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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Carrie Bradshaw Moments (aka CBMs)

Some may say I have a little bit of experience with relationships. I won’t go into the details here, but I’ve been through the ringer a few good times to have learned a couple (a lot) of things. If it weren’t for the guidance and wisdom of others who have been through other relationship hardships, I wouldn’t have fared as well as I have thus far. It is because of those bumps and bruises (and my very wonderful friends) along the way, I wouldn’t have the perspective I have today to pass along to my friends who too may be experience some heart hardships.

One friend in particular, Stacy (name changed to protect her identity), I would venture to say she was going through a rather confusing situation with one gentleman (if you could call him that) in particular over the course of about a year. Side note: If you were to combine my friend and I, we would be the quintessential Carrie Bradshaw. Stacy’s fashion expertise and my crash and burn relationships truly make us a duo to be reckoned with. I have my very own Mr. Big, she has her closet of treasures, ready for the runway at a moment’s notice. I have my own Berger and Aiden, she has her very own handbag collection. I tend to have embarrassing mishaps that involving falling, tripping, etc; she can spend all day in 4 inch stilettos and feel a sense of accomplishment. But, I digress…

After one particularly confusing evening, I received an email from Stacy detailing the night’s events and how she felt. She was on the verge on exploring online dating while also trying to figure things out with said gentleman, John (for our purposes). To her I responded to her the following email, that at the time I wrote it I had an amazing sense of clarity and only wish I could follow my own advice.

Dearest Stacy,

As much as I trust your judgment on fashion I take you recommendations with a grain of salt that best suits me. With that, I know relationships, so I can only recommend to you my experience and you can take what you will from it as a grain of salt. But…allow me:

This really isn't all about eharmony, or match, or any other online dating service. This is about you. This is about your ability or rather inability to set boundaries and hold yourself to the standard that you say you do. I think this is something more and deeper because I know you're actually much more complex than you let on to be. If you weren't, John wouldn't have stuck around as long has he has.

I've heard about this John guy for quite some time now. And I think on the very basic, simplest of levels you both are very fit for each other. But the two of you together combines more issues than any couple should have to start with from the beginning, but the issues can be resolved if both parties are willing to work on it. (These issues we can delve into later.) Are there things that he needs in a partner that you are giving him that you're willing to work on? Are there things you need in a partner that he's willing to work on? I think those are the questions you need to ask yourself. Maybe, even before that, ask yourself, What is it that I need or expect from him?

Please consider this quote from the recent crocs ad campaign (silly I know) but it is these mid-age women writing letters to themselves as younger teens and I came to a stand still when I read this woman's letter:

"When I peer into the looking glass that illuminates you, I see a shy quiet girl who is critically afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of rejection, afraid of loneliness…and these fears are holding you back. If there were one lesson I could give to you it would be to stop letting fear keep you from living. Don't run away, for joy often lies just below the surface of uncomfortable. You will fail, but failure will make success a little richer. You will be rejected, but rejection will refine your inner strength. Be good to yourself: Practice self-reverence, self-discipline, and self-control. For in the end you are stronger than you think. The consequences of all that you fear are not nearly as bad as the regret of what is missed while standing on the sidelines."

Now, I'm not saying that is it fear that is holding you back, but at the root of most things that we do or don't do, that seems to be the reason. You have never been in a real relationship. I'm talking the realest of all real relationships. Where you let someone into your heart totally and completely. No walls, no boarders, no "if y, then x", no pretending, no all made up. Just real, honest, pure Stacy goodness. And maybe its because the right guy to make that happen for you hasn't come along and that's fine, but have you put yourself in that position to allow that to happen?

Stacy, I know what it like to really want to be with someone. I know what its like to have your phone buzz with a new text message hoping that its from him only to be disappointed that its not. Or what its like when you see something on the side of the street and you want to tell him about it because you know he'll appreciate it or at the very least laugh. I know what its like to hear a song on the radio and think, "That is so him" or "is he listening to this and realizing that I am the best thing that is ever going to happen to him". I know what is like to have a really lousy day and know that just to talk to him, the real him (no pretending) would make me feel better. I know what its like to have hopes and dreams and ambitions and to want to have someone encourage you and get on you to make those happen. I know Stacy…I know all these things in the most real, fresh and heartbreaking way. So please trust me when I say, that you've have got to do what you need to do to find someone who will show up, like a real person, every day. No texting, no games, no standing in the doorway waiting for him to kiss you after telling him he shouldn't kiss you. No more. It is time for real conversation, real relationship, real connection, because you deserve absolutely nothing less. In fact you deserve 10x more than that. If John can do that for you then ACES! If not, say thank you dear Lord for all He has given you through John and the experiences that John has allowed……and be done.

I know you are strong, independent, self-sufficient, hard-working, beyond fabulous woman who has so much to give to someone else and to the world. And I'm going to tell you the same thing IJ told me that changed my life: Throw out your rule book. Throw out the "he must do this, and must do that, and dress like this, and do this, and know that, and believe this." Once you do that, there is a whole new world of men out there. But you have to do the hard heart-work now to reap the benefits of the future. Please trust me on this.

Ok, I'm off my soap box. I could go on but that's going to be it for now. This might be my first blog. Thanks for letting me share, its been very therapeutic for me. But then again I've been awake since 3:30 so I could just be delirious. Again, take it with a grain of salt.


So there you have it. Take it with a grain of salt.


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