I think I have lost my filter.
That is truly the first line that popped into my head after I had spoken my first sentence this morning. Lately, I don’t stop myself before blurting out the thoughts in my head. It’s only the most extreme situations when my brain says, “You’re screwed if you say another word”.
This realization also comes out of the fact that the past month I have been doling loads of mad advice to a friend about her relationship. Now through it all, I keep hearing her say time and again how he won’t let her do anything she wants to do. Like for instance, she’d want to go out dancing with her friends and all he would say is, “I don’t think that is a good idea”. Never does it occur to her that she could just say, “Well I think it’s a great idea, I’ll see you when I’m back!” Post him saying this, she would just get upset, hang up and cry. Then later give him grief about how he won’t ever let her live her life, how he is crushing her freedom, after which she would call me up and relate the whole thing. While she talks, in the back of my head I'm thinking 'if someone pushes you around in a relationship, you are the one who tolerated it more than once, didn't put your foot down and stop it then - it is all your fault.' But I am the queen of words when it comes to advice and the pauper when I have to use it for myself, so I stopped myself from saying that to her. But her situation changes everyday, yet the end is the same every time. So, one day I can’t take it any more and I just blurt out “it’s entirely your fault that this relationship is getting screwed. It’s not gonna work out and I think he should just leave you”. And my head echoed softly ‘oops, word vomit’.
Now there are two reasons why this sentence sounded wrong to both of us at first. One, I am those feminist types who believe that it is unfair for a guy to stop a woman from doing what she desires. Two, being her friend I am supposed to be supportive of her. So now I sit there with my hands cupping my mouth – for fear of some more trouble coming out of it, thinking fast about my words, searching for a way to explain myself. I do manage to gather my thoughts right and explain it to her. I didn’t apologize for what I said; I merely explained my theory further.
I will tell you why I do think it’s her fault.
In relationships, the truth is that your first quarter is what sets the bar. If you start allowing your partner to believe that his/her words are carved in stone, there is nothing stopping him/her from doing that to you all your life with him. If you allow your belle to call you while you are with your boys, there's no way you can stop him/her seven months down the line saying “You can’t do it”, cos it’s too late by then. Then the most cliché line in the history of relationships comes up, “You don’t love me like you used to. You have changed!” Irony is that I learnt this from the man I am currently seeing. But I’ll give you this, it’s so true and if you go by it, there is no way you can ever complain unless you really have changed.
Now this won’t apply to you folks who have been with you sweetheart since you could say “mama”. You two have to adapt to change cos you are growing up together. But if you are 20+, seeing someone new, all you need to do is be honest with the person you are seeing. If you are going to argue about the fact that too much information is never good, well then genius, I don’t ever remember saying that you need to sit the person down and freak them out with news about how you once had UT infection. Just take it slow and be yourself. Don’t be the person you think they want you to be. Don’t bloody preempt what they are feeling cos you’re getting way ahead of yourself then. If they liked you in the first place, its cos of the things you are. If you don’t like football, don’t pretend you do cos he loves it. Say you will join him for the game cos you want to see his joy when the team scores. When she asks you to eat pasta and you just can’t stand the sight of it, tell her you would have a pizza instead and allow her to order her pasta. The day you find yourself going too many extra miles because of the butterflies in your tummy, stop and think about what you may be doing. Butterflies get tired of fluttering sometimes you know, and the day they are resting could very well be the day you wake up to reality and practicality. I think it’s totally unfair to give someone something that you know you can’t keep giving forever. Especially if that something is the new self you changed into just to make them happy.
Expectation is the mother of all miseries. Don’t let someone you love feel it unless you are sure you can live up to it.