Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Love Lounge: Do You Have A Boyfriend?

I'm beginning to hate that 5-word question.

I met with a few therapists last week, friends, in my quest to at least get myself stabilized. They went through the usual routine of my symptoms and discussed all the fears that have been occupying this little brain of mine. I was prepared for every question they threw my way. Until they got to one

Do you have a boyfriend?

In that moment, I could feel my cheeks burning with a red even more bold than my hair, in response to the bluntness of such a question. Things got a bit foggy for a moment. I eventually stammered out a "no", and for the first time in a long time, I lowered my eyes. I spared them the story of how I've never been on a date, never had a boyfriend and have yet to experience my first kiss, but it was all I could do to not launch into one of my specches about trying to date with a physical disability.
Now, I know these professionals meant well, and I know what they were getting at - that a boyfriend would be a good source of emotional support during this time. And that's probably true. But I'm not going to run out - well, roll out - and find myself a man just so I don't have to feel so alone. Isn't that the ultimate in recipes for disaster? Using a man to fill an emotional void, that, the more I examine it, is grief related to my father. I'm finally, after 7 long years, beginning to grieve the loss of my father. That would be the worst thing I could do, isn't it?

Becuse the more I think about it, the more I see that getting involved with someone now would only distract me, and in the long-run, making me feel worse. Does that make any sort of sense? Maybe I'm supposed to be romantically alone right now. I'm not even sure it would be fair to the guy, either. I am so fragile right now, and I doubt we'd even have a chance.

And yet, their question has stayed with me this week, picking at my heart like some teenage heartbreak I never experienced. Somewhere down the line, when I'm in a better frame of mind and in a better place in my life, is there love in the cards for me? Will it even happen for me? I know I put on a brave face, but I think about that a lot more than I let on. And especially as I see my peers start to settle down and start a family, it makes me feel like I'm lagging behind while they've already crossed the ribbon at the finish line.
Maybe it's just that my finish line isn't exactly aligned with theirs. And maybe it's OK if it's not. If I've learned anything in the last week, it's that I need to go at my own pace. Hard, sometimes, when you see your peers so happy, but my own happiness has to be out there somewhere, right, friends? And I'm not going to find longterm happiness in the arms of some guy, right? No matter how chiseled those abs... xoxo

(Photos via Dreaming)

19 comments:

  1. Hi Melissa,

    I just wanted to send you a cyber hug. You are so right, so wise and mature, on so many levels. A boyfriend would be great, but it wouldn't fix your heartbreak. And you are working on your own timing and your own pace, it's truly inspiring. I'm such a huge advocate of therapy, I've seen it work wonders in member of my family (heck, I'll probably be there someday too!).

    All the best to you, my dear! Be gentle with yourself :)

    Besides, once you get a boyfriend, now they questions of "When will you get married" will start pouring in. those aren't fun either, working at my own pace over here! (i'm looking at you, grandma!!)


    hugs.
    Laura

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  2. You're totally right - go at your own pace. It's your life and your happiness so don't compare it to everyone else's. It's not fair to yourself! Sure, a man is great for emotional support but it's not something you can force to happen. Definitely disastrous. Besides, you can't go looking for love - love comes looking for you.

    You have such a way with words. My heart hurts when I read these posts, I just want nothing but happiness for you! Hang in there!

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  3. I am the type to always run to a man to fill/feel that emotional void only to come out of the relationship hurt even more than I was before. I have learned a lot about this but still find myself looking to men to be my support. Sadly the reality is that every human, male or female, is broken and will somehow at sometime hurt the other person. We are bound to do it. I have a great book I'd love to recommend if you are interested just e-mail me, molezog@hotmail.com.

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  4. I have so much that I want to say, but it's kind of hard to express in another language (you don't speak swedish I guess) Anyway..

    It makes sense. It's ok if a therapist ask you that question I guess, but it's kind of sad that people always ask about these things. Keep being you.

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  5. I'm joining in to the group cyber hug, if that's okay! I'm sure that was a tough post to write but it just means that you are very very brave. What an amazing quality. A man will be lucky to find that out about you one day.

    XO
    Lenore

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  6. hey melissa! haven't visited in too long a while.
    i loved this post especially, and you are so wise and candid...and i know exactly what you mean.
    i think most people are a bit...unfinished (?), but instead of working on loving themselves they enter into a codependent relationship with someone else.
    relationships aren't meant to fill a void, or make you whole. they are about being happy in your completeness with someone else.

    and err...to answer the post title...no, i don't have a boyfriend, never had...its kinda impossible when your standard is mr.darcy.

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  7. mr. darcy is a hard act to follow! :)

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  8. Someday you will find a guy who will support you, and by working through this pain now means that you will be equally able to support him. Even in an amazing relationship there is no substitute for loving yourself. It's great and very wise of you to realize this and to be working through this pain. I've seen a therapist and it was one of the best decisions I've made. Those blunt questions can be rough but they do the trick! Cyber hug! ~Laura

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  9. Hey girl,
    I’m doing a Christmas card swap at my blog and would love to have you join in :)

    mylovelylittlesuitcase.blogspot.com

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  10. Melissa, you are my heroine and I always love reading your blog. In fact, I've been reading it since before I met my boyfriend, last year.

    Until then, I had never been romantically involved with anyone. I felt like a weirdo when all of my [pretty unpleasant] peers at school were hooking up and/or dating. True love has always been something I have believed in and dreamed about - I believed in someone better out there than the poor specimens of men I saw around me. In my second year at university, I decided to throw myself into my life right now, taking adventures and just enjoying myself - learning a new language, taking up dancing classes, and going out much more and having fun with my friends. It was right about that time when I met my Mr Darcy. And he is so much better than I ever could have imagined.

    Sorry this is such a looong and rambling comment, but I just wanted to urge you [however much a stranger's urging may mean to you!! :)] to keep the faith. Coincidentally, at this time I've been looking back over posts I wrote just before I met my boy. I had forgotten how full of hope they are - how full of faith in true love and high adventure to come. In a post I wrote a few hours before we first me, I wrote that I can share all these adventures with "someone who isn't here yet, but is just around the corner." And it came true!

    You have a wonderful life and you are bursting with fabulousness. Your quietly dashing hero will follow!!

    Love, sparkles and crumbs to you my lovely xx

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  11. What an amazing, candid, meaningful piece Melissa! You are wise beyond your years and the way that you express yourself through your craft really hit me with this one. I'm not even sure I can explain it, other than "I feel ya" and to just say I went through many of those same things when I lost my father, so know that you are not alone.

    Though you may feel like you are out searching, looking, and waiting, you are actually right where you are supposed to be- IN YOUR TIME. I, and I'm sure I can speak for the rest of your readers and say WE, have no doubt that you will find what and who it is that you are looking for and belong with. They are out there, and though it may seem like the road is long and never ending to get to them, just remember part of the payoff is the journey that you have traveled in order to find one another.

    Awed by your talent yet again and sending you lots of happy thoughts,
    Sara

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  12. "But I'm not going to run out - well, roll out - and find myself a man just so I don't have to feel so alone. Isn't that the ultimate in recipes for disaster?"

    I have some friends who would do well to heed those words. Good for you for realizing the, for lack of a better term, folly of being with someone just to be with someone. And you know what they say, it's those times when you're NOT looking for someone that the very person you need finds you.

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  13. I absolutely agree with you. Go at your own pace. You know you better than anyone else. And I truly believe that you are destined for great love. You're such a beautifully open person, love is bound to find it way into your big heart.

    Hugs!

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  14. You may be reading too much into your therapists' words. They might not be hinting that you need a boyfriend to help get you through this, but may just be trying to feel out what your current relationships with other people are like. They need to be able to understand your life, and the people in your life tend to have a lot of influence on your situation.

    As far as those rants that you held back: clearly these things weigh heavily on you. I know it can be embarrassing to own up to some of these feelings to a real-life person who's looking right back at you, but your therapists can help. They can offer new insights and perspectives, and can sometimes provide tools for handling these feelings.

    Speaking as someone who has also struggled with depression occasionally, there is often more than one thing contributing to it. If you go into these sessions resolved to only focus on the loss of your father, you might miss the opportunity to work through some of the other things you are coping with (your frustrations and concerns in dating, the realities of your interactions with the men in your life versus your wishes, etc). They are there to listen to these rants. They can help.

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  15. Hi Melissa,
    You are so right. I hate not being able to express all I want in English . You do not speak Spanish, do you? I'll love to have a super huge cup of coffee and whatever you drink and talk for hours. I have so much to learn from you girl!!

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  16. I found your blog because my most recent post was a letter to my future husband, and I was told that you write letters to your future sweetie as well! (another thing we have in common...our name! yay!) Anyway, I'm so glad I came to your blog. You are an inspirational, sweet, amazing person, and I can't wait to find out more about you! :)

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  17. MELISSA!!!! Hi, I'm off to check out your blog now!! Can't wait!

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  18. It's your life and your happiness so don't compare it to everyone else's. It's not fair to yourself! Sure, a man is great for emotional support but it's not something you can force to happen.

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Your lovely comments make my day so much sweeter! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

xoxo

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