I’m not entirely sure why it is, but it does seem like the relationships that lead up to finding “the one” tend to be more weighted one direction or the other. You like him more than he likes you or he likes you more than you like him. The saga continues one relationship after the next. There are pros and cons to each side I suppose. Though as we ebb and flow through these roles it can put some ah-ha moments into how prior relationships turned the way they did. The infamous ‘they’ say that when you find the right person, it all evens out. I’d like to believe that’s the case.
There are those relationships where you are head over heels in love with the other person. They fill your mind day and night. They are all you think about. You tell your friends about them, you dream up trips with them, everything reminds you of them. You introduce them to every element of your life. You want them by your side always. When you’re away from them all you can think about is the next time you’ll see them, planning the next date, longing for their company. You are in love, the butterflies bouncing in your stomach, and the stars twinkling in your eye.
Then there are those relationships where you are on the other end. You’re not quite sure about the person. Maybe they aren’t exactly your type, maybe you aren’t super attracted to them mentally or emotionally. You aren’t feeling an overwhelming connection and you’re not quite sure if you see potential in them. Though they are a nice, wonderful, attractive person whom just about all of your friends are thinking is the perfect catch, though for whatever reason, you’re not feeling it. You want the chemistry to happen, but it’s not coming. They aren’t on your mind. The next date could be 1-2 weeks away and it’s ok. The thought of a trip sounds too fast, too much.
Now pair these two people together. The one that is in euphoric heaven thinking completely of the other person with the one who is guarded and unsure. Guess how that situation goes? Yep, it’s the story many of us have gone through. Chapter after chapter of switching the different roles. Maybe you’re often the one that doesn’t care, maybe you’re often the one on cloud 9, or maybe you flip so often you don’t know. Though it’s highly likely if you’ve been dating for awhile you know this all too well.
What is interesting is when you come fresh out of a relationship where you were the one on cloud 9, lost in the land of love with the other person, the person who wasn’t totally invested. Then enter into the opposite role and it’s like a light bulb goes off and you realize, the entire time you were madly deeply in love with the other person, planning your futures together, you were in it alone. It was all in your head, you wanted them to be Mr. Wonderful, you wanted it to be forever. Meanwhile Mr. Wonderful was no where close to the same page. This all becomes clear when someone else pegs you as Ms. Wonderful and you realize, they are on cloud 9 and you don’t feel it.
This is where a person’s character becomes critical in how things play out. Two good people that are considerate respectful people, would show kindness and consideration. If you know the other person cares more about you, then your role is to be tender, patient, and most importantly honest and upfront. The love struck person is lost in love land and if you’re barely there, letting them know in the kindest way is the best thing. Honesty is always a good approach. Though it takes courage to be honest, but it’s in the strength of doing what’s right that we can feel good about our role and not leading anyone on unfairly.
Having recently been on the other side of the equation, the one on cloud 9 where my partner wasn’t terribly invested. Where he was on my mind constantly, all I could think about was when I’d see him next, what trip we could do, how we could make his complicated situation work, how we could overcome communication difficulties, how I could sacrifice just a little more to make him happy. I spent hours of my time wrapped up in wanting him. Meanwhile, he spent zero time on me. Actually he was out spending time with other women even though we were supposedly ‘exclusive’. So I can say for certain there is a caring way to handle the disparity and a careless way.
What’s interesting is those relationships where it’s just about close. You feel like you’re both on the same page. Both of you seem to be thinking about each other all the time. Everything is great. There’s so much respect and love and consideration that you think this just has to be the one. Though even when those end and you look back, and the people close to you look back on it, out crops a divergence – one of you cared more. Why this happens, I don’t know. Some psychologists will say it’s because we want what we can’t have, though I don’t subscribe to that. For me it’s about a person having a certain set of attributes, if they have it, I’m locked, if they don’t, I’m not. Regardless of how into me or not they are.
I am most curious and would love to hear from those of my readers that are married – feel free to answer anonymously if that’s more comfortable – though once you reach ‘the’ relationship, your final long term partner, the person you want to stand by for life, wake up to every morning, does this dynamic persist? Is there always an alpha? And I don’t mean alpha in the sense of a domineering person, but alpha in the sense of the one who is less ‘OMG I finally found you!!!’, therefore by definition gets more catered toward. Or do you know you’ve found your perfect match when it feels more equal? Where you are both enamored with each other, you both consider each other, you both want each other, deeply, madly, forever.
Or is that just my mushy hopeless romantic side talking again!