Monday, October 6, 2008

You, Me, and He- Toya
I am pretty sure Mtume sang this song. There is nothing like 80's R&B...unfortunately.

Last night I read  this article on CNN.com that came from Oprah's website about reasons, besides sex, that some men cheat. 

From the article:  Gary says the other woman often makes the man feel better about himself."[She] makes them feel different. Makes them feel appreciated, admired," he says. "Men look strong, look powerful and capable. But on the inside, they're insecure like everybody else. They're searching and looking for somebody to build them up to make them feel valued."

Recently I made a declaration that I no longer would make myself so available to my guy friends that say that they need me.  This came after Tag 3.0 started inquiring why I was so busy all of the time and complaining that he couldn't reach me like he wanted to because I was doing some everyday things like, oh I don't know, WORKING during the day?  You know, inconsequential things.  This really started to bug me because it was reminiscent of behavior of not just the Tags before him but other guys I have had in my life since high school.  I have had guys say that they need me, wouldn't be who they were without me and that they are better men because we have been friends. So much better that now they are able to go out and find a girl a whole lot like me.  The trouble is, they find this girl but still can't seem to find in her what they find in me so they try with all of their might to keep us both.  I like to call this kind of behavior "Outsourcing": they do the fun, romantic stuff with the girlfriends and then come back to me where they can be their truly insecure selves and be told that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. So basically what I gathered from this article is that this makes us both EMOTIONAL CHEATERS.  

Yes, I'd like to take "Hell No" for $600, Alex.

There are some relationships that are just too close for comfort.  These are usually the ones where the guy gets married or gets serious about another girl and people are coming to you like, "Wait, I could've sworn you two..." and you sit there telling these people that the thought of you actually being involved is ludicrous because he's like your brother. Yeah, ok. What I've found in my own personal life is that these men needing me but not desiring me had taken a toll on my self esteem. It is not that I am incapable of having platonic relationships with men. It's that I sincerely do not want to be needed so much by a man that cannot reciprocate the love that I give.  See the fact is not just that those I have allowed in my space won't reciprocate but some of them really can't and that's fine.  I can't wait for them to set boundaries while I allow myself to be an emotional whore. I told Tag a few months back that we could not be friends anymore because he would continue to drain me and I would continue to let him. I have shut the faucet on emotional drainage and it feels REALLY good. 

Let me explain what I mean by needy. The neediness that I have allowed in my life ( I take full responsibility for all of this) consists of numerous things: everyday phone calls, impatient voice messages when I don't pick up, questioning who I am with and when I will be back, showing up to where I am because they haven't seen me in a while even though I am hanging with other people, cutting me off when I try to talk about my day so they can talk about their day after they asked me about my day, phoning then texting then Facebooking then texting again, begging me to listen to their demos/read their manuscripts/listen to their ideas at times where it is most inconvenient for me (like my birthday party), flattering me to get their way, acting territorial and physically clingy in public, finding lame excuses disguised as "emergencies" to talk to me when I say I am busy or need space, acting interested in me if someone else acts interested in me but pulling away once the coast is clear, asking me out on a date and then talking to me about why we need to be in business together, and on and on and on. I mean, I could list this bullshishery all day long. Again, I allowed this. I can't blame them but I can stop them.  

One night I had dinner with one of my needy boys and it was the one of the most romantically platonic dinners I have ever had.  I came home and sat indian style on my bed and began to pray out loud.  "Lord, I am so tired. I mean, I am really done with these Almost Doesn't Count relationships.  I am so glad that I can come to you and talk about everything because not only are you concerned about my problems but you actually desire to spend time with me." Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. So much so that I said them over and over and over again.

"You DESIRE to spend time with ME."

When it occurred to me that God loves when I take the time to spend with Him not out of obligation but because I just want to, I was overwhelmed and began to cry.  When I realized that my relationship with Him is the only one I don't have to guard my heart against or fear that I would get too close in, I lost it. Is it the same as having a boyfriend? No. Jesus is not holding my hand in the movies. I know that and He does as well. What I am saying is that the love, the understanding and the acceptance that I so longed for has been there all along. I choose now to lavish praise and appreciation on God.  He doesn't hang around me because I make Him feel like He can do anything in the world. He would love me regardless. He has. 

So I encourage everyone to take a good inventory of their friendships. If you come away feeling used, there is a problem. If you are using these types of friendship with men to fill a void because you aren't with anyone and are lonely, I have news for you: you will come away each and every time feeling more and more empty.  I know pulling away to spend time alone while lonely sounds like an odd remedy but it really has worked for me. One way to ensure that you have healthy relationships in the future is to get healthy first.

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