An almost-girlfriend had lunch with me the other day, and the talk soon moved to one of the causes of her unhappiness: relationships.
“I was telling X,” she said to me, “about how I always meet these amazing guys, and how we will really click, and everything will be going so well, and we are happy, and suddenly the guys will withdraw, shut down, for no reason…”
She trailed off. And then she began to laugh. I knew why she was laughing.
“I am laughing,” she confirmed. “Because the same thing happened to us.”
Then she shared her conclusions: “Something must be wrong with me,” she said. “I must be doing something completely wrong to chase these guys away.”
I couldn’t let it go. Because her conclusions were false. Very false.
“Actually, I know people don’t usually believe when someone says this,” I replied her. “And I don’t know what’s up with these other guys you have met, but this was not about you.”
It wasn’t. Not at all. She was amazing. I had a blast with her. I wanted to be with her. I was actually crazy about her.
But then one morning, after she left the house, it hit me: I didn’t yet know what I wanted to do about relationships yet. I didn’t know if I wanted to be married, or if I wanted kids, or when, or what, and how long I would be in this phase of my life. And here was this amazing woman with whom everything was great, and everything was in sync, and I didn’t know if I was wasting her time. And if being exclusive at that time was what I wanted or not. Or if I wanted to be in that dance, or if I needed to spend more figuring things out.
And then I panicked, because I didn’t want to disappoint her, and before we could officially start a relationship, I said: let’s put the brakes on it.
It really wasn’t her at all. Not in any way. She had flaws. But she was also perfect. She is perfect. It really, wholly, truly was me.
“I promise you,” I said to her. “This is not bullshit. This is the truth.”
And then she smiled. Relieved. Happy. Back into herself.
She had carried this false story about a non-existent pattern for so many years, thinking there was something wrong with her. And it was all based on a lie.