Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

Reliable, Reassuring and REAL

So I’m waiting for ‘the talk’ – the conversation where I am likely going to be very firm about what I need in a relationship and she is going to say – naw. And I’ll need to walk away. Thanks 2020. I”m pre-grieving. I don’t hold out much hope it will go other than badly. I wish I could.

I can’t really blame 2020, it’s not like this hasn’t happened a bunch before. I have to say that this is one of the quickest runs I’ve done of it, though. To realize, oh, this relationship is unbalanced, she’s not into me enough to want an actual equal relationship, I need to fix it or end it. At this point I’m not liking my chances of the former. However, I have to make the effort, to give the Goddess one chance to redeem herself, to let me know that I haven’t loved in  vain. Okay, I’ve written some songs. That was good. And the likelihood that I’ll run into her in my social circles seems to be fairly slim, so there’s that.

Why is it that I end up choosing these women who appear to be quite into me at first and then they get all wierd and selfish and mean?

I listened to a podcast today that I thought was quite good, on imbalanced relationships. The counsellor presenter said that at a minimum relationships should be reliable, reassuring and real. A ‘real’ relationship is one where the person really wants to share their life with you – have you meet their friends and family and to meet yours, have you in their home, life, activities and vice versa. A real, normal relationship is where the person is enthusiastic about sharing their life with you, having you be part of it, and being part of yours.

My current girlfriend and probably future ex really hesitated to have me over to her home – she was worried about ‘protecting her solitude’ – this was such a red flag. Yikes, SDW! I’ve been there once in the six months we’ve been dating. She said it wasn’t as bad as she thought, it would be. We actually had a nice time, but she has not invited me back. She has met very few of my friends, she won’t ride in my car and she doesn’t want anything to do with me monday to friday. This is the textbook definition of ‘not real’. The counsellor said that if any of these three are missing, you will feel insecure, and rightfully so, and it’s not sustainable. He also said that reassurance should be freely, generously and warmly offered whenever you want or need it, period.

Reliable, she has. So, one and a half for three.

He started by setting the stage for how we get into these types of imbalanced relationships – he said those of us who had to be especially attentive and compliant as children to survive are set up for this type of relationship – basically those who have had to fawn, because (and I’m adding this in) we are too nice to people who aren’t nice enough to us. He also said that these kinds of relationships start when we are having a difficult time, when we are vulnerable. It’s true, that basically all of these types of relationships have started when I was not 100% on my game.

There was Christine, who I chased when I was lonely and touch hungry, having been in a neglectful marriage (with someone I loved and missed) for about a decade at that point – we were polyamorous so it was above board, but still, I put up with way too much crap and indifference from her, because I just wanted to be happy again. Same for Marnie – who had ten other partners, and on our date every two weeks or so, made no effort to be affectionate.  Then there was Marlene, who was completely unreliable – always late for dates, always making me wait and then disappointing me. And the worst was of course Donna, with whom I connected after my marriage finally broke up. I have got to stop doing this. I have got to have standards. I have got to say no to not real, not reliable or not reassuring.

So maybe this is my lesson now, to stand up for my self sooner, and to require real, reassuring and reliable. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn the signs now so that I stand up for myself a lot sooner. It’s likely too later for this round, but maybe the next one.

Here’s that podcast. I hope it helps you too:

Photo credit: Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

11 thoughts on “Reliable, Reassuring and REAL”

  1. Hi SDW,
    Gaslighting during a breakup, next level of awful. So sorry. My ex was a horrific gaslighter, such a long time ago and it still bothers me. No matter what, I believe in you.

    You have a lot to be proud of in figuring all this out, even if you don’t feel that yet.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    1. Thank you, Kate, that’s very kind. Yes, we did end up breaking up and you are absolutely right, it was gaslighting. She said we were in an actual relationship, but in the breakup she was clear that she did not intend to see me more than once a week, and did not intend for me to ever meet her friends, that she intended to share her problems with her friends and not me, and that she wanted that to go on indefinitely. That is not a relationship, that is a regularly scheduled booty call. My friends all think she had someone else she was cheating on with me. I think that’s likely not possible, as we have some mutual friends but still. I still miss/grieve what I thought I had with her, but I accept that she was not good for me and it’s good its over. I think this time, I finally learned that when I know something is a dealbreaker for me, I need to move on.

  2. Hi SDW,

    Okay one more time, this is my fifth comment, hope it gets accepted instead of being told it is spam. I can totally relate to the healing work you are going through right now. Saddened that you are being treated this way. You always showed me through your blog and your interactions with me there and on my blog what a wonderful exceptional person you are and how intelligent and caring as well. Still in awe of you. Wishing you only the best.

    Good and healing thoughts to you. Always your friend,


    1. sworddancewarrior

      Thank you, Kate. She and I broke up a few days ago and I am so mad. In our breakup conversation, she was so honest about basically using me for sex and company, but had no intention of having an actual relationship, despite what she told me initially. WHat kills me is that she could rationalize it being perfectly fine, just said it cold and frank like she didn’t believe she’d done anything wrong misleading me, and then blaming me for being too emotional because I was upset about the crazymaking of treating me like a one night stand who had gotten too attached, when we were nominally in a serious relationship. I don’t think I’ll be able to be friends with her. I hope I will remember how this felt and never do this again. I’d rather be alone than be treated as a utility.

  3. Hi SDW,

    Here I am with my dragged out laptop trying again to leave you a comment on your blog. I have left 3 already. They were deemed spam. One more try.


  4. Read SDW,
    I tried to post a reply, it said comment is spam. So I will try again.

    I can relate. I have been alone rather than be with partners who do not meet some basic standards. Likewise with friends. I hate being alone, as an extrovert. But it is healing to be able to say no and pass on what someone is willing to do and be as a date.

    I am sorry to read what you are experiencing. And sad that it is happening to you. These patterns are so pernicious. You are an exception person and deserve all that you are working towards.

    So in awe of you still. Good and healing thoughts to you.

    As always, your friend,


  5. Hi SDW,

    I can relate. I experienced much of what you shared. You gave me a lot of food for thought. I’m sorry that you have gone through this. And sad because you are such an incredible, wonderful, and exceptional person. I am doing a lot of work on these areas for healing myself. You are right; you deserve all of this.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

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