I think I must have a very low tolerance for bullshit. I understand that people have issues with each other and relationships can be hard work, but once I realize that work is not contributing to a positive factor in my life, I have a tendency to cut my losses.
I went out with a girl a few times, we’ll call her Moscow. I realized after about three dates that she was not a good fit for me and I stopped seeing her. (That she doesn’t think she received adequate closure is the subject of another post, but I thought, “I think we should just be friends,” was sufficient.) It turns out I became friends with Moscow’s boyfriend, Brussels, and he stuck with her for long, long after I would have (or, in fact, did).
I know that Brussels is a far nicer person than I am. He wears a knowing smile when I would have a snide comment. He tempers his advice with what he feels people want to hear when I say what I think. Brussels is a really good guy, and I am glad to know him. But being a nice guy doesn’t excuse the verbal abuse and emotional turbulence he allowed himself to take.
I honestly don’t know why he stuck around as long as he did. For months, I haven’t seen Moscow treat him well at all! She ranted at him in long and ribbony tirades. She was passive-aggressive about scheduling their dates and how he wasn’t meeting her (in my opinion, unreasonable) needs. The stress she put on him was affecting him at home. She stopped being a positive influence on his life a while ago, and he finally broke up with her.
Like any necessary break-up, I am happy and sad for him. I know it is hard and it hurts. There is a feeling of obligation to your partner. There is also the urge to get through it and set things right. And maybe that was what Brussels was feeling: maybe he thought Moscow would work through some of her own issues and they would have a happy relationship again. I’m not sure. Maybe I am a little callous and I I feel my time is better spent where I find happiness.
I know that every relationship has issues, but some relationships’ issues outweigh the good of those relationships as a whole. I just hate putting myself in a spot where I know I am not enjoying myself. Relationships can be hard work, yes, but ultimately, aren’t they supposed to make our lives richer, fuller, and better? Those are the ones that I cherish and work on.
I’m really lucky to have the kinds of relationships I have with all my girls – my wife and my girlfriends. I love them all deeply and dearly, and all of them contribute positively to my life. We have issues, sometimes. Everyone does. But they are all bright stars in my constellation. Eventually, maybe they’ll supernova and things will change. And if they start to fizzle, I am sure I’ll trim them before they add negativity to my life.