I was talking about relationships with a close friend a few years my senior, when she pointed out that there was one major difference between her girlfriends who were (happily) married, and her girlfriends still stuck in the lonesome trenches we commonly refer to as dating.
She noted that the friends who were in unhappy relationship cycles had been riding the same Ferris wheel for decades. They went after the same kinds of men, and allowed the same negativity into their lives.
"At some point in life you have to identify your negative cycles and decidedly change them." ~K
This concept woke me up. As I looked internally to identify my own patterns, a few tendencies became apparent. Sticking with the topic at hand, here's how I chose to grow past the Daniel cycle:
I don't want to bore you with my dirtiest laundry, so I'll attempt to lay this out with the speed and grace of professional band-aid puller offer (yes, that's the technical term).
Daniel and I kept this predictable cycle for a year and a half:
take time apart,
take time apart,
apply liberally, rinse, repeat...
At first the fights were directly linked to my insecurity, but as I became more comfortable accepting his friendship at face value, he became less comfortable with the depth of our conversations. Any time we shared an emotional connection, anger and aggression weren't far behind. This was confusing for me because he would so enthusiastically dive into subjects of the heart - ego - and Self.
I could speculate day and night about why this was a trigger for him... and oh boy do I have speculations aplenty! But they are of no consequence, as they will never evoke the truth only he knows.
I became good at misleading myself. This cycle was okay because I no longer wanted more than friendship. Soon he would realize that I wasn't a threat to his bachelorhood and we would get along swimmingly forevermore...
That never seemed to happen. Every time we fought, I would call my best friends and analyze every detail about why this friendship wasn't working.
It stressed me out every time.
It made me emotional every time.
I shared stress with my best friends every time.
It wasn't just me. It seemed that conversations with all my single ladies had a tendency to revolve around dating and whether or not we were liked. I started to get really annoyed with the repetition of my own stories -- which were basically the same complaints I'd shared a few months prior. I wanted to find a way to lift the quality of conversation I was having with the most valuable people in my life.
I suggested to each of them that for one week, we wouldn't speak about dating at all. I specified that if they really thought they met the one, of course the rules could be thrown out. Something incredible happened during this experiment.
We talked about everything else.
Our passions, our dreams, career goals, books, movies, current affairs, spirituality, etc.
Don't get me wrong, we always shared those connections before. But we took it deeper. We removed the circular conversation of our dead end relationships, and filled that time by inspiring and encouraging each other to live big.
It worked! I broke my cycle by changing my thought and conversational patterns. I stopped dwelling on negativity, and I invited my friends to join a more holistic conversation. Our conversations are still deeper more than a year and a half later. Many thanks to my incredible, and growth minded wolf pack!
Are you ready to take the challenge?
No boy talk for one full week.
Comment below if you think you need this too! Let me know how it goes!
Thanks for reading, make great choices. :)
Next up -- Why my insecurity/attitude wasn't warranted and how this relationship taught me what it means to truly savor a moment. Stay tuned!