insecurity when it comes to relationships that makes them act out of character for love that may not be worth it? Do men feel a sense of urgency as time goes on that they may end up alone like some women do? I look at the women in my life, as well as my own experience, and it seems as though women seem to be the only ones making the sacrifices.

I am so grateful that I came out a survivor on the other side of those relationships. Because I am stronger and wiser because of it. More importantly, I have learned once again to love myself and recognize my worth, thereby truly being open to giving and receiving love. No longer will I spend energy trying to convince someone that I am worth their time, energy and love. I know I am. But it’s a fine rope I walk, because I’m in a place in my life where I want to shift my priorities from career to family. As I get older and prince charming hasn’t surfaced, it’s easy to let the old habits sneak in. I often wonder of some of my girlfriends are walking that same fine line.

The late Johnny Cochran once said. ‘if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit’. I like to use this term a lot for just about anything, including relationships. I’ve learned a long time ago that forcing something to be just because you think it should doesn’t make it right; no matter how hard you try it doesn’t fit. Relationships are a balance of give and take, no question. And it’s in the nature of some (myself included) to sometimes give more. But when you seem to be the only one giving, the only one giving up, the only one giving in, it seems like it might be a good time to to take your ball and go home. It can be a weird feeling to be alone, particularly when society places more value on you when you are not. And women tend to place value on ourselves based on the very same criteria (been there, done that). But some quality alone time with yourself can be refreshing, enlightening, and life saving- an experiment worth trying if you ask me.

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