I am an analyzer. Some would say I over-analyze. I disagree. I would say I am intentional about the time I have remaining here on this earth, so I seek to understand in an effort to learn and grow as an individual. As an intentional individual, I know that some situations require more analysis than others. That is just a fact of life.
Recently I have been on this quest to understand why I keep the lines of communication open in a situationship that I once confused with a relationship. My usual Modus Operandi is to cut off all communication when I realize I have involuntarily been placed in the situationship box. I do not do this out of anger. I do it to protect my feelings from being hurt any further. However, this situationship was different, and it took me a minute to understand why it was different. My situationship partner would argue that it was because he is a nice man.
From what I can gather, his definition of being nice WAS:
- he did not abuse me verbally,
- he did not abuse me physically,
- he made a sincere effort to call me several times a day which is major because he has never had to do this in his past relationships, nor has he had the desire,
- and, while he had women dying to be with him that are not nearly as difficult as me, he chose to continue to communicate with me.
For the record, I agree that he is a nice man.
I know. You are now wondering how I was being difficult.
- I did not give out any trophies because he called me several times a day. I think if you genuinely like someone, you want to talk to them every day.
- I was too sensitive. This probably has to do with the fact that I was placed in the situationship box, and that is not where I intended to be housed.
- I felt he made little to no effort to see me and I expressed my frustration. In fact, thinking about it, he only went out of his way to see me once, and that is when we first started “kickin’ it”.
- When I made efforts to see him, I noticed there was always some issue or circumstance in his life that led to me spending a great amount of time by myself. In fact, I spent more time traveling to see him than I did actually seeing him.
For a while, his lack of desire to be the man that I wanted really bothered me. While I was bothered, I am never going to be that woman to engage in the art of trying to persuade a grown man to be something he does not want to be to/for me. This mindset creates an internal conflict which triggers my block tactics. Since I am writing this post, you obviously know that I unblocked him. Until recently, I saw my willingness to keep the lines of communication open as a weakness. And then the light bulb went off. I have never learned the art of setting boundaries with people and it was time for me to learn this most important skill. Boundary setting is a crucial part of human survival. Without this skill, we run the risk of allowing people to push us past our comfort zones. To operate with a mindset that people will completely take your feelings into consideration when they act is simply naive. I do not know why I am learning this lesson so late in life, so do not ask. Furthermore, the only thing that matters is that I am learning it.
Here are a few things that came out of my boundary setting aha moment:
- Until you are in a “full throttle” relationship where you know both parties are giving the relationship 100%, set boundaries.
- You cannot blame another person for steamrolling over you when you have no boundaries.
- When it becomes clear that you are in the situationship box, you must decide whether you want to remain in that box.
- NEVER EVER try to force someone to do something they do not want to do just because you do not know how to set boundaries for yourself. You will be much more disappointed in the outcome of a forced relationship than in a boundary setting situationship/friendship.
- Set any and all boundaries that you need to protect yourself.
- decide whether you want to remain, friends,
- decide whether or not you can remain friends without allowing yourself to be hopeful
- Because situationships usually involve sex, decide whether or not you can have a sexual relationship sans emotion. If you cannot, DO NOT put yourself in a position where sex is even an option.
- Remember, self-love is always the key. As long as you always remain on the self-love track, you will eventually attract the person that is right for you.
- Do not be too hard on yourself. We are human beings. Having emotions is a part of being human unless we are a sociopath or a psychopath. Acknowledging hurt feelings does not make you weak. In fact, I believe that a person who can acknowledge their true feelings is much stronger than the person that masks their true feelings.
Take a deep breath, know that you are not alone, and set those boundaries!
Have you mastered the art of boundary setting? Don’t be stingy. Share your techniques!