Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Happy Veteran's Day!
If you know a veteran, thank him or her for their service to our country! Whether you believe in war or not - this war or any war - these brave men and women serve our country for our freedom. We don't do enough to thank them or provide for them. Many of them are suffering from poverty, illness and homelessness. So if you do nothing else today, thank the veteran in your life. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
Now, onto something else.
This morning I was listening to the radio and the topic of the morning was relationships. The female sidekick Liz Hernandez was explaining how she was basically dumped by a man who said he wasn't ready to be in a relationship. When they first met, they had spent nearly every day of their first 3 months together. If she wasn't at his place, he was at hers. They went on dates, talked on the phone for hours at a time and had been intimate regularly.
Since everything had been going well, after 3 months she decided to ask him if he considered them to be in a "relationship" - if they were exclusive.
"We're not in a relationship. We're friends."
She sounded deflated as she said it. What just happened? She was baffled.
But here's the kicker!
She said she asked him if he wanted to be in a relationship with her and he said no, even though he was going through all the motions of being in a relationship. She then said she told him she had to stop seeing him and that she was leaving - and that if she left, she was never coming back. He watched her walk to the door. She turned one last time and asked, "you're not going to stop me?" He said nothing. She left.
I think my pride is so great that I wouldn't have kept trying to backpedal. If he was willing to let me go, then I would have just left. No words needed. But what I think hurt her the most is that she didn't see it coming. Everything was great in their world...until it was time for a real commitment. She was blindsided.
My question to all of you is, when do you know?
Is 3 months long enough to determine if someone is relationship-worthy? When do you ask where the relationship is headed? When do you ask if you're even IN a relationship? Should you even HAVE to ask after 3 months? Tell me what you think.
I wish I had more time to listen this morning, to see if she revealed any more of the details of their relationship. Were there signs? Did he tell her in the very beginning that he didn't want a relationship? I needed more information.
Either way, you can't make someone be in a relationship when they don't want to be. Only you can determine what you're willing to give, at what time and for how long. In the failure of a relationship we resolve never to make the same mistakes again. We get toughened a little, maybe wiser. I could hear she was becoming jaded in her voice. But we can't get TOO jaded by love's suffering and dead ends. We just have to appreciate that there's a lesson in there somewhere.
We make strong efforts to avoid past mistakes. We never want to appear naive and we try to be clever and smart about love. But the real advance we make after we've been devastated by love is to simply be able to enter into it again freely one more time in spite of our suspicions, past hurts or mistakes. Take the lesson and heal yourself. No partner can save you, deliver you or give meaning to your life. The source of love is within us. It is the love we give to ourselves as much as it is the love we get. The passion we most need to feed is our relationship with God, and that ultimately is our relationship with ourselves.