Sunday, April 17, 2016

After A Sociopath: Giving Love A Chance

“Young Tourist Couple Looking At The Views In The City” by nenetus via 

March 2016 

names have been omitted in this post 


I fiddled with my bracelets in hues of green, blue and turquoise gracing my right wrist. Seated on the brown leather couch I flashed a smile at my therapist taking a seat across from me. Wearing a navy v-neck silk blouse and black slacks I spoke "I'm good, thank you. It's been, um, an interesting past few weeks." I told her.

She smiled knowingly and nodded. "How is your daughter?" We chatted a few moments catching her up to date on her latest struggles with her father which was the primary reason for my sessions and then she asked. "So… are you still seeing the man you met?"

Hesitation… a big exhale and I glanced at her. "No, I'm not." I admitted.

She gave me a concerned look and spoke. "Why?"

"I told him I thought it best if we didn't pursue dating. I mean… "I trailed off. "He lives an hour away. The distance is an issue… just trying to get together is a struggle and it's not right of him to have to do all that driving. I mean… I'm just trying to be logical here… at some point we might decide to throw in the towel because it's too great a distance. We both have kids and shared custody… things like school and commutes factor in. I can't leave this county according to my divorce decree. That's reality. I just didn't want either one of us to be heartbroken later on, one or two years invested later... only to confirm that yes, the distance was an issue. You know what I mean?" I asked her for confirmation.

She nodded but gazed at me thoughtfully. "But you like him? A lot, I mean?" She asked.

I nodded. "Yes… I mean, we were in contact daily, multiple times a day… we just click. From what I can gather he's a good dad, our values appear similar, our personalities and humor mesh and he's thoughtful. I'm attracted to him. I find myself smiling like a jackass and yet he's very sweet. I haven't seen any red flags… I guess it's sad to admit, but I keep looking for them... scrutinizing. Not that there couldn't be red flags at some point... but as of now I really can't say enough good things about him. I'm being cautious but at some point isn't that a hindrance?" I ventured aloud thoughtfully.

She studied me carefully. "I see your concerns. I do… and I'm not going to let you believe otherwise… it WILL be an issue. The distance is going to be challenging no doubt. Because hypothetically long term? If it worked? I understand that you are merely trying to be mindful of the logistics. And that's very wise. But... if there is something there… a connection, maybe even love... " She trailed off and smiled... "Isn't it worth pursuing? Yes, you might get your heart broken… you might break his…" She admitted, "But what if it works out?" She asked me.

I nodded. "I've been second guessing my decision. I may have been too hasty. I've missed him this past week. A lot." I admitted. "He actually reached out to me today and said hello. I was glad he did. I had actually planned to but wanted to get some feedback from you on this… I'm struggling." I admitted.

She smiled.  "Well… then… is there money? I mean, to make it work? That is if you both decided to at some point later on obviously? Because it may require two houses for awhile." She informed me.

I shrugged. "I have no idea to what extent. However… he did toss out the idea at some point that he could get a place here in town for the weeks he doesn't have his children so he'd be closer to me." 

She raised her eyebrows with interest. "Did he? What did you say?" She inquired.

I exhaled. "I replied that I was flattered but that didn't make financial sense."

She peered at me over her glasses and raised an eyebrow. "You what? Oh dear… " She sighed.

I grimaced at her. "I know… later in hindsight I thought to myself… who am I to tell him how to spend his money? I mean, really? I shouldn't have done that. Yet my intentions were merely being practical." I confessed.

"I agree, you overstepped a boundary. I mean, that's really his place to decide that." She pointed out and I visibly winced. She spoke again with care. "But don't you realize what that means? Just that he threw that out there says a lot." She pointed out.

I ran my hands through my hair and bit my lip. "I know… but I don't want to be a burden to anyone. I feel guilt if he's doing all the driving." I told her.

She shook her head. "Obviously he doesn't see it that way." She peered at me over her glasses. "Don't you think that maybe he sees what a treasure you are, that you are more than worth it?" She asked kindly.

I shifted uncomfortably on the couch and tears sprang to my eyes "Okay... and yet I'm torn. I don't want to get duped again. And yet rationally the man's given me zero reason to believe I'm being duped. And yet in that… once you've been through this crazy stuff I've been through how fully can you really trust anyone? And yet I don't want to screw up by not giving someone a chance." I told her.

I didn't need a re-run of what had happened with Jeremy. I couldn't do that twice. I'd risk getting hurt again over that… what happened with him nearly did me in. I didn't want to repeat history of a pain that was more unbearable than any other loss of a relationship. It was time to dive in again and take a chance at love. 

I left my thoughts and returned to my conversation with her. "And I guess on some level I want easy. I don't want hard..." I trailed off and sighed."You have to understand... I am so tired. So, so, so incredibly tired." I paused and reflected. "I feel so much older than what I am. Childhood was hard, school was hard, my marriage was hard… my ex makes everything so hard regarding our daughter. I don't want love to be hard too… I mean, I guess I should clarify that and say I don't want to make it more complicated than it should or has to be. I guess that makes sense." I explained. 

She nodded empathetically and gently spoke. "And I get that as well. Jennifer, you have been through a lot. And there will always be things to sort out… in this case it's distance… but if he's willing to help with the distance and you mesh that well… why not try?" She asked then gave me a pointed look. "It's merely dating him, that's all and seeing where it goes. It's ultimately up to you… but I would reach out to him and tell him you've been hasty. Just tell him what you told me." She stressed. 

I grimaced. "He's going to think I'm a total flake." I lamented, feeling a little embarrassed.

She shook her head with a smile. "No. He won't. He will be thrilled. But ultimately it's up to you."

I knew the answer. I was going to reach out to him. I was going to take a chance. 


10 Ways To Know You Are Ready To Take A Chance On Love: 

1. Letting your walls come down. We can't let someone in to love us if we have barriers they cannot get past… we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable in sharing our thoughts, emotions, past, present, future, hopes, losses, fears, dreams, goals and even affection. 

2. Realizing in the past you held people at arms length and 
lost people who wanted to love you and not allowing that to happen again. 

3. Acknowledging your past hurts and taking the knowledge you
 have now to watch for signs of toxic behavior. 

4. Knowing you have the power to choose. You have the power to choose and not be chosen. 

5. You have the power to walk away only after you've truly given love a chance. 

6. Negative generalizations of "all men are liars, cheats, users, etc" or "all women are liars, cheats and gold diggers etc" have been replaced with "Some people are capable of love and others aren't." 

7. Deep down knowing you are worthy of a real love and are not unlovable. 

8. Knowing you can make it on your own and are not confusing security and love. 

9. Having friendships and goals other than finding love… having balance in your life. 

10. Enjoying the fun in your relationship… relishing the new chapter you are in. 

© ~ 2016  

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